Bible Book List
Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5188 tearing of clothes
5188 tearing of clothes

5188 tearing of clothes

Primarily associated with mourning, such action was an expression of deep sorrow and heartfelt grief. It was also a natural reaction at times of great distress and in cases of sincere repentance.

The tearing of clothes was a sign of mourning

It was a demonstration of grief 2Sa 1:11-12 See also 2Sa 13:30-31; 2Ki 2:11-12; Job 1:20; Job 2:12

It was often associated with wearing sackcloth Ge 37:34 See also 2Sa 3:31-32

The high priest was forbidden to tear his clothes in mourning Lev 21:10-12 See also Lev 10:1-7

The tearing of clothes indicated deep distress

Jdg 11:34-35 Jephthah had vowed to sacrifice whatever came out of the door of his house to meet him. See also Ge 37:29; Ge 44:12-13; Nu 14:1-9; Jos 7:3-6; 2Ki 6:26-30; 2Ki 18:28-19:4 pp Isa 36:13-37:4; Est 3:13-4:1; Ac 14:8-18

Repentance was sometimes accompanied by the tearing of clothes

1Ki 21:20-27 See also Jer 36:21-24 an indication of the lack of repentance; Joel 2:12-14 God requires that the tearing of clothes should express genuine repentance.

Other references to the tearing of clothes

As an expression of anger Mt 26:63-65 pp Mk 14:61-63

To stop the spread of mildew See also Lev 13:53-58

As a symbol of the dividing of the kingdom 1Sa 15:27-28

See also

6742sackcloth & ashes
7376high priest

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