Clothes, Rending of

klothz, (keri`ath beghadhim): This term is used to describe an ordinary tear made in a garment. Samuel's skirt was rent when Saul laid hold upon it (1Sa 15:27). Jesus spoke about a rent being made in a garment (Mt 9:16). The term is also used to describe a Hebrew custom which indicated deep sorrow. Upon the death of a relative or important personage, or when there was a great calamity, it was customary for the Hebrews to tear their garments. Reuben rent his clothes when he found that Joseph had been taken from the pit (Ge 37:29). The sons of Jacob rent their clothes when the cup was found in Benjamin's sack (Ge 44:13). A messenger came to Eli with his clothes rent to tell of the taking of the ark of God and of the death of his two sons (1Sa 4:12). David rent his garments when he heard that Absalom had slain his brothers (2Sa 13:31). See also 2Sa 15:32; 2Ki 18:37; Isa 36:22; Jer 41:5. Rending of clothes was also an expression of indignation. The high priest rent his garment when Jesus spoke what he thought was blasphemy (Mt 26:65).

See also MOURNING.

A. W. Fortune

 
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