Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;
Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a particular people that is dispersed and spread among the inhabitants throughout all the provinces of your kingdom whose laws differ from those of all other peoples. Furthermore, they do not observe the king's laws. It is not appropriate for the king to provide a haven for them.
Throughout each and every province where the king's edict and law were announced there was considerable mourning among the Jews, along with fasting, weeping, and sorrow. Sackcloth and ashes were characteristic of many.
Joshua tore his clothes; he and the leaders of Israel lay face down on the ground before the ark of the Lord until evening and threw dirt on their heads.
2 Samuel 13:19
Then Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went on her way, wailing as she went.
Job took a shard of broken pottery to scrape himself with while he was sitting among the ashes.
Therefore I despise myself, and I repent in dust and ashes!
Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the Lord?
They will lament loudly over you and cry bitterly. They will throw dust on their heads and roll in the ashes;
So I turned my attention to the Lord God to implore him by prayer and requests, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes.
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, their voices are heard as far away as Jahaz. For this reason Moab's soldiers shout in distress; their courage wavers.
So I say: "Don't look at me! I am weeping bitterly. Don't try to console me concerning the destruction of my defenseless people."
"And you, son of man, groan with an aching heart and bitterness; groan before their eyes.
they will tear out their hair because of you and put on sackcloth, and they will weep bitterly over you with intense mourning.
For this reason I will mourn and wail; I will walk around barefoot and without my outer garments. I will howl like a wild dog, and screech like an owl.
The Lord's great day of judgment is almost here; it is approaching very rapidly! There will be a bitter sound on the Lord's day of judgment; at that time warriors will cry out in battle.
because in a single hour such great wealth has been destroyed!" And every ship's captain, and all who sail along the coast -- seamen, and all who make their living from the sea, stood a long way off
Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned for his son many days.