Sackcloth And Ashes
Most Relevant Verses
The elders of the Daughter of Zion sit on the ground keeping silent; they have cast dust on their heads, they have girded themselves with sackcloth. The maidens of Jerusalem have bowed their heads to the ground [says Jeremiah].
When Ahab heard those words of Elijah, he tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his flesh, fasted, lay in sackcloth, and went quietly.
So the people of Nineveh believed in God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the greatest of them even to the least of them. For word came to the king of Nineveh [of all that had happened to Jonah, and his terrifying message from God], and he arose from his throne and he laid his robe aside, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed nor drink water.read more.
But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell, God may turn and revoke His sentence against us [when we have met His terms], and turn away from His fierce anger so that we perish not.
Wail, O Heshbon [in Moab, just south of Ammon], for Ai [in Ammon] is laid waste! Cry out, you daughter [villages] of Rabbah! Gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament, and run to and fro inside the [sheepfold] enclosures; for Milcom [the god-king] shall go into exile, together with his priests and his princes.
Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes [and their hearts would have been changed].
When King Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over his household, Shebna the scribe, and the older priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
And I set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes;
And it shall come to pass that instead of the sweet odor of spices there shall be the stench of rottenness; and instead of a girdle, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; and searing [of captives by the scorching heat] instead of beauty.
Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; wail, you ministers of the altar; come, lie all night in sackcloth, you ministers of my [Joel's] God, for the cereal or meal offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your God.