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What is the significance of tearing one's clothes in the Bible?

And Elisha saw it and he cried, "My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.  II Kings 2:11-12

I also read other verses related to tearing off clothes.. what does it mean in the bible?

Esther 4:1

ESV - 1 When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 17 2014 Mini Ruffa Felicilda

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Data Lena Wms Student @Christ Gospel Church, S.S.Teacher, Observer
The rending of ones clothing (KJV) signified great grief or mourning. Since the pagan practice of cutting oneself was expressly forbidden by God, (Lev. 19:28) this was an outward demonstration of the intense grief a person felt. 

The High Priest were not allowed to tear his clothes in grief, as demonstrated when Aaron lost two sons in one day due to their gross disobedience. (Lev. 10:6) Another gross sin of Caiaphas, the High Priest of Jesus Christ day as he tore the High Priest garments. (Mat 26:65)

We must remember too, that in Biblical days they wore many layers of clothing. Therefore, when a person tore their garment, it was not to the bare skin, but to the next article of cloth. 

Today, we mourn and grieve much differently. Some have even returned to the forbidden practice of cutting themselves. The Lord Jesus Christ is named in Isa 9:6 as the Prince of Peace who will give comfort to those that mourn and grieve. Bless His Holy Name!

Be Blessed
Lena

October 18 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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