Mourn

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Mourn : Frequent references are found in Scripture to,

  1. Mourning for the dead. Abraham mourned for Sarah (Genesis 23:2); Jacob for Joseph (Genesis 37:34,35); the Egyptians for Jacob (Genesis 50:3-10); Israel for Aaron (Numbers 20:29), for Moses (Deuteronomy 34:8), and for Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1); David for Abner (2 Samuel 3:31,35); Mary and Martha for Lazarus (John 11); devout men for Stephen (Acts 8:2), etc.
  2. For calamities, (Job 1:20,21; 2:8); Israel (Exodus 33:4); the Ninevites (Jonah 3:5); Israel, when defeated by Benjamin (Judges 20:26), etc.
  3. Penitential mourning, by the Israelites on the day of atonement (Leviticus 23:27; Acts 27:9); under Samuel's ministry (1 Samuel 7:6); predicted in Zechariah (Zechariah 12:10,11); in many of the psalms (Psalm 51, etc.).

Mourning was expressed,

  1. by weeping (Genesis 35:8, marg.; Luke 7:38, etc.);
  2. by loud lamentation (Ruth 1:9; 1 Samuel 6:19; 2 Samuel 3:31);
  3. by the disfigurement of the person, as rending the clothes (Genesis 37:29,34; Matthew 26:65), wearing sackcloth (Genesis 37:34; Psalm 35:13), sprinkling dust or ashes on the person (2 Samuel 13:19; Jeremiah 6:26; Job 2:12), shaving the head and plucking out the hair of the head or beard (Leviticus 10:6; Job 1:20), neglect of the person or the removal of ornaments (Exodus 33:4; Deuteronomy 21:12,13; 2 Samuel 14:2; 19:24; Matthew 6:16,17), fasting (2 Samuel 1:12), covering the upper lip (Leviticus 13:45; Micah 3:7), cutting the flesh (Jeremiah 16:6,7), and sitting in silence (Judges 20:26; 2 Samuel 12:16; 13:31; Job 1:20).

In the later times we find a class of mourners who could be hired to give by their loud lamentation the external tokens of sorrow (2 Chronicles 35:25; Jeremiah 9:17; Matthew 9:23).

The period of mourning for the dead varied. For Jacob it was seventy days (Genesis 50:3); for Aaron (Numbers 20:29) and Moses (Deuteronomy 34:8) thirty days; and for Saul only seven days (1 Samuel 31:13). In 2 Samuel 3:31-35, we have a description of the great mourning for the death of Abner.