Ezra 9:3

Ezra 9:3

And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle,
&c.] Both inward and outward garments, that which was close to his body, and that which was thrown loose over it; and this he did in token of sorrow and mourning, as if something very dreadful and distressing, see ( Job 1:20 )

and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard;
did not shave them, and so transgressed not the law in ( Leviticus 19:27 ) but plucked off the hair of them, to show his extreme sorrow for what was told him: which has frequently been done by mourners on sorrowful occasions in various nations, see ( Isaiah 15:2 ) . So in the apocryphal "addition" to Esther,

``And laid away her glorious apparel, and put on the garments of anguish and mourning: and instead of precious ointments, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body greatly, and all the places of her joy she filled with her torn hair.'' (Esther 14:2)

she is said to fill every place of joy with the tearing of her hair; and Lavinia in Virgil F11; several passages from Homer F12, and other writers, both Greek and Latin, are mentioned by Bochart F13 as instances of it:

and sat down astonished;
quite amazed at the ingratitude of the people, that after such favours shown them, in returning them from captivity unto their own land, and settling them there, they should give into practices so contrary to the will of God.


F11 Aeneid. 12. prope finem. Vid. Ciceron. Tusc. Quaest. l. 3.
F12 Vid. Iliad. 10. ver. 15. & Iliad. 22. ver. 77, 78, 406. & Iliad. 24. ver. 711.
F13 Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 45. col. 481.
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