Neither shall men tear themselves
Either their flesh, or their clothes: or, "stretch out" F25; that is, their hands, and clap them together, and wring them, as persons in great distress do: or "divide", or "break", or "deal unto them" F26; that is, bread, as at their funeral feasts. Thus the Septuagint version, neither shall bread be broken in their mourning; and to the same sense the Targum; so the word is used in ( Isaiah 63:7 ) , a practice that obtained among the Heathens; see ( Deuteronomy 26:14 ) and now with the Jews, as it seems: which they did for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead;
they used to carry or send food to the surviving relations, and went and ate with them, in order to comfort them for the loss of their friends; but this now would not be done, not because an Heathenish custom, but because they would have no heart nor leisure for it: see ( Ezekiel 24:17 ) . Neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their
father or for their mother:
not give them a cup of good liquor to comfort and cheer their spirits, overwhelmed with sorrow, on account of the death of a father or mother; which was wont to be done, but now should be omitted; the calamity would be so great, and so uersal, that there would be none to do such offices as these; see ( Proverbs 31:6 Proverbs 31:7 ) .
F25 (worpy alw) "et non expandent, [sub.] manus suas", Vatablus, Montanus; "extendent", Pagninus, Calvin. So Kimchi and Ben Melech.
F26 "Non divident", Tigurine version; "neque impertientur, [sub.] cibum", Junius & Tremellius; "partientur panem", Piscator; "neque cibum dabunt", Schmidt. So Jarchi, Joseph Kimchi, and Abarbinel.