27 April 2013

And they fell on their faces

A recent tweet by StaticDespair was titled "The people in Bible times were too dramatic" and had a link to this image:



And it got me to thinking.

People in the Bible do some strange things when they get upset  They fall on their faces, tear their clothes, put sackcloth on their loins, and rub dirt on their heads. Stuff like that. 

So I wondered, how many times, and under what circumstances, did people in the Bible do these things.

Here is my attempt to summarize it for you. 

They fell on their faces.
  1. When Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram ... and Abram fell on his face. Genesis 17:1-3

  2. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?. Genesis 17:17

  3. And there came a fire out from before the LORD ... and ... when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:24

  4. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces. Numbers 14:5

  5. And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face. Numbers 16:4

  6. And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. Numbers 16:20-22

  7. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. Numbers 16:44-45

  8. And they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. Numbers 20:6

  9. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he ... fell flat on his face. Numbers 22:31

  10. Joshua ... lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand ... And Joshua fell on his face. Joshua 5:14

  11. And Joshua ... fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide. Joshua 7:6

  12. The angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces. Judges 13:20

  13. Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes? Ruth 2:10

  14. David ... fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 1 Samuel 20:41

  15. Mephibosheth ... fell on his face. 2 Samuel 9:6

  16. The woman of Tekoah ... fell on her face. 2 Samuel 14:4
  17. Joab fell to the ground on his face. 2 Samuel 14:22
  18. Ahimaaz ... fell ... upon his face. 2 Samuel 18:28

  19. As Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah? 1 Kings 18:7

  20. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces. 1 Kings 18:39

  21. David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem.Then David and the elders of Israel, who were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 1 Chronicles 21:16

  22. I saw ... the appearance of his loins  ...This was ... the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face. Ezekiel 1:27-28

  23. Behold, the glory of the Lord stood there ... and I fell on my face. Ezekiel 3:23

  24. While they were slaying them ... I fell on my face. Ezekiel 9:8

  25. And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face.  Ezekiel 11:13

  26. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came ... and his voice was like a noise of many waters ... and I fell upon my face. Ezekiel 43:2-3

  27. Behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell upon my face. Ezekiel 44:4

  28. King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshiped Daniel. Daniel 2:46

  29. I was afraid, and fell upon my face. Daniel 8:17

  30. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face. Matthew 17:6

  31. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face. Matthew 26:39

  32. A man full of leprosy... fell on his face. Luke 5:12
  33. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16
  34. All the angels ... and the four beasts ... fell before the throne on their faces. Revelation 7:11

  35. The four and twenty elders ... fell upon their faces. Revelation 11:16

They rent their clothes.
  1. Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. Genesis 37:29
  2. And Jacob rent his clothes Genesis 37:34
  3. They speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack ...  and the cup was found in Benjamin's sack. Then they rent their clothes. Genesis 44:12-13
  4. And Joshua ... and Caleb ... rent their clothes. Numbers 14:6

  5. Jephthah came to ... his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances ... And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes. Judges 11:34-35
  6. Samuel ... laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 1 Samuel 15:27-28
  7. Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him. 2 Samuel 1:11

  8. David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes. 2 Samuel 3:31
  9. And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying. 2 Samuel 13:19
  10. Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. 2 Samuel 13:31
  11. Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces ... for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon. 1 Kings 11:30-31

  12. When Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes. 1 Kings 21:27

  13. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father ... and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 2 Kings 2:12

  14. When the king of Israel had read the letter ... he rent his clothes. 2 Kings 5:7

  15. When Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? 2 Kings 5:8

  16. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him. And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman ... he rent his clothes. 2 Kings 6:30

  17. When king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes. 2 Kings 19:1

  18. When the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 2 Kings 22:11

  19. Because ... thou ... hast rent thy clothes ... I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. 2 Kings 22:19
     
  20. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason. 2 Chronicles 23:13
  21. Because thine heart was tender ... didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD. 2 Chronicles 34:27

  22. Mordecai rent his clothes ... and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry. Esther 4:1

  23. When they lifted up their eyes afar off ... they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle. Job 2:12

  24. When king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes ... and went into the house of the LORD. Isaiah 37:1
  25. There came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD. Jeremiah 41:5
  26. Then the high priest rent his clothes. Matthew 26:65, Mark 14:63
  27. Therefore also now, saith the Lord ... ren your heart, and not your garments. Joel 2:12-13

  28. When the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? Acts 14:4

  29. The magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. Acts 16:22
They put sackcloth on their loins
  1. Jacob ... put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many daysGenesis 37:34
  2. David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him ... gird you with sackcloth. 2 Samuel 3:31
  3. And his servants said unto him ... let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads ... So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads. 1 Kings 20:31-32
  4. When Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 1 Kings 21:27
  5. When the king heard the words of the woman ... he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh. 2 Kings 6:30
  6. When king Hezekiah heard it, he ... covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 Kings 19:1
  7. David and the elders of Israel ... were clothed in sackcloth. 1 Chronicles 21:16
  8. Mordecai ... put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry. Esther 4:1
  9. There was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashesEsther 4:3
  10. I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust. Job 16:15
  11. I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them. Psalm 69:11
  12. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth. Isaiah 3:24
  13. On all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off ... they shall gird themselves with sackcloth ... every one shall howl, weeping abundantly. Isaiah 15:2-3
  14. At the same time spake the LORD ... saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins ... and he did so, walking naked. Isaiah 20:2
  15. In that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call ... to girding with sackcloth. Isaiah 22:12
  16. Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. Isaiah 32: 11
  17. When king Hezekiah heard it ... he ... covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. Isaiah 37:1
  18. Gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us. Jeremiah 4:8
  19. Gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes. Jeremiah 6:26
  20. Every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. Jeremiah 48:37
  21. Gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges. Jeremiah 49:3
  22. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and ... have girded themselves with sackclothLamentation 2:10
  23. They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads. Ezekiel 7:18
  24. And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailingEzekiel 27:31
  25. I set my face unto the Lord God ... with ... sackcloth, and ashes. Daniel 9:3
  26. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. Joel 1:8
  27. Gird yourselves, and ... howl ... lie all night in sackcloth. Joel 1:13
  28. I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. Amos 8:10
  29. So the people of Nineveh believed God ... and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of themJonah 3:5
  30. The king of Nineveh ... laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Jonah 3:6
  31. Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God. Jonah 3:8
  32. Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Matthew 11:4, Luke 10:13
  33. I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth..Revelation 11:3
And they put dust on their heads.
  1. Joshua ... and the elders of Israel ... put dust upon their heads. Joshua 7:6
  2. And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying. 2 Samuel 13:19

  3. When they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept and ... sprinkled dust upon their heads. Job 2:12

  4. The elders of the daughter of Zion sit upon the ground, and have cast up dust upon their heads. Lamentations 2:10

  5. The mariners ... shall cast up dust upon their heads. Ezekiel 27:29-30

  6. Roll thyself in the dust ... having thy shame naked. Micah 1:10-11

  7. They cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air. Acts 22:22
Let me know if I left anything out.




9 comments:

Stephen said...

How much did it cost to rent those clothes? ;-)
Steve Weeks

viatia said...

Renting clothes:
(I can't help but think of the Tom Haverford character and his company "Rent-a-Swag" on "Parks and Recreation" who "rents his clothes", specifically his fancy clothes, to school boys.)

2 Samuel 13:19, ashes on head AND rent garment
"And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying."

2 Samuel 13:31, tare garments, lay on the earth, and rent clothes
"Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent."

Jer 36:24, rent mentioned, but nobody renting,
"Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, ..."

Joel 2:13, "rend" instead of "rent", but what does rending one's heart mean?
"And rend your heart, and not your garments, ..."

2 Chron 34:27, "rend" for "rent",
"Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord."

1 Kings 18:28, rent clothes, cut skin, kind of the same thing
"And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them."

Jer 41:5, rent clothes AND cut skin
"That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the Lord."

Face falling:

2 Samuel 14:22
"And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant."

Luke 17:16
"And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

Stephen said...

Ecclesiastes has some general advice on rending:

3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

It seems reasonable that times that call for face-falling and ash-wearing also are appropriate for various sorts of rending.

These days there's more "rendition" than rending in the news. <_<
Steve Weeks

Steve Wells said...

Thanks viatia,

I'm adding your suggestions to the post and the SAB.

fenm said...

Nah, they weren't over-dramatic, they were just really, really clumsy.

Saurabh Ghosh said...

I think I might have rent my clothes from laughing! Fantastic collection and comments! :D

wjanoch said...

Rent (to rip apart) a garment, is like when someone is so passionately sad / angry they punch a wall. If you don't understand this action, be glad that you have never had such an awful feeling.

Ashes may serve a purpose we don't understand today. Maybe when you loose someone you love dearly, and you're so sad you could wish you were dead, then maybe throwing ashes on your head will help in a way that just doesn't make sense at any other time.

Falling on one's face before someone is simply bowing down low to the ground. It's an act where the bow'er declares the other person to be of very high status. It's like saluting in the army, or, ironically, standing when a judge enters a court room.

Stephen said...

Now-a-days, when someone falls on his face, it's not reported!
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/1/media-make-orwellian-scrub-face-first-fall-horse-t/
;-)
Steve Weeks

Brucker said...

I could have sworn there was more about ripping out hair (Ezra 9:3) and beating on chests (Luke 18:13), but maybe I'm not searching the Bible with the right terms?

Of course, you might want to consider adding instances of people begging to be put to death (Judges 9:54, 1Samuel 31:4, probably others I can't think of).