[KJV]2 Samuel 21:

8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite: 9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

This is the touching story of a Mother's love for her children even in death.

I know that sackcloth was used for morning the dead, but then it was worn on the body. It didn't say she wore it . It said she spread it upon the rock.

I wondered if her use of sackcloth instead of something else was an indication of the land's repentance. For in the Bible I see it used that way, (ex.

[KJV]Nehemiah 9:1: Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.)

  • Can you please quote the verses rather than just the addresses please? Thanks. (There is an "edit" button, kind of hard to see.) – Ruminator Nov 27 '18 at 1:38
  • 1
    Yes I can. Sorry to all. I am new to this board, and have not learn how to use it. Reading the guide did help a bit. Thank you, for bring to my attention my error. – user27276 Nov 27 '18 at 6:11
  • I tried to do some cleanup. Hopefully I didn't mess anything up. Your post still needs the version info; IE: KJV or what have you. Also you give the address for 1 King 21:9 but cited Nehemiah 9:1. Please clean that up. Thanks. – Ruminator Nov 27 '18 at 11:30
  • Again thank you! (I Must learn how to posting format on this board) – user27276 Nov 28 '18 at 7:57
  • @user27276, what do you mean by "land's repentance"? – Tony Chan Apr 16 at 15:27

I don’t believe there is biblical evidence that the land could repent. Sackcloth was worn by many people in the OT to reflect certain states of mind.

Used as sign of mourning:

Genesis 37:34 (AKJV) 34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

Used as a sign of repentance.

Nehemiah 9:1 (AKJV)

9 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them.

Used as in a call for deliverance:

2 Kings 19:1-2 (AKJV) 19 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

So, in reference to 2 Samuel 21: 8-10, I would say that the context supports personal mourning.

  • The only time I rent my clothes is if I have to rent a tux to attend a wedding or a funeral. :) – Ruminator Nov 27 '18 at 1:37

I think not. I think that the poser of the question associates "sackcloth" (σάκκος) with "repentance" but in reality sackcloth was used by the Jews for multiple purposes involving mourning.

Given the context it seems most compelling that she spread out the sackcloth as a rough blanket or bed but the symbolism of the cloth relates to her tremendous grieving, not to repentance.

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