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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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LAMENTATION (θρῆνος, θρηνεῖν).—An expression of sorrow accompanied by wailing and other demonstrations of grief. It is associated in John 16:20 with weeping, and also in Luke 23:27, in the case of the women accompanying the Saviour to the Crucifixion. It is applied equally to sorrow for the dead and to grief for approaching disaster (Matthew 2:18, John 16:20, Luke 23:27), and it is referred to by the Lord as one of the common games of children.

When a death occurred, it was intimated at once by a loud wail which is described (Mark 5:38) as accompanied by a ‘tumult,’ and this lamentation was renewed at the grave of the deceased. Oriental demonstrations of grief are very vivid. Mourners hang over the lifeless form and beg for a response from its lips. When a young person dies unmarried, part of the ceremony of mourning is a form of marriage (see art. Mourning). Lamentation for the dead was also accompanied by beating the breast and tearing the hair, as well as by rending the garments (see Rending of Garments) and fasting.

W. H. Rankine.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Lamentation'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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