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Joshua 7:6 -



And Joshua rent his clothes. A token of grief usual among the Jews (see Genesis 37:29 , 84; Genesis 44:13 , etc. Knobel cites Le Genesis 21:10 ); and though Joshua was not the high priest, yet from his peculiar position he might be expected to adopt somewhat of the high priest's demeanour, and at least not to display this outward sign of grief without the strongest reason. The words "before the ark" are omitted in the LXX . And put dust on their heads. A sign of still more abject humiliation. The head, the noblest part of man, was thus placed beneath the dust of the ground from whence he was taken (see 1 Samuel 4:12 ; 2 Samuel 1:2 ; 2 Samuel 13:19 ; 2 Samuel 15:32 ; 1 Kings 20:38 ; Job 2:12 ; Lamentations 2:10 ). It was a common custom among the Greeks. (See Lucian, De Luetu, 12). Homer mentions the custom (Iliad, 18). Pope's translation runs thus:—

"Cast on the ground, with furious hands he spread

The scorching ashes o'er his graceful head.

His purple garments and his golden hairs,

Those he deforms with dust, and these he tears."

Lines 26-30.

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