A dark-colored material of goats’ or camels’ hair used for making grain bags and garments. Joseph’s brothers carried their money and their grain in sacks (Gen 42:25), and the men of Gibeon met Joshua with worn-out sacks upon their pack animals (Josh 9:4). A garment of sackcloth was uncomfortable and was therefore worn by those in mourning. Jacob “put sackcloth on his loins” when mourning for Joseph (Gen 37:34). When national calamity threatened the destruction of the Jewish people in the book of Esther, the Jews lay in sackcloth and ashes, fasting, weeping, and lamenting (Esth 4:1-3). This material must have been inexpensive or of poor quality, for “no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth” (Esth 4:2). The use of sackcloth continued for a very long time as it is still mentioned in (1Macc 2:14, 1Macc 3:47) and in the NT (Matt 11:21) as a sign of distress and repentance.

Gen 42:25

25Joseph then gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return every man's money to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This was done f ... View more

Josh 9:4

4they on their part acted with cunning: they went and prepared provisions, and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mende ... View more

Gen 37:34

34Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

Esth 4:1-3

Esther Agrees to Help the Jews
1When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went through the cit ... View more

Esth 4:2

2he went up to the entrance of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.

1Macc 2:14

14Then Mattathias and his sons tore their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly.

1Macc 3:47

47They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and tore their clothes.

Matt 11:21

21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sack ... View more

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