Something I bet you didn’t know

Something I bet you didn’t know

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You will also leave that place with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those you trust; you will not be helped by them. Jeremiah 2:37

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Hands on the head

This is a way of expressing great grief, and is thought by some commentators to signify that the heavy hand of God’s affliction is pressing on the mourner. This was one of the tokens of mourning adopted by Tamar after the cruel maltreatment she received from Amnon: “She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went” (2 Samuel 13:19). An excavated Egyptian sculpture showed mourners at a funeral with their hands on their heads. This was a common way of expressing grief in Egypt. Said one commentator about a similar custom in a Middle East nation: “When people were in great distress, they put their hands on their head, the fingers being clasped on the top of the crown. Should a man who is plunged into despair meet a friend, he would immediately put his hands on his head to illustrate his circumstances. When a person heard of the death of a relation or friend he forthwith clasped his hands and placed them on his head. When young boys were punished at school they would run home with their hands on their heads.”

Source: Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. 367). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

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