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Sackcloth
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A rough cloth made from animal hair, usually that of a goat or camel. In both Greek and ancient Near Eastern literature, it refers to a type of material used in various household duties such as the construction of clothing and sacks; the word can also refer to the clothing or sack itself. In the ancient Near East, the use of a garment made of sackcloth came to symbolize sorrow or submission. The Hebrew and Greek words undoubtedly share a common etymology.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Sackcloth
Sackcloth (שַׂק‎, saq; σάκκος, sakkos). A rough cloth made from animal hair, usually that of a goat or camel. In both Greek and ancient Near Eastern literature, it refers to a type of material used in various household duties such as the construction of clothing and sacks; the word can also refer to the
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Sackcloth
Sackcloth. Poor quality material or a garment of goat hair usually worn as a symbol of mourning, but also worn by some prophets and captives.Sackcloth was coarse and probably dark in color (Is 50:3; Rv 6:12). The shape of the garment is disputed. Two views are prominent. One view is that the garment
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Sackcloth
Sackcloth [Heb. śaq] (Gen. 37:34; 2 S. 21:10; 1 K. 20:31; Job 16:15; Jonah 3:5f.; etc.); NEB also SACKING (Isa. 3:24); [Gk. sákkos] (Mt. 11:21; Lk. 10:13; Rev. 6:12; 11:3); NEB also FUNERAL PALL (Rev. 6:12). The RSV supplies “sackcloth” in Isa. 32:11 (NEB “cloth”) and Joel 1:13a. Sacking material
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Sackcloth
SACKCLOTH Poor quality material or a garment of goat hair usually worn as a symbol of mourning, but also worn by some prophets and captives.Sackcloth was coarse and probably dark in color (Is 50:3; Rv 6:12). The shape of the garment is disputed. Two views are prominent. One view is that the garment
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Sackcloth
sackcloth, a dark-colored material of goat or camel hair used for making grain bags and garments. A garment of sackcloth was uncomfortable and was therefore worn by those in mourning. Jacob “put sackcloth upon his loins” when mourning for Joseph (Gen. 37:34). When national calamity threatened the destruction
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Sackcloth
SACKCLOTH. The English word “sack” is derived from Heb. sáq and Gr. sakkos, a “mesh,” i.e., coarse loose cloth. Sackcloth was a coarse-textured cloth of a dark color, composed of goat’s or camel’s hair (cf. Isa 50:3; Rev 6:12). It resembled the Roman “cilicium.”It frequently was worn as a symbol of
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Sackcloth
SACKCLOTH. A coarse cloth (Heb. śaq, Gk. sakkos, from which the Eng. word is derived), usually made of goats’ hair (Siphra 53b) and black in colour (Rev. 6:12). The same Heb. sometimes means ‘sack’ (e.g. Gn. 42:27), which was evidently made of this material.Sackcloth was worn as a sign of mourning
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Sackcloth
SackclothA type of coarse fabric made from goat’s (or camel’s) hair. Sackcloth (Heb. kaq; Gk. sákkos) appears most often in the Bible (as elsewhere in the ancient Near East) as a material worn as clothing during times of distress and mourning. Because goats in the Mediterranean world were mostly dark
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Sackcloth
Sackcloth (Heb. śaq; Gk. sákkos). A rough, dark (cf. Isa. 50:3; Rev. 6:12) material of spun and woven goat’s hair used for sacking. Garments made of sackcloth were worn during mourning (Gen. 37:34; 2 Sam. 3:31), as a sign of repentance (1 Kgs. 21:27; Neh. 9:1; Isa. 22:12; Matt. 11:21), in times
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Sackcloth
SACKCLOTH A rough fabric made of hair (usually from goats) and dark in color. Sackcloth could be used for grain sacks (Gen 42:25, 27, 35; Josh 9:4), although in Scripture it is most often associated with clothing. Sackcloth was worn as a sign of mourning for the deceased (Gen 37:34; 2 Sam 3:31; Joel
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Sackcloth
Sackcloth, cloth used in making sacks or bags, a coarse fabric, of a dark color, made of goat’s-hair, Isa. 50:3; Rev. 6:12, and resembling the eilicium of the Romans. It was used also for making the rough garments used by mourners, which were in extreme cases worn next the skin. 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Sackcloth
SACKCLOTH (Heb. śaq; Gk. sakkos, “a mesh,” i.e., coarse, loose cloth). A coarse texture of a dark color, made of goat’s hair (Isa. 50:3; Rev. 6:12) and resembling the cilicium of the Romans. It was used (1) for making sacks (cf. Gen. 42:25; Lev. 11:32; Josh. 9:4) and (2) for making the rough garments
Key passages
Jdt 4:10–12

They and their wives and their children and their flocks, and every resident alien or hireling and their purchased slaves, put sackcloth around their loins. And every man and woman of Israel and child living in Jerusalem fell down toward the temple, and cast burnt ashes upon their heads, and …

Jdt 4:14–15

And Jehoiakim the high priest and all those who stood before the Lord as priests and ministered to the Lord, having girded their loins with sackcloth, offered the daily burnt-offering and prayers and free will gifts of the people. And there were ashes upon their turbans, and they were crying …

Jdt 8:4–6

And Judith was living as a widow in her house for three years and four months. She made for herself a tent on the roof of her house, and she placed around her loins sackcloth, and she wore the garment of her widowhood. Indeed, she was fasting all the days of her widowhood except for the …

Jdt 9:1

Then Judith fell upon her face and put ashes upon her head, and she took off the sackcloth that she had withdrawn. At the same time the incense offering of that evening was being brought into the house of God in Jerusalem, Judith cried out with a great voice to the Lord and said, …

Jdt 10:1–3

And it came to pass that when Judith ceased crying out to the God of Israel and finished all these words, she rose up from lying prostrate and summoned her maid and went down to the house in which she lived during the days of the Sabbaths and during her festal days. And …

See also
Topics & Themes