Friday, February 27, 2009

Biblical Evidence for Ashes on Ash Wednesday

Genesis 2:7 (RSV) then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Genesis 18:27 Abraham answered, "Behold, I have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes.

2 Samuel 13:19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.

Nehemiah 9:1 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth upon their heads.

Esther 4:1,3 When Mor'decai learned all that had been done, Mor'decai rent his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry; . . . And in every province, wherever the king's command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Job 2:8 And he took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes.

Job 34:15 all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

Job 42:6 therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

Psalm 90:3 Thou turnest man back to the dust, . . .

Isaiah 58:5 Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast,
and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Jeremiah 6:26 O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us.

Jeremiah 25:34 Wail, you shepherds, and cry, and roll in ashes, . . .

Ezekiel 27:30 and wail aloud over you, and cry bitterly. They cast dust on their heads
and wallow in ashes;

Daniel 9:3 Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and supplications with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

Jonah 3:6 Then tidings reached the king of Nin'eveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Judith 4:11,15 And all the men and women of Israel, and their children, living at Jerusalem, prostrated themselves before the temple and put ashes on their heads and spread out their sackcloth before the Lord. . . . With ashes upon their turbans, they cried out to the Lord with all their might to look with favor upon the whole house of Israel.

Sirach 17:32 He marshals the host of the height of heaven; but all men are dust and ashes.

Sirach 40:3 from the man who sits on a splendid throne to the one who is humbled in dust and ashes,

1 Maccabees 3:47 They fasted that day, put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on their heads, and rent their clothes. (cf. 4:39)

Matthew 11:21 Woe to you, Chora'zin! woe to you, Beth-sa'ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. (cf. Lk 10:13)

1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. (cf. 15:48-49)

Revelation 18:19 And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, . . .