Sitting on the Ground
Isaiah 3:26 "Her gates shall lament and mourn,
and she being desolate shall sit on the ground."
And she..."shall sit on the ground"
Jewish Symbol of Great
Despair and Intense Grief.
When Isaiah gave this message by the Word of the Lord, it
was during the last part of the 8th century BC. This was a
time when the southern kingdom of Judah were about to follow
in the ways of their brothers in the north, the ten tribes
of Israel, who had been destroyed by the Assyrians and led
captive to Assyria in 722 BC.
Judah was warned continually that the same fate would fall
upon them. In chapter 3 Isaiah vividly depicts the
destruction of Jerusalem and mentions in verse 26 that
Judah' gates would weep (the common meeting place for the
husbands of the daughters of Israel, who had fallen in war)
and Judah would become "desolate and sit upon the ground"
Sitting upon the ground was an ancient Jewish way of
displaying intense grief. Psalm 137:1 says that when they
were destroyed and taken captive to Babylon "By the rivers
of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we
It is interesting to note that this is exactly how the Jews
were depicted on Roman coins, commemorating the events after
the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The inscription on
certain coins reads: Judaea capta, or devicta.
Some coins (gold, silver, and brass) would show a woman
sitting on the ground under a palm tree, usually with one
hand on the head, leaning forward, and the other hand
hanging over the knee, and some with the hands tied behind
the back, with a Roman soldier standing in front of her.
(see coins of Titus, Vespasian, and Domitian).
Bibliography on Ancient Customs
The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised
by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008
Return to Ancient Customs
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