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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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The prayer of David, "Put my tears into thy bottle," is unintelligible without an acquaintance with ancient customs. "This passage," says Burder, "seems to intimate that the custom of putting tears into the ampullae, or urnal lachrymales, so well known among the Romans, was more anciently in use among the eastern nations, and particularly the Hebrews. These urns were of different materials, some of glass, some of earth; as may be seen in the work of Montfaucon, where also may be seen the various forms or shapes of them. These urns were placed on the sepulchres of the deceased, as a memorial of the distress and affection of their surviving relations and friends. It will be difficult to account for this expression of the psalmist, but upon this supposition. If this be allowed, the meaning will be, ‘Let my distress, and the tears I shed in consequence of it, be ever before thee, excite thy kind remembrance of me, and plead with thee to grant the relief I stand in need of.'"

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Tears'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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Tuesday, January 28th, 2020
the Third Week after Epiphany
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