The following is
excerpted from a report on tears by Mary Beth Swan.
The Bible (Strong’s Concordance) provides 697 references for
verses associated with crying (weep, cry, tears).
One of the first Bible references for tears is in the book
of Genesis when Abraham wept over the death of Sarah. Hannah wept before the Lord in her barren
state. Esau wept over his father Isaac,
asking for a blessing. King David writes
prolifically in the Psalms of his tears before the Lord, even saying they were
his portion day and night.
The Bible provides accounts of tears of grief (as above,
also David weeping over the death of Absolom, Jairus’s daughter and the death
of Jesus Christ). Others wept tears of
repentance and sin-sorrow (Israel as they stood to hear the scriptures read and
were broken over not following the Lord their God and His law, David as Nathan
confronts him, Ninevah when Jonah finally goes there to pronounce God’s
judgment, Peter after the rooster crowed
for the third time). Jeremiah was called
the Weeping Prophet, authoring the book of Jeremiah and the Lamentations of
Jeremiah. Jeremiah wept for the pride of
Judah. Israel cried to God in
affliction. Professional mourners
attended the deaths in New Testament times.
Jairus’s daughter’s death may have been one instance of this. The commentaries vary.
God is called “Comforter” (Jeremiah, for example) and the
God of all comfort. God’s law and His
love are described as comfort-givers.
The body of believers is called to comfort, also. II Corinthians 1:3-5. “Blessed be God, even
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of mercies, and the God of all
comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort
them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are
comforted of God. For the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so
our consolation also abounds by Christ.”
The second occasion of the tears of Jesus takes place as He
travels to Jerusalem,
just after the triumphal entry is described.
“And when he came into view of the city, as he approached it he broke
into loud weeping, exclaiming; ‘Oh that at this time you knew, yes, even you,
on what your peace depends! The time will come for you when your enemies will
throw ramparts around you, and encompass you, and shut you in on every side,
and raze you to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not
leave one stone upon another.’”-Luke 19:41-44. (Montgomery New Testament) He prophetically announced the destruction of
the Temple. The
Greek word used is for weeping in this verse is
klaioo, meaning to weep audibly, to burst into tears.