1 Chronicles 7:22
And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him.
There is much obscurity about this passage, as recording an historical incident. But, though it is not easy to decide who the persons referred to were and at what time they lived, the incident is a witness to the community of human nature, both in the bitterness of the earthly lot and in the consolations with which it abounds. We have here brought before us -
I. BEREAVEMENT. From the first it has been the fate of men to endure this sorrow, for our days on earth are as a shadow, and death takes away from us all in turn the joys of our hearts, the desire of our eyes, the objects of our hopes. And it is to be observed that the sudden and violent death of our beloved ones is peculiarly distressing. When the young are cut down by wicked hands, in tumult or in war, the shock to survivors is especially painful.
II. MOURNING. Lamentation for our dead is natural and right. "Jesus wept" at Lazarus's grave. There is such a thing as sanctified sorrow. In certain cases, even poignant grief and prolonged mourning are excusable. "The heart knoweth his own bitterness." The parent weeps for the children because they are not.
III. SYMPATHY AND CONSOLATION. Those who are near akin or intimate friends are expected to offer their affectionate condolence to the bereaved in the hour of sorrow and desolation. This is the obligation of friendship and its privilege also. Helpful and consolatory is true sympathy; for who would wish to bear his heaviest burden alone? Yet the most profitable ministrations in bereavement are those by which the heart of the bereaved is directed to take refuge in the fatherly wisdom and love of God, and in the tender sympathy of that High Priest who "in all our afflictions.., is afflicted," and who is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.