Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

To sprinkle with or sit in ashes, marked humiliation, grief, and penitence (Gen. 18:27; 2 Sam. 13:19; Esth. 4:3; Job 2:8; Jer. 6:26; Lam. 3:16; Matt. 11:21). The altar ashes, when a red heifer was sacrificed, were watered and used for purifying the unclean (Num. 19:17-22).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

Ashes, mostly from burnt wood, were used as a sign of sorrow or mourning, either put on the head (2 Sam. 13:19), or on the body with sackcloth (Esther 4:1; Jer. 6:26; Lam. 3:16; Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13); or strewn on a couch on which to lie (Esther 4:3; Isa. 58:5; Jonah 3:6). To eat ashes expresses great sorrow (Psa. 102:9); and to be reduced to them is a figure of complete destruction (Ezek. 28:18; Mal. 4:3); to feed on them tells of the vanities with which the soul may be occupied (Isa. 44:20). “Dust and ashes” was the figure Abraham used of himself before Jehovah (Gen. 18:27); and Job said he had become like them by the hand of God (Job 30:19). For the ashes of the Red Heifer see HEIFER.

Strong’s Dictionary of Greek Words:

of uncertain derivation; ashes
KJV Usage:

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Exodus 9:8. Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
“When the [East Indian] magicians pronounce an imprecation on an individual, a village, or a country, they take ashes of cow-dung, or those from a common fire, and throw them in the air, saying to the objects of their displeasure, Such a sickness or such a curse shall surely come upon you.” (Roberts, Oriental Illustrations, p. 65).

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