Tear - Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament Words
Usage Number: 1
Strong's Number: H7167
Original Word: qara‘
Usage Notes: "to rend, tear, tear away." This word is common to both ancient and modern Hebrew. Used some 63 times in the Hebrew Old Testament, it is found for the first time in Gen. 37:29: "…He rent his clothes." In the expression, "to tear one's clothes," qara‘ is used 39 times. Usually such "rending" of clothes is an expression of grief (Gen. 37:34; Gen. 44:13; 2 Sam. 13:19).
Sometimes the word is used in a symbolic act, such as Ahijah's "tearing" a new garment into twelve pieces and sending them to the twelve tribes as a symbol of coming division (1 Kings 11:30). Samuel used qara‘ figuratively when he said to Saul: "The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day…" (1 Sam. 15:28). Wild animals "rend" or "tear" their prey (Hos. 13:8).