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Easton's Bible Dictionary


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Burying was among the Jews the only mode of disposing of corpses (Genesis 23:19 ; 25:9 ; 35:8,9 , etc.).

The first traces of burning the dead are found in 1 Samuel 31:12 . The burning of the body was affixed by the law of Moses as a penalty to certain crimes (Leviticus 20:14 ; 21:9 ).

To leave the dead unburied was regarded with horror (1 Kings 13:22 ; 14:11 ; 16:4 ; 21:24 , etc.).

In the earliest times of which we have record kinsmen carried their dead to the grave (Genesis 25:9 ; 35:29 ; Judges 16:31 ), but in later times this was done by others (Amos 6:16 ).

Immediately after decease the body was washed, and then wrapped in a large cloth (Acts 9:37 ; Matthew 27:59 ; Mark 15:46 ). In the case of persons of distinction, aromatics were laid on the folds of the cloth (John 19:39 ; Compare John 12:7 ).

As a rule the burial (q.v.) took place on the very day of the death (Acts 5:6,10 ), and the body was removed to the grave in an open coffin or on a bier (Luke 7:14 ). After the burial a funeral meal was usually given (2 Samuel 3:35 ; Jeremiah 16:5,7 ; Hosea 9:4 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Funeral'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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Saturday, July 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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