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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Embalming

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Jacob and Joseph were both embalmed in Egypt, but we do not read that it was ever practised by the children of Israel. Genesis 50:2,3,26 . The historians Herodotus and Diodorus describe the process of embalming in Egypt. There were several modes according to the rank of the deceased, or according to what the relatives could afford to pay. In short it may be said that the body lay in nitre thirty days, for the purpose of drying up all its superfluous and noxious moisture, the brain and bowels being sometimes extracted; and then for forty days more it was anointed with gums and spices to preserve it. When this was complete it was wrapped round with many bandages, and finally put in a case somewhat resembling the person. In many museums Egyptian mummies may be seen, and the marvellous preservation of the body be attested.

Among the Jews the body was merely wrapped round with bandages with a quantity of spices enclosed. Asa, was laid "in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art." 2 Chronicles 16:14 . Nicodemus furnished "a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight," and they wound the body of Jesus "in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." John 19:39,40 .

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Embalming'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/e/embalming.html. 1897.

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