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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(properly some form of מוּת, θνήσκω ). See BURIAL. When a Hebrew died in any house or tent, all the persons and furniture in it contracted a pollution which continued seven days (Numbers 19:14-16). All who touched the body of one who died, or was killed in the open fields; all who touched men's bones, or a grave, were unclean seven days. To cleanse this pollution, they took the ashes of the red heifer, sacrificed by the high-priest on the day of solemn explanation (Numbers 19:1-22); on these they poured water in a vessel, and a person who was clean dipped a bunch of hyssop in the water, and sprinkled with it the furniture, the chamber, and the persons, on the third day and on the seventh day. It was required that the polluted person should previously bathe his whole body, and wash his clothes, after which he was clean. Since the' destruction of the Temple, the Jews have ceased generally to consider themselves as polluted by a dead body. (See CORPSE). On the play upon the two senses of the word in its literal and spiritual application in Matthew 5:22, see the Dissertatio of Schicht (Altd. 1770). (See DEATH).

The word rendered "dead" in Job 26:5; Psalms 88:10; Proverbs 2:18; Proverbs 9:18; Proverbs 21:16; Isaiah 14:9; Isaiah 26:14; Isaiah 26:19, is רְפָאַים, rephaim; derived from רָפָא ; having, according to Gesenius, the sense of silent, but, according to Fü rst, meaning dark; in either case denoting the shades, manes, or disembodied spirits of the under world. (See SHEOL).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Dead'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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