The disposition of a human corpse to prevent its desecration. Burial customs among the Hebrews consisted of two important elements: the mortuary ritual, which accompanied the burial, and the physical preparation of the body and its final resting place. Because of the warm climate of Palestine and the popular belief that a dead body was ritually impure, burial usually took place as soon after death as possible (Deut 21:23
; Acts 5:5-6
; Acts 5:10
). Among the Jews interment or burial of the body was the common practice, and to allow the body to decay above ground or be subject to destruction by vultures or dogs was the greatest of dishonors (1Kgs 14:10-14
; 2Kgs 9:34-37
). Anyone who discovered a corpse by the roadside was required to bury it (2Sam 21:10-14
). The mouth was bound shut (John 11:44
), and the body was washed (Acts 9:37
) and anointed with aromatic ointments (John 12:7
; John 19:39
; Mark 16:1
; Luke 24:1
). The body was then wrapped in cloth (usually linen, Matt 27:59
), although individuals of high rank would frequently be clothed in fine garments. A variety of burial sites were utilized, the most common being the simple shaft or trench grave, which was often lined with mats, wood, or stone slabs. These simple graves were sometimes marked by a tree (Gen 35:8
), although in the case of infamous individuals, the burial plot was identified by a pile of stones placed over it (Josh 7:26
; 2Sam 18:17
). Caves were also utilized for burials, either for their convenience or because time or money did not permit the cutting of a tomb from rock. Sarah (Gen 23:19
) and other members of Abraham’s family (Gen 25:9
; Gen 49:31
; Gen 50:13
) were buried in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron. Rock-cut tombs were designed for multiple burials, usually by one family (Isa 22:16
). The tombs of the wealthy were frequently located in gardens (2Kgs 21:18
; 2Kgs 21:26
; Matt 27:57
; John 19:41-42
). Some tombs were marked by monuments or pillars (2Kgs 23:17
) or whitewashed on the outside (Matt 23:27
) to prevent Jews from accidentally touching them and rendering them ceremonially defiled. Rock-cut tombs were sealed with square slabs of stone or, as was common in the Roman period, with rolling stones (Matt 27:60
23his corpse must not remain all night upon the tree; you shall bury him that same day, for anyone hung on a tree is under God's curse. You must not defile the ... View more
5Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it.6The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried ... View more
10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
10therefore, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam. I will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will consume the house of ... View more
34Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king's daughter.”35But when they went to bury her, they found ... View more
10Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it on a rock for herself, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the heavens; ... View more
44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
37At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs.
7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.
39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.
The Resurrection of Jesus
1When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint h ... View more
The Resurrection of Jesus
1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared.
59So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth
8And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So it was called Allon-bacuth.
26and raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore that place to this day is called t ... View more
17They took Absalom, threw him into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a very great heap of stones. Meanwhile all the Israelites fled to their homes ... View more
19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre,
31There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah—
13They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham bought as a burial site from ... View more
16What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitati ... View more
18Manasseh slept with his ancestors, and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza. His son Amon succeeded him.
26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza; then his son Josiah succeeded him.
The Burial of Jesus
57When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus.
41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.42And so, because it was ... View more
17Then he said, “What is that monument that I see?” The people of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and predicted these t ... View more
27“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones ... View more
60and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.