449. Offerings for the Dead

Psalm 106:28
Psalm 106:2828They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. (Psalm 106:28). They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
Allusion is supposed to be made here to those sacrifices which were anciently offered by various nations to, or in honor of, the dead. Egyptian funeral tablets have representations of some of these feasts. The friends met together to eat the sacrifice or peace offering, which consisted of various articles—meat, bread, vegetables, and liquids. What was left by the mourners was eaten by the wild animals; hence, in the hieroglyphical inscriptions the jackal is styled “the devourer of what is set out for the dead.” The ancient Greeks had a similar custom. They met, after the funeral, at the house of the bereaved, and partook of an entertainment composed of a variety of animal and vegetable substances. The broken morsels which fell from the table were looked on as sacred to the departed souls, and could not be lawfully eaten. “These fragments were carried to the tomb, and there left for the ghost to feast upon; whence, to denote extreme poverty, it was usual to say that a person stole his meat from the graves” (Potter's Antiquities of Greece, vol. 2, p. 230).