Burial

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(mounding). Place, a cave or hewn rock (Gen. 23:4; 25:9; 50:5-134I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. (Genesis 23:4)
9And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; (Genesis 25:9)
5My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again. 6And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear. 7And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8And all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. 9And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company. 10And they came to the threshingfloor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond Jordan. 12And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 13For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. (Genesis 50:5‑13)
; Matt. 27:6060And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. (Matthew 27:60)). Body washed (Acts 9:3737And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. (Acts 9:37)); swathed and spiced (Matt. 27:5959And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, (Matthew 27:59); Mark 15:46; 16:146And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. (Mark 15:46)
1And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (Mark 16:1)
). Head covered separately (2 Chron. 16:1414And they buried him in his own sepulchres, which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him. (2 Chronicles 16:14); John 19:4040Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (John 19:40)); pallbearers and mourners, relatives and friends (2 Sam. 3:3131And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. (2 Samuel 3:31); Luke 7:1212Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. (Luke 7:12)); sometimes hired mourners (Jer. 9:1717Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come: (Jeremiah 9:17); Ezek. 24:1717Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. (Ezekiel 24:17); Matt. 9:2323And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, (Matthew 9:23)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This was the universal custom among the Israelites for the disposal of their dead, and provision was made in the law for the burial of criminals (Deut. 21:2323His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:23)). Those slain in battle were also interred (1 Kings 11:1515For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; (1 Kings 11:15)). This was needful in so warm a country in order to avoid a pestilence, and the dead were always promptly buried, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira. These were probably bound round with the clothes they were wearing and at once laid in the grave. In other cases linen cloths were wrapped round the body and round the head, as in the case of Lazarus, and as loving hands tended the body of the Lord. Spices were enclosed among the cloths: Nicodemus furnished 100 pound weight of “myrrh and aloes” at the burial of the Lord, besides what the devout women had brought.
It does not appear that there was any service “or prayers” offered at the burial of the dead. At the death of Lazarus, Jews were present, mourning with the family four days after the death; and in the case of the daughter of Jairus there was a “tumult” with weeping and great wailing; these were probably hired mourners (as is the custom to this day), for “musicians” were also present.

“350. Hebrew Mode of Burial” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

2 Kings 13:2121And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. (2 Kings 13:21). It came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
To understand this text fully, it is necessary to remember that among the Israelites the dead were not buried in coffins as with us. The Egyptians sometimes used coffins, (see note on Genesis 50:2626So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. (Genesis 50:26), #102) but the Israelites, who brought many Egyptian customs with them into Palestine, did not adopt this custom. They wrapped their dead in linen cloths and laid them in the tomb. See note on John 19:4040Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. (John 19:40) (#822). Thus the man mentioned in the text was about to be buried when his friends saw the Moabites. Seeing that they could not reach the grave prepared for him without being perceived by the enemy, they quickly rolled away the stone from Elisha’s sepulcher, near which they were, and put the corpse there. As there was no coffin for either body, the body of the newly dead could easily touch the bones of the buried prophet.

“443. Unburied Bodies” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Psalm 79:22The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. (Psalm 79:2). The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
To be deprived of burial was considered by the Jews one of the greatest dishonors that could be inflicted on a human being. In this, they but shared the common feeling of civilized man. We find a number of scriptural references to this sentiment. The Psalmist, lamenting the desolations he beheld, says, “Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth” (Psa. 141:77Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth. (Psalm 141:7)). Solomon speaks of it as a great disgrace that a man “have no burial” (Eccl. 6:33If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. (Ecclesiastes 6:3)). The Lord said of Jehoiakim, “his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost” (Jer. 36:3030Therefore thus saith the Lord of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. (Jeremiah 36:30)). In the text the bodies are represented not only as unburied, but as further dishonored by being devoured by birds and beasts. This was one of the curses pronounced by Moses for disobedience to the Divine law (Deut. 28:2626And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. (Deuteronomy 28:26)). It was a threat mutually exchanged between David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17:44-4644And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 45Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 46This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. (1 Samuel 17:44‑46)). The prophet Jeremiah has several references to this dishonorable treatment of the bodies of the dead. See Jeremiah 7:33; 16:4; 19:7; 34:2033And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away. (Jeremiah 7:33)
4They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 16:4)
7And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 19:7)
20I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 34:20)
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In connection with this subject it may not be amiss to state that, on the other hand, the ancient Magi exposed the bodies of their dead, to be eaten by birds, as a matter of religious principle; their theory being that any other mode of disposing of a corpse would pollute at least one of the four so-called elements: earth, air, fire, and water. If living beings should devour the dead, this pollution would be prevented. At the present day the Guebers, or Fire-worshipers, the descendants of the ancient Persians, follow the same practice, and even have apparatus prepared for the purpose. “Round towers of considerable height, without either door or window, are constructed by the Guebers, having at the top a number of iron bars, which slope inwards. The towers are mounted by means of ladders, and the bodies are placed crossways upon the bars. The vultures and crows which hover about the towers soon strip the flesh from the bones, and these latter then fall through to the bottom. The Zendavesta contains particular directions for the construction of such towers, which are called dakhmas, or ‘towers of silence.’” (Rawlinson, Five Great Monarchies, vol. 2, p. 350, note 2).

“822. Preparation for Burial” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

John and Luke are the only evangelists who speak of the ointment and spices at the burial of Christ. See text and Luke 23:5656And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. (Luke 23:56). All four of them, however, mention the linen clothes. See Matthew 27:5959And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, (Matthew 27:59); Mark 15:4646And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. (Mark 15:46); Luke 23:5353And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. (Luke 23:53); text; and John 20:5-75And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. (John 20:5‑7). These are also named in connection with the burial of Lazarus. See John 11:4444And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (John 11:44). It is there said that he was “bound hand and foot with grave-clothes,” and skeptics have made themselves merry with the absurdity of the story that a man having both feet bound together should be able to “come forth.” That the feet were bound together is, however, a gratuitous assumption. If each leg and each arm were separately swathed in linen bandages the assertion of the evangelist would still be strictly true, for Lazarus would then have been “bound hand and foot,” while at the same time able, at the command of Christ, to move, though not to walk easily.
Reference to the use of linen bandages in burial is also seen in the account of the burial of Ananias, wherein it is said that “they wound him tip.” See Acts 5:66And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. (Acts 5:6).

“826. Time for Burial” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Acts 5:66And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. (Acts 5:6). The young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.