Burial: The first burial we have an account of is that of Sarah
The first commercial transaction recorded is that of the purchase of
a burial-place, for which Abraham weighed to Ephron "four hundred
shekels of silver current money with the merchants." Thus the
patriarch became the owner of a part of the land of Canaan, the only
part he ever possessed. When he himself died, "his sons Isaac and
Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah," beside Sarah his wife
(Genesis 25:9) Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, was buried under Allon-bachuth,
"the oak of weeping"
(Genesis 35:8) near to Bethel. Rachel died, and was
buried near Ephrath; "and Jacob set a pillar upon her grave"
(Genesis 35:16-20). Isaac was buried at Hebron, where he had died
(Genesis 35:27-29). Jacob, when charging his sons to bury him in the cave of
Machpelah, said, "There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there
they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah"
(Genesis 49:31) In compliance with the oath which he made him swear unto him
(Genesis 47:29-31) Joseph, assisted by his brethren, buried Jacob in the
cave of Machpelah
(Genesis 50:2,13) At the Exodus, Moses "took the bones of
Joseph with him," and they were buried in the "parcel of ground"
which Jacob had bought of the sons of Hamor
(Joshua 24:32) which
became Joseph's inheritance
(Genesis 48:22; 1 Chronicles 5:1; John 4:5) Two burials
are mentioned as having taken place in the wilderness. That of Miriam
(Numbers 20:1) and that of Moses, "in the land of Moab"
There is no account of the actual burial of Aaron, which probably,
however, took place on the summit of Mount Hor
Joshua was buried "in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah"
(Joshua 24:30) In Job we find a reference to burying-places, which
were probably the Pyramids
(Job 3:14,15) The Hebrew word for
"waste places" here resembles in sound the Egyptian word for
"pyramids." Samuel, like Moses, was honoured with a national burial
(1 Samuel 25:1). Joab
(1 Kings 2:34) "was buried in his own house in the
wilderness." In connection with the burial of Saul and his three sons
we meet for the first time with the practice of burning the dead
(1 Samuel 31:11-13) The same practice is again referred to by
Absalom was buried "in the wood" where he was slain
(2 Samuel 18:17,18)
The raising of the heap of stones over his grave was intended to mark
abhorrence of the person buried (comp.)
(Joshua 7:26; 8:29). There was no
fixed royal burying-place for the Hebrew kings. We find several royal
burials taking place, however, "in the city of David"
(1 Kings 2:10)
(1 Kings 11:43; 14:31; 15:8; 22:50; 2 Kings 14:19,20; 15:38; 2 Chronicles 21:19,20; 24:25) etc.
Hezekiah was buried in the mount of the sepulchres of the sons of
David; "and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour
at his death"
(2 Chronicles 32:33) Little is said regarding the burial of
the kings of Israel. Some of them were buried in Samaria, the capital
of their kingdom
(2 Kings 10:35; 13:9; 14:16) Our Lord was buried in a
new tomb, hewn out of the rock, which Joseph of Arimathea had
prepared for himself
(Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:46; John 19:41,42) The grave
of Lazarus was "a cave, and a stone lay on it"
(John 11:38) Graves
were frequently either natural caverns or artificial excavations
formed in the sides of rocks
(Genesis 23:9; Matthew 27:60) and coffins were
seldom used, unless when the body was brought from a distance.