Jewish Burials

Page 1 of 1 (19 items)
This post has 18 Replies | 1 Follower

Posts 85
Armwood | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Aug 15 2013 3:20 PM

Resources that tell of different ways Jews wrapped there dead, were Lazarus and Jesus wrapped in the same manner or did Lazarus limbs receive individual wraps.

      thanks

Armwood

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 15 2013 3:36 PM

Armwood:
were Lazarus and Jesus wrapped in the same manner or did Lazarus limbs receive individual wraps.

Interesting question to which I have no definitive answer. But it raises two suppositions in my mind:

1) How did Lazarus come forth if his legs were bound to his body?

2) Was Jesus loosely wrapped since they were planning on adding the spices/preservatives at a later date?

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 8940
Forum MVP
Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 15 2013 3:46 PM

Super Tramp:

Armwood:
were Lazarus and Jesus wrapped in the same manner or did Lazarus limbs receive individual wraps.

Interesting question to which I have no definitive answer. But it raises two suppositions in my mind:

1) How did Lazarus come forth if his legs were bound to his body?

2) Was Jesus loosely wrapped since they were planning on adding the spices/preservatives at a later date?

That is funny because those same two questions have often come to my mind in the past.

Using adventure and community to challenge young people to continually say "yes" to God

Posts 2305
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 15 2013 4:02 PM

Armwood:
Resources that tell of different ways Jews wrapped there dead, were Lazarus and Jesus wrapped in the same manner or did Lazarus limbs receive individual wraps.

This citation does not address any variance in practice between how Jesus and Lazarus were wrapped, however, other sources I scanned did make reference to a cultural shift in the practices of the ancient fathers and the Hellenic Jews. The ancients were much more concerned with the bones. They followed a two step custom. Allowing the flesh to decay and then retrieving the bones for reburial in a "ossuary." The citation discussing the more "modern" approach appears below.

2. Burial

2.1. Burial Rituals. Jews of the NT period buried their dead promptly, as soon as possible after death and almost always on the same day. Preparations began at the moment of death: the eyes of the deceased were closed, the corpse was washed with perfumes and ointments (Acts 9:37), its bodily orifices were stopped and strips of cloth were wound tightly around the body—binding the jaw closed, the feet together and the hands to the sides of the body (Jn 11:44). The corpse was then placed on a bier and carried in a procession to the family tomb (Lk 7:12). Eulogies were spoken, and the corpse was placed inside the tomb, along with items of jewelry or other personal effects. The funeral was thus conducted without delay, and most bodies were interred by sunset on the day of death. But Jewish burial rituals did not conclude with this first, or primary, burial. A year after the death, members of the immediate family returned to the tomb for a private ceremony in which the bones were reburied after the body had decayed.
2.2. Burial Techniques. By far the most common Jewish burial technique in Palestine during the NT period was secondary burial in limestone chests known as ossuaries. An ossuary was constructed by hollowing out a single block of limestone, with the size of the ossuary being determined by the size and length of the large bones in the body (i.e., skull, femur). At primary burial, the corpse was laid in a loculus or in an arcosolium, and when decomposition was complete the bones were collected and placed in an ossuary. Inscribed with the name of the deceased, the ossuary might then be placed virtually anywhere within the tomb: in a loculus, in an arcosolium, on a shelf or on a bench along the side of the tomb or even on the floor.
The use of ossuaries was especially common in and around the city of Jerusalem during the first century A.D., so much so that L. Y. Rahmani has attempted to characterize them as a “uniquely Jerusalemite” burial technique. Since ossuaries have also been found at locations in Palestine far from Jerusalem, however (e.g., Horvat Tilla), this view is probably not correct. Ossuaries were simply the burial technique that was most popular among Jews in and around Jerusalem during the first century A.D. Even in Jerusalem, though, ossuaries were not always used; bones have been found gathered directly into niches (without any burial container), piled in a corner of the tomb or even collected in a separate chamber of the tomb (i.e., a charnel room). In the Diaspora, Jews did not use ossuaries but buried their dead in underground tombs, or catacombs, depositing bodies in niches, sarcophagi and coffins.


(1). McCane, B. R. (2000). Burial Practices, Jewish. (C. A. Evans & S. E. Porter, Eds.)Dictionary of New Testament background: a compendium of contemporary biblical scholarship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

2. An Interpretation Based on First-Century Jewish Burial Practices

Bible and Spade (1992) Volume 5. (1992)., 5(2), 55.

3. Jesus and the Ossuaries: What Jewish Burial Practices Reveal about the Beginning of Christianity, by Craig A. Evans. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2003.

Nicklas, T. (2004). Review of Jesus and the Ossuaries: What Jewish Burial Practices Reveal about the Beginning of Christianity, by Craig A. Evans. (G. R. O’Day, Ed.)Journal of Biblical Literature, 123, 158.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 15 2013 4:34 PM

This Logos resource is an interesting study:

Jewish Ossuaries: Reburial and Rebirth

Posts 10177
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 15 2013 4:56 PM

Beloved, just thinking. Ossuary owners were likely few and far between. 'Dirt poor' as a descriptive phrase for poverty had more than one meaning. So many articles surround what survived (building ruins of the wealthy, expensive caves hewed out, papyri of the educated) and leave out the vast majority who lived and died with almost no trace. Now granted, Joseph and Eliezar were ironically both wealthy and influential.

So maybe, what were the burial practices for wealthy jews (judeans)?


Posts 2305
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 15 2013 5:30 PM

Denise:
what were the burial practices for wealthy jews (judeans)?

This nails the ear to the door. Christ's zeal exercised on the money-changers. His identifying with the outcasts of society. While not backing down from His right to command attention in the temple worship.

Few great men have sacrificed their blood to bring freedom to the forgotten. From the beginning of His ministry Christ focused on the Kingdom. An unseen Kingdom which would and has overturned the apple cart.

This is the inheritance that every blood bought Christian holds in their charge. ...but I digress  

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 85
Armwood | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 17 2013 5:44 PM

bumpHmm

Armwood

Posts 1403
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 17 2013 8:22 PM

None of my resources tell if they were wrapped differently, however this may be of help to you

"JOHN 11:44—How could Lazarus come forth from the tomb if he was bound hand and foot?


  PROBLEM: This verse states what seems impossible, namely, when Jesus raised Lazarus “he who had died came out bound hand and foot.”


  SOLUTION: It is not impossible. The Jewish corpses were not wound so tight (like an Egyptian mummy) that it precluded all motion. When life came back into Lazarus body he was no doubt jolted into action. He could have slid from his slab, stood upright on the floor, and if necessary, even jumped to the cave opening. Nothing more than this is implied in the term “came forth.” Having done what only He could do (namely, raise Lazarus from the dead), Jesus expected Lazarus and others to do what they could do. So Jesus asked them to unloose Lazarus’ cords."


Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992). When critics ask : a popular handbook on Bible difficulties (p. 418). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Posts 85
Armwood | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 18 2013 6:29 PM

What, is that it ???????

with v5 diamond costing some 52,000.00 dollars in printed book I thought........

with v5 portfolio costing some 78,000.00 in printed book surely......

Armwood

Posts 4625
RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 19 2013 1:18 AM

Armwood:

Resources that tell of different ways Jews wrapped there dead, were Lazarus and Jesus wrapped in the same manner or did Lazarus limbs receive individual wraps.

      thanks

Peace, Armwood!                             I find that the God's Word Translation often makes the passage "abundantly clear"!              *smile*

For Example here it reads ....           :

44 The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, “Free Lazarus, and let him go.”[1]

see also .....

These two men took the body of Jesus and bound it with strips of linen. They laced the strips with spices. This was the Jewish custom for burial.

Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth

Joseph had purchased some linen cloth. He took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in the cloth. Then he laid the body in a tomb, which had been cut out of rock,

He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 After he took it down from the cross, he wrapped it in linen. Then he laid the body in a tomb cut in rock, a tomb in which no one had ever been buried.

So, it seems to me, this is the common Jewish burial custom?  The so-called individual wraps you mention were, I believe, the "strips" .........



[1] GOD’S WORD Translation. (1995). Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group.

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 13359
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 19 2013 1:28 AM

Armwood:
Resources that tell of different ways Jews wrapped there dead, were Lazarus and Jesus wrapped in the same manner or did Lazarus limbs receive individual wraps.

To answer questions like this, I always begin with my four "background commentaries". This is what they say:

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary:

 His hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen (11:44). “The corpse was customarily laid on a sheet of linen, wide enough to envelop the body completely and more than twice the length of the corpse. The body was so placed on the sheet that the feet were at one end, and then the sheet was drawn over the head and back down to the feet. The feet were bound at the ankles, and the arms were tied to the body with linen strips.… Jesus’ body was apparently prepared for burial in the same way (cf. 19:40; 20:5, 7).”368 The custom of wrapping the hands and feet of a dead person in linen cloths is not attested elsewhere in Jewish texts. Frequently, deceased loved ones were dressed in flowing and valuable garments, a practice later abolished by Rabbi Gamaliel II.369 Yet contrary to pagan custom the Jews did not bind up their dead to prevent them from returning to life.

The word for “strips of linen” (keiriai) is used several times in fragments of medical papyri suggesting narrow strips tied around the body. “Fine linen” is frequently mentioned as an Egyptian export and is associated with the wealthy in the Old Testament.370 In rabbinic times, it was thought that at the final resurrection the dead would rise in their clothes. “R. Ḥiyya b. Joseph [c. A.D. 260] further stated: The just in the time to come will rise [apparelled] in their own clothes” (b. Ketub. 111b). “R. Eliezer [c. A.D. 90] said: All the dead will arise at the resurrection of the dead, dressed in their shrouds … and the people who descend into the earth dressed (with their garments), will they not rise up dressed (with their garments)? … Learn from Samuel, the prophet, who came up clothed with his robe … (1 Sam. 28:14)” (Pirqe R. El. 33).

IVP Bible Background Commentary:
The deceased would be wrapped in long cloth strips. This wrapping was thorough, binding the limbs to keep them straight and even the cheeks to keep the mouth shut; the facecloth may have been a yard square. This tight wrapping would have made it hard enough for a living person to walk, not to mention a formerly dead person coming forth from the entrance to the tomb; this difficulty further underlines the miraculous nature of this event. Men could not wrap women’s corpses, but women could wrap both men and women, so Lazarus may have been wrapped by his sisters.

New Testament Background Commentary:
11:44. his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Lazarus would have looked somewhat like an Egyptian mummy. His wrappings would have included the spices and ointments used in the process of preparing Lazarus for burial.

The Zondervan commentary cited Carson and Beasley-Murray's commentaries, which say:

Pillar New Testament Commentary:

Many commentators cite Basil (c. AD 330–379), who, supposing that the graveclothes bound Lazarus so tightly he could not possibly, by himself, emerge from the tomb, speaks of ‘a miracle within a miracle’. John does not think in such terms, and in any case the graveclothes were not so restrictive. The corpse was customarily laid on a sheet of linen, wide enough to envelop the body completely and more than twice the length of the corpse. The body was so placed on the sheet that the feet were at one end, and then the sheet was drawn over the head and back down to the feet. The feet were bound at the ankles, and the arms were tied to the body with linen strips. The face was bound with another cloth (soudarion, a loan-word from the Latin sudarium, ‘sweat-cloth’, often worn in life around the neck). Jesus’ body was apparently prepared for burial in the same way (cf. 19:40; 20:5, 7). A person so bound could hop and shuffle, but scarcely walk. Therefore when Jesus commanded Lazarus to come forth, and the dead man came out, Jesus promptly gave the order, Take off the grave clothes and let him go.

Readers cannot help but compare the resurrection of Jesus, after which the linen strips were still present and the soudarion was neatly ‘folded up by itself, separate from the linen’ (20:7). The differences are of a piece with the general New Testament witness to the uniqueness of Jesus’ resurrection. Lazarus was called to a restoration of mortal life. Small wonder he groped blindly for the exit, and needed to be released from the graveclothes that bound him. Jesus rose with what Paul calls ‘a spiritual body’ (1 Cor. 15), leaving the graveclothes behind, materializing in closed rooms.

Word Biblical Commentary:

The details of Lazarus’ appearance, bound with linen strips and a napkin on his face, have prompted much discussion. How did he move, so bound? Basil’s comment has been taken up by many: it was θαῦμα ἐν θαύματι, “a miracle within a miracle” (Corderius-Catena, 295), but that was hardly the Evangelist’s intention. Contrary to pagan customs, the Jews did not tie up the dead to ensure that they did not return to life. Sanders stated: “The corpse would have been placed on a strip of linen, wide and long enough to envelop it completely. The feet would be placed at one end, and the cloth would then be drawn over the head to the feet, the feet would be bound at the ankles, and the arms secured to the body with linen bandages, and the face bound round with another cloth to keep the jaw in place … So bound up, a man could not possibly walk. Hence Jesus’ final command, when Lazarus struggled out of the tomb. But he could at least have shuffled to the entrance, and it is absurd to imagine that a subsidiary miracle was necessary to waft him from the tomb” (276; on Jewish burial attire see further Blinzler, Der Prozess Jesu, 31960, 292–93). That the napkin was to hold the jaw in place is doubtful; wealthier Jews used to dress the dead very expensively until R. Gamaliel II (ca. A.D. 90), but whereas the rich used not to cover the face, the poor had to do so because it became black (through lack of money); in order to avoid shaming the poor it was ordered that the face of all the dead should be covered (Str-B 1:1048, 2:545). W. E. Reiser drew attention to the contrast between Lazarus emerging from the tomb with the napkin on his face and the empty tomb of Jesus containing the linen bands and the napkin folded separately (John 20:6–7); to him this signified that Lazarus from the grave still stands related to death, whereas the removal by Jesus of his own napkin was a sign that death had no more claim on him (“The Case of the Tidy Tomb …” 47–57, esp. 54). With this B. Osborne agreed, but he thought that the attention paid to the napkin in John 11 and 20 was due to the importance to the Jews generally and to the Evangelist of Isa 25:6: “He will swallow up (destroy) on this mountain the face of the covering that covers all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death for ever.” In the Hebrew text “face” means “surface,” but in the Aramaic Targum it is interpreted as “person,” thus: “On this mountain will be swallowed up the face of the Great One who is great over all peoples and the face of the King who is powerful over all kingdoms.…” In rabbinic interpretation “the Great One,” “the King who is powerful,” is viewed as the Angel of Death, and is linked with Satan and the “evil impulse” that leads to sin and death. Osborne concludes that the Evangelist i wishes to say: “Lazarus comes forth from the tomb with his head still wrapped in a veil because he is still subject to the power which the Angel of Death, Satan, and the evil impulse will have over all mankind until this power has been destroyed in the days of the Messiah. Lazarus has been brought to life, but he will die again. Christ, however, removes the napkin from his face as he rises from the dead. He has conquered death definitively himself and will never die again … The folded napkin tells (the Evangelist) that the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled: God has swallowed up death for ever” (“A Folded Napkin in an Empty Tomb …”, 437–40). If such a nuance was in the mind of the Evangelist it would, of course, be recognizable only by those versed in Jewish exegetical traditions.

Posts 4625
RIP
Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 19 2013 1:34 AM

Peace, Mark!             *smile*                         Excellent!            Thank you kindly for sharing!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 13359
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 19 2013 1:40 AM

Steve:

This Logos resource is an interesting study:

Jewish Ossuaries: Reburial and Rebirth

It is, but it only deals with reburials, not the primary burial.

Posts 10177
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 19 2013 6:42 AM

I always like the commentaries that seem to 'know'.  "Bodies weren't wrapped that tight ...".  And how would they know that?  
  - From a practical POV, presumably they'd need to be tight enough to not have several kilos of spices spill all over the floor.
  - Also tombs are pretty small height wise. Wrapping would happen earlier. Again, presumably you'd not want the wrapping
       to fall off on the way, which would REALLY be embarrassing especially for women.
  - Plus early Christians had major concerns with a bodily resurrection and being caught naked.

Plus, people make assumptions on Eliezar's tomb; walk-in or drop through. The greek wording suggests a drop through tomb. 

I think the best apologetic evidence is that even non-NT resurrections did seem to have any big issues with burial clothing or tomb egress.  


Posts 9
Adam Cinzio | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 23 2014 2:47 PM
It's not hard to see Lazarus tearing the cloth to get his feet moving a little bit.
Posts 1016
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 23 2014 3:08 PM

Adam Cinzio:
It's not hard to see Lazarus tearing the cloth to get his feet moving a little bit.

It's also not hard to imagine him being highly motivated to get loose.  It's not every day that one awakens tied up in a tomb.

Wink

Posts 2
Kelechi Nwachukwu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2015 3:54 AM

The bible is more like a puzzle, in the sense that a chapter or verse in a particular book ( for instance the psalms) could be used to interpret another chapter or verse in the the gospel of John ( in this case the resurrection of Lazarus)

Lazarus' incident was more like a spiritual experience and the bible as a whole cannot be understand with the natural mind. We know that the bible says that Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of God and the old Psalmist said in Psalm 119:105 that " thy word oh lord is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path". So in this case, Lazarus was walking on the word of jesus which said " Lazarus, come forth". and even in John 5:28 where Jesus said that a time cometh  and now is when  they that are in the tomb shall hear his VOICE and come out of their tombs. so you see, Lazarus walked out of the grave by the power of the word of Jesus just as Peter walked on the water at his word.

In conclusion, the word of Jesus was a lamp unto Lazarus' feet and a light unto his path out of the grave.It takes deep spiritual insight to understand that.

Posts 2
Kelechi Nwachukwu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 8 2015 4:00 AM

Lazarus was not loose prior to his coming out of the grave. Remember that Jesus commanded after he had already come out of the grave " loose him and let him go"

The bible is more like a puzzle, in the sense that a chapter or verse in a particular book ( for instance the psalms) could be used to interpret another chapter or verse in the the gospel of John ( in this case the resurrection of Lazarus)

Lazarus' incident was more like a spiritual experience and the bible as a whole cannot be understand with the natural mind. We know that the bible says that Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of God and the old Psalmist said in Psalm 119:105 that " thy word oh lord is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path". So in this case, Lazarus was walking on the word of jesus which said " Lazarus, come forth". and even in John 5:28 where Jesus said that a time cometh  and now is when  they that are in the tomb shall hear his VOICE and come out of their tombs. so you see, Lazarus walked out of the grave by the power of the word of Jesus just as Peter walked on the water at his word.

In conclusion, the word of Jesus was a lamp unto Lazarus' feet and a light unto his path out of the grave.It takes deep spiritual insight to understand that.

Page 1 of 1 (19 items) | RSS