Funeral And Death Rituals In The Old Testament

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CHAPTER 2

THEORETICAL FOUNDATION OF FUNERAL AND DEATH RITUALS This chapter explored the theoretical foundation of funeral and death rituals. In other words, the purpose was to gain a basic knowledge about how funeral and death rituals were treated in the past. Only with such understanding of funeral and death rituals background, the graveness of the issue would be appreciated. Therefore, this chapter started with exploring its Biblical perception that is, as told in the Old and New Testaments, the writings of Ellen G, White, and then explored the official stand of some Faith Groups such as Protestant Churches, Roman Catholics, and Evangelicals.

FUNERAL AND DEATH RITUALS IN THE BIBLE Death and funeral rituals practiced in the Old Testament are similar to ones practiced in the New Testament in many ways. One important point that the Old Testament did not stress as much was the belief in the resurrection.
The complete mortuary ritual is not described in the Bible, however, some texts show that the dead were kept in a house (1
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Till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19). The Hebrew way of conducting a burial was to have the dead person buried in the ground the same day of death (Deut 21:23). The one who had committed a sin deserving of death was put to death, but the body was not to remain unburied overnight, but was to be buried that day, so that the body would not defiled the land (Deut 21:23).
During the Old Testament there were activities prior to burial. The treatment given to a dead person was a demonstration of respect by the living. It has been observed that, “the time between death and burial witnessed the intensity of respect the people accorded the deceased and the special treatment given the body demonstrated how the family viewed the dead

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