Carcase (גּוַיָּה, מִפֶּלֶת, נּבֵלָה, פֶּגֶר, πτῶμα), the dead body of a man or beast (Jos 8:29; Isa 14:19; Heb 3:17, etc.). According to the Mosaic law, any Israelite became ceremonially unclean until the evening (and in turn rendered whatever he touched unclean, Hag 2:14; comp. Nu 19:22), by (unwitting) contact, under any circumstances, with a dead animal of the "unclean" class (Le 5:2; Le 11:8 sq.; comp. De 14:8), or with any "clean" animal, in case it had not been regularly slain according to the prescribed mode (Le 11:39 sq.). The eating of any (clean) beast that had died an accidental or natural death was still more strictly forbidden (Le 22:8; comp. Eze 4:14; Eze 44:31); but it might be sold as food to a foreigner (De 14:2). Carrion was doubtless buried or burned. On the sepulture of persons found dead, SEE HOMICIDE. An unburied carcass (Jer 36:30; Ps 79:3) was considered by the ancients the height of indignity and misfortune (Virgil, AEn. 10:559). SEE BURIAL. The Levitical enactments respecting all dead bodies evidently had their origin in sanitary reasons in a climate so liable to pestilence (Michaelis, Mos. Recht, 4:809 sq.). On the incident of the beehive in the skeleton (Jg 14:8), SEE BEE. On the allusion to the vulture's scent for putrid flesh, Mt 24:28 (Loder, De cadavere Judaico, ab aquilis Romnanis discerpendo, Argent. 1715; Rechenberg, De adagio Christi, etc., Lips. 1696), SEE EAGLE.