Grave (properly קֶבֶר, ke'ber, a sepulcher; Greek μνῆμα or μνημεῖον, a tomb, as a monument SEE BURIAL ) is also in some passages of the common vers. the rendering of שׁאוֹל, sheol', ¯δης, hades SEE SHEOL; SEE HADES; once of שִׁחִת, shach'ath (Job 33:22), the pit or open sepulcher, as elsewhere rendered; and once erroneously of בּ י, beï´, prayer (Job 30:24). SEE TOMB.
Sepulchres among the ancient Hebrews were, as still among all Orientals (Schweigger, Reisen, page 199; Shaw, Travels, page 192; Hasselquist, page 35 sq.), outside of cities (see Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. page 167; according to the Talmud, Baba Bathra, 2:9, at least fifty yards distant from the city walls), in the open field (Lu 7:12; Joh 11:30; compare Cicero, Leg. 2:23; ad famil. 4:12, 9; Plutarch, Arat. 53; Theocr. 7:10; Homer, Il. 7:435 sq.; Michaelis, Mos. Recht. 4:307). Only kings (1Ki 2:10; 1Ki 16:6,28; 2Ki 10:35; 2Ki 13:9; 2Ch 16:14; 2Ch 28:27) and prophets (1Sa 25:1; 1Sa 28:3) were allowed to be buried within cities (Harmer,Obs. 2:129 sq.; compare Thucyd. 5:11; Potter, Gr. Ant. 2:427 sq.; when it is said that any one was interred in his house [1Ki 2:34; 2Ch 33:20], we must understand the grounds or environs of the house to be meant, i.e., the garden [comp. Nu 19:16]; it was otherwise among the ancient Romans, Isidore, Orig. 10:2). Generally the graves were pits or grottoes (Ge 23:17; Ge 35:8; 1Sa 31:13; 2Ki 21:18,26; Joh 19:41; comp. Strabo, 14:636; Virgil, AEn. 11:851), shady spots under trees or in, gardens being preferred (Eck, De sepulcris in hortis, Meining. 1:738 sq.; Walch, Observ. in Matthew ex inscript. page 89); and these excavations were either natural, with which Palestine abounds, SEE CAVE, or oftener artificial, dug for this purpose (and walled up; see Knobel, Jesa. page 99), or hewn in rocks (Isa 22:16; 2Ch 16:14; Mt 27:60; Joh 11:38; Lu 23:53), sometimes very spacious and with numerous side-passages and chambers (Baba Bathra, 6:8); there are also instances of graves sunk perpendicularly in the ground (Lu 11:44), and such were occasionally situated on hills (2Ki 23:16; Ecomp. Isidore, Origg. 2:11). Not only in the case of kings and nobles (2Ki 9:28; 2Ch 32:33; 2Ch 35:24; 2Ch 1 Macc. 2:70; 9:19; 13:25, etc.), but in every good family (Ge 23:20; Jg 8:32; 2Sa 2:32; 1Ki 13:22; Tobit 14:12; 1 Macc. 2:70), were there hereditary vaults (it was a deep disgrace to the remains of persons of distinction to be buried among those of the populace, Jer 26:23); and it appears the very natural desire of those dying, abroad to repose in such family cemeteries (Ge 47:29; Ge 1; Ge 5; 2Sa 19:37; 1Ki 13:22,31; Ne 2:3; comp. Sophocles, Electra, 1131 sq.; Anthol. Gr. 3:25, 75; Justin. 3:5; see Zeibich, De sepultura in terra sancta a Jacobo et Josepho expetita, Viteb. 1742 ; Semler, De patriarcharum ut in Palest. sepelis-entur desiderio,, Halae, 1756; Carpzov, in Ugolini Thesaur. 33). But whoever had not such a hereditary sepulcher wished none the less to rest in the land of his fathers (2 Macc. 5:10), in the sacred.soil (Josephus, Ant. 10:4, 3). For the poor were (later) public burial-places assigned (Jer 26:23; 2Ki 23:6; comp. Mt 27:7). As a protection chiefly against the carnivorous jackals (Pliny, 8:44), the graveswere closed with doors or large stones (Mt 27:60; Mt 28:2; Joh 11:38); and in the month Adar (March), after the rainy reason (Shekal. 1:1), they were (in the post-exilian period) whitewashed afresh (Maaser Sheni, 5:1), in order to warn the great multitudes of strangers visiting the Passover against contact (Mt 23:27; see Lightfoot and Schöttgen, ad: loc.; comp. Walch, Observ. in Matthew ex inscr. page 65 sq. and Reussteuch, De sepulcris calae notatis, in Ugolini Thesaur. 33), which caused pollution (Nu 19:16; comp. Joseplius, Ant. 18:2, 3). There are stilt many such sepulchral grottoes in Palestine, Syria, and Idumsea generally (see Pococke, East, 2:70, 100, etc.;. Burckhardt, 1:220 sq.; Robinson, 1:78 sq.; 2:175 sq., 663; 3:317, 692). They descend sometimes vertically, sometimes horizontally in the earth, the former by steps. Within are usually found several chambers orapartments, of which one sometimes lies deeper than another. Most of them have on the side- walls cells, six, to seven feet long, in which the bodies are deposited, Among those found at Jerusalem, for which tradition assigns special names and origin, are the Sepulchres of the Kings (perhaps derived from 2Ch 21:20; 2Ch 28:27; compare Ne 3:16; Ac 2:29; see Niebuhr, Travels, 3:63; Rosenmüller, Alterth. II, 2:269.sq.; Robinson, 1:398 sq. 2:183; compare Hottinger, Cippi Hebraici, Heidelb. 1659 [also in Ugolini Thesaur. 33]). They consist of an anteroom and seven chambers, lying on the north of the city, east of the main road to Nablus, and seem to have belonged tothe nobility, and not merely, if at all, to the ancient Jewish kings. SEE JERUSALEM. Far more imposingare the sepulchres of Egypt, and especially celebrated by the ancients is the tomb of king Osymandyas (Diod. Sic. 1:47 sq.), of which the ruins are still extant (Pococke, 1:159).
Above the tombs were from the earliest times erected monuments (Ge 35:20, מִצֵּבָח often on the Phoenician grave-stones), originally of rough stone or earth (Job 21:32; comp. Homer, II. 23:255 sq.; Virgil, AEn. 6:365), later in the form of splendid mausolea (1 Macc. 13:27 sq.; Josephus, Ant. 7:10, 3; 20:4, 3; comp. Pausanias, 8:16, 3; see Salmasius, ad Solin. page 851; Zorn, in the Nov. Miscell. Lips. 5:218 sq.) with various devices ( 2Sa 18:18). To open a grave forcibly in order to abstract the ornaments (Josephus, Ant. 15:3, 4; 13:8, 4), weapons (Eze 32:27; Eze 1 Macc. 13:29; Curtius, 10:1, 31), or other articles deposited with the body(comp. Sept. Vat. at Jos 24:30; Jerome, ad Jer. 7; Rosenmiiller, Morgenl. 3:10), or even the bones. of the interred, was in all antiquity regarded as a. shameful piece of barbarity (Jer 8:1; Baruch, 2:24; comp. Diod. Sic. 13:86; 14:63; see Wachter, Ueber Ehescheid. bei d. Romans page 209 sq.; Abegg, Strafrechtsweis. page 726 sq.). That the relics of the dead were thus pillaged for magical purposes (Apul. Metam. 2, page 38, Bip.; Horace, Epod. 14:47 sq.; Lucan, 6:533; comp. Brouckhus. ad Tibull. 1:2, 47 sq.) does not appear very clearly from Isa 65:4. There are scriptural traces of the popular idea that graves were the residence of daemons (comp. Mt 8:28), who were perhaps connected with soothsaying (Ac 16:16); others, however, refer such allusions to the superstitious notions respecting offering to the manes of the departed (inferie, februationes; compare Athen. 3:98; Macrob. Sat. 1:13, page 263, Bip.; Barhebr. Chron. page 256), or a species of necromancy practiced in such spots (see Gregor. Nazianz. Or. in Julian. page 91; Otho, Lex. Rabb. page 171). The graves of the prophets and holy persons were (in post-exilian times) sedulously repaired and adorned (Mt 23:29; see Schottgen, Hor. Hebr. 1:205; Eckhard, De cedificatione et exornzatione sepulcrorum, Jena, 1746), a tribute of reverence (and eventually of grateful reparation, Mt 23:30 sq.), which was not unknown likewise in Greek antiquity (AElian, Var. Hist. 12:7; Diod. Siculus, 11:33; Athen. 13:593; Suetonius, Octav. 18; the Greeks even anointed the tombs of honored men, Plutarch, Alex. c. 15), and still general in the East (Kaimpfer, Amaen. page 109, sq.; Robinson, 2:708). See generally Nicolai, De sepulcris Hebr. (L.B. 1706; also in Ugolino, 33); Fuhrmann, Hist. Untersuch ub. der Begra-bnissplatze der Alten (Halle, 1800). SEE SEPULCHRE.