What does Embalming mean in the Bible?

Greek / Hebrew Translation Occurance
הַחֲנֻטִ֑ים to embalm 1

Definitions Related to Embalming

H2590


   1 to embalm, spice, make spicy.
      1a (Qal).
         1a1 to spice, make spicy.
         1a2 to embalm.
   2 (CLBL) to ripen.
   3 (BDB) Embalming.
   

Frequency of Embalming (original languages)

Frequency of Embalming (English)

Dictionary

Easton's Bible Dictionary - Embalming
The process of preserving a body by means of aromatics (Genesis 50:2,3,26 ). This art was practised by the Egyptians from the earliest times, and there brought to great perfection. This custom probably originated in the belief in the future reunion of the soul with the body. The process became more and more complicated, and to such perfection was it carried that bodies embalmed thousands of years ago are preserved to the present day in the numberless mummies that have been discovered in Egypt. The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2 Chronicles 16:14 ), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John 19:39,40 ; Luke 23:56 ; 24:1 ). (See PHARAOH .)
Holman Bible Dictionary - Embalming
The process of preserving bodies from decay. Embalming originated in Egypt and was seldom used by the Hebrews. The practice is rarely mentioned in the Bible, and the human remains unearthed in Palestinian tombs generally show no signs of having been embalmed. In Genesis 50:2-3 , it is recorded that Joseph ordered the embalming of Jacob's body and that “physicians” required forty days to perform the process. Genesis 50:26 says Joseph was embalmed and laid to rest in Egypt. The embalming of these two patriarchs testifies both to their importance in the community and to plans to remove their bodies for burial in Canaan ( Genesis 50:13 ; Exodus 13:19 ).
Related passages include 2 Chronicles 16:14 which describes the burial of Asa and the John 19:39-40 account of Jesus' burial. The use of spices mentioned in both of these passages did not constitute embalming but ceremonial purification.
The Egyptian art of mummification was an elaborate version of embalming which required seventy days for completion. The process required removal of the viscera and organs (except the heart), treatment of the body with a preserving agent, and wrapping with cloth. That the Hebrews did not perform embalming reflects not only rival conceptions of the afterlife between Israel and Egypt but also aversion toward Egyptian religious practice in general.
Joe Haag
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Embalming
EMBALMING . This specifically Egyptian (non-Israelitish) method of treating dead bodies is mentioned in Scripture only in the cases of Jacob and Joseph ( Genesis 50:2 f., Genesis 50:26 ).
Webster's Dictionary - Embalming
(p. pr. & vb. n.) of Embalm
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Embalming
Jacob and Joseph were both embalmed in Egypt, but we do not read that it was ever practised by the children of Israel. Genesis 50:2,3,26 . The historians Herodotus and Diodorus describe the process of embalming in Egypt. There were several modes according to the rank of the deceased, or according to what the relatives could afford to pay. In short it may be said that the body lay in nitre thirty days, for the purpose of drying up all its superfluous and noxious moisture, the brain and bowels being sometimes extracted; and then for forty days more it was anointed with gums and spices to preserve it. When this was complete it was wrapped round with many bandages, and finally put in a case somewhat resembling the person. In many museums Egyptian mummies may be seen, and the marvellous preservation of the body be attested.
Among the Jews the body was merely wrapped round with bandages with a quantity of spices enclosed. Asa, was laid "in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art." 2 Chronicles 16:14 . Nicodemus furnished "a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight," and they wound the body of Jesus "in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." John 19:39,40 .
People's Dictionary of the Bible - Embalming
Embalming. A process by which, dead bodies are preserved from decay. When Jacob died in Egypt, "Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, for burial in Canaan." The process occupied forty days. Joseph also was himself embalmed, that his body might be carried with the children of Israel when they left Egypt for Palestine. Genesis 50:2-3; Genesis 50:26. It does not appear that the Hebrews practiced the mode of embalming of the Egyptians. Still some partial process was employed, tending to soothe surviving friends by arresting or delaying natural corruption. Thus Asa was laid in a bed "filled with sweet odors and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art." 2 Chronicles 16:14. Also the women who had followed Jesus "bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him," Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56; and Nicodemus "brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes," and "wound" the body "in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." John 19:39-40. In some instances, too, the later Jews embalmed a body in honey, after having covered it with wax. See Bissell, Bib. Antiq.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Embalming
the art of preserving dead bodies from putrefaction. It was much practised by the Egyptians of ancient times, and from them seems to have been borrowed by the Hebrews. It consisted in opening the body, taking out the intestines, and filling the place with odoriferous drugs and spices of a desiccative quality. Joseph gave orders for the embalming of the body of his father Jacob, Genesis 50:1-2 ; and Moses informs us that the process took up forty days. Joseph himself also was embalmed, Genesis 50:26 . Asa, king of Israel, seems to have been embalmed, 2 Chronicles 16:13-14 . See BURIAL .
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Embalming
The process of embalming dead bodies among the Egyptians was as follows: The embalmers, who were looked upon as sacred officers, drew the brains through the nostrils with a hooked piece of iron, and filled the skull with astringent drugs; they drew all the entrails, except the heart and kidneys, through a hole cut in the left side, washed them in palm-wine, and replaced them, filling the cavity with astringent and preservative drugs. The body was anointed repeatedly with oil of cedar, myrrh, cinnamon, etc., about thirty days, and was then put into nitre for about forty days; by which process it was preserved from decay, retaining at the same time a lifelike appearance. When Moses says that forty days of his continuing in the salt of nitre, not including the thirty days spent in the previous ceremonies; so that, in the whole they mourned seventy days for him in Egypt, Genesis 50:2,3 .
The body was afterwards taken out of the salt, washed, wrapped up in long linen bandages, dipped in myrrh, and closed with gum. It was then restored to the relatives, who inclosed it in a coffin, and kept it in their houses, or deposited it in a tomb. Thus the body of Joseph was preserved, to be conveyed into the land of promise after nearly two centuries, Genesis 50:26 . Great numbers of mummies are still found in Egypt, in the subterraneous vaults where they were deposited two or three thousand years ago.
The common people of that country were embalmed by means of bitumen, a cheap material and easily managed. With this the corpse and its envelopes were smeared, with more or less care and diligence. Sepulchres have been opened in which thousands of bodies had been deposited in rows, one on another, without coffins, preserved in this manner.
The usual embalming of the Jews was less elaborate and effectual. It consisted mainly in wrapping the body in many folds of linen, with a profusion of aromatic spices-myrrh, aloes, etc. Thus the body of the Savior was embalmed entire by Joseph and Nicodemus, while, ignorant of this, the two Mary's and their friends were prepared to render him a similar honor when the Jewish Sabbath was past, John 19:38 - 40 . The practice, even in this form, does not appear to have been prevalent among the Jews. See BURIAL .
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Embalming,
the process by which dead bodies are preserved from putrefaction and decay. It was most general among the Egyptians, and it is in connection with this people that the two instances which we meet with in the Old Testament are mentioned. (Genesis 50:2,26 ) The embalmers first removed part of the brain through the nostrils, by means of a crooked iron, and destroyed the rest by injecting caustic drugs. An incision was then made along the flank with a sharp Ethiopian stone, and the whole of the intestines removed. The cavity was rinsed out with palm wine, and afterwards scoured with pounded perfumes. It was then filled with pure myrrh pounded, cassia and other aromatics, except frankincense. This done, the body was sewn up and steeped in natron (salf-petre) for seventy days. When the seventy days were accomplished, the embalmers washed the corpse and swathed it in bandages of linen, cut in strips and smeared with gum. They then gave it up to the relatives of the deceased, who provided for it a wooden case, made in the shape of a man, in which the dead was placed,a nd deposited in an erect position against the wall of the sepulchral chamber. Sometimes no incision was made in the body, nor were the intestines removed, but cedar-oil was injected into the stomach by the rectum. At others the oil was prevented from escaping until the end of the steeping process, when it was withdrawn, and carried off with it the stomach and intestines in a state of solution, while the flesh was consumed by the natron, and nothing was left but the skin and bones. The body in this state was returned to the relatives of the deceased. The third mode, which was adopted by the poorer classes, and cost but little, consisted in rinsing out the intestines with syrmaea, an infusion of senna and cassia, and steeping the body for several days in natron. It does not appear that embalming was practiced by the Hebrews. The cost of embalming was sometimes nearly , varying from this amount down to or .

Sentence search

Embalmment - ) The act of Embalming
Embalming - Embalming originated in Egypt and was seldom used by the Hebrews. In Genesis 50:2-3 , it is recorded that Joseph ordered the Embalming of Jacob's body and that “physicians” required forty days to perform the process. The Embalming of these two patriarchs testifies both to their importance in the community and to plans to remove their bodies for burial in Canaan ( Genesis 50:13 ; Exodus 13:19 ). The use of spices mentioned in both of these passages did not constitute Embalming but ceremonial purification. ...
The Egyptian art of mummification was an elaborate version of Embalming which required seventy days for completion. That the Hebrews did not perform Embalming reflects not only rival conceptions of the afterlife between Israel and Egypt but also aversion toward Egyptian religious practice in general
Canonship - ) Of or pertaining to Canopus in Egypt; as, the Canopic vases, used in Embalming
Balsamation - ) The art or process of Embalming
Embalm - The Embalming the bodies of the dead was a very ancient custom, both with the Hebrews and the Egyptians. (Genesis 1:2) This is the earliest account of Embalming that we have in Scripture. Some have said, that necessity first taught the Egyptians the art of Embalming, for when the river Nile overflowed, sometimes the inundation continued for near two months; during which time the bodies of the dead not only remained unburied, but remained unavoidably in the tents. To avoid the dreadful effects arising from putrefaction, gave rise to the idea of Embalming; which was done by taking away the entrails, and anointing the body with oil and a composition of spices, which formed a kind of transparent coating, preserving from corruption, and keeping the body entire. For we read, that there was an intention of Embalming the Lord of life and glory. The Almighty Redeemer could need no Embalming
Embalming - Embalming
Perfumes - ...
The Hebrews had also perfumes for Embalming their dead. See Embalming, and OINTMENT
Perfumes - Were used in religious worship, and for personal and domestic enjoyment (Exodus 30:35-37 ; Proverbs 7:17 ; Song of Solomon 3:6 ; Isaiah 57:9 ); and also in Embalming the dead, and in other funeral ceremonies (Mark 14:8 ; Luke 24:1 ; John 19:39 )
Myrrh - It was also used for Embalming and for an anodyne
Aloes - 1: ἀλόη (Strong's #250 — Noun Feminine — aloe — al'-o-ay' ) "an aromatic tree," the soft, bitter wood of which was used by Orientals for the purposes of fumigation and Embalming, John 19:39 (see also Numbers 24:6 ; Psalm 45:8 ; Proverbs 7:17 )
Spices - They were used in the sacred anointing oil (Exodus 25:6 ; 35:8 ; 1 Chronicles 9:29 ), and in Embalming the dead (2 Chronicles 16:14 ; Luke 23:56 ; 24:1 ; John 19:39,40 )
Embalming - Embalming. It does not appear that the Hebrews practiced the mode of Embalming of the Egyptians
Embalming - Joseph gave orders for the Embalming of the body of his father Jacob, Genesis 50:1-2 ; and Moses informs us that the process took up forty days
Embalming - The Embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews (2 Chronicles 16:14 ), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord (John 19:39,40 ; Luke 23:56 ; 24:1 )
Balm - Egyptians used them for Embalming
Aloes - Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for Embalming dead bodies
Spices - We have here probably a general term to denote the mixed spices used in Embalming the bodies of the dead
Embalming, - It does not appear that Embalming was practiced by the Hebrews. The cost of Embalming was sometimes nearly , varying from this amount down to or
Myrrh - It was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil, Exodus 30:23; it was used in perfumes, Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; Song of Solomon 1:13; Song of Solomon 8:6; in unguents, Esther 2:12; Song of Solomon 5:5; for strengthening wine, Mark 15:23; also in Embalming, John 19:30
Myrrh - It was used in Embalming ( John 19:39 )
Embalming - The process of Embalming dead bodies among the Egyptians was as follows: The embalmers, who were looked upon as sacred officers, drew the brains through the nostrils with a hooked piece of iron, and filled the skull with astringent drugs; they drew all the entrails, except the heart and kidneys, through a hole cut in the left side, washed them in palm-wine, and replaced them, filling the cavity with astringent and preservative drugs. ...
The usual Embalming of the Jews was less elaborate and effectual
Embalming - The historians Herodotus and Diodorus describe the process of Embalming in Egypt
Aloes - Aloe-wood is said by Herodotus to have been used by the Egyptians for Embalming dead bodies, and Nicodemus brought it, mingled with myrrh, to embalm the body of our Lord, John 19:39
Myrrh - It was used as a perfume, Psalm 45:8 , where the language is symbolic of the graces of the Messiah; Proverbs 7:17 ; Song of Song of Solomon 1:13 ; 5:5 ; it was one of the ingredients of the "holy anointing oil" for the priests, Exodus 30:23 (RV, "flowing myrrh"); it was used also for the purification of women, Esther 2:12 ; for Embalming, John 19:39 ; as an anodyne see B); it was one of the gifts of the Magi, Matthew 2:11
Embalm - Diodorus long subsequently mentions 30 days as the time of Embalming, and the mourning for a king 72 days. But this is quite distinct from Embalming
Myrrh - It was used in Embalming (John 19:39 ), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12 ; Psalm 45:8 ; Proverbs 7:17 )
Anoint - describes the procedure of rubbing or smearing a person or thing, usually with oil, for the purpose of healing, setting apart, or Embalming
Pitch - Bitumen was formerly much used by the Egyptians and Jews in the Embalming the bodies of their dead
Burial - Embalming is mentioned only in the burial accounts of Jacob and Joseph (Genesis 50:2-3 , Genesis 50:26 ) and there only because of the Egyptian setting and plans to move the bodies. Apparently, Embalming was an Egyptian practice
Funeral, Rites - They took great care in Embalming their bodies and building proper repositories for them. The ancient Christians testified their abhorrence of the pagan custom of burning their dead, and always deposited the body entire in the ground; and it was usual to bestow the honour of Embalming upon the martyrs, at least , if not upon others
Myrrh - It is used in medicine as a tonic and stimulant, and was much employed by the ancient Egyptians in Embalming. Thus it was widely accepted in early times that the myrrh was emblematic of the death of Christ, inasmuch as myrrh was used for Embalming
Burial - See Embalming , SEPULCHRE
Tomb, Grave, Sepulchre - While spices were sometimes sprinkled among the grave-clothes, there was no religious motive for the Embalming of the dead as in Egypt
Aloe - A very bitter gum is extracted from it, used for medicinal purposes, and anciently for Embalming dead bodies
Tombs - The coffining and Embalming of Joseph as a naturalized Egyptian, and the Embalming of Jacob his father in Egypt, are exceptional cases
Dead Sea - Pococke says: "It is observed, that the bitumen floats on the water, and comes ashore after windy weather; the Arabs gather it up, and it serves as pitch for all uses, goes into the composition of medicines, and is thought to have been a very great ingredient in the bitumen used in Embalming the bodies in Egypt: it has been much used for cerecloths, and has an ill smell when burnt
Burial - But when the funeral obsequies were not long delayed, they used another kind of Embalming
Anointing (2) - These unguents were not used for the purpose of Embalming the dead, as among the Egyptians, but were only outwardly applied, and did not prevent decomposition (cf
Egypt - Osiris' wife, Isis, gathered his body to be mummified by the jackal-headed Embalming god Anubis
Plants in the Bible - The bitter pith was used as a medicine and for Embalming (John 19:39 )
Egypt - Among the various other allusions to Egypt in the Bible are those to its fertility and productions, Genesis 13:10; Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:5; to its mode of irrigation as compared with the greater advantages of Canaan, which had rain and was watered by natural streams, Deuteronomy 11:10; its commerce with Israel and the people of western Asia, Genesis 37:25; Genesis 37:36; 1 Kings 10:28-29; Ezekiel 27:7; its armies equipped with chariots and horses, Exodus 14:7; Isaiah 31:1; its learned men and its priests, Genesis 41:8; Genesis 47:22; Exodus 7:11; 1 Kings 4:30; its practice of Embalming the dead, Genesis 50:3; its aversion to shepherds, and its sacrifices of cattle, Genesis 46:34; Exodus 8:26; how its people should be admitted into the Jewish Church, Deuteronomy 23:7-8; the warnings to Israel against any alliance with the Egyptians, Isaiah 30:2; Isaiah 36:6; Ezekiel 17:15; Ezekiel 29:6; and to the towns of the country
Gods, Pagan - Osiris' wife, Isis, gathered his body to be mummified by the jackal-headed Embalming god Anubis
Joseph - Ishmaelite or Midianite merchants from Gilead, with spicery, balm, and myrrh (gum ladanum), for Egypt, the land of Embalming the dead (Luke 2:19), passed by; and Judah, type of Judas, proposes the new plan of selling their brother for 20 pieces of silver (Leviticus 27:5) to the strangers (compare Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:32; Luke 20:20, the Jews delivering Jesus to the Gentile Romans)