History of death in the Hebrew Bible, A
Death in the Bible Future life Burial Iron age Palestine
Oxford University Press 2018EISBN 9780190844769
In the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, a good death meant burial inside the family tomb, where one would join one's ancestors in death. This was the afterlife in biblical literature; it was a postmortem ideal that did not involve individual judgment or heaven and hell - instead it was collective. In Hebrew scriptures, a postmortem existence was rooted in mortuary practices and conceptualized through the embodiment of the dead. But this idea of the afterlife was not hopeless or fatalistic, consigned to the dreariness of the tomb. The dead were cherished and remembered, their bones were cared for, and their names lived on as ancestors. This volume examines the concept of the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible by studying the treatment of the dead, as revealed both in biblical literature and in the material remains of the southern Levant.