CARCASS, CARCASE. The dead body of a person or beast. The word is a translation of six different words in Scripture with root ideas of something fallen, faded, exhausted; or it may simply denote “body,” such as the lion’s carcass in
CARCASS, CARCASE (פֶּ֫גֶר, H7007, dead body; nebelah, dead body; מַפֶּ֫לֶת, H5147, fallen body; Gr. πτω̂μα, G4773, corpse).
A carcass is a dead body of either a person or animal. When used with reference to a human being it has a derogatory or disdainful connotation. Figuratively it is used for an object or project that has lost its vitality or power of achievement.
“Carcase” has the same meaning as “carcass.” It is a variant in spelling rarely used in modern times, excepting in KJV, where it is uniformly used instead of “carcass.”
RSV avoids the use of either carcass or carcase with reference to persons and uses “body,” or “dead body” instead.
It was a serious offense to touch the carcass of an unclean animal (
Disdain for human bodies and virility of language is shown in
Spunky David told Goliath, “I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth” (
Both the literal and figurative meanings of carcase is seen in
The OT prophets in their pronouncement of future judgment used “carcase” frequently. Note
In the NT we find only two references to carcase in the KJV, and none at all in RSV. (See
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
kar’-kas: The dead body of a beast; used sometimes in a contemptuous way of the dead body of a human being. The use of the word as applied to a living body is not found in eitheror .
(1) It occurs as a translation of the Hebrew pegher, in