Corpse


Bibliography

P. E. Jackson, “Corpse,” EBr (1963), VI, 542.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

korps: This word in the King James Version is the translations of two Hebrew words, pegher, and gewiyah, while nebhelah, and guphah, which mean the same, are translated "body," with which the English word "corpse" (Latin, corpus) was originally synonymical. Therefore we find the now apparently unnecessary addition of the adjective "dead" in 2Ki 19:35 and Isa 37:36. The Greek equivalent is ptoma, literally, "a fallen body," "a ruin" (from pipto, "to fall"), in Mr 6:29; Re 11:8,9.

Corpses were considered as unclean and defiling in the Old Testament, so that priests were not to touch dead bodies except those of near kinsfolk (Le 21:1-3), the high priest and a Nazirite not even such (Le 21:11; Nu 6:6-8). Nu 19 presents to us the ceremonial of purification from such defilement by the sprinkling with the ashes of a red heifer, cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet.


See Burial.

Even the corpses of persons executed by hanging were not to remain on the tree "all night," "for he that is hanged is accursed of God; that thou defile not thy land which Yahweh thy God giveth thee for an inheritance" (De 21:23).