A tomb is a small building (or "vault") for the remains of the dead, with walls, a roof, and (if it is to be used for more than one corpse) a door. It may be partly or wholly in the ground (except for its entrance) in a cemetery, or it may be inside a church proper or in its crypt. Single tombs may be permanently sealed; those for families (or other groups) have doors for access whenever needed.
Tombs in the Bible
Tombs - of the Hebrews were generally excavated in the solid rock, or were natural caves. Mention is made of such tombs in Judg. 8:32; 2 Sam. 2:32; 2 Kings 9:28; 23:30. They were sometimes made in gardens (2 Kings 21:26; 23:16; Matt. 27:60). They are found in great numbers in and around Jerusalem and all over the land. They were sometimes whitewashed (Matt. 23:27, 29). The body of Jesus was laid in Joseph's new rock-hewn tomb, in a garden near to Calvary. All evidence is in favour of the opinion that this tomb was somewhere near the Damascus gate, and outside the city, and cannot be identified with the so-called "holy sepulchre." The mouth of such rocky tombs was usually closed by a large stone (Heb. golal), which could only be removed by the united efforts of several men (Matt. 28:2; comp. John 11:39). (See Golgotha, Sepulchre.)
Last updated: 06-02-2005 13:34:26