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Gallows

During Bible History, hanging was just as gruesome as it still is today, but back then was usually done after an execution, not usually as the means of execution itself. Condemned people were put to death by some other means and then hanged on a tree or post (the Hebrew word pronounced ets, meaning a tree, is translated into English as either "tree" or "gallows"), or elsewhere, as a public proclamation of their infamy. There are only two recorded Biblical incidents of people specifically being put to death by hanging itself; both of those were suicides (see below).

"His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; for he that is hanged is accursed of God"

During Bible history, "hanging," in the modern sense, was apparently a means of suicide rather than execution.

Gallows

"And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father" (2 Samuel 17:23 KJV)

"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." (Matthew 27:3-5 KJV)

The Egyptian Pharaoh's chief baker was beheaded and then hanged.

"Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee." (Genesis 40:19 KJV)

By The Lord's command, the Israelites executed people, usually by Stoning, and then hanged them - with a time limit on how long the body was to remain.

"And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear."

"And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; for he that is hanged is accursed of God" (Deuteronomy 21:21-23 KJV)

Crucifixion was also a form of a gallows, in the sense of "hanging" condemned people, just as Jesus Christ was hung "on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24 KJV).

Fact Finder: What did the Cross of Christ actually look like?
See Crossing The T


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