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Tuesday, May 21 2013
The ancient city of Hebron is located about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem. There is a famous tomb in Hebron (see A Biography Of Abraham: Mamre in Hebron), known variously as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the Cave of the Patriarchs, or the Cave of Machpelah. It was originally purchased by Abraham for his wife Sarah after she died.
"23:1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah [see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah]. 23:2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan [see Camped Out In Canaan]: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. 23:3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, 23:4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight." (Genesis 23:1-4 KJV)
The cave thereafter became a family tomb - the burial place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah (see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac and Who Chose Rebekah?) and Jacob/Israel and his wife Leah (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel). Jacob was the last of the six to be buried there.
"49:29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 49:30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
All were buried in the traditional way, except for Jacob who died in Egypt. As we will read from the Scriptures, Jacob's body was mummified according to the ancient Egyptian method and tradition.
Although the Egyptians are perhaps best known for it, mummification of the dead is practically worldwide, naturally or by man, in a surprising number of ways. An excerpt from the "Mummy" article in Wikipedia on May 20 1013:
"A mummy is a human or animal whose skin and organs have been preserved by either intentional or incidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold (ice mummies), very low humidity, or lack of air when bodies are submerged in bogs, so that the recovered body will not decay further if kept in cool and dry conditions. Some authorities restrict the use of the term to bodies deliberately embalmed with chemicals, but the use of the word to cover accidentally desiccated bodies goes back at least to the 1730s.
The Egyptian method became an elaborate ritual. An excerpt from the "Ancient Egyptian burial customs" article in Wikipedia on May 20 1013:
"This process was available for anyone who could afford it. It was believed that even those who could not afford this process could still enjoy the afterlife with the right reciting of spells. The most classic and common method of mummification dates back to the 18th Dynasty. The first step was to remove the internal organs and liquid so that the body would not decay. The embalmers took out the brain by inserting a sharp object in the nostril, breaking through it into the brain and then liquefying it. The next step was to remove the internal organs, the lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines, and place them in canopic jars with lids shaped like the heads of the protective deities, the four sons of Horus. The heart stayed in the body, because in the hall of judgment it would be weighed against the feather of Maat. After the body was washed with wine, it was stuffed with bags of natron. The dehydration process took 40 days.
In was in the manner described that Jacob's body was mummified. Notice that the Bible states the same forty and seventy day procedures as quoted in the article above.
"50:1 And Joseph [see A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors] fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
Jacob's mummified body was then carried from Egypt for burial in the family tomb at Hebron.
"50:4 And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found grace in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 50:5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
This Day In History, May 21
293: Roman Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius and Diocletian began to reign as a Tetrarchy, meaning "four rulers" (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
878: Syracuse, Italy, was captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily.
996: Otto III was crowned the Roman Emperor at age 16 by Pope Gregory V (Gregory's real name was Bruno of Carinthia; he was the first German pope and a cousin of Otto - see Emperors and Popes and The Struggle For The Papacy; also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1471: King Henry VI was murdered in the Tower of London during the Wars of the Roses. Edward IV took the throne.
1502: Portuguese explorer Joao da Nova discovered the island later known as Saint Helena.
1536: The General Assembly of Geneva, Switzerland officially embraced Protestantism by accepting the "evangelical faith" of the Swiss reformers.
1809: The Battle of Aspern-Essling, Napoleon's first serious personal defeat, fought between a French and allied army of 73,000 men, and 115,000 Austrians under Archduke Charles around the towns of Aspern and Essling near Vienna. Austrian loses were 23,400 men, French losses over 23,000.
1856: The town of Lawrence, Kansas was burned by pro-slavery forces.
1894: England's Manchester Ship Canal was officially opened by Queen Victoria.
1939: The Canadian National War Memorial was unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the mother of Queen Elizabeth II) in Ottawa. Canada immediately joined with Britain in the war against Adolf Hitler a few months later (Canada had 1 million people in the military during the war), at the start of the Second World War in September 1939 (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1940: British tank forces attacked German General Erwin Rommel's 7th Panzer Division at Arras, slowing his blitzkrieg of France.
1946: Nuclear weapons physicist Louis Slotin was fatally irradiated during an experiment with the "Demon core" (a 14 pound mass of plutonium that was detonated in an experimental atomic explosion a few weeks later) at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
1956: The U.S. exploded the first airborne weapon of mass destruction with a hydrogen bomb over the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
1960: 5,700 people were killed in southern Chile by the by one of the strongest earthquakes on record: magnitude 9.5
1991: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a bomb hidden in a bouquet of flowers while campaigning in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu.
2001: France (by means of the "Taubira law") officially declared the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.