Document Detail

Good death and bad death in ancient Israel according to biblical lore.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14732611     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In the view of the ancient Israelites, as expressed in the Hebrew Bible, death is good or at least acceptable (1) after a long life, (2) when a person dies in peace, (3) when there is continuity in the relation with the ancestors and the heirs, and (4) when one will be buried in one's own land. Death is experienced as bad when (1) it is premature, (2) violent, especially when it is shameful (e.g., when a man is killed by a woman), (3) when a person does not have an heir, and (4) when one does not receive a proper burial. It is remarkable that in the literature of ancient Israel common elements like the cult of the dead and the belief in retribution after death, are not explicitly mentioned and therefore do not function as a comfort for death. Also, from a theological point of view emphasis is placed on this life. A positive attitude towards martyrdom is missing. This results in a way of coping with death which has many 'modern' elements or which may help modern people to face death.
Klaas Spronk
Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social science & medicine (1982)     Volume:  58     ISSN:  0277-9536     ISO Abbreviation:  Soc Sci Med     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-01-20     Completed Date:  2004-04-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8303205     Medline TA:  Soc Sci Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  987-95     Citation Subset:  IM    
Theologische Universiteit, P O Box 5021, Kampen 8260 GA, Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Anthropology, Cultural
Attitude to Death / ethnology*
History, Ancient
Judaism / history*

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