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A sepulchre, or sepulcher, is a type of tombmarker or burial chamber. In ancient Hebrew practice, sepulchres were often carved into the rock of a hillside.

The word is sometimes confused with "sepulture", the act of burying a dead person.

Referring from the Easton's Bible Dictionary, 'Sepulchre' is first mentioned as having been purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the "cave of the field of Machpelah"marker, where Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah were also buried (79:29-32). In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was "laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem."

Tombs of the Hebrews were generally excavated in the solid rock orwere natural caves. Mention is made of such tombs in Judges 8:32;2 Samuel 2:32; and 2 Kings 9:28; 23:30. They were sometimes made in gardens (2 Kings 21:26; 23:16; Matthew 27:60). They are found ingreat numbers in and around Jerusalemmarker and all over the land. They were sometimes whitewashed (Matthew 23:27, 29). The body of Jesus was laid in Joseph of Arimathea's new rock-hewn tomb, in a garden near to Calvary perhaps the site of the Holy Sepulchremarker. The mouth of such rocky tombs was usually closed by a large stone (Hebrew golal), which could only be removed by the united efforts of several men (Matthew 28:2; Mark 16:3; John 11:39)

In common law countries, sepulcher also refers to the legal right of a next of kin to control and dispose of a deceased's body.


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