Among the ancient Hebrews graves were outside of cities in the open field ( Luke 7:12 ; John 11:30 ). Kings ( 1 Kings 2:10 ) and prophets ( 1 Samuel 25:1 ) were generally buried within cities. Graves were generally grottoes or caves, natural or hewn out in rocks ( Isaiah 22:16 ; Matthew 27:60 ). There were family cemeteries ( Genesis 47:29 ; 50:5 ; 2 Sam 19:37 ). Public burial-places were assigned to the poor ( Jeremiah 26:23 ; 2 Kings 23:6 ). Graves were usually closed with stones, which were whitewashed, to warn strangers against contact with them ( Matthew 23:27 ), which caused ceremonial pollution ( Numbers 19:16 ).
There were no graves in Jerusalem except those of the kings, and according to tradition that of the prophetess Huldah.
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[B] indicates this entry was also found in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Grave". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".