Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Funeral : Burying was among the Jews the only mode of disposing of corpses (Genesis 23:19; 25:9; 35:8,9, etc.).

The first traces of burning the dead are found in 1 Samuel 31:12. The burning of the body was affixed by the law of Moses as a penalty to certain crimes (Leviticus 20:14; 21:9).

To leave the dead unburied was regarded with horror (1 Kings 13:22; 14:11; 16:4; 21:24, etc.).

In the earliest times of which we have record kinsmen carried their dead to the grave (Genesis 25:9; 35:29; Judges 16:31), but in later times this was done by others (Amos 6:16).

Immediately after decease the body was washed, and then wrapped in a large cloth (Acts 9:37; Matthew 27:59; Mark 15:46). In the case of persons of distinction, aromatics were laid on the folds of the cloth (John 19:39; comp. 12:7).

As a rule the burial (which see) took place on the very day of the death (Acts 5:6,10), and the body was removed to the grave in an open coffin or on a bier (Luke 7:14). After the burial a funeral meal was usually given (2 Samuel 3:35; Jeremiah 16:5,7; Hosea 9:4).