Monday, May 27, 2013

Eternal supply

The relatively small number of vessels that accompanied each inhumation does not support the supposition that they served as supplies either in the grave or in Šĕʾōl for longer periods extending into eternity. It seems more likely that the food provisions served for shorter, transitional phases during which the person may have been believed to be present, or possibly until the body had decomposed (Wenning 2005: 129–30). The latter case was apparently the opinion in rabbinic sources (see b. Šabb. 152b; m. Nid. 10:4).—Family and Household Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant, page 454

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