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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(as a punishment, הוֹקַיעִ, to impale with dislocation of the limbs, Numbers 25:4; 2 Samuel 21:6; 2 Samuel 21:9; תָּלָה, to suspend, as among the Hebrews, Deuteronomy 21:22; the Egyptians, Genesis 40:19; and the Persians, Esther 7:10; Esther 5:14; κρεμάννυμι ). (See CRUCIFIXION). Hanging on a tree or gibbet appears to have been a mark of infamy, inflicted on the dead bodies of criminals, rather than a punishment, as modern nations employ it. The person suspended was considered as a curse, an abomination in the sight of God, and as receiving this token of infamy at his hand. The body, nevertheless, was to be taken e down and buried on the same day. The hanging mentioned in 2 Samuel 21:6, was the work of the Gibeonites, and not of the Hebrews. Posthumous suspension of this kind, for the purpose of conferring ignominy, differs materially from the crucifixion that was practiced by the Romans, although the Jews gave such an extent to the law in Deuteronomy 21:22-23, as to include the last-named punishment (John 19:31; Acts 5:30; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24). The more recent Jews attributed the origin of the punishment of strangulation to Moses, and supposed it to have been meant by the phrase, "He shall die the death,"but without cause. (See PUNISHMENT).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hanging'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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