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Why wasn't Rachel buried with Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah?



      

Genesis 49:31

NIV - 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 16 2016 Mini Matthew Miller Supporter

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, it was a matter of both distance and burial practices.

Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah were buried in the cave at Machpelah in Hebron, which Abraham had originally purchased from Ephron the Hittite for the burial of Sarah (Genesis 23), because of the cave's proximity to the place of their deaths.

The body of Jacob was carried up to Hebron from Egypt (where Jacob had died after going there to see Joseph)(Genesis 50), which was possible because the Bible specifically says that Jacob was embalmed according to Egyptian burial practices after his death, which preserved his body, and allowed it to be moved (as also happened with the body of Joseph at the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt hundreds of years later (Genesis 50:26; Exodus 13:19)).

However, Rachel died following childbirth near Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19). Although this would have been "only" (by our modern standards) about eighteen miles from Hebron, it would not have been possible at that time to carry her (unembalmed) body that distance for burial (especially since all of Jacob's flocks and herds would have had to make the journey also). Therefore, she was buried at the location where she had died, within the short time frame normally associated with Jewish burials.

May 17 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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