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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919


BAR, Shaul. Death by Stoning in the Hebrew Bible and in Post-Biblical Traditions. Old testam. essays [online]. 2021, vol.34, n.3, pp.789-805. ISSN 2312-3621.

Different modes of death appear in the Hebrew Bible, among which we find stoning as a form of execution. Since the person is dead, why does the Bible go to such lengths to describe this manner of death? In order to proffer an answer, we shall examine the cases which describe death by stoning. The intention behind stoning seems to have been to remove the criminal from the camp and the city. This was not merely a physical removal; it also bore significance for the dead man's spirit. The punishment of stoning prevented the burial of the corpse. Non-burial was worse than death because the spirit of the dead would not find rest and would therefore never reach the underworld. In a later period, the procedure for stoning was modified. Forms of judicial execution mentioned in the Bible, compared with those in the Talmud, indicate the latter made an effort to preserve the body of an executed man. This difference stems from the fact that in the Talmudic period the idea of resurrection was well developed.

Palavras-chave : Stoning; Idolatry; Blaspheme; Divination; Adultery; Defiant Son; Adulterous Woman; Betrothed Virgin; Non-burial.

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