Deuteronomy 28:26

Hebrew Bible

24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; it will come down on you from the sky until you are destroyed. 25 “The Lord will allow you to be struck down before your enemies; you will attack them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions and will become an object of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for every bird of the sky and wild animal of the earth, and there will be no one to chase them off. 27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, eczema, and scabies, all of which cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will also subject you to madness, blindness, and confusion of mind.

1 Kings 14:11

Hebrew Bible

9 You have sinned more than all who came before you. You went and angered me by making other gods, formed out of metal; you have completely disregarded me. 10 So I am ready to bring disaster on the dynasty of Jeroboam. I will cut off every last male belonging to Jeroboam in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. I will burn up the dynasty of Jeroboam, just as one burns manure until it is completely consumed. 11 Dogs will eat the members of your family who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.”’ Indeed, the Lord has announced it! 12 “As for you, get up and go home. When you set foot in the city, the boy will die. 13 All Israel will mourn him and bury him. He is the only one in Jeroboam’s family who will receive a decent burial, for he is the only one in whom the Lord God of Israel found anything good.

 Notes and References

"... we have a general picture of what is considered “an acceptable death.” In particular the importance of burial is widely attested. Herbert Brichto summarizes the evidence within ancient Israel ... One might add to this description the idea that proper burial confirms the positive reputation of the deceased. “Peaceful burial with one’s ancestors is itself seen as a reward for a good life. In contrast, sinners in the bible are repeatedly cursed with denial of burial. (Bloch-Smith cites Deuteronomy 28:25–26; I Kings 13:22, 14:10–11; Jeremiah 16:4) Explicit expressions of the dread and horror of being left unburied, coupled with an understanding of such a death as severe punishment, appear in many different texts. Deuteronomy 28:26 lists this concern in the midst of a long list of curses: “Your carcasses shall become food for all the birds of the sky and all the beasts of the earth, with none to frighten them off.” In a near echo of that sentiment, Jeremiah 7:33 announces: “The carcasses of this people shall be food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth, with none to frighten them off.” Royalty does not avoid such a fate. In I Kings 14:11, whether they dwell in the town or in the countryside, the descendants of King Jeroboam are doomed to a horrible end. Those of Jeroboam “who die in the town shall be devoured by dogs; and anyone who dies in the open country shall be eaten by the birds of the air.” Isaiah 14:18–20 is another good example of such a punishment, this time meted out against the King of Babylon ..."

Leveen, Adriane Memory and Tradition in the Book of Numbers (pp. 159-160) Cambridge University Press, 2008

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.