I love boating along coastal British Columbia. Occasionally, we spot First Nation burial apparatus, a box or platform, often a canoe, into which the departed is placed and which is then perched upon high stilts or wedged into tree forks.
The Choctaws buried their dead by leaving them atop a high scaffold. Eskimos placed their departed beneath piles of rocks. In much of Asia, corpses were burned as a final rite and the popularity of cremation spread far and wide. Egyptians placed their departed in pyramids while others preferred vast above-ground mausoleums.
When Sarah, the wife of Abraham died, Abraham didn’t place her body in a tree or under a heap of rocks. He certainly didn’t burn it. Instead, he said to the locals:
…entreat for me to Ephron the son of Tzochar…that he give me the cave of MaCHPeLah…as a burying place…
The first Scriptural account of a burial follows:
…Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of MaCHPeLah…