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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 7 - Verse 12

Verse 12. The gate of the city. Cities were surrounded by walls, to defend them from their enemies. They were entered through gates placed at convenient distances from each other. In most cities it was not allowed to bury the dead within the walls; hence they were borne to some convenient burial-place in the vicinity of the city.

A dead man carried out. A funeral procession. Anciently no Jews were buried within the walls of the city, except the kings and distinguished persons, 1 Sa 28:3;2 Ki 21:18. The custom of burying within cities, and especially within the walls of churches or in their vicinity, had its origin among Christians very early; yet perhaps few customs are more deleterious to health than burials within large cities, especially within the walls of frequented buildings. The effluvia from dead bodies is excessively unwholesome. Burial places should be in situations of retirement, far from the tread of the gay and busy world, where all the feelings may be still and calm, and where there can be no injury to health from the mouldering bodies of the dead.

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