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a method of taking away life by separating the head from the body
This was practiced among the Egyptians (Genesis 40:17-19). There are instances of this mode of punishment also among the Hebrews (2 Sam. 4:8; 20:21-22; 2 Kings 10:6-8). It is also mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 14:8-12; Acts 12:2).