ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Graves were generally grottoes or caves, natural or hewn out in rocks (Isaiah 22:16; Matthew 27:60). There were family cemeteries (Genesis 47:29; 50:5; 2 Samuel 19:37). Public burial-places were assigned to the poor (Jeremiah 26:23; 2 Kings 23:6). Graves were usually closed with stones, which were whitewashed, to warn strangers against contact with them (Matthew 23:27), which caused ceremonial pollution (Numbers 19:16).