I was reading an old article published in Christian Today on July 17, 2014, in which Brownie Marie reported that ISIS desecrated the tomb of Jonah, and were burning churches. The only thing I could find in the Bible related to desecrating a tomb or a body is Amos 2:1, which reads:

Thus says the Lord:
    "For three transgressions of Moab, and for four,
    I will not turn away its punishment,
    Because he burned the bones of the King of Edom to lime. [NKJV]

Is this the only example, Amos 2:1? What additional biblical basis is there for not desecrating a grave or a body?

  • 2
    The title is now on-topic here. But the last paragraph of the body still isn't. If you bring the question(s) in the body in line with the title, this will be a good candidate for reopening. – Lee Woofenden Apr 2 '16 at 5:17
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    Actually, changing it to "is there biblical basis" makes the question more off-topic, not less. "What is the biblical basis" is a more objective, answerable question, and that's why I changed it to that. – Nathaniel is protesting Apr 2 '16 at 15:58
  • related: According to the Bible, is cremation an acceptable Christian practice? - I believe my answer to that question also provides an (at least partial) answer to this one. – bruised reed May 10 '16 at 2:46
  • @bruisedreed I agree. What if the question was made a little broader, like what do the catholic's say for example? Would that be a safe edit? – hernan43 May 10 '16 at 18:11
  • Your question is already on-topic, if anything the other one is problematic. I'm not voting to close as a duplicate, because they aren't - merely pointing to where there is already a partial answer on the site. – bruised reed May 10 '16 at 23:37

No, this is not the only example. The prophecy of 1 Kings 13 must also be taken into account, and especially its fulfillment.

2 Kings 23:20 is its fulfillment: "And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem."

It's also paralleled in 2 Chronicles 34:5

The reason why I am citing this as an example is because this was pronounced as a judgement much like Amos 2:1 which was referenced. So then if these false prophets were the recipients of an unusual pronouncement from a prophet of G-d, and they were singled out for punishment then the opposite is proven as the rule.

Should that not be enough, commandments such as

Deuteronomy 21:22,23 "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance."

Despite the focus being on avoiding the polluting of the land it is clear that the action is barred for additional reasons, such as keeping the "humanity" of the corpse in mind and that some kind of burial is necessitated.

Joshua 7:26 "And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day."


Joshua 8:29 "And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day."

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