From BiblePortal Wikipedia

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [1]

The process of embalming dead bodies among the Egyptians was as follows: The embalmers, who were looked upon as sacred officers, drew the brains through the nostrils with a hooked piece of iron, and filled the skull with astringent drugs; they drew all the entrails, except the heart and kidneys, through a hole cut in the left side, washed them in palm-wine, and replaced them, filling the cavity with astringent and preservative drugs. The body was anointed repeatedly with oil of cedar, myrrh, cinnamon, etc., about thirty days, and was then put into nitre for about forty days; by which process it was preserved from decay, retaining at the same time a lifelike appearance. When Moses says that forty days of his continuing in the salt of nitre, not including the thirty days spent in the previous ceremonies; so that, in the whole they mourned seventy days for him in Egypt,  Genesis 50:2,3 .

The body was afterwards taken out of the salt, washed, wrapped up in long linen bandages, dipped in myrrh, and closed with gum. It was then restored to the relatives, who inclosed it in a coffin, and kept it in their houses, or deposited it in a tomb. Thus the body of Joseph was preserved, to be conveyed into the land of promise after nearly two centuries,  Genesis 50:26 . Great numbers of mummies are still found in Egypt, in the subterraneous vaults where they were deposited two or three thousand years ago.

The common people of that country were embalmed by means of bitumen, a cheap material and easily managed. With this the corpse and its envelopes were smeared, with more or less care and diligence. Sepulchres have been opened in which thousands of bodies had been deposited in rows, one on another, without coffins, preserved in this manner.

The usual embalming of the Jews was less elaborate and effectual. It consisted mainly in wrapping the body in many folds of linen, with a profusion of aromatic spices-myrrh, aloes, etc. Thus the body of the Savior was embalmed entire by Joseph and Nicodemus, while, ignorant of this, the two Mary's and their friends were prepared to render him a similar honor when the Jewish Sabbath was past,  John 19:38 -  40 . The practice, even in this form, does not appear to have been prevalent among the Jews. See Burial .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Embalming. The process by which dead bodies are preserved from putrefaction and decay. It was most general among the Egyptians, and it is in connection with this people, that the two instances which we meet with in the Old Testament are mentioned.  Genesis 50:2;  Genesis 50:26.

The embalmers first removed part of the brain through the nostrils, by means of a crooked iron, and destroyed the rest by injecting caustic drugs. An incision was then made along the flank with a sharp Ethiopian stone, and the whole of the intestines removed. The cavity was rinsed out with palm wine, and afterwards scoured with pounded perfumes. It was then filled with pure myrrh pounded, cassia and other aromatics, except frankincense.

This done, the body was sewn up and steeped in natron (salf-petre) for seventy days. When the seventy days were accomplished, the embalmers washed the corpse and swathed it in bandages of linen, cut in strips and smeared with gum. They then gave it up to the relatives of the deceased, who provided for it a wooden case, made in the shape of a man, in which the dead was placed, and deposited in an erect position against the wall of the sepulchral chamber.

Sometimes no incision was made in the body, nor were the intestines removed, but cedar-oil was injected into the stomach by the rectum.

At others, the oil was prevented from escaping until the end of the steeping process, when it was withdrawn, and carried off with it the stomach and intestines in a state of solution, while the flesh was consumed by the natron, and nothing was left but the skin and bones. The body in this state was returned to the relatives of the deceased.

The third mode, which was adopted by the poorer classes, and cost but little, consisted in rinsing out the intestines with syrmaea, an infusion of senna and cassia, and steeping the body for several days in natron. It does not appear that embalming was practiced by the Hebrews. The cost of embalming was sometimes nearly $2000, varying from this amount down to $200 or $300.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [3]

Embalming. A process by which, dead bodies are preserved from decay. When Jacob died in Egypt, "Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, for burial in Canaan." The process occupied forty days. Joseph also was himself embalmed, that his body might be carried with the children of Israel when they left Egypt for Palestine.  Genesis 50:2-3;  Genesis 50:26. It does not appear that the Hebrews practiced the mode of embalming of the Egyptians. Still some partial process was employed, tending to soothe surviving friends by arresting or delaying natural corruption. Thus Asa was laid in a bed "filled with sweet odors and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art."  2 Chronicles 16:14. Also the women who had followed Jesus "bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him,"  Mark 16:1;  Luke 23:56; and Nicodemus "brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes," and "wound" the body "in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury."  John 19:39-40. In some instances, too, the later Jews embalmed a body in honey, after having covered it with wax. See Bissell, Bib. Antiq.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

Jacob and Joseph were both embalmed in Egypt, but we do not read that it was ever practised by the children of Israel.  Genesis 50:2,3,26 . The historians Herodotus and Diodorus describe the process of embalming in Egypt. There were several modes according to the rank of the deceased, or according to what the relatives could afford to pay. In short it may be said that the body lay in nitre thirty days, for the purpose of drying up all its superfluous and noxious moisture, the brain and bowels being sometimes extracted; and then for forty days more it was anointed with gums and spices to preserve it. When this was complete it was wrapped round with many bandages, and finally put in a case somewhat resembling the person. In many museums Egyptian mummies may be seen, and the marvellous preservation of the body be attested.

Among the Jews the body was merely wrapped round with bandages with a quantity of spices enclosed. Asa, was laid "in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries' art."  2 Chronicles 16:14 . Nicodemus furnished "a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight," and they wound the body of Jesus "in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury."  John 19:39,40 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Genesis 50:2-3 Genesis 50:26  Genesis 50:13 Exodus 13:19

Related passages include  2 Chronicles 16:14 which describes the burial of Asa and the   John 19:39-40 account of Jesus' burial. The use of spices mentioned in both of these passages did not constitute embalming but ceremonial purification.

The Egyptian art of mummification was an elaborate version of embalming which required seventy days for completion. The process required removal of the viscera and organs (except the heart), treatment of the body with a preserving agent, and wrapping with cloth. That the Hebrews did not perform embalming reflects not only rival conceptions of the afterlife between Israel and Egypt but also aversion toward Egyptian religious practice in general.

Joe Haag

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

the art of preserving dead bodies from putrefaction. It was much practised by the Egyptians of ancient times, and from them seems to have been borrowed by the Hebrews. It consisted in opening the body, taking out the intestines, and filling the place with odoriferous drugs and spices of a desiccative quality. Joseph gave orders for the embalming of the body of his father Jacob,  Genesis 50:1-2; and Moses informs us that the process took up forty days. Joseph himself also was embalmed,  Genesis 50:26 . Asa, king of Israel, seems to have been embalmed,  2 Chronicles 16:13-14 . See Burial .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 Genesis 50:2,3,26

The embalming of Jacob and Joseph was according to the Egyptian custom, which was partially followed by the Jews ( 2 Chronicles 16:14 ), as in the case of king Asa, and of our Lord ( John 19:39,40;  Luke 23:56;  24:1 ). (See Pharaoh .)

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [8]

Embalming . This specifically Egyptian (non-Israelitish) method of treating dead bodies is mentioned in Scripture only in the cases of Jacob and Joseph (  Genesis 50:2 f.,   Genesis 50:26 ).

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(p. pr. & vb. n.) of Embalm

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [10]

The art of preserving dead bodies from decay by means of antiseptic agents applied both externally and internally; although known to other people, e. g . the Peruvians, the art was chiefly practised among the Egyptians, and the practice of it dates back to 4000 B.C.; the thoroughness of the process depended on the money expended, but it usually involved the removal of the viscera, save the heart and kidneys, the extraction of the brain, the introduction of drugs to the cavities, and the pickling of the body in native carbonate of soda, and the wrapping of it in linen; experiments in embalming, more or less successful, have been made in recent times, and even still are.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

em - bam´ing ( חנט , ḥānaṭ , "to spice"): Embalming. is mentioned in Scripture only in the cases of Jacob and Joseph ( Genesis 50:2 f,26). It was a distinctly Egyptian invention and method of preserving the bodies of men and animals. Examples of it reach back to over 3,000 years ago. It prevailed to some extent among the peoples of Asia, and at a later period among the Greeks and Romans, but was in origin and use distinctly non-Israelitish. See Burial .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Embalming [BURIAL]