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Holman Bible Dictionary [1]

 Genesis 40:19 40:22 Esther 7:9 Genesis 40:19 Deuteronomy 21:22 Joshua 8:29 2 Samuel 4:12 Deuteronomy 21:22-23 Joshua 8:29 Joshua 10:26-27  Genesis 40:19 1 Samuel 31:10 2 Samuel 21:8-10 Galatians 3:13

According to the first century Jewish historian, Josephus, all executed criminals were afterward hanged. The Mishna prescribes hanging only for those put to death by stoning. Some Bible students think hanging was prescribed only for blasphemers and idolaters.

Hanging oneself is mentioned only once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. Ahithophel, David's counselor, joined the conspiracy of Absalom, David's son ( 2 Samuel 15:31 ). Feeling his ploy for personal power evaporate, he set his house in order and hanged himself ( 2 Samuel 17:23 ). Judas, one of the twelve disciples of our Lord, in a desperate effort to resolve guilt and atone for the misdeed of betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, went out into the night and hanged himself ( Matthew 27:5 ).  Acts 1:18 says he fell headlong and burst asunder, presumably as the rope broke.

C. Dale Hill

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( a.) Adapted for sustaining a hanging object; as, the hanging post of a gate, the post which holds the hinges.

(2): ( a.) Suspended from above; pendent; as, hanging shelves.

(3): ( p. pr. & vb. n.) of Hang

(4): ( n.) The act of suspending anything; the state of being suspended.

(5): ( n.) Death by suspension; execution by a halter.

(6): ( n.) That which is hung as lining or drapery for the walls of a room, as tapestry, paper, etc., or to cover or drape a door or window; - used chiefly in the plural.

(7): ( a.) Requiring, deserving, or foreboding death by the halter.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [3]

  • Heb. bottim ( 2 Kings 23:7 ), "hangings for the grove" (RSV, "for the Asherah"); marg., instead of "hangings," has "tents" or "houses." Such curtained structures for idolatrous worship are also alluded to in  Ezekiel 16:16 .

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Hanging'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/h/hanging.html. 1897.

  • King James Dictionary [4]

    HANG'ING, ppr. Suspending to something above.

    1. Being suspended dangling swinging. 2. Foreboding death by the halter.

    What a hanging face!

    3. Requiring punishment by the halter as a hanging matter.

    HANG'ING, n. Any kind of drapery hung or fastened to the walls or a room, by way of ornament.

    No purple hangings clothe the palace walls.

    1. Death by the halter as hard words or hanging. 2. Display exhibition.

    Fausset's Bible Dictionary [5]

    Criminals were usually put to death before hanging, for ignominy ( Joshua 10:26). The bodies were removed before nightfall in order not to defile the land ( Deuteronomy 21:22-23). Hence our Lord's body as those of the two thieves was taken from the cross before the "high day" of the approaching "sabbath" ( John 19:31).

    Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

    Hanging. The "hanging" was a curtain or Covering to close an entrance; one was placed before the door of the Tabernacle.  Exodus 26:36-37;  Exodus 39:38.

    Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

    HANGING . See Crimes and Punishments, § 10  ; Gallows.

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

    See Punishments

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

    (as a punishment, הוֹקַיעִ , to Impale with dislocation of the limbs,  Numbers 25:4;  2 Samuel 21:6;  2 Samuel 21:9; תָּלָה , to Suspend, as among the Hebrews,  Deuteronomy 21:22; the Egyptians,  Genesis 40:19; and the Persians,  Esther 7:10;  Esther 5:14; Κρεμάννυμι ). (See Crucifixion). Hanging on a tree or gibbet appears to have been a mark of infamy, inflicted on the dead bodies of criminals, rather than a punishment, as modern nations employ it. The person suspended was considered as a Curse, An Abomination in the sight of God, and as receiving this token of infamy at his hand. The body, nevertheless, was to be taken e down and buried on the same day. The hanging mentioned in  2 Samuel 21:6, was the work of the Gibeonites, and not of the Hebrews. Posthumous suspension of this kind, for the purpose of conferring ignominy, differs materially from the crucifixion that was practiced by the Romans, although the Jews gave such an extent to the law in  Deuteronomy 21:22-23, as to include the last-named punishment ( John 19:31;  Acts 5:30;  Galatians 3:13;  1 Peter 2:24). The more recent Jews attributed the origin of the punishment of strangulation to Moses, and supposed it to have been meant by the phrase, "He shall die the death,"but without cause. (See Punishment).

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [10]

    hang´ing ( תּלה , tālāh , "to hang up," "suspend,"   2 Samuel 21:12;  Deuteronomy 28:66;  Job 26:7;  Psalm 137:2;  Song of Solomon 4:4;  Hosea 11:7 ): Generally, where the word is used in connection with punishments, it appears to have reference to the hanging of the corpse after execution. We find but two clear instances of death by hanging, i.e. strangulation - those of Ahithophel and Judas (( 2 Samuel 17:23;  Matthew 27:5 ), and both these were eases of suicide, not of execution. The foregoing Hebrew word is clearly used for "hanging" as a mode of execution in  Esther 5:14;  Esther 6:4;  Esther 7:9;  Esther 8:7;  Esther 9:13 ,  Esther 9:14 ,  Esther 9:25; but probably the "gallows" or "tree" (עץ , ‛ēc ) was a stake for the purpose of impaling the victim. It could be lowered for this purpose, then raised "fifty cubits high" to arrest the public gaze. The Greek word used in  Matthew 27:5 is ἀπάγχεσθαι , apágchesthai , "to strangle oneself." See HDB , article "Hanging," for an exhaustive discussion.

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

    Hanging [PUNISHMENTS]