Burial Place?

garden tomb 2

Q. Is it significant to get buried in your homeland? Does it matter where you get buried e.g. Joseph? The bible also make mention of where Abraham buried Sarah etc.

A. I believe it is significant only for Jews in OT times. Joseph himself explained why he made his brothers swear to bury his bones in Canaan:
Gen 50:25 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will surely take care of you and bring you up from this land to the land which He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones up from here.”

God promised the Jewish people the land of Canaan on oath to their patriarchs e.g.
Abraham:
Gen 12:7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” …
• Gen 15:18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, …

Isaac:
Gen 26:3-4 Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
Jacob:
Gen 28:13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.
• Gen 35:12 “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, And I will give the land to your descendants after you.”

They were therefore very particular about being buried in their homeland.

Though many Gentile nations also share this desire to be buried in their native land, God had not promised to give any of them a land for them and their descendants. So I feel this desire to be only sentimental. Even for the Jews, the old covenant had been superseded by the new one. According to tradition, all of the apostles except John were martyred. None of them were buried in their homeland. In fact, according to Hebrews:
Heb 11:9-10, 16 By faith he (Abraham) lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. … But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
The better country is a heavenly one, so I don’t feel being buried in your homeland is significant for Christians. Being raised with Him is.

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