In Bible times why were people buried in tombs instead of graves? How did they make the tombs? Rachel of Fayette, AL
Sometimes the Jews buried people in the earth, like we do today. But usually they placed those who died in a tomb. This helped keep the body safe. A tomb could have been a cave; Abraham buried Sarah in a cave (Genesis 23:19). More than one person was placed in a tomb; other family members were buried there as well (Genesis 25:7-11).
Sometimes, people chiseled a tomb out of soft limestone. Mostly rich people had such personal tombs. Jesus was buried in a tomb like this. It belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. He was rich enough to have his own tomb (read Matthew 27:57-61). This is the meaning of Isaiah's prophecy when he predicted that Christ would make His grave with a rich man in His death (read Isaiah 53:9).