The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Gardening in the Ancient World

Jewish Cemetary Gardens

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21. The cemeteries of the Jews may be considered as a species of garden. We find that Abraham, when Sarah died, purchased from the children of Heth a �field, and all the trees which were within its limits, or on its borders,� as a place of burial. It appears, from Abraham having declined the choice of any of the sepulchres of Heth, and fixed on a spot ornamented with trees, that burial-places in those days were considered scenes of beauty, as well as of mournful associations. This idea is confirmed by the circumstance of the sepulchre in which Jesus Christ was laid, being placed in a garden. We read of others formed under a tree, and sometimes hewn from the sides of a rock; so that, on the whole, it is clear, that, with all who could afford it, among the Jews, the place of burial was not only sacred, from its use, but interesting, or beautiful, from being accompanied by some striking or agreeable natural features.