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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Glossary

Stake

Stake

An upright pole to which a victim was fastened. It was used in some nations for execution and/or for exposing a dead body as a warning to others or for public humiliation. The Assyrians, noted for their savage warfare, impaled captives by hanging their bodies atop pointed stakes that had been run up through the abdomen into the chest cavity of the victim. In Jewish law, though, those guilty of such heinous crimes as blasphemy or idolatry were first killed by stoning or by some other method, and then their dead bodies were hung on stakes, or trees, as warning examples to others. (De 21:22, 23; 2Sa 21:6, 9) The Romans sometimes simply tied a victim to the stake, in which case he might live for several days before he died from pain, thirst, hunger, and exposure to the sun. In other cases, such as the execution of Jesus, they nailed the hands and feet of the accused to a stake. (Lu 24:20; Joh 19:14-16; 20:25; Ac 2:23, 36)—See TORTURE STAKE.