Genesis 23

A Burying PlaceSarah was 127 years old when she died in Kirjath–arba; which is Hebron in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

At this time, Abraham was 137 years old and Isaac was 37 years old. (Genesis 17:17)

Abraham left Sarah’s body to speak to the sons of Heth.

We have seen Abraham interact with one over whom he had authority (Lot – Genesis 13), an authority (the Lord – Genesis 18), an equal (Abimelech – Genesis 20) and now the sons of Heth (also an equal). Abraham handled each of these situations in an exemplary manner.

Abraham: I am a stranger and a sojourner with you. Give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

The children of Heth: Hear us, my lord. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choice of our sepulchres; none of us shall withhold his sepulchre from you, but that you may bury your dead.

Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.

Abraham communed with them.

Abraham: If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and entreat Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has in the end of his field. For as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a burying place among you.

Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all who went in at the gate of his city.

Ephron: No, my lord, hear me: the field I give you, and the cave that is therein, I give it to you; in the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you: bury your dead.

Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.

Abraham (to Ephron in the audience of the people of the land): But if you will give it, I pray, hear me: I will give you money for the field; take it from me, and I will bury my dead there.

Ephron (to Abraham): My lord, listen to me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that between me and you? Therefore bury your dead.

Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was in the field, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city.

And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre, which is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is in the field, were made sure to Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the sons of Heth.

Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah and Jacob were all buried in this cave. (Genesis 49:30-31, 50:13)

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