Sarah’s death and burial.
one hundred twenty-seven years. Sarah had lived to a ripe old age.
At this moment, Isaac was 37 years old:
Genesis 17:17. Then Abraham fell on his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to him who is one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, give birth?”
VERSE 2. Sarah died in Kiriath Arba (also called Hebron), in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.
VERSE 3. Abraham rose up from before his dead and spoke to the children of Heth, saying,
VERSE 4. “I am a stranger and a foreigner living with you. Give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”
I am a stranger and a foreigner. Abraham was an immigrant. He would not have had the right to own property.
His purchase of this burial plot would establish the presence of his lineage in the Promised Land.
Give me a possession of a burying-place. The Bible devotes 15 verses to Abraham buying the property for the tomb of his wife Sarah. We think this is more text than any other tomb in the Bible.
For the Bible to devote this much text to a given topic, it must bear some significance.
VERSE 5. The children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him,
VERSE 6. “Hear us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the best of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb. Bury your dead.”
You are a prince of God among us Abraham was highly esteemed.
VERSE 7. Abraham rose up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, to the children of Heth.
VERSE 8. He talked with them, saying, “If you agree that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,
VERSE 9. that he may sell me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field. For the full price let him sell it to me among you as a possession for a burial place.”
sell me the cave. Abraham only wants to buy the cave. But Ephron wants to sell the whole field.
VERSE 10. Now Ephron was sitting in the middle of the children of Heth. Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying,
VERSE 11. “No, my lord, hear me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the children of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.”
I give you the field. Ephron wants to sell the whole field. But Abraham only wants to buy the cave.
VERSE 12. Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land.
VERSE 13. He spoke to Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, “But if you will, please hear me. I will give the price of the field. Take it from me, and I will bury my dead there.”
VERSE 14. Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him,
VERSE 15. “My lord, listen to me. What is a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver between me and you? Therefore bury your dead.”
four hundred shekels of silver. A. shekel is about 10 grams.
So 400 shekels would be about 4 kg. or 8.8 pounds of silver. That was an exorbitantly high price.
Jeremiah only paid seventeen shekels for his field:
Jeremiah 32:9. I bought the field that was in Anathoth of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.
VERSE 16. Abraham listened to Ephron. Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the current merchants’ standard.
VERSE 17. So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all of its borders, were deeded
VERSE 18. to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city.
VERSE 19. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan.
Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave. It is possible that Abraham wrote Proverbs 31 as a eulogy for his wife Sarah. If so, he would have delivered it at this moment of her burial.
In this cave are buried not only Sarah, but also Abraham , Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah.
VERSE 20. The field, and the cave that is in it, were deeded to Abraham by the children of Heth as a possession for a burial place.
CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.