Design By Humans

Genesis 23. Abraham buys a cave.

Genesis 23.

1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.

    Sarah lives to be one-hundred-and-twenty-seven years old. Which is a surprise given the amount of disease she evidently carried.

2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

    Sarah dies in 2085AE outliving her father by only two years. Anyone remember Eber? he still has over one hundred years to live and he's her great-great-great-great-grandfather, does anyone think this strange?

3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,

    ...

4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

    Abraham asks the locals for a place to bury Sarah, Seems reasonable. Who is Heth? I thought that Abraham was sojourning in land governed by Abimelech

5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,

    ...

6 Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.

    The children of Heth are very obliging, they seem to revere Abraham for something, We still don't know who they are though.

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

    As is polite.

8 And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and intreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,

    Having been given permission to use any of the sepulchres of any of the peoples he asks the children of Heth to go and ask Ephron for a favour. Couldn't he ask himself?

9 That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you.

    Abraham wants Ephron's cave... For a fair price of course.

10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,
    Ahh... So Ephron isn't a local, he's a Hittite. Let's see what he says.

11 Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.

    Ephron is amazingly charitable and hands over not only the cave but the field that it is in to Abraham.

12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.

    I'd say he owes them a lot more than a bow.

13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.

    OK. He does continue to offer money, It's just occurred to me to ask, Who invented money? I suppose we are over two-thousand years since Eden. Did God create money?

14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,

    ...

15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.

    Now the way I read this is that Ephron is saying to Abraham, 'Look we are both exceedingly rich men, the price of this field is as nothing to both of us but if you really must know it's four hundred shekels, just bury your dead wife man!'.

16 And Abraham hearkened unto 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.

    Abraham handed over the money.

17 And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure

    ...

18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.

    Abraham took possession of he land and the cave.

19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.

    Abraham buried Sarah in the cave.

20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth.

    We got that.

Why did we have to spend an entire chapter just to say, Sarah died and Abraham being in a foreign land had to buy some land from another rich foreigner upon which to bury Sarah? There doesn't seem to be any other information imparted in this chapter. Who'd have thought it possible to make the death of such a major character so boring.

Let's hope there's more to see in chapter 24.

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GENESIS

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