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23:1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
23:2 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.
23:3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, 23:4 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.
23:5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, 23:6 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.
23:7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.
23:8 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, 23:9 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.
23:10 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, 23:11 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.
23:12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.
23:13 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.
23:14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, 23:15 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.
23:16 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.
23:17 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 23:18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.
23:19 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.
23:20 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.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 23

The Death of Sarah, Abraham applies for a burying-place.
(1-13) Sarah's burying-place. (14-20)

1-13 The longest Life must shortly come to a close. Blessed be
God that there is a world where Sin, Death, vanity, and vexation
cannot enter. Blessed be his name, that even Death cannot part
believers from union with Christ. Those whom we most Love, yea,
even our own bodies, which we So care for, must soon become
loathsome lumps of clays, and be buried out of sight. How loose
then should we be to all earthly attachments and adornments! Let
us seek rather that our souls be adorned with heavenly graces.
Abraham rendered honour and respect to the princes of Heth,
although of the ungodly Canaanites. The religion of the Bible
enjoins to pay due respect to all in authority, without
flattering their persons, or countenancing their crimes if they
are unworthy characters. And the noble generosity of these
Canaanites shames and condemns the closeness, selfishness, and
ill-humour of many that Call themselves Israelites. It was not
in pride that Abraham refused the Gift, because he scorned to be
beholden to Ephron; but in Justice and in prudence. Abraham was
able to pay for the Field, and therefore would not take
advantage of Ephron's generosity. Honesty, as Well as honour,
forbids us to take advantage of our neighbour's liberality, and
to impose, upon those who give freely.

14-20 Prudence, as Well as Justice, directs us to be fair and
open in our dealings; cheating bargains will not Bear the Light.
Abraham, without fraud or delay, pays the Money. He pays it at
once in full, without keeping any part back; and By weight,
current Money with the Merchant, without deceit. See how
anciently Money was used for the help of trade, and how honestly
it should be paid when it is due. Though all the land of Canaan
was Abraham By promise, yet the time of his possessing it not
being come, what he had occasion for he bought and paid for.
Dominion is not founded in Grace. The saints' title to an
eternal inheritance does not entitle them to the possessions of
this world, nor justify them in doing wrong. Ephron honestly and
fairly makes a good title to the land. As that which is bought,
must be honestly paid for, So that which is sold, must be
honestly delivered and secured. Let us manage our concerns with
punctuality and exactness, in order to avoid contention. Abraham
buried Sarah in the Cave, or vault, which was in the purchased
Field. It would tend to endear the land to his posterity. And it
is worth noting, that a burying-place was the only piece of the
land which Abraham possessed in Canaan. Those who have least of
this Earth, find a Grave in it. This Sepulchre was at the End of
the Field; whatever our possessions are, there is a Burial-place
at the End of them. It was a token of his belief and expectation
of the resurrection. Abraham is contented to be still a pilgrim
while he lives, but secures a place where, when he dies, his
Flesh may Rest in Hope. After all, the chief concern is, with
whom we shall rise.

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