Genesis 23:1-20   Death & Burial of Sarah

1 “Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.

3 Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4 "I am a foreigner and a sojourner among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight."

5 And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6 "Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead."

7 Then Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. 8 And he spoke with them, saying, "If it is your wish that I bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and meet with Ephron the son of Zohar for me, 9 that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he has, which is at the end of his field. Let him give it to me at the full price, as property for a burial place among you."

10 Now Ephron dwelt among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the presence of the sons of Heth, all who entered at the gate of his city, saying, 11 "No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field and the cave that is in it; I give it to you in the presence of the sons of my people. I give it to you. Bury your dead!"

12 Then Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land; 13 and he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, "If you will give it, please hear me. I will give you money for the field; take it from me and I will bury my dead there."

14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15 "My lord, listen to me; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver. What is that between you and me? So bury your dead."

16 And Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out the silver for Ephron which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency of the merchants.

 

17 So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders, were deeded 18 to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city. 19 And 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. 20 So the field and the cave that is in it were deeded to Abraham by the sons of Heth as property for a burial place.” NKJV

 

Facts revealed:

Y      Abraham had moved back from Beersheba to Hebron (Kirjath Arba) because that is where Sarah died.  [Kirjath Arba means “four-fold” Hebron means “communion”]

Y      At the time of the death of Sarah she was 127-years old, Abraham was 137-years old and Isaac was 37-years old

Y      Abraham was not a holder of real-estate in the land of Canaan, but was a sojourner waiting for God to give all the land to him as an inheritance.

Y      When the time came to bury Sarah, Abraham approached the people of the land and negotiated the purchase of the field and cave of Machpelah [means “double”] publicly so there would be a record that the tract of land was his by right of purchase.

Y      And it is still to this day recognized as the burial plot of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their wives.

Y      The land had belonged to Ephron the Hittite of the families that God commanded the people of Israel to utterly destroy 500-years later along with the sons of Heth, who were Canaanites. Heth was a son of Canaan, also among the peoples specified for destruction by God when He brought Israel in to inherit the land.    [Genesis 10:15, Exodus 23:28, and Exodus 33:1-2]