Ge 23:1, 2.
Age and Death of Sarah.
1. Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years
old, &c.—Sarah is the only woman in Scripture whose age,
death, and burial are mentioned, probably to do honor to the venerable
mother of the Hebrew people.
2. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah,
&c.—He came from his own tent to take his station at the door
of Sarah's. The "mourning" describes his conformity to the customary
usage of sitting on the ground for a time; while the "weeping"
indicates the natural outburst of his sorrow.
Ge 23:3-20. Purchase of a
3. Abraham stood up, &c.—Eastern
people are always provided with family burying-places; but Abraham's
life of faith—his pilgrim state—had prevented him acquiring
even so small a possession (Ac 7:5).
spake unto the sons of Heth—He bespoke
their kind offices to aid him in obtaining possession of a cave that
belonged to Ephron—a wealthy neighbor.
9. Machpelah—the "double cave."
10. Ephron dwelt—literally, was
"sitting" among the children of Heth in the gate of the city where all
business was transacted. But, though a chief man among them, he was
probably unknown to Abraham.
11-15. Ephron answered, Nay, my lord,
&c.—Here is a great show of generosity, but it was only a
show; for while Abraham wanted only the cave, he joins "the field and
the cave"; and though he offered them both as free gifts, he, of
course, expected some costly presents in return, without which, he
would not have been satisfied. The patriarch, knowing this, wished to
make a purchase and asked the terms.
15. the land is worth four hundred shekels,
&c.—as if Ephron had said, "Since you wish to know the value
of the property, it is so and so; but that is a trifle, which you may
pay or not as it suits you." They spoke in the common forms of Arab
civility, and this indifference was mere affectation.
16. Abraham weighed … the
silver—The money, amounting to £50 was paid in presence
of the assembled witnesses; and it was weighed. The practice of
weighing money, which is often in lumps or rings, each stamped with
their weight, is still common in many parts of the East; and every
merchant at the gates or the bazaar has his scales at his girdle.
19. Abraham buried Sarah—Thus he got
possession of Machpelah and deposited the remains of his lamented
partner in a family vault which was the only spot of ground he