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by Wayne Blank
It was while Abraham dwelt at Mamre that The Lord made a key promise to him:
"For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto The Lord." (Genesis 13:15-18 KJV)
It was at Mamre that The Lord announced to childless Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child of their own, even though they were both by then advanced in age. His name would be Isaac (see also Isaac's Faith And Obedience):
"And The Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre ... And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him."
Years later, when Sarah died at age 127 (Genesis 23:1), Abraham purchase a cave from "the sons of Heth" (see Hittites) that eventually became one of the most famous family tombs in the world:
"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 unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. 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." (Genesis 23:17-19 KJV)
When Abraham died, Isaac and Ishmael (Abraham was the father of both the Israelites and many of the Arabs - see Isaac and Ishmael) buried their father in the Cave of Machpelah near Mamre:
"And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife." (Genesis 25:9-10 KJV)
"And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned. And the days of Isaac were an hundred and fourscore years. And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him." (Genesis 35:27-29 KJV)
According to his own instructions, when Jacob died while the Israelites were in Egypt (their entry into Egypt was under very favorable political circumstances, they became slaves there centuries later, which culminated in the Exodus), his son Joseph (see Coat Of Many Colors) transported his father's body to Hebron, where he was buried in the family tomb:
"And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people"
Fact Finder: What is the actual difference between Hebrew, Israelite and Jew?