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Sarah's Rest

The death of Sarah, the wife of Abraham (see Abram and Sarai), at the age of 127 (the only record in the Holy Scriptures of the age of a female at death):

"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." (Genesis 23:1-2 KJV)

"Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah"

Sarah died in "Kirjatharba" (i.e. the city of Arbah) which was apparently named after its founder (or renamed after its conquerer, if he was not the actual builder), the progenitor of the Anakites ("the city of Arba, the father of Anak, which city is Hebron" Joshua 15:13 KJV). The city also became known as, or was originally named, Hebron, which in Hebrew means society or association. Some Jews refer to the city as "the city of the four" because of their unscriptural tradition that Adam (and Eve) is buried there with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the three of whom are proven in the Scriptures to be buried there, along with their wives Sarah, Rebekah and Leah).

The family tomb was however purchased upon the death of Sarah.

Hebron

"23:3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead [see What Happens When You Die?], 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 [see Hittites] 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 entreat 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." (Genesis 23:3-16 KJV)

So Abraham became the deeded owner of what would become the family tomb (see Fact Finder question below).

"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." (Genesis 23:17-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was "Machpelah"? Who is buried there?
See Machpelah


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