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Monday, August 12 2013

Genesis 23: Sarah's Cave

"Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah"

As is the way of all mortal creatures (see What Makes Physical Life Possible? and What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?), Sarah lived her physical life and then died.

"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 was a foreigner in Canaan all of his life ("I am a stranger and a sojourner with you," below; see Camped Out In Canaan and Abraham's Journey: When Will He Arrive?). When Sarah died, Abraham sought to purchase a grave for her from the people who owned all of the land.

Hebron

"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." (Genesis 23:3-4 KJV)

Abraham was highly regarded by the Canaanites (so was Jesus Christ centuries later; see What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites?). They offered Abraham anywhere that he chose.

"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." (Genesis 23:5-6 KJV)

Abraham then requested to buy a certain cave of Hebron.

"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." (Genesis 23:97-9 KJV)

Although the owner offered it to Abraham as a gift, Abraham insisted that he pay the fair and full market value of the property.

"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 23:10-16 KJV)

So it was that the cave and the land immediately around it were deeded to Abraham.

The Tomb Of Sarah

"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)

Abraham was also eventually buried with Sarah.

"25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

25:9 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; 25:10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife." (Genesis 25:8-10 KJV)

Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob/Israel and Leah were also eventually buried in what became a family tomb. Jacob's last words, in Egypt, were his will to be buried there.

"49:29 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, 49:30 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.

49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.

49:32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.

49:33 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." (Genesis 49:29-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: Although all are today in the same tomb, how is Jacob's body different than that of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah and Leah?
See Jacob's Mummy


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This Day In History, August 12

30 BC: Cleopatra (see The Cleopatra Connection), the last ruler of the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids), committed suicide.

Cleopatra 1099: During the First Crusade, the Crusaders defeated the Egyptians at Ascalon on the "Palestine" coast (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1281: Kublai Khan's Mongolian fleet was destroyed by a typhoon as it was nearing Japan.

1332: The Battle of Dupplin Moor; Edward Baliol, king of Scotland, with the aid of Edward III defeated Donald, earl of Mar and regent for David II (who was 8 years old at the time).

1499: The naval Battle of Zonchio began between the Venetians and the Ottomans (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1450: During the Hundred Years War, the English surrendered Cherbourg, completing Charles VII's conquest of Normandy.

1508: Ponce de Leon arrived in Puerto Rico.

1759: The Russians under General Soltikov and the Austrians under General Landon defeated 40,000 Prussians under Frederick the Great at the Battle of Kunersdorf in the Seven Years War.

1762: The British captured Cuba from Spain after a two month siege.

1779: The Royal Navy defeated the Penobscot Expedition, resulting in the largest loss of US naval forces prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor over 160 years later - all 19 US warships sunk or run aground while attempting to escape the battle.

1813: Austria declared war against Napoleon.

1851: Isaac Singer received a patent for his "sewing machine."

1877: British explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley reached the mouth of the Congo River.

1896: Gold was discovered near Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada. The news set off the "Yukon Gold Rush."

1898: The Spanish-U.S. war ended with the signing of a protocol by Spain and the U.S. Spain relinquished Cuba and ceded Puerto Rico.

1898: The Hawaiian flag was lowered from Iolani Palace in an annexation ceremony that marked the end of Hawaii as an independent nation.

1908: Henry Ford's first Model T rolled off the assembly line.

1914: At the start of the First World War, the first troops of the British Expeditionary Force crossed the English Channel for battle. In 10 days, 120,000 men were transported without loss of a single man or ship.

1944: Nazi Waffen SS troops massacred about 560 people in Sant'Anna di Stazzema (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1944: Nazi German troops ended the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions (again, see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1944: The first PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) supplying gasoline across the English Channel to the Allied forces in France, went into operation from the Isle of Wight. It could transfer up to 700 tons of gasoline a day.

1961: The erection of the Berlin Wall began.

1992: The U.S., Canada and Mexico agreed to form a free-trade zone that would rank as the world's largest single trading bloc. The agreement was later dwarfed by the rise of China which flooded North America with made in China products, while at the same time China became the largest creditor of the soaring U.S. national debt i.e. in 2010, China became the major financial supporter of the technically-bankrupt U.S. government which was actually paying most of the billions of dollars of debt interest with even more borrowed money.



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