Abraham was a foreigner and was looking for a place to bury his wife. Strangers offered to help him because he as “a mighty prince,” and they respected him. Although Abraham had not established roots in the area, his reputation was above reproach. Those who invest their time and money in serving God often earn a pleasant return on their investment- a good reputation and respect for others.
The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
“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 any burial ground for burying your dead.”
After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burying place.
Let’s Pray: Lord, we pray to be able to hear you. Everything in this world that we put our faith in has the potential to fail. God does not. He is consistently reliable, even if we do not agree with his decisions. He always leads us in the right direction if we give in to his will. Lord, help us be your s and yours always. Amen
Chapter 23: Death and Burial of Sarah
1 Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah’s life.
2 And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
3 Abraham rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites,
4 “I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”
5 The Hittites answered Abraham,
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 any burial ground for burying your dead.”
7 Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land.
8 He said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me Ephron son of Zohar,
9 so that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as a possession for a burying place.”
10 Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of who went in at the gate of his city,
11 “No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it; in the presence of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.”
12 Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land.
13 He said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “If you only will listen to me! I will the price of the field; accept it from me, so that I may bury my dead there.”
14 Ephron answered Abraham,
15 “My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver — what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”
16 Abraham agreed with Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants.
17 So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, passed
18 to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the gate of his city.
19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
20 The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burying place.