Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.
Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.
These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Book of Genesis.
[These notes are from a study from 45 years ago.]
And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. 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. And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him, 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. And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth. 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, 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. 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, 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. And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. 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. And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, 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. 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.
Sarah died in Hebron at the age of 127. She is the only woman in the Bible to have her age given. Hebron is just south of Bethel. Abraham mourned for her and then spoke to the Hittites who were descendants of Heth (Genesis 10:15). They owned great portions of this area, but were thought to have come from the north.
Abraham asked for some land from them to bury Sarah. Their response shows the great respect they had for him.
In the ensuing story we see Abraham to be a kind and honest gentleman. The property he asked for was given to him, but he insisted on paying for it. Abraham purchased a choice field from Ephron (ep̄rōwn) the son of Zohar (ṣoḥar) plus a cave for the burial site. Abraham paid a large amount of money, 400 shekels of silver, for the land.
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. 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.
The field Abraham bought is located near Mamre in Machpelah (maḵpêlāh). It comes from kaphal (double, double over, folded double), which might mean it was a double cave.
“The fact that Abraham purchased a burying-place in strictly legal form as an hereditary possession in the promised land, was a proof of his strong faith in the promises of God and their eventual fulfillment.” “Commentary on the Pentateuch,” Keil & Delitzsch, Eerdmans
This is an act of a more mature Abraham — a man who is walking boldly with God.
We will look at Genesis Chapter 24 in the next part of our special series.
[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from almost 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your life and ministry.]