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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Genesis 23

 

 


Verse 1

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

The subject of this Chapter is that common place subject which belongs to our nature universally, and forms a part in the history of all persons and families. Death here we are told makes an inroad into the house of Abraham, and takes away Sarah, the desire of his eyes, with a stroke. The Patriarch's concern for the purchase of a burying ground is here related; his treaty for that purpose with the sons of Heth; his agreement with them: the place obtained: and the funeral of Sarah is observed with all due solemnity.


Verse 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 50:10; Acts 8:2. How suited the observation of the Patriarch, both to this, as well as to himself; and to all other cases. Genesis 47:9. How applicable that prayer! Psalms 90:12. How delightful that thought! Psalms 102:24-27.


Verse 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.

Acts 7:5. How sweetly David made use of the same expression, and converted it into a motive for prayer. Psalms 39:12-13. Reader! while we behold Abraham parting with his beloved Sarah, and desiring to bury her remains out of his sight; think, what a blessed relief it is to consider, that the covenant relationship with Jesus, rots not in the grave. When the comeliness of his people is turned to corruption, their ashes are equally precious to him as when their bodies were animated. Delightful thought! Yes, thou dearest Redeemer, the covenant of redemption holds good as ever in the grave; by thy death thou hast slain the enmity of the grave: and by thy resurrection secured the resurrection of thy people. Death as well as life is ours, if Jesus be ours. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23.


Verse 7

And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.

Observe, Abraham considered himself but a wayfaring man, whilst others thought him a prince. See Luke 14:11. A mighty prince, a prince of God. Genesis 23:6.


Verse 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.

In point of value about 50l. of our money.


Verse 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.

This became a memorable sepulchre afterwards for the holy seed. Genesis 49:31-32.


Verse 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.

I DETAIN the Reader but with two reflections on this Chapter. May the Holy Ghost increase them largely, and profitably to his mind! The one is, that in the confirmation of God's promises to Abraham, to give him Canaan for an everlasting possession, the first spot of it which he could truly call his own, was his burying-place. This was indeed possessing it, until the glorious morning of a resurrection. The other is, from hence the first sound of that sweet declaration was made, which John in after ages heard more distinctly: Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. These all died in faith, said the Apostle. They fell asleep in Jesus. Lord, grant me the same faith! May it be my portion that, wherever the Machpelah for my earthly house may be, Jesus may receive my soul: and may it be found in that hour that I have a building with God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 23:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/genesis-23.html. 1828.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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