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 September 12, 2018

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year

Text: Ezekiel 40-42
Audio: Ezekiel 40-42

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Memory Verse of the Week

“The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised.”
(Genesis 21:1 ESV)

Genesis 23 (ESV)

Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 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. And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites, “I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” The Hittites answered Abraham, “Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you from burying your dead.” Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. And 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 the son of Zohar, 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 property 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 all 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 sight of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.” 12 Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. 13 And he said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field. Accept it from me, 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 listened to 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, was made over 18 to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before 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 east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites.

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Next: Genesis 24

Back: Genesis 22

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. 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. Genesis 23:2

    Devastating Loss

    The loss of a wife or husband is significant. Even though it's not a surprise when someone dies when they're of old age, (Sarah was 127), it doesn't make it any easier for the one left behind. In many ways, it makes it even harder. 

    Abraham mourning and weeping for Sarah (Genesis 23:2) shows the love he had for her and the loss he was experiencing. Abraham's desire to buy property to bury Sarah in Hebron shows Abraham's commitment to remain in the land God promised him – at least until all that the Lord had promised him had come to pass. 

    I think about death from time to time. If I'm honest, I think about it a lot. My grandfather died at 49. My dad died at 50. Both were unhealthy which is why the past few years I've made a commitment to live healthy. I want to live! I want to live a long life, not only in service to Jesus Christ but with my love, Michelle. While living healthy doesn't guarantee a long life, I want to do what I can to have that opportunity.  

    In Herbert Lockyer's title All the Books and Chapters of the Bible he writes, "This touching narrative of the death and burial of Sarah reveals the impression that the personality of Abraham made upon his neighbors. Holding him in highest esteem, they wanted him to have the best of sepulchres for his dead. Women, generally, are touchy about their age. Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded in Scripture. At the age of 127, she passed over the river of death. (Of her spiritual oneness with Abraham, see Hebrews 11:11-13; and 1 Peter 3:5-6). One writer points out that this is 'the first occasion in Scripture of the record of a man's tears, and they were night idle, nor unmanly, nor morbid, but the genuine and rightful expression of Abraham's deep sorrow.' Jesus sept over the death of one He loved, and His tears have forever sanctified ours. The funeral of Sarah brings us to 'the first grave we have any record of in Holy Writ. The last offices of respect were paid, and the lonely old man went back home.' That the patriarch believed in 'the sure and certain hope' of a joyful resurrection is hinted at in Hebrews 11:14."

    I find hope in the words of the Apostle Paul, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep" (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

    Has the loss of a loved one left an emptiness in your heart? 

    Have you found comfort in the Lord in your sorrow and grief?

  2. I wonder why this chapter keeps repeating the place Abraham buried Sarah, over and over again? There has to be a reason. 

    I'm also struck here by Abraham's great reputation among the Hittites. The Ancient History Encyclopedia online says of the Hittites, "They are repeatedly mentioned throughout the Hebrew Tanakh (also known as the Christian Old Testament) as the adversaries of the Israelites and their god. According to Genesis 10, they were the descendants of Heth, son of Canaan, who was the son of Ham, born of Noah (Genesis 10: 1-6)."

    What is my reputation among those who do not worship God, or who do not share my faith in Jesus Christ, His Son?  What is my reputation among the enemies of God? Abraham is my example.

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