Genesis 23: Till Death Do Us Part (Missing Sarah)

Genesis 23: Till Death Do Us Part (Missing Sarah)

The plan is simple.

  • Read through the book of Genesis, ONE CHAPTER A DAY.
  • Restate 5 things you learned (that you previously didn't know).
  • Ask 5 questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week.
  • As the Holy Spirit gives you wisdom and insight, ACT ON IT.  

GENESIS 23:1-20

INSIGHT 1: Sarah gave birth to Isaac at age 90 (Genesis 17:17,21) and lived till she was 127 years old. That means Isaac was 37 years of age when his mom passed away. Though she waited for many years to hold her own child in her arms, she enjoyed him for almost four decades.

INSIGHT 2: Sarah is the only woman whose name is given at her death. This honor accorded her shows how high in regard she is held in scripture. She was a a Matriarch of Matriarchs. 

INSIGHT 3: Abraham's loving affections [and deep grief] for Sarah is seen not only in his weeping and mourning at her passing(v.1-2), not only in his willingness to pay what seems like an incredibly high price for her burial site (v.16), but also in the fact that he wanted a location for her tomb to "bury my dead out of my sight" (v.4). Sarah was dearly loved by Abraham, hence until he could be reunited with her in eternity, he wanted to entrust her should to God, yet not have a constant reminder within eyesight of his great loss. 

INSIGHT 4: Abraham's statement in verse 4 about being a "a sojourner and foreigner among [the Hittites]" reads like a declaration of faith that his true home was a "city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God" rather than a casual statement about living in a home/land that is still not fully his homeland. In other words, he understood that his true dwelling was in heaven because he was first and foremost a citizen of heaven

INSIGHT 5: There is some irony to Abraham purchasing this land from Ephron considering the fact that God had already allotted all of it to him as his inheritance (Genesis 15:18-21). Yet, Abraham respected the culture he loved in and acted with fairness and great courtesy in business with them. 

INSIGHT 6: Abraham's wealth and fame and clearly spread [just as God said it would], so much so that the Hittites regarded him as a "mighty prince", a "prince of God." This was a fulfillment of Genesis 12:1-3

INSIGHT 7: Machpelah is a unique location because several Patriarchs and Matriarchs were buried in this one location. Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham there (Genesis 25:9). Isaac and Rebekah were both buried there (Genesis 49:29-31). Jacob buried Leah here (Genesis 49:31), and Joseph buried Jacob there (Genesis 50:13). 

QUESTIONS

QUESTION 1: Was 400 shekels of silver the going price for Ephron's land or was this a price gouge? Was this Ephron taking advantage of a wealthy grieving man?

QUESTION 2: Why did Abraham not bother to negotiate the price?

QUESTION 3: What was unique about the cave at Machpelah? Why did Abraham want that one?

QUESTION 4: If the land had already been promised to him as an inheritance by God (and it was), why did Abraham insist that he wanted to pay the full price, as opposed to taking it for free or getting it at a discounted rate like the Hittites offered?

QUESTION 5: Why did Abraham want to "bury my dead [Sarah] out of [his] sight" [v.8]. Why select a location "art the end of his field" as opposed to having her close-by?

Genesis 23 - Till Death Do us part.jpg

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