Cave of Makhpelah

Yesterday’s Torah portion touched on a very recent current event.  If you recall, I mentioned in a post on October 16th that UNESCO (a division of the United Nations) was considering whether to declare the Western Wall (and other Hebrew sites) to be Muslim.  Indeed, they did part of that.  While they dropped the part about the Western Wall specifically, they did “recognize” Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as Muslim sites.  This was based on a request brought to them by six Arab nations on behalf of the Palestinians.  The Tomb of the Patriarchs is where Abraham buried Sarah, and where he, Isaac, Jacob, Rebecca and Leah were all eventually buried as well.  The Biblical account of Abraham’s legal purchase of this site is explicitly described in Genesis 23.  Of course, Adonai knew this would happen in our day.  It makes me tremble to think of the wrath He will pour out on those who disregard His covenant and heritage!

Sarah lived to be 127 years old; these were the years of Sarah’s life. Sarah died in Kiryat-Arba, also known as Hevron (Hebron), in the land of Kena‘an; and Avraham came to mourn Sarah and weep for her.  Then he got up from his dead one and said to the sons of Het,  “I am a foreigner living as an alien with you; let me have a burial site with you, so that I can bury my dead wife.”  The sons of Het answered Avraham,  “Listen to us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us, so choose any of our tombs to bury your dead — not one of us would refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”

Avraham got up, bowed before the people of the land, the sons of Het,  and spoke with them. “If it is your desire to help me bury my dead, then listen to me: ask ‘Efron the son of Tzochar  to give me the cave of Makhpelah, which he owns, the one at the end of his field. He should sell it to me in your presence at its full value; then I will have a burial site of my own.”

 ‘Efron the Hitti was sitting among the sons of Het, and he gave Avraham his answer in the presence of the sons of Het who belonged to the ruling council of the city:  “No, my lord, listen to me: I’m giving you the field, with its cave — I’m giving it to you. In the presence of my people I give it to you.”  Avraham bowed before the people of the land  and spoke to ‘Efron in their hearing: “Please be good enough to listen to me. I will pay the price of the field; accept it from me, and I will bury my dead there.”  But ‘Efron answered Avraham,  “My lord, listen to me. A plot of land worth 400 silver shekels — what is that between me and you? Just bury your dead.”  Avraham got the point of what ‘Efron had said, so he weighed out for ‘Efron the amount of money he had specified in the presence of the sons of Het, 400 silver shekels of the weight accepted among merchants [ten pounds].

Thus the field of ‘Efron in Makhpelah, which is by Mamre — the field, its cave and all the trees in and around it — were deeded  to Avraham as his possession in the presence of the sons of Het who belonged to the ruling council of the city.  Then Avraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Makhpelah, by Mamre, also known as Hevron, in the land of Kena‘an.  The field and its cave had been purchased by Avraham from the sons of Het as a burial-site which would belong to him. ~~ Genesis 23: 1-20   

2 thoughts on “Cave of Makhpelah

  1. Reblogged this on natsab and commented:
    Earlier this week I put up a post titled ‘Let the Children (NOT!!) Come Unto Me….’ regarding the propensity of some home groups and fellowships to exclude children for various reasons. In the post I mentioned our attitude toward children and out intentional efforts to include them at every level so that we worship and learn as families while inculcating them with thought process, culture and acceptance.

    Here is a post from Hebrew Roots Homestead that reminded me of part of our Torah discussion. In an effort to include and help the children understand, I sat in the livingroom floor with the plat and purchase contract for our home and small homestead property. Without explaining it to the children, I asked them to read it and tell me what it was. It took them a few minutes, but eventually, they excitedly began to identify clues until they figured out they were sitting in the livingroom of the property described.

    We talked about ownership, deeds, markers, purchase price, etc… Then, we read and discussed Genesis 23, finishing with the point that anyone who violates this property by trying to take it away from Isaac, the inheritor of Abraham’s property and promises (Genesis 25:6 & 11), would be standing against Yehovah!

    HRH’s notes on the Cave of Makhpelah and UN meddling touches on this very point…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reposting this! It’s always so great when Adonai confirms something through our brothers and sisters. Love your story about discussing the property deed with the little ones! Yes, we must teach them and train them, not push them aside like an inconvenience!
      So glad to “meet” fellow Torah pursuers and YHWH lovers!

      Liked by 1 person

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