And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.
A. M. 2144. B.C. 1860. Sarah. It is worthy of remark, that Sarah is the only woman whose age, death, and burial are distinctly noted in the Sacred writings
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.
For the convenience of feeding his numerous flocks, Abraham had several places of temporary residence; and it is likely, that while he sojourned at Beer-sheba, as we find he did from ver. 19 of the preceding chapter, Sarah died at Hebron, which was 24 miles distant.
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 buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
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.
a mighty prince
Heb. a prince of God.
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.
Heb. full money.
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,
Or, sitting (as the word frequently denotes) among the children of Heth, at the gate of the city, where all public business was transacted. Ephron, though a chief man, might have been personally unknown to Abraham; but now he answers for himself, making a free tender of the field and cave to Abraham, in the presence of all the people, which amounted to a legal conveyance to the Patriarch.
Heb. ears. all that.
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.
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.
Though the words "is worth" are not in the Text, yet they are clearly implied, to adapt the Hebrew to the English idiom. A shekel, according to the general opinion, was equal in value to about 2s. 6d. of our money, but according to Dr. Prideaux, 3s. English. In those early times, money was given in weight; for it is said (ver. 16.) that "Abraham weighed," wayishkal, the silver; and hence, we find that it was a certain weight which afterwards passed as a current coin; for the word shekel is not only used to denote a piece of sliver, but also to weigh.
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.
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.