Genesis 23: The Death of Sarah

Sarah lived to be 127. She was old enough to have seen Isaac reach adulthood. She died in Hebron, which was in Canaan. Abraham mourns her death.

He was seeking a place for her burial. The sons of Heth (ancestors of the Hittites) allowed him to bury Sarah there. When Abraham asked them for a burial place, they told him to pick the best of their burial places for her. Ephron owned the cave of Machpelah and Abraham asked for this, and to pay the right price for it. Ephron said that Abraham could have it for nothing, but Abraham insisted on paying, and so he did.

Abraham was able to bury Sarah there and have a fitting burial place for his wife. There are two good lessons that we can learn from this brief chapter:

  1. Those that love their closest family members will do right by them when they pass from this world. Abraham was willing to ask for the best place to bury her in a land not his own, and even insisted on paying for the place when he did not have to.
  2. Like in previous chapters, we see how Abraham has garnered the respect of those around him. Ephron did not have to offer Abraham the field at all, much less for free, then Ephron accepted Abraham’s money for the field because he respected that Abraham wanted to pay for it.

Abraham’s faith in God won him strong allies in Abimelech and Phichol; here, it helps to provide him with a burial place for his wife.

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