Sunday, June 28, 2009
Death of Sarah
If you want to see the original image look here!
<= = = Hello sir, it has been a long time. Have you been busy?
Issy, I desired to come see you sooner, but was constrained, things have been a bit crazy.
<= = = Is that the Iran thing?
To be honest with you Issy, the passing of Michael Jackson had more impact on the the minds of people during the time I was gone than the "Iran thing". But I am glad to be here now. We will be talking about the passing of Abraham's wife Sarah.
Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Several Midrashim connect the near sacrifice of Issac to the death of Sarah, died in a panic, died of sadness, her cries are the six cries of the shofar and such, but actually a hundred and twenty-seven years is a good long time, the plain truth Issy is that she died of old age and a good long marriage to Abraham if you can overlook the being passed of as his sister and the indiscretion with Hagar and what marriage doesn't have its bumps?
This was a very sad moment for Abraham. Issy, they had traveled together for so many years, they were very close so then Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites, the children of Heth, a Canaanite nation. He said, "I am an alien and a stranger among you. I have no property here, I am a sojourner through this land. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead." The Hittites replied to Abraham, of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead." Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. Please intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you."
Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. "No, my lord," he said. "Listen to me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead." Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land and he said to Ephron in their hearing, "Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there."
<= = = So this is bartering of some sort? Ephron offers to give the field for free and Abraham offers full price, but this is the reverse of normal bartering, both of them are starting at their bargaining limit.
Wisely said Issy, if it were your fate to become a businessman, you would be most skilled. Abraham is revered, a legend and the Hittites want to show respect. Abraham knows though, that his time on earth is limited and his household is but a few compared to the Hittite nation so he wants to blend in.
The bargaining continues, Ephron answered Abraham, "Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, a vastly overstated price, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead."
Abraham, who was greatly rich, agreed to Ephron's overpriced terms really surprising the Hittites listening to the negotiation and weighed out for Ephron the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.
Ephron's field in Machpelah near Mamre--both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field--was deeded to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city, where the elders sat for business transactions just like this one.
This and another field with a cave Abraham purchased in Shechem were the first steps in fulfilling God's promise that all of this land would belong to the descendants of Abraham.
Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
<= = = Mamre, isn't that where he built the altar. But Mamre is also the name of the Mishneh Torah that my father uses.
Yes, exactly, the place had a very strong significance to Abraham and will have a strong significance to all of the patriarchs. And yes, the Mechon Mamre ( Mamre Institute ) are scholars of the word.
So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.