Genesis 23

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1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.

2 And Sarah died in Kirjath-arba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,

4 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.

5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,

6 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.

7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.

8 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,

9 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.

10 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,

11 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.

12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.

13 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.

14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,

15 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.

16 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.

17 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

18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.

19 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.

20 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.


Exploring the Meaning of Genesis 23      

Napsal(a) Emanuel Swedenborg

Arcana Coelestia 2901. In the internal sense a New Spiritual Church is here treated of, that was raised up by the Lord after the former church had altogether expired; and also the reception of faith with those who were of the church. "Sarah" here, is the truth Divine which expired; "burial," is raising up again; "Ephron and the sons of Heth," are those with whom the good and truth of the church were received "Machpelah which is before Mamre," is regeneration; Hebron in the land of Canaan," is a new church.

Arcana Coelestia 2902. Truth Divine, that it expired, is treated of (verses 1-3); and that the Lord set up again a new church (verse 4); and was kindly received (verses 5, 6); from which there was joy (verses 7, 12); that their first state was obscure, and they believed the good of charity and the truth of faith to be from themselves (verses 8-11, 14, 15); but they were instructed that good and truth were not from themselves, but from the Lord (verse 13); and thus they were redeemed (verse 16); and regenerated (verses 17, 18); and thus there was a new church (verse 19); from the Gentiles (verse 20).

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