Genesis 23 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Ch. 23. (P). 1, 2, The Death of Sarah; 3 18, Abraham purchases from Ephron the Hittite the Cave and Field of Machpelah; 19, He buries Sarah there; 20, Abraham’s Property
The Burial of Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah
This chapter is entirely from P, as is shewn by the characteristics of language, by the frequent repetitions, by the legal and statistical minuteness (e.g. in Gen 23:17-18), and the mention of Sarah’s age. The narrative preserved the tradition respecting the first possession of Canaanite soil by the Israelite patriarchs. The veneration of the cave of Machpelah as the traditional burying-place of the patriarchs will account for the minuteness with which Abraham’s purchase of the famous cave is here described. It seems to set an anticipatory seal of possession upon the land of promise. See Gen 25:9-10, Gen 49:29-32, Gen 50:13 (P).
The details given in this chapter are a faithful picture of the usages of the East; but there is nothing to warrant the assertion that they are peculiarly Babylonian.
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".