|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-13 The longest life must shortly come to a close. Blessed be God that there is a world where sin, death, vanity, and vexation cannot enter. Blessed be his name, that even death cannot part believers from union with Christ. Those whom we most love, yea, even our own bodies, which we so care for, must soon become loathsome lumps of clays, and be buried out of sight. How loose then should we be to all earthly attachments and adornments! Let us seek rather that our souls be adorned with heavenly graces. Abraham rendered honour and respect to the princes of Heth, although of the ungodly Canaanites. The religion of the Bible enjoins to pay due respect to all in authority, without flattering their persons, or countenancing their crimes if they are unworthy characters. And the noble generosity of these Canaanites shames and condemns the closeness, selfishness, and ill-humour of many that call themselves Israelites. It was not in pride that Abraham refused the gift, because he scorned to be beholden to Ephron; but in justice and in prudence. Abraham was able to pay for the field, and therefore would not take advantage of Ephron's generosity. Honesty, as well as honour, forbids us to take advantage of our neighbour's liberality, and to impose, upon those who give freely.
Verse 3. - And Abraham stood up - during the days of mourning he had been sitting on the ground; and now, his grief having moderated (Calvin), he goes out to the city gate - from before (literally, from over the face of) his dead, - "Sarah, though dead, was still his" (Wordsworth) - and spake unto the sons of Heth. - the Hittites were descendants of Heth, the son of Canaan (vide Genesis 10:15). Cf. "daughters of Heth" (Genesis 27:46) and "daughters of Canaan" (Genesis 28:1) - saying.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Abraham stood up from before his dead,.... The corpse of Sarah, by which he sat pensive and mourning, perhaps upon the ground, as was the custom of mourners, Job 1:13; where having sat awhile, he rose up and went out of the tent, to provide for the funeral of his wife as became him:
and spake unto the sons of Heth; the descendants of Heth the son of Canaan, see Genesis 10:15; who were at this time the inhabitants and proprietors of that part of the land where Abraham now was: saying; as follows:
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 23:3-20. Purchase of a Burying-Place.
3. Abraham stood up, &c.—Eastern people are always provided with family burying-places; but Abraham's life of faith—his pilgrim state—had prevented him acquiring even so small a possession (Ac 7:5).
spake unto the sons of Heth—He bespoke their kind offices to aid him in obtaining possession of a cave that belonged to Ephron—a wealthy neighbor.
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