|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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Hear us, my lord,.... One of them spake in the name of the rest, who calls Abraham not "our lord", but "my lord"; addressing him very honourably, and desires he would hear what he had to say on the behalf of others with himself; "hear us", representing not the body of the common people, but the princes among them, the heads of their families:
thou art a mighty prince amongst us; though he was pleased to call himself a stranger and a sojourner, yet they had an high opinion of him, as a person of great wealth and substance, and of great power and authority; and who lived like a prince, and was a potent one, having a large train of servants under him: or, "a prince of God" (x), as it may be rendered; one raised up to grandeur and dignity by him; with whom he was, find in whose sight he had favour, and was very grateful and acceptable; and by whom he was highly honoured, and had in great esteem as a friend of his:
in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; as they had many, every family a distinct sepulchre for itself, they made offer of them to him, to bury his dead in the choicest of them, the most grand and magnificent, or in which of them soever he pleased; which was very kind, generous, and respectful:
none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead; there is not a man among us but what has such a regard for thee, that he will not deny thee the use of his sepulchre to bury thy dead in; and therefore need not scruple to make use of any that may be judged most proper and convenient: no doubt the speaker full well knew the mind of those in whose name he addressed Abraham.
(x) "princeps Dei", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Vatablus, Drusius, Schmidt, &c.
Genesis 23:6 Parallel Commentaries
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