|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
That he may, give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath,
which is in the end of his field,.... The Targum of Jonathan renders it, "the double cave", and so do the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions; and, according to Aben Ezra and Ben Melech, it was so called because there was a cave within a cave in it; and, as Jarchi thinks, because it was a house and chamber over it (y) or, as he adds, because it was fit for couples, for two corpses to be laid in it; and the Jews say (z), here Adam and Eve were buried, which made Abraham so desirous of having it for a buryingplace: but it seems rather to be the proper name of a place, and indeed of a tract of land, in which the field and the cave in the corner of it lay, and which all belonged to Ephron; for both the field and the cave in it are distinguished from Machpelah, in which they were, and that from them, Genesis 23:17; and it is highly probable, that this cave was never made use of before for such a purpose as it was now sought for, since Abraham did not think fit to accept of the offer made him of any of their sepulchres; and chose rather that his dead should not lie with them, but in a separate place, though among them, they being Heathens and idolaters, and unacquainted with the resurrection of the dead, and would have no part in the first resurrection, which Abraham believed and hoped for:
for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me, for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you; or, "for full money" (a), that which is full weight, for money was paid by weight in those times, as appears from Genesis 23:16; or for the full price and value of it: for, as Abraham did not desire to have it as a free gift, so neither at an under price; he was very willing to give the full worth of it; he did not ask it with any covetous view, or to encroach upon them.
(y) So in T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 53. 1.((z) Pirke Eliezer, c. 20. & 36. (a) "in vel pro argento pieno", Pagninus, Montanus, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Machpelah—the "double cave."
Genesis 23:9 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 23:9 NIV
Genesis 23:9 NLT
Genesis 23:9 ESV
Genesis 23:9 NASB
Genesis 23:9 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible