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Genesis 23:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Abraham rose up from before his dead, and spake unto the children of Heth, saying,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Abraham rose up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Abraham rose up from over the face of his dead,—and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Abraham riseth up from the presence of his dead, and speaketh unto the sons of Heth, saying,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And after he rose up from the funeral obsequies, he spoke to the children of Heth, saying:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Abraham stood vp from before his dead, & spake vnto the sonnes of Heth, saying,
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Abraham{gr.Abraam} stood up from before his dead; and Abraham{gr.Abraam} spoke to the sons of Heth{gr.Chet}, saying,
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Avraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Cheth, saying,

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Avrhm אַברָהָם 85
{0085} Prime
אַבְרָהָם
'Abraham
{ab-raw-hawm'}
Contracted from H0001 and an unused root (probably meaning to be populous); father of a multitude; Abraham, the later name of Abram.
stood up 6965
{6965} Prime
קוּם
quwm
{koom}
A primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
from before 6440
{6440} Prime
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
his dead, 4191
{4191} Prime
מָמוֹת
muwth
{mooth}
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
z8801
<8801> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 309
and spake 1696
{1696} Prime
דִּבֵּר
dabar
{daw-bar'}
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the sons 1121
{1121} Prime
בֵּן
ben
{bane}
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of חֵת, 2845
{2845} Prime
חֵת
Cheth
{khayth}
From H2865; terror; Cheth, an aboriginal Canaanite.
saying, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 23:3

_ _ Genesis 23:3-20. Purchase of a burying-place.

_ _ Abraham stood up, etc. — 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 (Acts 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.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Genesis 23:3-15

_ _ Here is, I. The humble request which Abraham made to his neighbours, the Hittites, for a burying-place among them, Genesis 23:3, Genesis 23:4. It was strange he had this to do now; but we are to impute it rather to God's providence than to his improvidence, as appears Acts 7:5, where it is said, God gave him no inheritance in Canaan. It were well if all those who take care to provide burying-places for their bodies after death were as careful to provide a resting-place for their souls. Observe here, 1. The convenient diversion which this affair gave, for the present, to Abraham's grief: He stood up from before his dead. Those that find themselves in danger of over-grieving for their dead relations, and are entering into that temptation, must take heed of poring upon their loss and sitting alone and melancholy. There must be a time of standing up from before their dead, and ceasing to mourn. For, thanks be to God, our happiness is not bound up in the life of any creature. Care of the funeral may, as here, be improved to divert grief for the death at first, when it is most in danger of tyrannizing. Weeping must not hinder sowing. 2. The argument he used with the children of Heth, which was this: “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you, therefore I am unprovided, and must become a humble suitor to you for a burying-place.” This was one occasion which Abraham took to confess that he was a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth; he was not ashamed to own it thus publicly, Hebrews 11:13. Note, The death of our relations should effectually remind us that we are not at home in this world. When they are gone, say, “We are going.” 3. His uneasiness till this affair was settled, intimated in that word, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. Note, Death will make those unpleasant to our sight who while they lived were the desire of our eyes. The countenance that was fresh and lively becomes pale and ghastly, and fit to be removed into the land of darkness. While she was in his sight, it renewed his grief, which he would prevent.

_ _ II. The generous offer which the children of Heth made to him, Genesis 23:5, Genesis 23:6. They compliment him, 1. With a title of respect: Thou art a prince of God among us, so the word is; not only great, but good. He called himself a stranger and a sojourner; they call him a great prince; for those that humble themselves shall be exalted. God had promised to make Abraham's name great. 2. With a tender of the best of their burying-places. Note, Even the light of nature teaches us to be civil and respectful towards all, though they be strangers and sojourners. The noble generosity of these Canaanites shames and condemns the closeness, and selfishness, and ill-humour, of many that call themselves Israelites. Observe, These Canaanites would be glad to mingle their dust with Abraham's and to have their last end like his.

_ _ III. The particular proposal which Abraham made to them, Genesis 23:7-9. He returns them his thanks for their kind offer with all possible decency and respect; though a great man, an old man, and now a mourner, yet he stands up, and bows himself humbly before them, Genesis 23:7. Note, Religion teaches good manners; and those abuse it that place it in rudeness and clownishness. He then pitches upon the place he thinks most convenient, namely, the cave of Machpelah, which probably lay near him, and had not yet been used for a burying-place. The present owner was Ephron. Abraham cannot pretend to any interest in him, but he desires that they would improve theirs with him to get the purchase of that cave, and the field in which it was. Note, A moderate desire to obtain that which is convenient for us, by fair and honest means, is not such a coveting of that which is our neighbour's as is forbidden in the tenth commandment.

_ _ IV. The present which Ephron made to Abraham of his field: The field give I thee, Genesis 23:10, Genesis 23:11. Abraham thought he must be entreated to sell it; but, upon the first mention of it, without entreaty, Ephron freely gives it. Some men have more generosity than they are thought to have. Abraham, no doubt, had taken all occasions to oblige his neighbours, and do them any service that lay in his power; and now they return his kindness: for he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Note, If those that profess religion adorn their profession by eminent civility and serviceableness to all, they shall find it will rebound to their own comfort and advantage, as well as to the glory of God.

_ _ V. Abraham's modest and sincere refusal of Ephron's kind offer, Genesis 23:12, Genesis 23:13. Abundance of thanks he returns him for it (Genesis 23:12), makes his obeisance to him before the people of the land, that they might respect Ephron the more for the respect they saw Abraham give him (1 Samuel 15:30), but resolves to give him money for the field, even the full value of it. It was not in pride that Abraham refused the gift, or because he scorned to be beholden to Ephron; but, 1. In justice. Abraham was rich in silver and gold (Genesis 13:2) and was able to pay for the field, and therefore would not take advantage of Ephron's generosity. Note, Honesty, as well as honour, forbids us to sponge upon our neighbours and to impose upon those that are free. Job reflected upon it with comfort, when he was poor, that he had not eaten the fruits of his land without money, Job 31:39. 2. In prudence. He would pay for it lest Ephron, when this good humour was over, should upbraid him with it, and say, I have made Abraham rich (Genesis 14:23), or lest the next heir should question Abraham's title (because that grant was made without any consideration), and claim back the field. Thus David afterwards refused Araunah's offer, 2 Samuel 24:24. We know not what affronts we may hereafter receive from those that are now most kind and generous.

_ _ VI. The price of the land fixed by Ephron but not insisted on: The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver (about fifty pounds of our money), but what is that between me and thee? Genesis 23:14, Genesis 23:15. He would rather oblige his friend than have so much money in his pocket. Herein Ephron discovers, 1. A great contempt of worldly wealth. “What is that between me and thee? It is a small matter, not worth speaking of.” Many a one would have said, “It is a deal of money; it will go far in a child's portion.” But Ephron says, “What is that?” Note, It is an excellent thing for people to have low and mean thoughts of all the wealth of this world; it is that which is not, and in the abundance of which a man's life does not consist, Luke 12:15. 2. Great courtesy, and obligingness to his friend and neighbour. Ephron was not jealous of Abraham as a resident foreigner, nor envious at him as a man likely to thrive and grow rich. He bore him no ill-will for his singularity in religion, but was much kinder to him than most people now-a-days are to their own brothers: What is that between me and thee? Note, No little thing should occasion demurs and differences between true friends. When we are tempted to be hot in resenting affronts, high in demanding our rights, or hard in denying a kindness, we should answer the temptation with this question: “What is that between me and my friend?”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 23:3

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

(a) That is, when he had mourned: so the godly may mourn if they do not pass measure, and the natural affection is commendable.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Heth:

Genesis 23:5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,
Genesis 23:7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, [even] to the children of Heth.
Genesis 10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,
Genesis 25:10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Genesis 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these [which are] of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
Genesis 49:30 In the cave that [is] in the field of Machpelah, which [is] before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
1 Samuel 26:6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
2 Samuel 23:39 Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all.
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Gn 10:15; 23:5, 7; 25:10; 27:46; 49:30. 1S 26:6. 2S 23:39.

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