After one of the most important and most talked about chapters of the Bible comes one of the least talked about, the death of Sarah. It is stated that Sarah was old, she was 99 when she gave birth to Issac and it says she lived to well over 100 before dying. The early Bible and ages is certainly a thing. It is maybe why we think age and wisdom go hand in hand. the writers of the Bible maybe wanted these people to seem important and so made them very long lived.
Anyway, Sarah is dead and Abraham needs a place to bury her. He tells the people where he is living that he is a stranger in their land and that they will give him land to bury his wife. They agree and Abraham agrees to pay them a bunch of silver. I don’t know what 400 shekels is worth in today’s money but I am sure it is a lot.
That’s it. That’s the chapter. Abraham buys a field to bury his wife in. That is all of the chapter. There is no deeper meaning or great philosophical debate. No existential philosopher wrote about Abraham’s purchase of a field. Instead of Fear and Trembling it would have been Negotiating and Bantering.
The back and forth between Abraham and the owner of the field is interesting. Abraham offers to buy the field and then the owner of the field says he will give it to him and then Abraham names a sum of money and the owner of the field accepts that sum of money. If the translation of give is correct here then Abraham is simply a very bad negotiator.
There must have been some importance to Sarah’s burial location to the readers or listeners of these early Storie. It is very specific about where she is buried. It is in the land of Canaan in a field with a cave. That must have meant something to somebody. Who it is I haven’t a clue but it must be important to someone.
This type of chapter is harder to write about than ones like the story of Abraham and Issac because there isn’t anything that happened. Abraham bought some property to bury his wife. That’s it. That’s all that happened.