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John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible

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Chapter 23

Chapter Overview

Here is, I. Abraham a mourner, for the death of Sarah, verse 1, 2.
II. Abraham a purchaser of a burying place for Sarah. (1.) The purchase proposed by Abraham, verse 3, 4.
(2.) Treated of and agreed, verse 5-16.
(3.) The purchase-money paid, verse 16.
(4.) The premises conveyed and secured to Abraham, verse 17, 18, 20.
(5.) Sarah's funeral, verse 19.

Verse 2
Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep - He did not only perform the ceremonies of mourning according to the custom of those times, but did sincerely lament the great loss he had, and gave proof of the constancy of his affection. Therefore these two words are used, he came both to mourn and to weep.

Verse 4
I am a stranger and a sojourner with you - Therefore I am unprovided, and must become a suiter 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. The death of our relations should effectually mind us that we are not at home in this world. That I may bury my dead out of my sight - 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.

Verse 6
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.

Verse 7
Abraham returns them thanks for their kind offer, with all possible decency and respect. Religion teaches good manners, and those abuse it that place it in rudeness and clownishness.

Verse 11
The field give I thee - Abraham thought he must be intreated to sell it, but upon the first mention, without intreaty, he freely gives it.

Verse 13
I will give thee money for the field - It was not in pride that Abraham refused the gift; but 1. In justice. Abraham was rich in silver and gold, and therefore would not take advantage of Ephron's generosity. 2. In prudence. He would pay for it, lest Ephron, when this good humour was over, should upbraid him with it.

Verse 15
The land is worth four hundred shekels of silver - About fifty pounds of our money, but what is that between me and thee? - He would rather oblige his friend than have so much money.

Verse 20
A burying place - 'Tis worth noting, 1. That a burying-place was the first spot of ground Abraham was possessed of in Canaan. 2. That it was the only piece of land he was ever possessed of, tho' it was all his own in reversion. Those that have least of this earth find a grave in it.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Genesis 23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/wen/view.cgi?book=ge&chapter=023>. 1765.  

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