The Field Of Machpelah

This was one of my first posts when I started blogging back in 2013 and I want to address it again. In the previous post, I talked about the fact that there was something peculiar to that field which caught Abraham’s attention to buy it. In this note, we shall look at the reason why.

The field of Machpelah was a tomb site in a field situated to the East of Mamre or Hebron. Mamre or Hebron is where most of the patriarchs, i.e. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob spent most of their lives. Thus, all three patriarchs and their wives were buried here.

What was it that Abraham saw about this field or cave that made him want to buy it so badly? Remember that in Genesis 23, the children of Heth would have given him any sepulchre he wanted, but Abraham had ‘eyed’ that field of Machpelah, which belonged to Ephron. Abraham bought it for four hundred shekels of silver, which is a lot of money but not to Abraham and Ephron because they were very rich persons (rf. Genesis 23:15).

It just occurred to me that Machpelah means a fold and is from a root word ‘kaphal’, which means double. Describing the nature of the cave, Machpelah was a twin cave- one for a husband and a wife but this cave was huge enough to house six corpses. I am of the view that Abraham bought this cave by faith and not by money. Why do I say that?

When Jesus was giving the parable about the poor man Lazarus, he made mention of Abraham’s bosom. Abraham’s bosom was a special chamber in hell where it felt like paradise; there wasn’t torment in Abraham’s bosom. It wasn’t paradise but it was a far better place than hell itself. Perhaps you should read Luke 16:19-26.

Abraham was not only buying a burial place for himself and his wife, he was purchasing a special place of comfort for himself and his descendants in hell since Christ hadn’t yet descended. No wonder Jacob wanted to be buried with his fathers and not in the land of Canaan (Genesis 47:28-31).

The lesson to be learnt here is that our acts here are acts that have eternal consequences. The things we value here will be valued in eternity. If we set our hearts in heaven and not on earth here, we will have and go where we want to be. Today, I don’t want you to just do things, let your actions have eternal weight too. God bless you.

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