Genesis 23 Place of Sarah's Death

            Gen. 23:2 "And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her."  The place of Sarah's death was Kirjatharba, also known as Hebron in the land of Canaan. 

            The names of the city and the country in which Sarah died tell us a story about death.  The name Kirjatharba means "city of the four (giants)."  The name Hebron means "seat of association."  The name Canaan means "one that humbles and subdues." 

            In the book of 1 Samuel chapter 17 there was a giant by the name of Goliath.  Goliath was a type of Satan.  Goliath had four sons who were also giants.  Kirjatharba was the city of four giants.  Goliath was the father of four giants.  Satan was declared to be a murderer from the beginning.  The four giants that Satan brings against us are sin, death, hell, and the grave.  From these four giants we have no power to overcome them.  They have total control over us. 

            Hebron means seat of association.  When Adam transgressed in the Garden of Eden he was our federal head representing all of his posterity.  We all are associated with the results of Adam's transgression.  By succumbing to the enticements of the serpent, Adam brought himself and all mankind under the curse of the law of sin and death.  He brought us to have the four giants rule over us: sin, death, hell, and the grave.

            Canaan means "one that humbles and subdues."   The very knowledge of death humbles us and causes us to realize that we cannot overcome the bondage of death.  We are subdued by death. 

            It is only through the covenant work of Jesus Christ that we are delivered from the four giants.  Through the atoning blood of Christ and his subsequent resurrection from the dead that we are delivered from sin, death, hell, and the grave.  Thanks be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has given us the victory over these great giants


Abraham's Purchase of a Burial Site

            When Sarah died, Abraham purchased form the children of Heth a place to bury Sarah: "Gen. 23:12 "And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land. 13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there. 14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him, 15 My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. 16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. 17 And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure 18 Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city."

            In the process of time, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah were all buried in this possession of a burying site that Abraham purchased for four hundred shekels of silver.

            Four hundred is closely associated in the scriptures with the subject of bondage.  A part of the bondage that the elect come face to face with is death and the grave.  Silver is associated in the scriptures with the subject of redemption.  Thus, the deliverance from the bondage of death and the grave is found in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

            In the history of humankind, the vast majority of people have never seen anyone delivered from death and the grave.  From the viewpoint of what we see with our eyes, no one who goes down into the grave ever returns into the land of the living.  This bondage of death and the grave strikes fear in the hearts of men.  This fear of death torments the hearts of men (1 John 4:18).  Not only does the grave hold its occupants, but also the fear of death subjects the living all of their lifetime to the bondage of death (Heb. 2:15).  One only need visit a funeral service to see the fear that many who are present are expressing in their faces. 

            There is deliverance for the elect children of God both from the bondage of the grave and from the fear of death.  Job expressed his belief in the resurrection from the grave: Job 19:23 "Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:"  Thus, Job believed that the same flesh that the skin worms destroyed would one day see God! 

            Our deliverance from the bondage of the grave and from the fear of death is found in the covenant work of Jesus Christ.  This covenant is stated in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."  This covenant promise is such that it overcomes the wages of sin, which is death through the justifying blood of Christ.  In addition, this covenant promise delivers us from the bondage of the grave in that we will one day stand glorified before God. 

            Therefore, through this covenant promise, we have hope that the end of this life is not to lie in the grave forever, but that the very flesh that goes to the grave Christ will resurrect from the grave and present to God in a glorified state.  For this promise to be fulfilled Jesus came and delivered us from the curse of the law of sin and death. Heb. 2:14 "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." 

            For those who understand this covenant promise death and the grave no longer hold the torment over them that they once had.  Their hope in the resurrection is very precious unto them.