Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Generosity of Spirit

In our Womens Bible Study Class, the discussion turned to how living in these lands, the cradle of our religion, has illuminated the reading of the bible in new ways for us. As I read this morning’s readings, I thought of all the loving kindness we have been shown at your hands, at the unending generosity of spirit you have shown us, living here, in this dry and thirsty land . . .

Abraham's Departure, by József Molnár

The Hittites tell Abraham he is a mighty prince among them, and welcome to bury Sarah where he would wish. Ephrom refuses to take payment for the cave Abraham wants to buy, insisting that Abraham accept it as a gift. This, near Hebron . . .

Abraham insists on paying for the land, and hands over, piece by piece, 400 pieces of silver.

Would that God would bless the land with a similar spirit, that the Jews and the Palestinians might find a way to share the land and to live together in peace, as a blessing to one another.

Genesis 23:1-20

23Sarah lived for one hundred and twenty-seven years; this was the length of Sarah’s life. 2And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3Abraham rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites, 4‘I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying-place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.’

5The Hittites answered Abraham, 6‘Hear us, my lord; you are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places; none of us will withhold from you any burial ground for burying your dead.’ 7Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. 8He said to them, ‘If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me Ephron son of Zohar, 9so that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as a possession for a burying-place.’ 10Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, 11‘No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it; in the presence of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.’ 12Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. 13He said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, ‘If you only will listen to me! I will give the price of the field; accept it from me, so that I may bury my dead there.’ 14Ephron answered Abraham, 15‘My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver—what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.’ 16Abraham agreed with Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants.

17 So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, passed 18to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burying-place.

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Charity, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Spiritual | 5 Comments