Genesis 23:13

And he spoke unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if you will give it, I pray you, hear me: I will give you money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.
Read Chapter 23

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Notice, however, how the good man instructs even those people with his characteristic common sense, through his very actions, by forbearing to take possession of it before paying a just price. “Even if you for your part … have proved so kindly disposed toward me, I still cannot bring myself to take the tomb from you unless first I pay the proper price.” He gave them money, the text says, took possession of the tomb “and buried his wife Sarah in the double cave of the field overlooking Mamre.” The man who was so famous and respected, who enjoyed such confidence with God and was the object of such attention from everyone, so to say, in that place that even the Hittites called him king—he owned not even one foot of land. Hence blessed Paul also celebrated this good man’s virtue in writing these words: “By faith Abraham dwelt in the land of promise, like a foreigner living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise.” Then to teach us how it was through faith that he dwelt there, he added, “He looked forward, you see, to the city built on foundations of which the builder and creator was God.” In the hope of things to come, he is saying, he overlooked present realities, and, in the expectation of greater things, he set less store by those of this life—and this before the law and the age of grace. So what excuse will we have, tell me, who despite such wonderful promises and guarantees of ineffable blessings hanker for present realities, buying up property, ever concerned for our image, amassing all these possessions out of greed and avarice and fulfilling in practice what the blessed prophet said in his lament, “Woe to those who pile house on house and add property to property for the purpose of robbing their neighbor of something.” Do we not see this happening each day—widows being robbed, orphans despoiled and the weak oppressed by the strong? This good man, on the contrary, did not behave in that fashion; instead, he insisted on buying the tomb, and, when he saw those from whom he sought it ready and willing to hand it over, he could not bring himself to accept it before he paid the right price.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo