Sarah Died in the Land of Canaan
and Abraham Went to Weep Over Her

23: 1-2

DIG: Why can Sarah be considered the mother of all believers? How old was she when she died? How old was Abraham? Isaac? Why are their ages listed at this time? What is mentioned here for the first time in the TaNaKh?

REFLECT: Is there a woman in your family history that is known for being a godly woman? Is there a godly woman in your life that you look up to and emulate? What touches you the most about Avraham’s reaction to his wife’s death?

Parashah 5: Hayyei-Sarah (Sarah's life) 23:1-25:18
(see my commentary on Deuteronomy Af - Parashah)

At the time of Sarah’s death, the family had evidently moved from Beersheba back to Hebron. She is the only woman whose age at death is mentioned in both the TaNaKh and the B’rit Chadashah. This indicates that she has a special place in biblical history and is an example to follow (Isaiah 51:1-2). She lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old (23:1). As the mother of the son of promise, she became the mother of all believers (First Peter 3:6). Abraham would have been a hundred and thirty-seven years old, and Isaac thirty-seven years old when his mother died.

She died at Kiriath Arba, or the city of Arabia, which eventually became known as Hebron, which means friend, because Abraham was the friend of God (14:13, 18:1), in the land of Canaan (23:2a). They had lived there many years earlier. This Kiriath Arba/Hebron connection is found elsewhere in the Bible (Joshua 14:15, 15:13 and 59, 20:7, 21:11; Judges 1:10).

For some reason, Abraham was not present at the time of her death. She was in Hebron and he was in Beersheba (21:33-34, 22:19). He might have been away on business, or perhaps they had two residences. At any rate, when Avraham heard that she had died, he went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over the lifeless body of his soul mate (23:2b). It seems possible that her death was mercifully quick because if she had been suffering for a long time, Avraham most assuredly would have been at her side. This was the death of his friend and life-long companion. Abraham loved Sarah deeply, and it must have grieved him terribly not to be with her when she died. The first man found weeping in the Bible is mourning the loss of a woman.


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