Genesis 23:1 - Genesis 25:18
The Torah portion can be divided as follows:
Death of Sarah
Purchase of Land by Abraham
Wife for Isaac
Abraham remarries/Death of Abraham
The part that I would like to focus on is the life of Sarah and the purchase of land by Abraham.
Although the portion starts off with the death of Sarah, the Torah portion is called the Life of Sarah, which is taken from the first words of the Torah portion “Sarah lived.”The death of any person is not what is important about that individual, but the life they lived. Sarah lived! She left the human race a lasting legacy. The ancient Rabbi's noted in the Talmud that Sarah still lives on and her example still inspires throughout the ages. The Rabbi's stated in the Talmud, Brachot 18a concerning Sarah, “The righteous are called living even after death, while the wicked are called dead even when in life.” Matthew 22: 31-32 “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” In the above scripture we see the example of the faithful dead still being spoken of as if they were living. Luke 9:60 “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God”. In this example we see Yeshua instructing His followers to let the spiritually dead person; as in a wicked person not following after Yahweh, bury the physical dead. Both are called dead already, the wicked person along with the physically dead person. Yahweh sees the final destination of a person. Hence, in this Torah portion, the Rabbis saw that Sarah and all the righteous dead, are still living before God.The space on tombstones denotes the life that someone lived. It is the space in-between the two dates that denotes the destiny that the person lived, whether or not they made any lasting legacy on the human race and whether or not their name is to be found written in the Book of Life. Sarah, our Matriarch, lived 127 years. She is the only woman in the Bible whose age at death is recorded. Behind every Patriarch (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) there was a great Matriarch and the promise could not have been fulfilled without their being a woman of faith and promise. The promise was not to Abraham alone, but also to Sarah. Both of their names were changed to include the Hebrew letter “hey” which is also in the name of our God.
We find in verse 23: 2 that Sarah dies in Hebron. She is buried in the cave at Machpelah in Hebron, in the land of Canaan. Later, we will find that Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah and Leah will also be buried there. The only Matriarch or Patriarch of our roots who was not buried there was Rachel because she died when Jacob was returning from his journey and so she was buried on the way to Bethlehem.Out of all of the supposedly “holy sites” in the Holy Land, this is probably one of the few true authentic sites. In fact, the tomb still stands in Hebron and is controlled by Israel. The Muslims actually are crying to have control over it because they claim the same ancestry in Abraham as Christians and Jews. It is at the death of Sarah that her true purpose in life begins to be fulfilled. The promise had been made but nothing had happened apart from the birth of Isaac. But shortly after her death many pieces of the promise begin to come together. The life of Sarah can be summed up as a life of faith. Sarah is one of only two women mentioned by name in Hebrews the 11th chapter; which is called the faith chapter. To the women who may be reading this teaching I would ask, are you a woman of faith and promise as Sarah was?
The Purchase of land by Abraham
Abraham wants to bury his beloved Sarah, but not in a borrowed tomb of the Hittites. Abraham knows because of the promise of Yahweh that all of this land will belong to him and his descendants in the future but that time isn't here yet. However, he intends to stay. So, he buys a plot of land, the first purchase of land in the promised land. Not just a cave to bury Sarah, but a plot of land, naming even a field and the trees. Ancient writings show that ancient transactions by the Hittites and other nations were very precise, making very clear details as to the purchase of property. Abraham knew that he and his descendants were there to stay. He paid what historians say would have been an exorbitant price (400 shekels) for the cave and piece of land. It is because of this practice of Abraham that Jews still want a separate burial ground today. This purchase by Abraham was the beginning of the Hebrew nation owning their own plot in a land promised by Yahweh to belong to him and his descendants, thru Isaac, forever. Though Abraham dies and his descendants are eventually carried away into Egypt, Abraham's right to the land never left. He still owns a plot of land that he purchased there. His descendants will return to occupy and buy and sell plots in the promised land. We see another example of this in Jeremiah chapter 32. When it is clearly evident that the Babylonians are about to carry Israel away into captivity; Jeremiah himself being shut up in prison, we find in this chapter that Jeremiah buys a plot of land in Judah from his uncle. How odd this seems to pay your hard earned money to buy a plot of land when you know that the land is about to be taken over by a foreign enemy and your people are about to be driven out. Why does Jeremiah do this? It is for a sign. Yahweh tells Jeremiah that it is a sign to prove that Judah will once again return to the land and buy and sell land. Yahweh will return the captives to the land in the future.
If I could go a step further, I would like to mention a few scriptures found in the Brit Hadashah. Yeshua our Messiah was sold for 30 pieces of silver. Judas took this silver and threw it down in the temple. The priests then took this money and bought with it a field. You see, with His blood money, Yeshua purchased a field. He indeed owns a plot of land. With His very blood He purchased that potters field. One day, very soon, He is coming back to lay claim to a plot of land He purchased; in a land already given to Abraham and where Abraham had already staked a claim. Jeremiah staked a claim there as well. Soon, Yeshua will claim all of His inheritance; the entire land, in fact, the entire world. He will bring back the captives and they will never be forced from their land again. In this portion Sarah and Abraham die, but they LIVED! Their legacy lives on! The promises made to the both of them are coming to pass. We are heirs of the promise.