Abraham’s Legacy

I. The purchase of the Cave at Machpelah (Genesis 23)

A. Sarah dies at 127 years of age (Genesis 23:1).

1. Sarah lives in Hebron (23:2) – Abraham in Beersheba (22:19)

2. Abraham travels to Hebron to mourn Sarah’s death (23:2).

B. Negotiations with Ephron the Hittite (23:10) for Machpelah

1. Requests permission from the “children of Heth”

a. Heth is a grandson of Ham, Noah’s son.
b. The peoples in Canaan are descendants of Ham.
c. Genesis 10:15-20 lists the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgasites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, etc., as descending from Canaan and Heth
d. These are the “lands” specifically identified as a future possession for the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21).

2. The Hittites were a major nation in history.

a. Were to be part of the inheritance for Abraham (15:20)
b. Many Hittites mentioned in Scripture
1) Esau married a Hittite (Genesis 26:34; 36:2).
2) Were to be destroyed by Israel (Deuteronomy 20:17)
3) Uriah the Hittite was one of David’s “mighty men” (1 Chronicles 11:41).
4) Solomon was led astray by Hittite wives (1 Kings 11:1).

C. These events take place 427 years after Noah’s Flood.

1. Modern scholars all agree that Abraham was born 2,167 B.C.

2. Genesis 11:10-26 gives precise dates for the birth of Abraham.

a. Shem (Noah’s son) produced Arphaxad 2 years after the Flood.
b. Arphaxad produced Salah 30 years later.
c. Eber after 34 more years; Peleg after 30 more; Reu another 32 years; Serug 30 years later; Nahor fathered Terah when he was 29; and Terah produced Abraham when he was 70
d. Add them up and you get 292 years after the Flood.
e. Abraham was 100 when Isaac was born; Sarah died 35 years later; that makes 427 years all totaled
f. Therefore, this takes place ~ 2083 years after creation and ~ 2032 B.C.

D. The purchase of the cave and surrounding land was made for 400 “shekels” of silver (Genesis 23:15-16).

1. The purchase included the field, the cave, the trees in the field, and the trees on the borders.

2. A shekel is approximately 180 grains of silver.

a. There are 120 grains per ¼ oz. and 480 grains in 1 oz.
b. 400 shekels = 72,000 grains of silver or 150 oz.
c. Silver @ $12.80 per oz. = $1,920 at today’s value

II. The selection of a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24)

A. Abraham commissions his chief servant to go to Mesopotamia.

1. May be Eliezer (15:2) or his successor

2. Abraham is confident that God will lead (24:7).

3. Required a most sacred vow of the servant (24:9)

a. “Hand under my thigh”
b. Only used twice: Genesis 24:2,9 and 47:29
c. Essentially: under the genitals

B. The servant exemplifies complete trust and obedience.

1. Has access and permission for all Abraham’s wealth

2. Prepares for success of the mission

3. Goes straight to destination – no wasted time en route

4. Anticipates how to discern proper wife – asks for “sign”

a. Must be strong and healthy
b. Must be industrious with no delusions of a life of ease
c. Must be gracious, sensitive and compassionate
d. His prayer is not presumptuous – knows the assignment, is asking for guidance on how to “see” character of wife

C. The servant is “in the way” (24:27) and is led by the Lord.

1. Psalm 37:23 – the steps of a good man are “ordered”

2. Proverbs 3:6 – when we “acknowledge him” he “directs”

3. John 7:17 – if we “will do his will” – we will “know”

4. Romans 12:2 – transformed life will “prove” the good…

D. The servant completes his task (24:32-67).

1. Complete and accurate testimony

2. Requests an immediate decision from hearers

3. Insists on immediate fulfillment of his assignment

4. Follows through on the responsibility

III. Both Rebecca and Isaac provide beautiful pictures of Christ.

A. Isaac exemplifies the life of the Messiah.

1. He was promised long before his birth (Luke 1:70).

2. He appeared at the appointed time (Galatians 4:4).

3. He is conceived miraculously (Luke 1:35).

4. He is given a name before his birth (Matthew 1:21).

5. He is offered up as a sacrifice by his father (Isaiah 53:10).

6. He is obedient unto death (Philippians 2:8).

7. He is brought back from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-23).

B. Rebecca exemplifies the “marriage” of Christians to Christ.

1. Her marriage was planned long before she knew (Ephesians 1:3-4).

2. It was necessary to fulfill God’s purpose (Ephesians 1:9-11).

3. She will share the glory of the Son (John 17:22-23).

4. She learned of the Son from a servant of the Father (2 Corinthians 4:5).

5. She immediately left all she knew before she saw what she would gain (1 Peter 1:8).

6. She journeyed through the wilderness guided by a servant (Psalm 73:24).

7. She is loved by and united with the Son (Ephesians 5:26-27; Revelation 19:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).

The Patriarchs
ch. 23-24


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