Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mistakes of Moses Expanded Universe: Genesis 23

In this installment an entire chapter is devoted to negotiating the purchase of a burial cave, we meet some Hittites that aren't really Hittites, we discover more problems with a place-name and we see once again how Moses really enjoys repeating himself.

Genesis 23:1-20
Most likely not looking like she was a day over forty, Sarah dies at 127 years old in Hebron and an entire chapter of the Bible is devoted to Abraham’s purchase of a cave where all the Patriarchs and their first wives will be buried (sorry Keturah and Rachel, but you're not in the first wives club). Cue all the expositors offering guesses and trying to explain why the details of this transaction and burial cave are so significant. If the purpose was to show that Abraham had a rightful claim to some land in Palestine, it seems kind of silly given that it’s supposed to be Yahweh’s land anyway. If he wants to give it to Abraham and exterminate the sons of Heth/Hittites, that’s his prerogative, right? Why the need for all the described pomp and circumstance? Like I said, I'm sure someone has offered a guess that goes beyond the obvious political and cultural reasons.