SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. Show me, and the land where you are staying, the same loyalty that I have shown you.”
24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 25 But Abraham lodged a complaint against Abimelech concerning a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”
27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof that I dug this well.” 31 That is why he named that place Beer Sheba, because the two of them swore an oath there.
32 So they made a treaty at Beer Sheba; then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, the eternal God. 34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time.
22:1 Some time after these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham replied. 2 God said, “Take your son—your only son, whom you love, Isaac—and go to the land of Moriah! Offer him up there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will indicate to you.”
3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out for the place God had spoken to him about.
4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of the place in the distance. 5 So he said to his servants, “You two stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go up there. We will worship and then return to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, and the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father?” “What is it, my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 “God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.
9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 12 “Do not harm the boy!” the angel said. “Do not do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”
13 Abraham looked up and saw behind him a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” It is said to this day, “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “I solemnly swear by my own name, decrees the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the strongholds of their enemies. 18 Because you have obeyed me, all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.”
19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed.
20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor— 21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Now Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children—Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
23:1 Sarah lived 127 years. 2 Then she died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife and said to the sons of Heth, 4 “I am a foreign resident, a temporary settler, among you. Grant me ownership of a burial site among you so that I may bury my dead.”
5 The sons of Heth answered Abraham, 6 “Listen, sir, you are a mighty prince among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you from burying your dead.”
7 Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people, the sons of Heth. 8 Then he said to them, “If you agree that I may bury my dead, then hear me out. Ask Ephron the son of Zohar 9 if he will sell me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly for the full price, so that I may own it as a burial site.”
10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hittite replied to Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth—before all who entered the gate of his city— 11 “No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell you both the field and the cave that is in it. In the presence of my people I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”
12 Abraham bowed before the local people 13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay to you the price of the field. Take it from me so that I may bury my dead there.”
14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15 “Hear me, my lord. The land is worth 400 pieces of silver, but what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.”
16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price and weighed out for him the price that Ephron had quoted in the hearing of the sons of Heth—400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time.
17 So Abraham secured Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city.
19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site from the sons of Heth.