Things are being set for the next generation. We hear the first mention of Rebekah’s name. This generation is beginning to move on. Sarah, Abraham’s beloved wife, has died. She’s the only woman who gets a name change in the Bible. She’s the only woman who gets her age listed at her death. This is the first time that tears or graves are mentioned in the Bible. She has her name listed in the great Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. It says that she believed that God was faithful which gave her the power to conceive a child in her old age.
Abraham goes to buy a cave to bury her. I have been to a Hittite cave tomb. We saw them in Turkey when we lived there. You walk down some stairs to get to the door and there are huge round wheel-looking stones that are rolled in front of and away from the door, something like Jesus was buried in.
The Hittite owner offers him the field the cave is in instead. Abraham asks the price and pays it without negotiating. What was he thinking in that moment? Why would he leave his wife in a foreign land? Why would he pay so much for a field he was about to walk away from? Abraham believed the promise.
In Genesis 22 it records God saying, “By myself I have sworn.” God wants to prove that his promise that the nations would be blessed through him and that the land would be possessed by his descendants is firm and unchanging. He confirms it with an oath and it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:17-18).
Abraham knows that the place where Sarah lies will belong to His people. He’s not abandoning her to foreigners. He will be buried there as well. It’s the land of his descendants. It is his home.