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Understanding Genesis 23: A Blessing to Others

Updated on August 17, 2015

Read the entire chapter 23 of Genesis on your own. You can read a variety of versions, from contemporary English to literal translations. You can download bible apps, websites ( or or buy one from your local bookstore. I will use King James Version because some of the nuances are missing from other translations. When you read the chapter, don’t just read it—study it with questions and try to make sense of it.


Sarah's God

Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead. Genesis 23:6

After seeing her son grow into manhood, Sarah passes away. After a life of struggle, not only with her marriage, but also with her faith, Sarah finally has a relationship with God. He is no longer jsut her husband's god, but her Savior. "Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised." Hebrews 11:11

We all struggle with our faith. We blame God for what we don’t have, and asks for what we want, like He’s a genie. Our prayer life is not only about asking and receiving, even though in His goodness, He promises we will receive. But our prayer is to build a relationship with our Heavenly Father. "And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." Luke 11:2 Jesus tells us to call Him, Our Father; you just need to trust Him.

Abraham has no land or permanent home, so he asks the Canaanites for a burial plot. Their respect for Abraham is so great; they offer to give him the land without payment.

This is the “blessing” that Abraham is to the nations. As a Godly man, he is able to maintain peace among the heathens, fellowship, and show the love of God to the pagans. "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" Genesis 12:2

As Christians, we also need to reflect Christ to our co-workers, neighbors and family. Do they know you are a Christian? Can they see that in you? "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Galatians 3:26,29

Living Our Faith

And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant. Genesis 23:16

Abraham refused to take anything for free, because he did not want the heathens to say, “they had made Abraham rich.” All the glory was to go to God. "And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: "Genesis 14:22,23

Abraham lived such a Godly life, that even the heathens who didn’t know the definition of Holy, knew that Abraham was special. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." Romans 4:20,21

We must also live our lives, holy and for the Glory of God. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16


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    • Yung Mi profile image

      Yung Mi 2 years ago from New York, NY

      Hi Tony,

      Glad you enjoyed the article. But I also hope I conveyed that it's not the lack of possessions that helped Abraham, but a relationship/friendship with God. His faith that God would provide in all things, not just material goods. That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding [riches of His grace in His kindness] toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7

      God bless.

    • tony mcnaughton profile image

      tony mcnaughton 2 years ago

      I really enjoyed taking-in your presentation/article "A Faithful Life" . It was delightfully experienced and so educational , with regards to your insights/perspectives.....a wholesome teaching , indeed. It appears that the making and maintaining of "A Faithful Life" is a life of detachment...absorbing the graces that come to one through "possession of , but , not ownership". Abraham seems to have held a strong/high esteem towards the virtue of gratitude ; a gratitude that turned what he had , into "enough" .

      Regardless , your creative style of bringing forth such a truth-filled focus was a terrific expression of spirit...beautifully done by a thinker that obviously thinks in a good way . Thank You !