Category Archives: Machpelah cave

Esau Died Preventing Jacob’s Burial

Few have ever heard about how Jacob’s twin brother Esau died. I think of Jacob as the man of the spirit and Esau as a total man of the flesh; and find it interesting that Esau died shortly after Jacob. Here is why.

The actual death and burial of Jacob (147) is recorded in the last chapter of Genesis (Genesis 50); but it is hardly anything more that an outline for what happened at that time in the history of Yehovah’s people.

Here is yet another case where the book of Yasher gives “the rest of the story.”

Jacob was buried with great honor like a king and his sons carried his bier for all to see. I love how Jacob told his sons to carry him, it was exactly the same way that Israel was told by Yehovah to camp in the wilderness (with 3 sons on each side).

Israelite camp, Esau died when Jacob was buriedYasher describes Jacob’s funeral procession this way.

Yasher 56:33 And Pharaoh commanded that it should be proclaimed throughout Egypt, saying, Whoever goes not up with Joseph and his brethren to the land of Canaan to bury Jacob, shall die.

34 And all Egypt heard of Pharaoh’s proclamation, and they all rose up together, and all the servants of Pharaoh, and the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt went up with Joseph, and all the officers and nobles of Pharaoh went up as the servants of Joseph, and they went to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan.

35 And Jacob’s sons carried the bier upon which he lay; according to all that their father commanded them, so did his sons unto him.

36 And the bier was of pure gold, and it was inlaid round about with onyx stones and bdellium; and the covering of the bier was gold woven work, joined with threads, and over them were hooks of onyx stones and bdellium.

37 And Joseph placed upon the head of his father Jacob a large golden crown, and he put a golden scepter in his hand, and they surrounded the bier as was the custom of kings during their lives.

38 And all the troops of Egypt went before him in this array, at first, all the mighty men of Pharaoh and the mighty men of Joseph, and after them the rest of the inhabitants of Egypt, and they were all girded with swords and equipped with coats of mail, and the trappings of war were upon them.

39 And all the weepers and mourners went at a distance opposite to the bier, going and weeping and lamenting, and the rest of the people went after the bier.

40 And Joseph and his household went together near the bier barefooted and weeping, and the rest of Joseph’s servants went around him; each man had his ornaments upon him, and they were all armed with their weapons of war.

But when Esau heard that Jacob’s sons were coming to bury him in the cave of Machpelah, which their Fathers were buried in, Esau and his sons stood against them. The battle that follows helps us understand great enmity between Jacob’s sons (the men of the spirit) and Esau’s sons (the men of the flesh). Here is how the battle begins.

Yasher 56:49 And Joseph and his brethren brought their father Jacob from that place, and they went to Hebron to bury Jacob in the cave by his fathers.

50 And they came unto Kireath-arba, to the cave, and as they came Esau stood with his sons against Joseph and his brethren as a hindrance in the cave, saying, “Jacob shall not be buried therein, for it belongs to us and to our father.”

We saw that Jacob and his sons received all the land of Canaan, and the cave in particular, at the death of Isaac as their inheritance; the transaction was witnessed and recorded at the time and the document were now in Egypt. We then sent our fastest runner (Naphtali) to fetch them and that is when the fighting began.

Yasher 56:60 And when Esau saw that Naphtali had gone to fetch the records, he and his sons increased their resistance against the cave, and Esau and all his people rose up against Joseph and his brethren to battle.

61 And all Jacob’s sons and the people of Egypt fought with Esau and his men, and Esau’s sons and his people were smitten before Jacob’s sons, and Jacob’s sons slew of Esau’s people forty men.

Esau died in the first battle

It was at this time that Dan’s son, a man who could not speak or hear, walked up to Esau and severed his head from his body.

Yasher 56:63 And Chushim was dumb and deaf, still he understood the voice of consternation amongst men.

64 And he asked, saying, Why do you not bury the dead, and what is this great consternation? And they answered him the words of Esau and his sons; and he ran to Esau in the midst of the battle, and he slew Esau with a sword, and he cut off his head, and it sprang to a distance, and Esau fell amongst the people of the battle.

65 And when Chushim did this thing Jacob’s sons prevailed over Esau’s sons, and Jacob’s sons buried their father Jacob by force in the cave, and Esau’s sons beheld it.

After Esau died his sons ran away with his body but left his head. There is so much that happened in these two chapters of Yasher; alliances are formed, battles are fought, men are captured, and an entire race of men is wiped out and their land taken forever by Esau’s sons.

Here is the rest of the story.

Esau Died Preventing Jacob’s Burial

2G51 Genesis 50 & Yasher 56
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Death Of Isaac

death of IsaacJust before the death of Isaac

It was just before the death of Isaac that two mortal enemies came to together to say goodbye to their father; Jacob, the man of the spirit and Esau, a total man of the flesh. All Torah has to say about the death of Isaac are these words.

Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. (Gen 35:28-29)

That is it! And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him. What a rip-off; Torah hardly gives a clue as to the vast differences between these to brothers. The book of Yasher, on the other hand, gives the rest of the story. Listen to the blessings which Isaac speaks to his two very different sons.

Yasher 47:5 And Isaac placed his hands upon all Jacob’s sons, and he took hold of them and embraced them, and kissed them one by one, and Isaac blessed them on that day, and he said unto them, May the Elohim of your fathers bless you and increase your seed like the stars of heaven for number.
6 And Isaac also blessed Esau’s sons, saying, May Elohim cause you to be a dread and a terror to all that will behold you, and to all your enemies.

At The Death Of Isaac

The last words that Isaac spoke were words that he received from Yehovah for Jacob and His sons, not Esau. Continue reading Death Of Isaac

life of Sarah

The Life Of Sarah

This is the first time that Torah says “the life of Sarah” and did not say “and she lived so many years, and died.” Sarah was Abraham’s woman for 87 years; and she bore Isaac for him when she was 90 years of age. Sarah was a woman of worth who taught other women to do the same!

Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. (Gen 23:1)

So many folks treat the people in Torah like they are different from us; like the lives they lived have no application for our own. I fear this is a grievous mistake and this portion of scripture (Genesis 23 and 24) really drives that fact home for me. Abraham and his camp did things that every one of us does; birthed children, fought enemies, married, bought land, buried their loved ones and so much more.

That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new?” It has already been in ancient times before us. (Ecc 1:9-10)

Nothing has changed!

Now that Sarah has passed Abraham wants to bury her in a very special place so he buys a field  that has a machpelah (or double roomed) cave.

Machpelah means double portion; Abraham seems to have bought a cave with two rooms in it. One part for initial decay and the other part had boxes, or ossuaries, stacked with the bones of their ancestors. Abraham paid a premium price for the land and this special cave. The transfer of this land was completed with 4 witnesses to guarantee that Abraham’s descendants would have it perpetually. Here is the portion from Yasher that describes the “escrow” process that was used in the transfer of this land from Heth’s sons to Abraham and his seed forever.

Yasher 24:6 And Ephron answered and said, Behold the field and the cave are before thee, give whatever thou desires; and Abraham said, Only at full value will I buy it from thy hand, and from the hands of those that go in at the gate of thy city, and from the hand of thy seed for ever.
7 And Ephron and all his brethren heard this, and Abraham weighed to Ephron four hundred shekels of silver in the hands of Ephron and in the hands of all his brethren; and Abraham wrote this transaction, and he wrote it and testified it with four witnesses.
8 And these are the names of the witnesses, Amigal son of Abishna the Hittite, Adichorom son of Ashunach the Hivite, Abdon son of Achiram the Gomerite, Bakdil the son of Abudish the Zidonite.
9 And Abraham took the book of the purchase, and placed it in his treasures, and these are the words that Abraham wrote in the book, namely:
10 That the cave and the field Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite, and from his seed, and from those that go out of his city, and from their seed for ever, are to be a purchase to Abraham and to his seed and to those that go forth from his loins, for a possession of a burial-place for ever; and he put a signet to it and testified it with witnesses.
11 And the field and the cave that was in it and all that place were made sure unto Abraham and unto his seed after him, from Heth’s sons; behold it is before Mamre in Hebron, which is in the land of Canaan.

Abraham bought the property from the Gentiles (Heth’s sons) using the currency of the land in which he dwelt. He used their sons as witnesses to this transaction so there could be no dispute.

Abraham was loved and greatly respected by his neighbors; even Abimelech and the eldest and most respected leaders of the land came to Sarah’s funeral.

Yasher 24:13 And Abraham buried Sarah with pomp as observed as the interment of kings, and she was buried in very fine and beautiful garments.
14 And at her bier was Shem, his son Eber and Abimelech: together with Anar, Ashcol and Mamre, and all the grandees of the land followed her bier.

A Bride for Isaac

After Sarah died Abraham sent Isaac to live with Shem and Eber for 3 years and then sent Eliezer to Haran to find a bride for Isaac. In this teaching I cover the Genesis record of this event; a very touching story.

Go To: Rebekah, The “Extra Mile” Girl

2G28 Genesis 23 & Jasher 23-24:17
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