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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 23

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 23

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 23

1. And the life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years; [these were] the years of the life of Sarah.   א. וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי שָׂרָה:
And the life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years: The reason that the word “years” was written after every digit is to tell you that every digit is to be expounded upon individually: when she was one hundred years old, she was like a twenty-year-old regarding sin. Just as a twenty-year-old has not sinned, because she is not liable to punishment, so too when she was one hundred years old, she was without sin. And when she was twenty, she was like a seven-year-old as regards to beauty. — from Gen. Rabbah 58:1]   ויהיו חיי שרה מאה שנה ועשרים שנה ושבע שנים: לכך נכתב שנה בכל כלל וכלל, לומר לך שכל אחד נדרש לעצמו, בת מאה כבת עשרים לחטא, מה בת עשרים לא חטאה, שהרי אינה בת עונשין, אף בת מאה בלא חטא, ובת עשרים כבת שבע ליופי:
the years of the life of Sarah: All of them equally good.   שני חיי שרה: כלן שוין לטובה:
2. And Sarah died in Kiriath arba, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to eulogize Sarah and to bewail her.   ב. וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיָּבֹא אַבְרָהָם לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ:
in Kiriath-arba: lit. the city of the four. So named because of the four giants who were there: Ahiman, Sheshai, Talmai, and their father (Gen. Rabbah from Num. 13:23). Another explanation: Because of the four couples that were buried there, man and wife: Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer , ch. 20).   בקרית ארבע: על שם ארבע ענקים שהיו שם אחימן ששי ותלמי ואביהם. דבר אחר על שם ארבעה זוגות שנקברו שם איש ואשתו אדם וחוה, אברהם ושרה, יצחק ורבקה, יעקב ולאה:
and Abraham came: from Beer-sheba.   ויבא אברהם: מבאר שבע:
to eulogize Sarah and to bewail her: The account of Sarah’s demise was juxtaposed to the binding of Isaac because as a result of the news of the “binding,” that her son was prepared for slaughter and was almost slaughtered, her soul flew out of her, and she died. — from Gen. Rabbah 58:5]   לספוד לשרה ולבכתה: ונסמכה מיתת שרה לעקידת יצחק, לפי שעל ידי בשורת העקידה שנזדמן בנה לשחיטה וכמעט שלא נשחט, פרחה נשמתה ממנה ומתה:
3. And Abraham arose from before his dead, and he spoke to the sons of Heth, saying,   ג. וַיָּקָם אַבְרָהָם מֵעַל פְּנֵי מֵתוֹ וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי חֵת לֵאמֹר:
4. "I am a stranger and an inhabitant with you. Give me burial property with you, so that I may bury my dead from before me."   ד. גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב אָנֹכִי עִמָּכֶם תְּנוּ לִי אֲחֻזַּת קֶבֶר עִמָּכֶם וְאֶקְבְּרָה מֵתִי מִלְּפָנָי:
I am a stranger and an inhabitant with you: [I am] a stranger from another land, and I have settled among you. [Consequently, I have no ancestral burial plot here (Rashbam, Sforno).] And the Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 58:6) [states]: If you are willing [to sell me burial property], I am a stranger, but if not, I will be as an inhabitant and will take it legally, for the Holy One, blessed be He, said to me, “To your seed I will give this land” (above 12:7).   גר ותושב אנכי עמכם: גר מארץ אחרת ונתישבתי עמכם. ומדרש אגדה אם תרצו הריני גר, ואם לאו אהיה תושב ואטלנה מן הדין שאמר לי הקב"ה (לעיל יב ז) לזרעך אתן את הארץ הזאת:
burial property: the possession of land for a burial place.   אחזת קבר: אחוזת קרקע לבית הקברות:
5. And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him,   ה. וַיַּעֲנוּ בְנֵי חֵת אֶת אַבְרָהָם לֵאמֹר לוֹ:
6. "Listen to us, my lord; you are a prince of God in our midst; in the choicest of our graves bury your dead. None of us will withhold his grave from you to bury your dead."   ו. שְׁמָעֵנוּ | אֲדֹנִי נְשִׂיא אֱלֹהִים אַתָּה בְּתוֹכֵנוּ בְּמִבְחַר קְבָרֵינוּ קְבֹר אֶת מֵתֶךָ אִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ אֶת קִבְרוֹ לֹא יִכְלֶה מִמְּךָ מִקְּבֹר מֵתֶךָ:
none…will withhold: Heb. לא יִכְלֶה, will not withhold, as (Ps. 40:12):“You will not withhold (לא תִכְלָא) Your mercies,” and similarly (above 8:2):“and the rain was withheld (וַיִּכָּלֵא).”   לא יכלה: לא ימנע, כמו (תהלים מ יב) לא תכלא רחמיך, וכמו (לעיל ח ב) ויכלא הגשם:
7. And Abraham arose and prostrated himself to the people of the land, to the sons of Heth.   ז. וַיָּקָם אַבְרָהָם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ לְעַם הָאָרֶץ לִבְנֵי חֵת:
8. And he spoke with them, saying, "If it is your will that I bury my dead from before me, listen to me and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar.   ח. וַיְדַבֵּר אִתָּם לֵאמֹר אִם יֵשׁ אֶת נַפְשְׁכֶם לִקְבֹּר אֶת מֵתִי מִלְּפָנַי שְׁמָעוּנִי וּפִגְעוּ לִי בְּעֶפְרוֹן בֶּן צֹחַר:
your will: Heb. נַפְשְׁכֶם, equivalent to רְצוֹנְכֶם, your will.   נפשכם: רצונכם:
and entreat for me: Heb. וּפִגְעוּ, an expression of entreaty, as in (Ruth 1: 16): “Do not entreat me” .   ופגעו לי: לשון בקשה, כמו (רות א טז) אל תפגעי בי:
9. That he may give me the Machpelah (double) Cave, which belongs to him, which is at the end of his field; for a full price let him give it to me in your midst for burial property."   ט. וְיִתֶּן לִי אֶת מְעָרַת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֲשֶׁר לוֹ אֲשֶׁר בִּקְצֵה שָׂדֵהוּ בְּכֶסֶף מָלֵא יִתְּנֶנָּה לִּי בְּתוֹכְכֶם לַאֲחֻזַּת קָבֶר:
double: A structure with an upper story over it. Another interpretation: [It was called so] because it was doubled with couples (Er. 53a).   המכפלה: בית ועליה על גביו. דבר אחר שכפולה בזוגות:
for a full price: [meaning] its full value. So did David say to Araunah,“for the full price” (I Chron. 21: 24).   בכסף מלא: אשלם כל שוויה, וכן דוד אמר לארונה (דברי הימים א' כא כד) בכסף מלא:
10. Now Ephron was sitting in the midst of the sons of Heth, and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth, of all those who had come into the gate of his city, saying,   י. וְעֶפְרוֹן ישֵׁב בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי חֵת וַיַּעַן עֶפְרוֹן הַחִתִּי אֶת אַבְרָהָם בְּאָזְנֵי בְנֵי חֵת לְכֹל בָּאֵי שַׁעַר עִירוֹ לֵאמֹר:
Now Ephron was sitting: It ישֵׁב is spelled defectively, [without a“vav.” It can therefore be read יָשַׁב, in the past tense, meaning that he had just sat (Mizrachi, Be’er Yitzchak).] On that very day they had appointed him as an officer over them. Because of the importance of Abraham, who needed him, he rose to an exalted position. — from Gen. Rabbah 58:7]   ועפרון ישב: כתיב חסר, אותו היום מנוהו שוטר עליהם, מפני חשיבותו של אברהם שהיה צריך לו עלה לגדולה:
of all those who had come into the gate of his city: For they all left their work and came to pay their respects to Sarah. — from Gen. Rabbah 58:7]   לכל באי שער עירו: שכולן בטלו ממלאכתן ובאו לגמול חסד לשרה:
11. "No, my lord, listen to me. I have given you the field, and the cave that is in it, I have given it to you. Before the eyes of the sons of my people, I have given it to you; bury your dead."   יא. לֹא אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי הַשָּׂדֶה נָתַתִּי לָךְ וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ לְךָ נְתַתִּיהָ לְעֵינֵי בְנֵי עַמִּי נְתַתִּיהָ לָּךְ קְבֹר מֵתֶךָ:
No, my lord: You shall not buy it for money.   לא א-דני: לא תקנה אותה בדמים:
I have given you: It is as though I have given it to you.   נתתי לך: הרי הוא כמו שנתתיה לך:
12. And Abraham prostrated himself before the people of the land.   יב. וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַבְרָהָם לִפְנֵי עַם הָאָרֶץ:
13. And he spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, "But, if only you would listen to me. I am giving the money for the field; take [it] from me, and I will bury my dead there."   יג. וַיְדַבֵּר אֶל עֶפְרוֹן בְּאָזְנֵי עַם הָאָרֶץ לֵאמֹר אַךְ אִם אַתָּה לוּ שְׁמָעֵנִי נָתַתִּי כֶּסֶף הַשָּׂדֶה קַח מִמֶּנִּי וְאֶקְבְּרָה אֶת מֵתִי שָׁמָּה:
But, if only you would listen to me: You tell me to listen to you and to take it gratis. I do not wish to do that, but“If you would only (לוּ) listen to me,” [meaning]“If only (הַלְוַאי) you would listen to me.” Rashi explains that the word לוּ is equivalent to הַלְוַאי, if only.   אך אם אתה לו שמעני: אתה אומר לי לשמוע לך וליקח בחנם, אני אי אפשי בכך, אך אם אתה לו שמעני הלואי ותשמעני:
I am giving: lit. I have given, Donai in Old French. It is ready with me, and I wish that I had already given it to you.   נתתי: דונא"י בלע"ז [נתתי] מוכן הוא אצלי והלואי נתתי לך כבר:
14. And Ephron replied to Abraham, saying to him,   יד. וַיַּעַן עֶפְרוֹן אֶת אַבְרָהָם לֵאמֹר לוֹ:
15. "My lord, listen to me; a [piece of] land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is it between me and you? Bury your dead."   טו. אֲדֹנִי שְׁמָעֵנִי אֶרֶץ אַרְבַּע מֵאֹת שֶׁקֶל כֶּסֶף בֵּינִי וּבֵינְךָ מַה הִוא וְאֶת מֵתְךָ קְבֹר:
between me and you: Between two friends such as we are, of what importance is it? None! Rather leave the sale and bury your dead.   ביני ובינך: בין שני אוהבים כמונו מה היא חשובה לכלום, אלא הנח את המכר ואת מתך קבור:
16. And Abraham listened to Ephron, and Abraham weighed out to Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, accepted by the merchant.   טז. וַיִּשְׁמַע אַבְרָהָם אֶל עֶפְרוֹן וַיִּשְׁקֹל אַבְרָהָם לְעֶפְרֹן אֶת הַכֶּסֶף אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּאָזְנֵי בְנֵי חֵת אַרְבַּע מֵאוֹת שֶׁקֶל כֶּסֶף עֹבֵר לַסֹּחֵר:
and Abraham weighed out to Ephron: עֶפְרֹן is spelled without a “vav,” because he promised much but did not do even a little [i.e., he promised the cave as a gift but took a great deal of money for it], for he took from him large shekels, viz. centenaria [worth one hundred smaller shekels], as it is stated:“accepted by the merchant,” i.e., they are accepted as a [full] shekel everywhere, for some places have large shekels, viz. centenaria, centeniers or zenteniyers in Old French,(hundred-unit weights.) - from Gen. Rabbah 58:7, Bech. 50a, B.M. 87a]   וישקל אברהם לעפרן: חסר וי"ו, לפי שאמר הרבה ואפילו מעט לא עשה, שנטל ממנו שקלים גדולים שהן קנטרין, שנאמר (פסוק טז) עובר לסוחר, שמתקבלים בשקל בכל מקום ויש מקום ששקליהן גדולים שהן קנטרין, צינטינייר"ש [מטבעות של מאה] בלע"ז:
17. And so the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, facing Mamre, was established (as Abraham's possession). [This included] the field and the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within its entire border around.   יז. וַיָּקָם | שְׂדֵה עֶפְרוֹן אֲשֶׁר בַּמַּכְפֵּלָה אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי מַמְרֵא הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ וְכָל הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בַּשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל גְּבֻלוֹ סָבִיב:
the field of Ephron…was established: Heb. וַיָקָם, lit. it arose. It experienced an elevation, for it left the possession of a simple person [and went] into the possession of a king (Gen. Rabbah 48:8). The simple meaning of the verse is: And the field and the cave that was within it, and all the trees…were established to Abraham as a possession, etc. — from Targum Jonathan ben Uzziel]   ויקם שדה עפרון: תקומה היתה לה שיצאה מיד הדיוט ליד מלך. ופשוטו של מקרא ויקם השדה והמערה אשר בו וכל העץ לאברהם למקנה וגו':
18. [It was] to Abraham as a possession before the eyes of the sons of Heth, in the presence of all who had come within the gate of his city.   יח. לְאַבְרָהָם לְמִקְנָה לְעֵינֵי בְנֵי חֵת בְּכֹל בָּאֵי שַׁעַר עִירוֹ:
in the presence of all who had come within the gate of his city: In the midst of them all and in the presence of all he sold it to him.   בכל באי שער עירו: בקרב כולם ובמעמד כולם הקנהו לו:  
19. And afterwards, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, which is Hebron, in the land of Canaan.   יט. וְאַחֲרֵי כֵן קָבַר אַבְרָהָם אֶת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל מְעָרַת שְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה עַל פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן:
20. And the field and the cave within it were established to Abraham as burial property, [purchased] from the sons of Heth.   כ. וַיָּקָם הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ לְאַבְרָהָם לַאֲחֻזַּת קָבֶר מֵאֵת בְּנֵי חֵת:
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