Acts 7:16

Acts 7:16

And were carried over into Sichem
The Syriac version reads in the singular number, "and he was translated into Sichem, and laid" as if this was said of Jacob only, whereas he is not spoken of at all, only the fathers, the twelve patriarchs; for Jacob, though he was carried out of Egypt, he was not buried in Sichem, but in the cave of Machpelah, ( Genesis 50:13 ) . But Joseph and the rest of the patriarchs, who died in Egypt, when the children of Israel came out from thence, they brought their bones along with them, and buried them in Sichem: of the burial of Joseph there, there is no doubt, since it is expressly affirmed in ( Joshua 24:32 ) and that the rest of the patriarchs were buried there, and not in Hebron, as Josephus asserts F24, may be concluded from hence; because in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron, there are never mentioned more in Jewish writers F25, than these four couple; Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah; from whence, they say, Hebron was called Kirjath Arba, the city of four; as also, because it is the general consent of the Jews; and if they had not agreed in it, or said nothing about it, the thing is natural to suppose, that the children of Israel brought the bones of all the patriarchs out of Egypt, along with Joseph's F26; and since they buried the bones of Joseph in Sichem, it is most reasonable to believe, that the rest were buried there likewise; though it must be owned, that there is an entire silence about them, even when the sepulchre of Joseph is taken notice of: so R. Benjamin speaking of the Samaritans says F1,

``among them is the sepulchre of Joseph the righteous, the son of Jacob our father, on whom be peace, as it is said, ( Joshua 24:32 ) .''

And says another of their writers F2,

``from Sichem about a sabbath day's journey, in a village, called Belata, there Joseph the just was buried;''

but of the rest, no mention is made:

and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of
the sons of Emmor, the father of Sichem;
the last clause, the father "of Sichem", is left out in the Syriac version; and the Alexandrian copy reads it, "in Sichem"; as if it was the name of a place, and not of a man: the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read, "the son of Sichem"; whereas it is certain, that Sichem was the son of Emmor, or Hamor, ( Genesis 33:19 ) ( 34:6 ) unless it can be thought there were two Sichems, one that was the father of Emmor, and another that was his son: but the great difficulty is, how the sepulchre in which the fathers were laid at Sichem, can be said to be bought by Abraham of the sons of Emmor, when what Abraham bought was the field and cave of Machpelah; and that not of the sons of Emmor, but of the sons of Heth, and of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hitrite, ( Genesis 23:16 Genesis 23:17 ) . Whereas the parcel of ground in Sichem, bought of the sons of Emmor, the father of Sichem, was bought by Jacob, ( Genesis 33:19 ) ( Joshua 24:32 ) . Various things are suggested, to reconcile this; some think the word Abraham is an interpolation, and that it should be read, which he (Jacob) bought; but to support this, no copy can be produced: others observe, that it may be read, which he bought for Abraham; that is, which Jacob bought for Abraham and his seed, as a pledge of the inheritance of the whole land, promised unto him; others think that by Abraham is meant a son of Abraham, that is, Jacob; as children are sometimes called by their father's name; as the Messiah is called David, and the like; but what best seems to remove the difficulty is, that the words refer to both places and purchases; to the field of Machpelah bought by Abraham, and to the parcel of field is Sichem bought by Jacob, of the sons of Emmor; for the words with the repetition of the phrase, "in the sepulchre", may be read thus; "and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money", and in the sepulchre (bought by Jacob) "of the sons of Emmor", the father of Sichem; or the words may be rendered thus, "they were carried over into Sichem, and laid in the sepulchre which Abraham bought for a sum of money, besides" that "of the sons of Emmor", the father "of Sichem"; namely, which Jacob bought, and in which Joseph was laid, ( Genesis 33:19 ) ( Joshua 24:32 ) . And this agrees with Stephen's account and design, in the preceding verse; he observes, that Jacob died in Egypt, and all the twelve patriarchs; and here he tells us how they were disposed of, and where they were buried, both Jacob and his sons; they were removed from Egypt, and brought into the land of Canaan; Jacob, he was laid in the cave of Machpelah, in the sepulchre Abraham bought of the children of Heth; and Joseph and his brethren, they were laid in the sepulchre at Sichem, which Jacob bought of the sons of Emmor: upon the whole, the charge of several errors brought by the F3 Jew against Stephen appears to be groundless; the sum this sepulchre was bought for was an hundred pieces of money, ( Genesis 33:19 ) .


F24 Antiqu. l. 2. c. 8. sect. 2.
F25 T. Bab. Sota, fol. 13. 1. Cippi Heb. p. 4. R. Benjamin. Itinerar. p. 48, 49.
F26 T. Bab. Sota, fol. 13. Bava Kama, fol. 92. 1. Maccot fol. 11. 1. & Gloss. in ib. Bereshit, fol. 89. 1. Sepher Jasher apud Gaulmin. not. in Vita Mosis, l. 2. c. 2. p. 287.
F1 ltinerar. p. 39.
F2 Cippi Heb. p. 34.
F3 R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 63. p. 450, 451.