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Genesis 23:17

Genesis 23:17

And the field of Ephron, which [was] in Machpelah
This clearly shows that Machpelah is the proper name of a place or tract of ground, and not an appellative, or to be rendered the double cave, since a field could never be said to be in a cave: and yet some have been so stupid, as Vatablus observes, as to render the words,

``the field of Ephron, which was in the double cave,''
whereas, on the contrary, the cave was in that field; and so the Vulgate version, to better sense, though not agreeably to the Hebrew text,
``the field of Ephron, in which was the double cave:''
which [was] before Mamre;
or over against it, the place where Abraham dwelt, which was in Hebron, ( Genesis 13:18 ) ( 18:1 ) ; the field, and the cave which [was] therein, and all the trees that
[were] in the field, that [were] in all the borders round about, were
made sure;
or "rose", or "stood up" F6. Jarchi thinks the reason of this phrase, or way of speaking, is, because this field, with all belonging to it, came into the hands of a greater person; out of the hands of a private man into the hands of a king; and so Abraham indeed is called by some Heathen writers F7; but Aben Ezra and Ben Melech much better interpret it,
``it was confirmed and stood;''
that is, it was ensured to him, and remained with him, even that, and all upon it and in it, throughout the whole circumference of it.
FOOTNOTES:

F6 (Mqy) Heb. "surrexit", Munster, Vatablus, Piscator; "stetit", Montanus, Schmidt.
F7 Nicolaus Damascenus apud Euseb. Praepar. l. 9. c. 6. p. 417. Justin. e Trogo, l. 38. c. 2.
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