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.
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.