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sepulchre

also known as: sepulcher

Hebrew: qeber or qibrah (burying place, grave)

A sepluchre is first mentioned as purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:20). This was the “cave of the field of Machpelah,” where also Abraham and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah were burried (49:29-32).

In Acts 7:16 it is said that Jacob was “laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.” It has been proposed, as a mode of reconciling the apparent discrepancy between this verse and Gen. 23:20, to read Acts 7:16 thus:

“And they [i.e., our fathers] were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor [the son] of Sychem.”

The New American Standard Bible says,

“From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.”

In this way the purchase made by Abraham is not to be confounded with the purchase made by Jacob subsequently in the same district. Of this purchase by Abraham there is no direct record in the Old Testament.

“Today there is a Muslim mosque over the alleged site of this cave” (Henry M. Morris, The Defender's Bible).

Such burying places are mentioned in the following verses: Gen 23:4, 9, 20; 47:30; 49:30; 50:13; Judges 16:31.

Author: Matthew G. Easton and Paul S. Taylor.

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