23 Sarah lived a hundred and twenty-seven years; this was the length of the life of Sarah. 2 Sarah died in Kiriath-arba [a](that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3 Then Abraham stood up before his dead [wife’s body], and spoke to the [b]sons of Heth (Hittites), saying,
Genesis 23:2This comment indicates that the text was written at a very early date, before Israel entered the promised land, because afterward Hebron was well known. Not only was it conspicuous in Joshua’s and Caleb’s day, but it became a “city of refuge.” Besides all this, David was king in Hebron for seven years.
Genesis 23:3The Hittites, along with the Egyptians and the Assyrians, were among the great powers in the ancient Middle East. They were famous for their fine horses, many of which were acquired by Solomon through trade. They also discovered and held secret the process of smelting iron when iron was treasured almost as much as gold. These Hittites were of Indo-European origin. The relationship, if any, between these Anatolian Hittites and the descendants of Canaan’s son, Heth, is unclear.
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