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So Sarah dies at the age of 127. Abraham looks for a burial site among the Hittites.

The Death of Sarah 1 Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. 2 She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.  3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites.[a] He said, 4 “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”

 5 The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6 “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”

 7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8 He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.”

 10 Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give[b] you the field, and I give[c] you the cave that is in it. I give[d] it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”

 12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”

 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels[e] of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”

 16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.

 17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

So Sarah dies at the age of 127. Abraham looks for a burial site among the Hittites. He ends up buying a field along with  a cave at the back of the property for 400 shekels of silver from Ephron. Abraham buries Sarah in this cave in the land of Canaan. I would love to hear some opinions on what happens to the dead that died before Jesus Christ. I’m still on the fence on this issue and could use guidance.
Mom - Elsie Crickard
2/7/2011

So am I. But then I think we spend a good deal of time on issues that we will never know until the full manifestation of God's Kingdom. Keep up your good work.

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2/7/2011

Hi Julia. I'm sorry I haven't been dropping in more often. I used to wonder about this too when I was more positively inclined toward Christianity or theism generally. There are a lot of answers to this question if you look for them, but I think Elsie's is most common. My memory isn't great, but I've seen rather complicated attempts to suggest redemption schemes for pre‐Christ dead. There's a lot of info on this sort of thing in the wikipedia entry on <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_in_Christian_beliefs">Hell in Christian beliefs</a>.

There's also my friend Alissa's mother, who introduced me to one of the few notions of Hell I've ever found worth taking seriously, which was simply eternal separation from God (compare with hebrew <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheol">sheol</a> and the <a href="http://www.helium.com/items/378814-examining‐the‐afterlife‐in‐early‐babylonian‐and‐assyrian‐religions">Sumerian afterlife myth</a>), as opposed to "heaven", which is ultimate and permanent reunion with God, presumably post‐resurrection. I also found quite compelling the notion of Hell presented in Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice, in which the souls of the damned are purged of their self‐hatred, and effectively earn from themselves the atonement they rejected from Christ in their earthly lives. This notion of Hell may have borrowed from the film Jacob's Ladder, in which Hell is the process of letting go of life when experienced by those who tenaciously cling to it. Lastly, I'm familiar with an interpretation in which those who aren't saved are simply annihilated upon death. This is consistent with the general lack of any afterlife or concern with an afterlife in some jewish traditions.

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2/7/2011

Oh wow, I thought I could put html here. Well here are the individual links in the order I included them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_in_Christian_beliefs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheol

http://www.helium.com/items/378814-examining‐the‐afterlife‐in‐early‐babylonian‐and‐assyrian‐religions

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