(Acts 7:15, 16).

It is recorded that there were two distinct purchases by Abraham and Jacob for the purpose of burying their dead :  one a field with a cave (Machpelah) at the end of it, which was bought by Abraham of Ephron the Hittite for 400 shekels of silver (Gen. 23:16-18); the other, "a parcel of a field" which was bought by Jacob of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of money (Gen. 33:18, 19).

In the former were buried Sarah (Gen. 23:19), Abraham (Gen. 25:9), Isaac (Gen. 49:31), Rebekah and Leah (Gen. 49:31), and Jacob (Gen. 50:12, 13).  In the latter were buried Joseph (Josh. 24:32), and the other sons of Jacob who died in Egypt (Acts 7:16).

In Acts 7:16 Stephen referred to these events, well known to his hearers who were seeking his life.  These found nothing to stumble at in his statement that Abraham bought the sepulcher of the sons of Emmor (the father) (*1) of Sychem, whereas Gen. 33:18,19 states that Jacob was the buyer of "a parcel of a field" from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

The explanation probably is simple, -- Abraham was a rich man :  rich men often buy, if they can, "parcels" of land for some reason or other :  why should not Abraham have had a second place of sepulture assured, if he so desired?

As the Hittites were eager to oblige the rich and powerful sojourner among them, in the matter of Machpelah, as we know; so he would have little difficulty in buying the parcel at Sychem from the original holders in his time.  Between Abraham's death and the appearance of Jacob at Sychem, eighty-five years had passed (Ap. 50, pp. 51, 52).  Jacob was a keen man of business, but during his long absence "abroad" the title may have lapsed, or become obscure.  Hence, when he desired to resume possession of a piece of family property, so to speak, he had to pay something by way of forfeit to make good his claim. The comparatively small sum recorded strengthens this suggestion.  Modern instances are familiar to us.  There is no reason why it should not be so in this case.  And have we never heard of two family burying -places? So here, Jacob was buried in the one, Machpelah; Joseph and his brethren in the other at Sychem.

(*1) Almost all the texts read en = in, instead of tou = the father of.

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