on Genesis 23 :1
And Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years old - It is worthy of remark that Sarah is the only woman in the sacred writings whose age, death, and burial are distinctly noted. And she has been deemed worthy of higher honor, for St. Paul, Galatians 4:22, Galatians 4:23, makes her a type of the Church of Christ; and her faith in the accomplishment of God's promise, that she should have a son, when all natural probabilities were against it, is particularly celebrated in the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews 11:11. Sarah was about ninety-one years old when Isaac was born, and she lived thirty-six years after, and saw him grown up to man's estate. With Sarah the promise of the incarnation of Christ commenced, though a comparatively obscure prophecy of it had been delivered to Eve, Genesis 3:15; and with Mary it terminated, having had its exact completion. Thus God put more honor upon these two women than upon all the daughters of Eve besides. Sarah's conception of Isaac was supernatural; she had passed the age and circumstances in which it was possible, naturally speaking, to have a child; therefore she laughed when the promise was given, knowing that the thing was impossible, because it had ceased to be with her after the manner of women. God allows this natural impossibility, and grants that the thing must be the effect of Divine interposition; and therefore asks, Is any thing too hard for God? The physical impossibility was in creased in the case of Mary, she having no connection with man; but the same power interposed as in the case of Sarah: and we find that when all aptitude for natural procreation was gone, Sarah received strength to conceive seed, and bore a son, from whom, in a direct line, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, was to descend; and through this same power we find a virgin conceiving and bearing a son against all natural impossibilities. Every thing is supernatural in the births both of the type and antitype; can it be wondered at then, if the spiritual offspring of the Messiah must have a supernatural birth likewise? hence the propriety of that saying, Unless a man be born again - born from above - born, not only of water, but of the Holy Ghost, he cannot see the kingdom of God. These may appear hard sayings, and those who are little in the habit of considering spiritual things may exclaim, It is enthusiasm! Who can bear it? Such things cannot possibly be." To such persons I have only to say, God hath spoken. This is sufficient for those who credit his being and his Bible; nor is there any thing too hard for him. He, by whose almighty power, Sarah had strength to conceive and bear a son in her old age, and by whose miraculous interference a virgin conceived, and the man Christ Jesus was born of her, can by the same power transform the sinful soul, and cause it to bear the image of the heavenly as it has borne the image of the earthly.
on Genesis 23 :1
Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded in Scripture. She meets with this distinction as the wife of Abraham and the mother of the promised seed. "A hundred and twenty and seven years," and therefore thirty-seven years after the birth of her son. "In Kiriatharba." Arba is called the father of Anak Joshua 15:13; Joshua 21:11; that is, of the Anakim or Bene Anak, a tall or gigantic tribe Numbers 13:22; 28; 33, who were subsequently dispossessed by Kaleb. The Anakim were probably Hittites. Abraham had been absent from Hebron, which is also called Mamre in this very chapter Genesis 23:17, Genesis 23:19, not far from forty years, though he appears to have still kept up a connection with it, and had at present a residence in it. During this interval the sway of Arba may have commenced. "In the land of Kenaan," in contradistinction to Beer-sheba in the land of the Philistines, where we last left Abraham. "Abraham went to mourn for Sarah," either from Beer-sheba or some out-field where he had cattle pasturing.
on Genesis 23 :1