Bible Places: The Cave Machpela

The place which Abraham committed his beloved wife, Sarah, to rest was called Kirjatharba. The name means City of the Four Giants. Arba was a great man among the Anakins (giants) and more than likely was an ancestor of those giants that intimidated Israel and prevented them from entering into God’s rest. Years later when Caleb, by the command of Joshua, took the city as an inheritance given to him of God he defeated the giants and fully took possession of the land. As the possession of Judah its name is changed from the City of Four Giants to Hebron. Hebron means the name of two or two by one name. Hebron also became, under the law of Moses, a city of refuge.

What a beautiful picture of the redemptive work of Christ which purchases the everlasting rest for His beloved bride and then puts down all the enemies who could take it away and in this sweet rest will ascribe to her His name forever.

The name of the cave where she was laid is also very instructive. It is called Machpela. Machpela means to fold over; to bring one side over to the other. It means two becoming one. What a beautiful picture our Lord paints of the final resting place of His Bride. She will at last, not enter into the hands of the avenger of blood, but rather into a city of refuge where she will experience the oneness with her redeemer that she once only dreamed about and desired.

As Joshua divided the conquered rest to his faithful servant Caleb, who now enjoyed the rest God provided, he now tells us that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. (Joshua 14:10-15, 1st Corinthians 15:25-26, 1st Corinthians 15:54-57) Death is the last of the giants who must be defeated and that not by our own strength but by His own power and grace given us in Christ.

D. Pruitt

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