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People's Dictionary of the Bible
Machpelah (mak-pç'lah), double cave. A field in Hebron containing the cave which Abraham bought of Ephron the Hittite as a burial-place for his family. A full account of the negotiations, carried on after the oriental forms still prevalent, is given in Genesis 23:1-20. That cave became the burial-place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. Genesis 23:19; Genesis 25:9; Genesis 49:29-32; Genesis 50:12-13. The name does not occur except in the book of Genesis. The cave Machpelah is one of the Bible sites which are positively known. It was situated on the western slope of a hill in Hebron, the town lying for the most part to the south and west. Within an enclosure is a mosque, which was probably erected in the time of Justinian as a Christian church. Visitors are rigidly excluded, but by a special firman of the sultan the Prince of Wales was admitted in 1862, and others have since entered it. Of the cave itself there is no trustworthy account. Captain Warren was told that it had not been entered for 600 years. The Moslems have a superstition that whoever attempts to enter it will be struck dead, and their fanaticism causes them to prohibit any one from making the attempt. It is thought to be possible that the embalmed body of Jacob may still be preserved in the cave, as Egyptian mummies have been found of as early a date.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Machpelah'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/m/machpelah.html. 1893.