88. Rabbi Yehuda said, Abraham recognized a sign in that cave, NAMELY THE CAVE OF MACHPELAH, and his heart and desire were there. For he had entered it before and seen Adam and Eve interred there. HE ASKS, How did he know it was they, FOR HE DID NOT KNOW THEM? HE ANSWERS, He saw the form OF ADAM and looked at it. Then a door to the Garden of Eden opened before him AND HE UNDERSTOOD that this was the form of Adam before him. HE UNDERSTOOD THAT HE DESERVED TO BE BURIED IN THE GATE OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN BECAUSE HE HAD BEEN IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN DURING HIS LIFETIME.
89. Come and behold, Whoever beholds the form of Adam cannot escape death. THAT PERSON HAS TO DIE THAT INSTANT, for man sees Adam the moment that he dies and passes from the world. But Abraham looked at him, saw his form, and lived. He saw a light shining from within the cave and a candle burning. Then he wanted to dwell in that cave, and his heart and desire were always there.
90. Come and behold, Abraham behaved wisely when he asks for a grave for Sarah, for he did not ask for the cave immediately or say that he wanted to be separated from them. Instead, he said, "Give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight" (Beresheet 23:3). HE DID NOT MENTION EITHER EFRON OR THE CAVE. If you say that Efron was not there, IT IS NOT SO. INDEED he was present, as it is written, "And Efron dwelt among the children of Chet" (Ibid. 9). NEVERTHELESS, Abraham said nothing to him for the time being.
91. He spoke with them further, as it is written, "And spoke to the sons of Chet" (Ibid. 3). Could you conceive that Abraham wanted to be buried among the defiled or that he wanted to join them, when he said, "Give me a possession of a burying place with you?" Nevertheless, he behaved wisely.
92. And we learn proper conduct from the way Abraham acted, because he desired and wished for that cave. Although Efron was there, he did not want to ask him immediately. He did not ask for the cave but rather for what he did not want, and asks another, not Efron, AS HE SAID TO THE SONS OF CHET, "GIVE ME A POSSESSION OF A BURYING PLACE WITH YOU..."
93. Once the sons of Chet said to him in the presence of Efron, "Hear us, my Lord, you are a mighty prince among us" (Beresheet 23:5), it is written, "And Efron dwelt (lit. 'dwells') among the children of Chet." 'Dwells' is written without vowels and can be conjugated as 'dwelt,' which would mean that Efron was already there as they started talking. Then Abraham said, "Hear me, and entreat for me to Efron, the son of Tzochar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has" (Ibid. 8). If you say that, since my honor is greater than yours, I ASK FOR THE CAVE OF THE MACHPELAH FROM EFRON, because I do not want to dwell among you, THIS IS NOT TRUE. But "with you" AND "AMONGST YOU" (IBID. 10) - IN OTHER WORDS, to be interred among you. THIS IS WHAT I MEANT, because I want you, so that I shall not be separated from you.