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Machpelah (măkpēˈlə) [key], cave, near Hebron; also called the Cave of the Patriarchs. The Book of Genesis relates that it was bought by Abraham from Ephron, son of Zohar the Hittite, for a family burial place. The Mosque of Ibrahim, which now encloses the site, may be a successor to a structure built by the Herods. The mosque was the site of the murder of Muslim worshipers by an extremist Jewish settler in 1994.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Machpelah from Infoplease:

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  • Zohar - Zohar Zohar , in the Bible. 1. Father of the owner of the cave of Machpelah. 2. Son of Simeon. An ...
  • Ephron - Ephron Ephron , in the Bible. 1. Owner of the cave of Machpelah. 2. City, E of the Jordan, captured ...
  • Sara - Sara Sara or Sarah,in the Bible, wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. With Rebekah, Rachel, and ...

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