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Genesis 23

23
Death and Burial of Sarah
1Sarah lived a hundred and twenty-seven years; this was the length of the life of Sarah. 2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba #This comment indicates that the text was written at a very early date, before Israel entered the promised land, because afterward Hebron was well known. Not only was it conspicuous in Joshua’s and Caleb’s day, but it became a “city of refuge.” Besides all this, David was king in Hebron for seven years.(that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3Then Abraham stood up before his dead [wife’s body], and spoke to the #The Hittites, along with the Egyptians and the Assyrians, were among the great powers in the ancient Middle East. They were famous for their fine horses, many of which were acquired by Solomon through trade. They also discovered and held secret the process of smelting iron when iron was treasured almost as much as gold. These Hittites were of Indo-European origin. The relationship, if any, between these Anatolian Hittites and the descendants of Canaan’s son, Heth, is unclear.sons of Heth (Hittites), saying, 4“I am a stranger and a sojourner (resident alien) among you; give (sell) me property for a burial place among you so that I may bury my dead [in the proper manner].” 5The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6“Listen to us, my lord; you are a prince of God [a mighty prince] among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave or hinder you from burying your dead [wife].” 7So Abraham stood up and bowed to the people of the land, the Hittites. 8And Abraham said to them, “If you are willing to grant my dead a [proper] burial, listen to me, and plead with Ephron the son of Zohar for me, 9so that he may give (sell) me the cave of Machpelah which he owns—it is at the end of his field; let him give it to me here in your presence for the full price as a burial site [which I may keep forever among you].” 10Now Ephron was present there among the sons of Heth; so within the hearing of all the sons of Heth and all who were entering the gate of his city, Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham, saying, 11“No, my lord, hear me; I #This was not an offer to give the land to Abraham as a gift, but part of the negotiating process of the time.give you the [entire] field, and I also give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the men of my people I give (sell) it to you; bury your dead [there].” 12Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. 13He said to Ephron in the presence of the people of the land, “If you will only please listen to me and accept my offer. I will give you the price of the field; accept it from me and I will bury my dead there.” 14Ephron replied to Abraham, 15“My lord, listen to me. The land [you seek] is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that between you and me? So bury your dead.” 16So Abraham listened to Ephron [and agreed to his terms]; and he weighed out for Ephron the [amount of] silver which he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants.
17So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre (Hebron)—the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and in all its borders around it—were deeded over [legally] 18to Abraham as his possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who were entering at the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of #Here were buried Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah (Gen 49:31; 50:13).Machpelah to the east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20The field and the cave in it were deeded over to Abraham by the Hittites as a [permanent] possession and burial place.
23
The Death of Sarah
1Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. 2She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
3Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites.#23:3 Or the descendants of Heth; also in verses 5, 7, 10, 16, 18 and 20 He said, 4“I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”
5The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6“Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”
7Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.”
10Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 11“No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give#23:11 Or sell you the field, and I give#23:11 Or sell you the cave that is in it. I give#23:11 Or sell it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”
12Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”
14Ephron answered Abraham, 15“Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels#23:15 That is, about 10 pounds or about 4.6 kilograms of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”
16Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.
17So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.