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Genesis 23

23
Chapter 23
Sarah dies and Abraham buries her
1Sarah lived for 127 years. 2She died in the land of Canaan, at Kiriath Arba. That place is also called Hebron. Abraham was very sad. He went to her tent and he cried very much, because she was dead.
3Then Abraham went to the Hittite people and he said to them, 4‘I am living as a stranger among you. Please, sell me some land here, so that it belongs to me. Then I can use it to bury my wife properly.’
5The Hittites replied, 6‘Sir, please listen to what we say. We respect you as a great and powerful person. We have good places where we bury our people who have died. Choose the best one that you like. None of us will refuse to give you the place that you choose. Then you will be able to bury your dead wife there.’
7Abraham stood up. He turned his face towards the ground to respect the Hittites who lived in that place. 8He said to them, ‘Since you have agreed to help me, please do this. Speak to Zohar's son, Ephron, for me. 9Ask him to sell the cave of Machpelah to me. It belongs to Ephron. It is at the edge of his field. You will see that I pay the proper price to him. Then it will belong to me. I can bury my family there when they die.’
10Ephron was sitting there with his people, at the city gate. He spoke so that all the Hittites could hear him. 11Ephron said, ‘No sir. Please listen to me. You may take my field as well as the cave. I promise in front of my people that I will give all this to you. Then you can bury your dead wife there.’
12Abraham again turned his face towards the ground to respect the people who lived in that place. 13While they were listening, he said to Ephron, ‘Let me say this. I will pay you the price to buy the field. Please accept the money from me. Then I can bury my dead wife there.’
14Ephron replied to Abraham, 15‘Listen to me, sir. The land is worth 400 shekels of silver. But the price is not important, because we are friends. Now bury your dead wife there.’ #23:15 People used shekels to measure weight. Ephron is telling Abraham how much the land will cost. He knows that Abraham will not accept the field as a gift. This is the way that people would agree to a price.
16Abraham agreed to the price that Ephron had asked for. He weighed the correct amount of silver to give to Ephron. The Hittites there knew that it had been done properly. The weight of 400 shekels agreed with the weights that people used at that time.
17In that way, Ephron's field in Machpelah, near Mamre, now belonged to Abraham. This included the field, the cave in the field and all the trees in the field as far as its edge. 18All the Hittite people who were sitting there at the city gate agreed that Abraham was the new owner.
19After this, Abraham buried his wife, Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah. This field was near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. That place is also called Hebron. 20That is how Abraham bought the field and the cave that was in it from the Hittite people. He bought it so that he could bury there his family who died.
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.