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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
Sarah’s Death
1Sarah lived to be 127 years old. This was the length of her life. 2She died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to cry about her death.
3Then Abraham left the side of his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites, 4“I’m a stranger with no permanent home. Let me have some of your property for a tomb so that I can bury my dead wife.”
5The Hittites answered Abraham, 6“Listen to us, sir. You are a mighty leader among us. Bury your dead in one of our best tombs. Not one of us will withhold from you his tomb for burying your dead.”
7Abraham got up in front of the Hittites, the people of that region, and bowed with his face touching the ground. 8He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my wife, listen to me. Encourage Ephron, son of Zohar, 9to let me have the cave of Machpelah that he owns at the end of his field. He should sell it to me for its full price as my property to be used as a tomb among you.”
10Ephron was sitting among the Hittites. He answered Abraham so that everyone who was entering the city gate could hear him. He said, 11“No, sir, listen to me. I’m giving you the field together with the cave that is in it. My people are witnesses that I’m giving it to you. Bury your wife!”
12Abraham bowed down again in front of the people of that region. 13He spoke to Ephron so that the people of that region could hear him. He said, “If you would only listen to me. I will pay you the price of the field. Take it from me so that I can bury my wife there.”
14Ephron answered Abraham, 15“Sir, listen to me. The land is worth ten pounds of silver. What is that between us? Bury your wife!”
16Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms. So he weighed out for Ephron the amount stated in front of the Hittites: ten pounds of silver at the current merchants’ exchange rate.
17So Ephron’s field at Machpelah, east of Mamre, was sold 18to Abraham. His property included the field with the cave in it as well as all the trees inside the boundaries of the field.#23:18 The last part of verse 17 (in Hebrew) has been placed in verse 18 to express the complex Hebrew sentence structure more clearly in English. The Hittites together with all who had entered the city gate were the official witnesses for the agreement.
19After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah, east of Mamre (that is, Hebron). 20So the field and its cave were sold by the Hittites to Abraham as his property to be used as a tomb.