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Genesis 23

23
Death and Burial of Sarah
1Now #Lit the life of Sarah wasSarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham #Or proceededcame in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 3Then Abraham arose from mourning before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4“I am a stranger and a foreign resident among you; give me #Lit possession of a burial placea burial site among you so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” 5The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, 6“Hear us, my lord: you are a #Lit prince of Godmighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.” 7So Abraham stood up and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. 8And he spoke with them, saying, “If #Lit it is with your soulyou are willing to let me bury my dead out of my sight, listen to me, and plead with Ephron the son of Zohar for me, 9that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in #Lit the midst of youyour presence for #Lit possession of a burial placea burial site.” 10Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth; and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham #Lit in the ears ofso that the sons of Heth heard, that is, all who entered the gate of his city, saying, 11“No, my lord, listen to me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you; bury your dead.” 12And Abraham bowed before the people of the land. 13But he spoke to Ephron #Lit in the ears ofso that the people of the land heard, saying, “If you will only please listen to me; I will give the price of the field, accept it from me so that I may bury my dead there.” 14Then Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15“My lord, listen to me: a plot of land worth #About 12.5 lb. or 5.7 kgfour hundred shekels of silver—what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” 16Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the #Lit earspresence of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency acceptable to a merchant.
17So Ephron’s field, which was in Machpelah, which faced Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees which were in the field, that were #Lit in all its border aroundwithin all the confines of its border, #Or were ratifiedwere deeded over 18to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who entered the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan. 20So the field and the cave that was in it #Or were ratifiedwere deeded over to Abraham for #Lit possession of a burial placea burial site by the sons of Heth.
23
1-2Sarah lived 127 years. Sarah died in Kiriath Arba, present-day Hebron, in the land of Canaan. Abraham mourned for Sarah and wept.
3-4Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites: “I know I’m only an outsider here among you, but sell me a burial plot so that I can bury my dead decently.”
5-6The Hittites responded, “Why, you’re no mere outsider here with us, you’re a prince of God! Bury your dead wife in the best of our burial sites. None of us will refuse you a place for burial.”
7-9Then Abraham got up, bowed respectfully to the people of the land, the Hittites, and said, “If you’re serious about helping me give my wife a proper burial, intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar. Ask him to sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns, the one at the end of his land. Ask him to sell it to me at its full price for a burial plot, with you as witnesses.”
10-11Ephron was part of the local Hittite community. Then Ephron the Hittite spoke up, answering Abraham with all the Hittites who were part of the town council listening: “Oh no, my master! I couldn’t do that. The field is yours—a gift. I’ll give it and the cave to you. With my people as witnesses, I give it to you. Bury your deceased wife.”
12-13Abraham bowed respectfully before the assembled council and answered Ephron: “Please allow me—I want to pay the price of the land; take my money so that I can go ahead and bury my wife.”
14-15Then Ephron answered Abraham, “If you insist, master. What’s four hundred silver shekels between us? Now go ahead and bury your wife.”
16Abraham accepted Ephron’s offer and paid out the sum that Ephron had named before the town council of Hittites—four hundred silver shekels at the current exchange rate.
17-20That’s how Ephron’s field next to Mamre—the field, its cave, and all the trees within its borders—became Abraham’s property. The town council of Hittites witnessed the transaction. Abraham then proceeded to bury his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah that is next to Mamre, present-day Hebron, in the land of Canaan. The field and its cave went from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burial plot.