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Genesis 23

23
Abraham Purchases Machpelah
1Now Sarah’s life was 127 years—the years of Sarah’s life.
2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
3Then Abraham rose from before his dead one and spoke to the sons of Heth saying,
4“I am an outsider and a sojourner among you. Give me a gravesite among you so that I may bury my dead from before my presence.”
5The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him,
6“Listen to us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the best of our graves. None among us will withhold his grave from you, to bury your dead one.”
7Then Abraham got up and bowed down to the people of the land, to the sons of Heth,
8and spoke with them saying, “If you are of a mind to let me bury my dead from before my presence, listen to me. Plead with Ephron son of Zophar on my behalf,
9that he may give me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him, that is at the end of his field. At the full price let him give it to me in your midst for a gravesite.”
10Now Ephron was sitting in the midst of the sons of Heth. And Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the ears of the sons of Heth, all those who enter the gate of his city, saying,
11“No, my lord, listen to me. The field—I hereby give it to you. Also the cave that is in it—I hereby give it to you. In the eyes of the sons of my people, I hereby give it to you. Bury your dead one.”
12Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land,
13and spoke to Ephron in the ears of the people of the land saying, “But if only you would please listen to me. I hereby give the price of the field. Accept it from me that I may bury my dead one there.”
14So Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him,
15“My lord, listen to me. A land worth 400 shekels of silver—what is that between me and you? Bury your dead one.”
16Abraham heard Ephron. So Abraham weighed out to Ephron the silver that he had spoken of in the ears of the sons of Heth—400 shekels of silver at the merchant’s rate.
17Now Ephron’s field that is in Machpelah next to Mamre—the field and the cave that is in it, and all the trees that are in the field in all its surrounding territory—was handed over
18to Abraham as a purchased possession in the eyes of the sons of Heth, before all those who enter the gate of his city.
19Afterward, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan.
20So the field and the cave that was in it were handed over to Abraham as a gravesite from the sons of Heth.
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.