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Genesis 23

23
Sarah’s Burial
1Now Sarah lived 127 years; these were all the years of her life. 2Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron # Gn 35:27; Jos 14:15; 15:13; 21:11; Jdg 1:10) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
3Then Abraham got up from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites: # Or sons of Heth ; also in vv. 5,7,10,16,18,20 4“I am a foreign resident among you. # Gn 17:8; Lv 25:23; 1Ch 29:15; Ps 39:12; 105:12; Heb 11:9,13 Give me a burial site among you so that I can bury my dead.” # Lit dead from before me # Gn 49:30; Ac 7:16
5The Hittites replied to Abraham, # Lit Abraham, saying to him 6“Listen to us, lord. # Lit my lord You are God’s chosen one # Or prince of God, or mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in our finest burial place. # Or finest graves None of us will withhold from you his burial place for burying your dead.”
7Then Abraham rose and bowed down to the Hittites, the people of the land. 8He said to them, “If you are willing for me to bury my dead, listen to me and ask Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9to give me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him give it to me in your presence, for the full price, as a burial place.”
10Ephron was sitting among the Hittites. So in the presence # Lit ears of all the Hittites who came to the gate of his city, # Gn 34:20,24; Ru 4:1 Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham: 11“No, my lord. Listen to me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence # Lit in the eyes of the sons of my people. Bury your dead.”
12Abraham bowed down to the people of the land 13and said to Ephron in the presence # Lit ears of the people of the land, “Please listen to me. Let me pay the price of the field. Accept it from me, and let me bury my dead there.”
14Ephron answered Abraham and said to him, 15“My lord, listen to me. Land worth 400 shekels of silver # Ex 30:13; Ezk 45:12 — what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.” 16Abraham agreed with Ephron, and Abraham weighed out to Ephron the silver that he had agreed to in the presence # Lit ears of the Hittites: 400 shekels of silver at the current commercial rate. # Jr 32:9; Zch 11:12 17So Ephron’s field # Gn 25:9; 49:29-32; 50:13 at Machpelah near Mamre — the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the boundaries of the field — became 18Abraham’s possession in the presence of all the Hittites who came to the gate of his city. 19After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field at Machpelah near Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20The field with its cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham # Jr 32:10-14 as a burial place.
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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.