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23 Sarah lived 127 years; this was the length of the life of Sarah.

And Sarah died in Kiriath-arba, [a]that is, Hebron, in the land of Canaan. And Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.

And Abraham stood up from before his dead and said to the sons of Heth,

I am a stranger and a sojourner with you; give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.

And the Hittites replied to Abraham,

Listen to us, my lord; you are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in any tomb or grave of ours that you choose; none of us will withhold from you his tomb or hinder you from burying your dead.

And Abraham stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land, the Hittites.

And he said to them, If you are willing to grant my dead a burial out of my sight, listen to me and ask Ephron son of Zohar for me,

That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns—it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me here in your presence as a burial place to which I may hold fast among you.

10 Now Ephron was present there among the sons of Heth; so, in the hearing of all who went in at the gate of his city, Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham, saying,

11 No, my lord, hear me; I give you the field, and the cave that is in it I give you. In the presence of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.

12 Then Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land.

13 And he said to Ephron in the presence of the people of the land, But if you will give it, I beg of you, hear me. I will give you the price of the field; accept it from me, and I will bury my dead there.

14 Ephron replied to Abraham, saying,

15 My lord, listen to me. The land is worth 400 shekels of silver; what is that between you and me? So bury your dead.

16 So Abraham listened to what Ephron said and acted upon it. He weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: 400 shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants.

17 So 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 round about—was made over

18 As a possession to Abraham in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at his city gate.

19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of [b]Machpelah to the east of Mamre, that is, Hebron, in the land of Canaan.

20 The field and the cave in it were conveyed to Abraham for a permanent burial place by the sons of Heth.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 23:2 Surely this indicates that this detail was written at a very early date—before Israel had entered the land. No one in later times would need to be told where Hebron was. 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. Obviously the Israelites had not yet entered Canaan and had to be told not only the name of the place where Abraham and Isaac had lived and were buried, but also its location (P. J. Wiseman, New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis).
  2. Genesis 23:19 Here were buried Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah (Gen. 49:31; 50:13).

The Death of Sarah

23 Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba(A) (that is, Hebron)(B) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.(C)

Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites.[a](D) He said, “I am a foreigner and stranger(E) among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.(F)

The Hittites replied to Abraham, “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince(G) among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”

Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar(H) on my behalf so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah,(I) which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.”

10 Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites(J) who had come to the gate(K) of his city. 11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give[b](L) you the field, and I give[c] you the cave that is in it. I give[d] it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”

12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”

14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels[e] of silver,(M) but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”

16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver,(N) according to the weight current among the merchants.(O)

17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah(P) near Mamre(Q)—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property(R) in the presence of all the Hittites(S) who had come to the gate(T) of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah(U) near Mamre (which is at Hebron(V)) in the land of Canaan.(W) 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded(X) to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.(Y)

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 23:3 Or the descendants of Heth; also in verses 5, 7, 10, 16, 18 and 20
  2. Genesis 23:11 Or sell
  3. Genesis 23:11 Or sell
  4. Genesis 23:11 Or sell
  5. Genesis 23:15 That is, about 10 pounds or about 4.6 kilograms

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