Sarah Dies and Abraham Buys a Burial Ground
1Sarah lived to be 127 years old. 2She died in Hebron in the land of Canaan, and Abraham mourned her death.
3He left the place where his wife's body was lying, went to the Hittites, and said, 4#Heb 11.9, 13; Acts 7.16“I am a foreigner living here among you; sell me some land, so that I can bury my wife.”
5They answered, 6“Listen to us, sir. We look upon you as a mighty leader; bury your wife in the best grave that we have. Any of us would be glad to give you a grave, so that you can bury her.”
7Then Abraham bowed before them 8and said, “If you are willing to let me bury my wife here, please ask Ephron son of Zohar 9to sell me Machpelah Cave, which is near the edge of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for its full price, here in your presence, so that I can own it as a burial ground.”
10Ephron himself was sitting with the other Hittites at the meeting place at the city gate; he answered in the hearing of everyone there, 11“Listen, sir; I will give you the whole field and the cave that is in it. Here in the presence of my own people, I will give it to you, so that you can bury your wife.”
12But Abraham bowed before the Hittites 13and said to Ephron, so that everyone could hear, “May I ask you, please, to listen. I will buy the whole field. Accept my payment, and I will bury my wife there.”
14Ephron answered, 15“Sir, land worth only 400 pieces of silver — what is that between us? Bury your wife in it.” 16Abraham agreed and weighed out the amount that Ephron had mentioned in the hearing of the people — 400 pieces of silver, according to the standard weights used by the merchants.
17That is how the property which had belonged to Ephron at Machpelah, east of Mamre, became Abraham's. It included the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees in the field up to the edge of the property. 18It was recognized as Abraham's property by all the Hittites who were there at the meeting.
19Then Abraham buried his wife Sarah in that cave in the land of Canaan. 20So the field which had belonged to the Hittites, and the cave in it, became the property of Abraham for a burial ground.
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.
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 in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
3When Abraham got up from beside his dead wife, he spoke to the Hethites: 4“I am an alien residing among you.#Gn 17:8; Lv 25:23; 1Ch 29:15; Ps 39:12; 105:12; Heb 11:9,13 Give me burial property among you so that I can bury my dead.”#23:4 Lit dead from before me#Gn 49:30; Ac 7:16
5The Hethites replied to Abraham,#23:5 Lit Abraham, saying to him 6“Listen to us, my lord. You are a prince of God#23:6 Or a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in our finest burial place.#23:6 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 Hethites, 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 burial property.”
10Ephron was sitting among the Hethites. So in the hearing#23:10 Lit ears, also in vv. 13,16 of all the Hethites who came to the gate of his city,#Gn 34:20,24; Ru 4:1 Ephron the Hethite 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 sight#23:11 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 hearing of the people of the land, “Listen to me, if you please. 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 four hundred 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 hearing of the Hethites: four hundred standard shekels#23:16 Lit 400 shekels passing to the merchant of silver.#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 sight of all the Hethites 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 Hethites to Abraham#Jr 32:10–14 as burial property.
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