Contemporary English Version
Sarah’s Death and Burial
23 1-2 When Sarah was one hundred twenty-seven years old, she died in Kiriath-Arba, better known as Hebron, in the land of Canaan. After Abraham had mourned for her, 3 he went to the Hittites and said, 4 “I live as a foreigner in your land, and I don’t own any property where I can bury my wife. Please let me buy a piece of land.”
5-6 “Sir,” they answered, “you are an important man. Choose the best place to bury your wife. None of us would refuse you a resting place for your dead.”
7 Abraham bowed down 8 and replied, “If you are willing to let me bury my wife here, please ask Zohar’s son Ephron 9 to sell me Machpelah Cave at the end of his field. I’ll pay what it’s worth, and all of you can be witnesses.”
10 Ephron was sitting there near the city gate, when Abraham made this request, and he answered, 11 “Sir, the whole field, including the cave, is yours. With my own people as witnesses, I freely give it to you as a burial place for your dead.”
12 Once again, Abraham bowed down 13 and said to Ephron, “In front of these witnesses, I offer you the full price, so I can bury my wife. Please accept my offer.”
14-15 “But sir,” the man replied, “the property is worth only four hundred pieces of silver. Why should we haggle over such a small amount? Take the land. It’s yours.”
16-18 Abraham accepted Ephron’s offer and paid him the four hundred pieces of silver in front of everyone at the city gate. That’s how Abraham got Ephron’s property east of Hebron,[a] which included the field with all of its trees, as well as Machpelah Cave at the end of the field. 19 So Abraham buried his wife Sarah in Machpelah Cave that was in the field 20 he had bought from the Hittites.
- 23.16-18 Hebron: The Hebrew text has “Mamre,” a place just north of Hebron.