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Genesis 23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

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, he went to the Hittites and said, “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.”

Abraham bowed down and replied, “If you are willing to let me bury my wife here, please ask Zohar’s son Ephron 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 23.16-18 Hebron: The Hebrew text has “Mamre,” a place just north of Hebron.

Genesis 23 New International Version (NIV)

The Death of Sarah

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

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

The Hittites replied to Abraham, “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince 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 on my behalf so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, 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 who had come to the gate of his city. 11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give[b] 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, 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, according to the weight current among the merchants.

17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—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 in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

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
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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