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Genesis , CHAPTER 23

Purchase of a Burial Plot.

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The span of Sarah’s life was one hundred and twenty-seven years.

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She died in Kiriath-arba─now Hebron─in the land of Canaan, and Abraham proceeded to mourn and weep for her.

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Then he left the side of his deceased wife and addressed the Hittites:

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“Although I am a resident alien among you, sell me from your holdings a burial place, that I may bury my deceased wife.”

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The Hittites answered Abraham: “Please,

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sir, listen to us! You are a mighty leader among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our burial sites. None of us would deny you his burial ground for the burial of your dead.”

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Abraham, however, proceeded to bow low before the people of the land, the Hittites,

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and said to them: “If you will allow me room for burial of my dead, listen to me! Intercede for me with Ephron, son of Zohar,

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so that he will sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns; it is at the edge of his field. Let him sell it to me in your presence at its full price for a burial place.”

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Now Ephron was sitting with the Hittites. So Ephron the Hittite replied to Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, all who entered the gate of his city:

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“Please, sir, listen to me! I give you both the field and the cave in it; in the presence of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead!”

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But Abraham, after bowing low before the people of the land,

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addressed Ephron in the hearing of these men: “If only you would please listen to me! I will pay you the price of the field. Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.”

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Ephron replied to Abraham, “Please,

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sir, listen to me! A piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver?what is that between you and me? Bury your dead!”

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Abraham accepted Ephron’s terms; he weighed out to him the silver that Ephron had stipulated in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver at the current market value.

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Thus Ephron’s field in Machpelah, facing Mamre, together with its cave and all the trees anywhere within its limits, was conveyed

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to Abraham by purchase in the presence of the Hittites, all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city.

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After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre─now Hebron─in the land of Canaan.

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Thus the field with its cave was transferred from the Hittites to Abraham as a burial place.