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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 23

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Purchase of a Burial Place. 1The span of Sarah's life was one hundred and twenty‐seven years. 2She died in Kiriath‐arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham performed the customary mourning rites for her. 3Then he left the side of his dead one and addressed the Hittites:* 4“Although I am a resident alien* among you, sell me from your holdings a piece of property for a burial ground, that I may bury my dead wife.” z Gn 33, 19; Acts 7, 16; Heb 11, 9 . 5The Hittites answered Abraham: “Please, sir, 6listen to us! You are an elect of God 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.” 7Abraham, however, began to bow low before the local citizens, the Hittites, 8while he appealed to them: “If you will allow me room for burial of my dead, listen to me! Intercede for me with Ephron, son of Zohar, asking him 9to 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.”

10Now Ephron was present with the Hittites. So Ephron the Hittite replied to Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites who sat on his town council:* 11“Please, sir, listen to me! I give you both the field and the cave in it; in the presence of my kinsmen I make this gift. Bury your dead!” 12But Abraham, after bowing low before the local citizens, addressed Ephron in the hearing of these men: 13“Ah, 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.” 14Ephron replied to Abraham, “Please, 15sir, listen to me! A piece of land worth four hundred shekels* of silver—what is that between you and me, as long as you can bury your dead?” 16 a Acts 7, 16 . 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.*

17 b 17f: Gn 49, 29f . Thus Ephron's field in Machpelah, facing Mamre, together with its cave and all the trees anywhere within its limits, was conveyed 18to Abraham by purchase in the presence of all the Hittites who sat on Ephron's town council. 19After this transaction, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20Thus the field with its cave was transferred from the Hittites to Abraham as a burial place.

Notes:

z: Gn 33, 19; Acts 7, 16; Heb 11, 9 .

a: Acts 7, 16 .

b: 17f: Gn 49, 29f .

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