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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 23

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1Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old, 2and she died in Kiriath-arba (which is Hebron) in Canaan. Abraham went in to mourn over Sarah and to weep for her. 3When at last he rose and left the presence of his dead one, he approached the Hittites: 4‘I am an alien and a settler among you,’ he said. ‘Make over to me some ground among you for a burial-place, that I may bury my dead.’ 5The Hittites answered, 6‘Listen to us, sir: you are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the best grave we have. There is not one of us who would deny you his grave or hinder you from burying your dead.’

7Abraham rose and bowing low to the Hittites, the people of that region, 8he said to them, ‘If you have a mind to help me about the burial, then listen to me: speak to Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf, 9and ask him to grant me the cave that belongs to him at Machpelah, at the far end of his land. In your presence let him make it over to me for the full price, so that I may take possession of it as a burial-place.’ 10Ephron was sitting with the other Hittites and in the hearing of all who had assembled at the city gate he gave Abraham this answer: 11‘No, sir; hear me: I shall make you a gift of the land and also give you the cave which is on it. In the presence of my people I give it to you; so bury your dead.’ 12Abraham bowed low before the people 13and said to Ephron in their hearing, ‘Do you really mean it? But listen to me—let me give you the price of the land: take it from me, and I shall bury my dead there.’ 14Ephron answered, 15‘Listen, sir: land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between me and you! You may bury your dead there.’ 16Abraham closed the bargain with him and weighed out the amount that Ephron had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of the standard recognized by merchants.

17So the plot of land belonging to Ephron at Machpelah to the east of Mamre, the plot, the cave that is on it, with all the trees in the whole area, became the 18legal possession of Abraham, in the presence of all the Hittites who had assembled at the city gate. 19After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave on the plot of land at Machpelah to the east of Mamre, which is Hebron, in Canaan. 20Thus, by purchase from the Hittites, the plot and the cave on it became Abraham's possession as a burial-place.

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