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23RD CHAPTER

Sarah’s Death

Sarah lived to be 127 years old. This was the length of her life. She died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to cry about her death.

Then Abraham left the side of his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites, “I’m a stranger with no permanent home. Let me have some of your property for a tomb so that I can bury my dead wife.”

The Hittites answered Abraham, “Listen to us, sir. You are a mighty leader among us. Bury your dead in one of our best tombs. Not one of us will withhold from you his tomb for burying your dead.”

Abraham got up in front of the Hittites, the people of that region, and bowed with his face touching the ground. He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my wife, listen to me. Encourage Ephron, son of Zohar, to let me have the cave of Machpelah that he owns at the end of his field. He should sell it to me for its full price as my property to be used as a tomb among you.”

10 Ephron was sitting among the Hittites. He answered Abraham so that everyone who was entering the city gate could hear him. He said, 11 “No, sir, listen to me. I’m giving you the field together with the cave that is in it. My people are witnesses that I’m giving it to you. Bury your wife!”

12 Abraham bowed down again in front of the people of that region. 13 He spoke to Ephron so that the people of that region could hear him. He said, “If you would only listen to me. I will pay you the price of the field. Take it from me so that I can bury my wife there.”

14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Sir, listen to me. The land is worth ten pounds of silver. What is that between us? Bury your wife!”

16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms. So he weighed out for Ephron the amount stated in front of the Hittites: ten pounds of silver at the current merchants’ exchange rate.

17 So Ephron’s field at Machpelah, east of Mamre, was sold 18 to Abraham. His property included the field with the cave in it as well as all the trees inside the boundaries of the field.a The Hittites together with all who had entered the city gate were the official witnesses for the agreement.

19 After this, Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah, east of Mamre (that is, Hebron). 20 So the field and its cave were sold by the Hittites to Abraham as his property to be used as a tomb.

GW

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