Genesis 23:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 23:16, NIV: "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."

Genesis 23:16, ESV: "Abraham listened to Ephron, and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants."

Genesis 23:16, KJV: "And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant."

Genesis 23:16, NASB: "Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the presence of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, currency acceptable to a merchant."

Genesis 23:16, NLT: "So Abraham agreed to Ephron's price and paid the amount he had suggested--400 pieces of silver, weighed according to the market standard. The Hittite elders witnessed the transaction."

Genesis 23:16, CSB: "Abraham agreed with Ephron, and Abraham weighed out to Ephron the silver that he had agreed to in the hearing of the Hethites: four hundred standard shekels of silver."

What does Genesis 23:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham's negotiation with Ephron the Hittite for the purchase of his cave and field at Machpelah has concluded. Negotiation may not be quite the right word, however. Abraham immediately accepts the first price Ephron mentions, agreeing to purchase the field along with the cave he initially asked about.

For Abraham, the most important thing was to have the full legal ownership rights to this property, something he ensured by purchasing the cave and field in full view of the "people of the land" (Genesis 23:12). There could be no legitimate dispute as to who owned this property.

Why was this so important? In this era, people were often buried in their homeland, entombed along with their ancestors. Abraham's decision to bury Sarah, and later to be buried himself, in Canaan, was a declaration of faith that this would become the permanent homeland of his offspring. This is somewhat unusual, also, in that the land Abraham has just purchased is part of what God has promised to his descendants.