Genesis 23:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 23:18, NIV: "to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city."

Genesis 23:18, ESV: "to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of his city."

Genesis 23:18, KJV: "Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city."

Genesis 23:18, NASB: "to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who entered the gate of his city."

Genesis 23:18, NLT: "It was transferred to Abraham as his permanent possession in the presence of the Hittite elders at the city gate."

Genesis 23:18, CSB: "Abraham's possession in the sight of all the Hethites who came to the gate of his city."

What does Genesis 23:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

of Mamre. It includes a cave, a field, and all the trees within the boundary of that field. Abraham has purchased this plot in order to make it his family tomb. Sarah has recently passed away (Genesis 23:2), and Abraham intends to bury her there. This act of burial has particular significance in that time period. Choosing to bury one's dead in a specific place was a sign of both residency and ownership. Even though he has to buy it, Abraham is able to take possession, within his lifetime, of a small portion of the Promised Land.

All of this small parcel is now "made over" to Abraham as his possession. The transaction is concluded in full view of the Hittites and all who go in at the gate of the city. These are likely the elders of Hebron. This is a public and legal transaction according the customs of the land at this time.