Genesis 23:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 23:3, NIV: "Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said,"

Genesis 23:3, ESV: "And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites,"

Genesis 23:3, KJV: "And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,"

Genesis 23:3, NASB: "Then Abraham arose from mourning before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying,"

Genesis 23:3, NLT: "Then, leaving her body, he said to the Hittite elders,"

Genesis 23:3, CSB: "Then Abraham got up from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hethites:"

What does Genesis 23:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When the time of mourning for Sarah had ended, Abraham rose up and went out from the presence of her body. His next mission was to find a place to bury her. As we'll see in the following verses, it is important to Abraham to find a permanent burying place for his people in the land of Canaan. He will have to buy one and take clear ownership of it.

The area around their current dwelling place in Hebron was owned by a group known as the Hittites. Hittites means "sons of Heth." Heth was one of the sons of Canaan, a grandson of Noah. These Hittites, then, are clearly Canaanites of the land of Canaan, as opposed to other "Hittites" known from history.

This will become important, because Abraham will attempt to take full ownership of this burying place from the rightful owners of the land in the most public and indisputable manner possible.