Genesis 23:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 23:9, NIV: "so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.'"

Genesis 23:9, ESV: "that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as property for a burying place.”"

Genesis 23:9, KJV: "That he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he hath, which is in the end of his field; for as much money as it is worth he shall give it me for a possession of a buryingplace amongst you."

Genesis 23:9, NASB: "that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site.'"

Genesis 23:9, NLT: "to let me buy his cave at Machpelah, down at the end of his field. I will pay the full price in the presence of witnesses, so I will have a permanent burial place for my family.'"

Genesis 23:9, CSB: "to give me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him give it to me in your presence, for the full price, as burial property.""

What does Genesis 23:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham is formally addressing an assembled group of Hittite landowners or elders. He has expressed his desire to own a property in the area for the purpose of burying his dead. His wife Sarah has recently died (Genesis 23:2).

The group has acknowledged Abraham's prestigious status among them, even though he is a foreigner. They have offered to share their tombs with him, expressing their willingness to have him bury his dead in the area. Abraham now stands and singles out the owner of a specific property. He publicly addresses a man named Ephron who owns a cave at the end of a field. Abraham makes clear he wishes to buy this cave at Machpelah for its full value as a burying place for his people.

Part of the significance of this request is that Abraham is asking to become a landowner in the area, though he is a foreigner. This would make him an official stakeholder among the Hittites, though the size of his property would be very small.