Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Genesis 23- Sarah Dies


1 And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah.

Sarah was 90 when Isaac was born, so he is 37 now.

2 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

Abraham had to “come to mourn for Sarah.” There is some speculation that she was so upset at his intention of sacrificing Isaac that she left him. We don’t know for sure, but it does appear here that they were not living in the same location. Abraham didn’t remarry until after her death, however.


Divorce is an abomination to God, but there are times when separation is appropriate. At any rate, they did not divorce.

3 And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying,

4 “I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”

He needed an appropriate place to bury his wife.

5 And the children of Heth answered Abraham, saying unto him,

6 “Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchers bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulcher, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.”

These people (Hittites) acknowledge Abraham’s wealth and the strength of his servants trained for war. They tell him he can have his choice of land.

7 And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.

8 “And he communed with them, saying, If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight; hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,

9 “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 burying place amongst you.”

Abraham didn’t really want the whole field, just the cave. He would have had to pay taxes to the king of the Hittites if he had bought the whole field. And he only needed the cave anyway.

He offers to pay whatever the owner wants.

10 And Ephron dwelt among the children of Heth: and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying,

11 “Nay, my lord, hear me: the field give I thee, and the cave that is therein, I give it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead.”

It sounds like Ephron gave the land and the cave as a gift to Abraham. This may be, or it may have been just a formality; a proper way to show respect.

12 And Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.

13 And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, “But if thou wilt give it, I pray thee, hear me: I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there.”

Abraham agrees to take the whole property but insists on paying for it.

14 And Ephron answered Abraham, saying unto him,

15 “My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead.”

“Well the land is worth this much, but that isn’t important.”

16 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.

Abraham pays the mentioned amount. The entire transaction is carried out with utmost respect and everyone is happy and honored by the end.

This is true capitalism; no transaction happens until everyone is happy.

17 And the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure

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

This land stayed in the possession of Abraham and his descendants. Isaac, Rebecca, Leah, Jacob, and Abraham himself were all buried there.

19 And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.

20 And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the sons of Heth.