The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Genesis
Chapter 23
Sara reached the age of a hundred and twenty-seven;
then she died, at the town of Arbee (that is, Hebron) in the land of Chanaan. And there Abraham came, to make lamentation and to mourn for her.
When the last rites were paid, he rose up and said to the Hethite folk,
Here am I, a newcomer and a stranger among you; will you grant me rights of burial among you, to bury my dead?
And this was the answer the Hethites gave him,
Sir, as a heaven-sent chieftain thou hast come to dwell among us; bury thy dead in the choicest of all our graves; no man among us but shall grant thee his own tomb, to bury thy dead in.
So Abraham rose up, and made obeisance to the people of the land, the Hethites.
If you have a mind, said he, to grant my dead burial, do me this favour; plead for me with Ephron, the son of Seor,
to give the double cave at the end of his lands. Let him make it over to me for a just price, here in your presence, as my burial-ground.
Ephron had his place there among the Hethites; so, in the hearing of all those who came in by the gate of his native town, he gave Abraham this answer:
My lord, that must not be. Do but listen to me; it is my gift to thee, both the field and the cave in it; in the presence of these, my fellow-countrymen, I give it to thee; bury thy dead there.
Whereupon Abraham made obeisance before the people of the land;
and said to Ephron, in the presence of the whole assembly, Pray listen, rather, to me; I must make payment for the land, and thou must accept it, before I will bury my dead in it.
And Ephron answered,
My lord, listen to me; the land for which thou art asking is worth four hundred pieces of silver, but what is such a price between thee and me? Bury thy dead.
Upon hearing this, Abraham paid Ephron the sum which he had named before the Hethites, four hundred silver pieces of current money;
so the field that had been Ephron’s, with the double cave in it facing towards Mambre, not only the cave but the field itself, with all the surrounding trees that were in the confines of it, changed hands;
and Abraham took possession of it, with the Hethites to witness it, and all those who came in by the gate of Ephron’s native town.
And so, in the double cave there that looks towards Mambre, Abraham buried his wife Sara; Mambre is the Chanaanite city now called Hebron.
Both cave and field were made over to Abraham by the Hethites for a burying-ground.