Genesis 23:13

13 and said to Ephron in the presence[a] of the people of the land, "Please listen to me. Let me pay the price of the field. Accept it from me, and let me bury my dead there."

Genesis 23:13 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 23:13

And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the
He addressed himself to Ephron who spoke last, with an audible voice, so that all could hear him: saying, but if thou [wilt give it], I pray thee, hear me;
the words are very concise, and in the original text are only "if thou", and differently supplied; by some, "if thou art he" F3, Ephron, whom it is supposed Abraham knew not by face, or that he was present; which is not likely, since Abraham had lived in those parts now so as to be well known himself, and must know his neighbours; and had lived formerly here, and could not but know so great a prince as Ephron, whose city he dwelt in. The Targum of Jonathan is,

``if thou art willing to do me a kindness, hear me;''
it will be taken as a favour to admit me to speak once more, and to grant what shall be desired. Others read the words thus,
``if thou wilt hear me, or I pray thee hear me, or if thou, if (I say) thou wilt hear me F4:''
then follows his proposal, I will give thee the money for the field;
Abraham did not choose to receive it as a free gift, but to make a purchase of it, that it might be sure to him and his posterity; for though Ephron was now in this generous mood, he might change his mind, or hereafter upbraid Abraham with it, should he fall out with him, or his posterity might claim it again, and dispute his right to it: take [it] of me:
the purchase money, the full worth of the field: and I will bury my dead there,
or "then will I bury" F5; and not before.

F3 (hta Ma) "si tu is es", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth.
F4 "Auscultares", so Tigurine version; "si tu", Schmidt.
F5 (hrbqaz) "et tum sepeliam", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "tunc", Schmidt.

Genesis 23:13 In-Context

11 "No, my lord. Listen to me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead."
12 Abraham bowed down to the people of the land
13 and said to Ephron in the presence of the people of the land, "Please listen to me. Let me pay the price of the field. Accept it from me, and let me bury my dead there."
14 Ephron answered Abraham and said to him
15 "My lord, listen to me. Land worth 400 shekels of silver-what is that between you and me? Bury your dead."

Footnotes 1

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