Genesis 33:19

19 And from the sons of 1Hamor, Shechem's father, 2he bought for a hundred pieces of money[a] the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent.

Genesis 33:19 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 33:19

And he bought a parcel of a field
Not the whole, but a part of it; this he did, though he was heir of the whole country, because, as yet, the time was not come for him or his to take possession of it: where he had spread his tent;
the ground that it stood upon, and what was adjoining to it, for the use of his cattle: this he bought at the hand of the children of Hamor;
of some one of them, in whose possession it was, and perhaps with the consent of the rest, and before them, as witnesses: for an hundred pieces of money;
Onkelos, the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Samaritan, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it a hundred lambs or sheep, cattle being used to be given in exchange for things in trade and commerce; but as money was in use before the times of Jacob, and Stephen expresses it as a "sum of money", ( Acts 7:16 ) ; and this best agrees with the use of the word in ( Job 42:11 ) , the only place besides this, excepting ( Joshua 24:32 ) , in which it is used, it seems best so to interpret it here; and the pieces of money might be such as were of the value of a lamb or sheep, or rather had the figure of one impressed upon them. Laban, from whom Jacob might have them, or his neighbours, and also Jacob himself, being shepherds, might choose thus to impress their money; but the exact value of these pieces cannot be ascertained: the Jewish writers generally interpret them of a "meah", which was the value of one penny of our money, and twenty of them went to a shekel; so that a hundred of these must make a very small and contemptible sum to purchase a piece of ground with.

Genesis 33:19 In-Context

17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
18 And Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city.
19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent.
20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Acts 7:16
  • 2. Joshua 24:32; John 4:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value