Genesis 23:4

4 “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”

Genesis 23:4 in Other Translations

KJV
4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
ESV
4 "I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
NLT
4 “Here I am, a stranger and a foreigner among you. Please sell me a piece of land so I can give my wife a proper burial.”
MSG
4 "I know I'm only an outsider here among you, but sell me a burial plot so that I can bury my dead decently.
CSB
4 "I am a resident alien among you. Give me a burial site among you so that I can bury my dead."

Genesis 23:4 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 23:4

I [am] a stranger and a sojourner with you
Not a native of the place, only dwelt as a sojourner among them for a time; but had not so much as a foot of ground he could call his own, and consequently had no place to inter his dead: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you;
not that he desired it as a free gift, but that he might be allowed to make a purchase of a piece of ground to bury his dead in; so the Targum of Jonathan,

``sell me a possession,'' &c.
( Genesis 23:9 ) ; and this he was the rather desirous of, not only because it was according to the rules of humanity, and the general custom of all nations, to provide for the burial of their dead; but he was willing to have such a place in the land of Canaan for this purpose, to strengthen his faith and the faith of his posterity, and to animate their hope and expectation of being one day put into the possession of it; hence the patriarchs in later times, as Jacob and Joseph, were desirous of having their hones laid there: that I may bury my dead out of my sight;
for, though Sarah was a very lovely person in her life, and greatly desirable by Abraham, yet death had changed her countenance and was turning her into corruption, which rendered her unpleasant, and began to make her loathsome; so that there was a necessity of removing her out of his sight, who before had been so very agreeable to him; and this is the case of the dearest relation and friend at death.

Genesis 23:4 In-Context

2 She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said,
4 “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”
5 The Hittites replied to Abraham,
6 “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Genesis 17:8; Genesis 19:9; Exodus 2:22; Leviticus 25:23; 1 Chronicles 29:15; Psalms 39:12; Psalms 105:12; Psalms 119:19; Hebrews 11:9,13
  • 2. Genesis 49:30; Acts 7:16