Machpelah, Field of
A field which formerly belonged to Ephron the Hittite, but which he sold to Abraham for 400 shekels of silver. It contained a cave which Abraham and his descendants used as a buryingplace. After his wife Sarah’s death, Abraham approached the sons of Heth, looking for a place to bury her. They offered him his choice of sepulchres, and he asked for the cave of Machpelah, which belonged to Ephron son of Zohar (Genesis 23:3-9). In response Ephron offered both the cave and the field it was in to Abraham freely, calling on his people as witnesses that he was giving it as a gift (Genesis 23:10-11). Abraham insisted, however, on paying for the field, and Ephron priced it at 400 shekels of silver, which Abraham paid (Genesis 23:12-16). The cave, the field, and the trees in the field then belonged to Abraham (Genesis 23:17-18). He subsequently buried Sarah in the cave of Machpelah (Genesis 23:19), which cave later became the buryingplace for Abraham himself, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah (see Machpelah, Cave of).
Bible Central Team