The Meaning of Genesis 23:16 Explained

Genesis 23:16

KJV: And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

YLT: And Abraham hearkeneth unto Ephron, and Abraham weigheth to Ephron the silver which he hath spoken of in the ears of the sons of Heth, four hundred silver shekels, passing with the merchant.

Darby: And Abraham hearkened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the money that he had named in the ears of the sons of Heth four hundred shekels of silver, current with the merchant.

ASV: And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron. And Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

What does Genesis 23:16 Mean?

Study Notes

And Abraham
.
buryingplace
Cf. Genesis 33:19 ; Genesis 50:13 ; Joshua 24:32 ; Acts 7:15 ; Acts 7:16 . A discrepancy in these statements has been fancied. It disappears entirely before the natural supposition that in the interval of about eighty years between the purchase by Abraham of the family sepulchre Genesis 23:4-20 and Jacob's purchase Genesis 33:19 , the descendants of Hamor (or "Emmor," Acts 7:15 ; Acts 7:16 had resumed possession of the field in which the burial cave was situated. Instead of asserting an ancient title by inheritance, Jacob repurchased the field. Heth was the common ancestor.

Context Summary

Genesis 23:1-20 - Abraham Buys A Burial Place
Death is an ever-constant monitor that this world is not our home. We rise up from before our dead to confess that we are only strangers and sojourners on the earth. Though the whole country, by God's deed and gift, belonged to Abraham, it had not as yet been made over; hence the necessity for this deliberate purchase with all the stately formalities of the leisured East. Abraham's insistence on buying this grave, and the care with which the negotiations were pursued, show that he realized that his descendants would come again into that land and possess it. It was as though he felt that he and Sarah should lie there awaiting the return of their children and children's children. See also Genesis 49:29-30. So the graves of the martyrs and of missionaries who have fallen at the post of duty are the silent outposts that hold those lands for Christ, as the graves of the saints await the Second Advent. [source]

Chapter Summary: Genesis 23

1  The age and death of Sarah
3  The purchase of the field and cave of Machpelah;
19  where Sarah is buried

What do the individual words in Genesis 23:16 mean?

And listened Abraham to Ephron and weighed out for Ephron - the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth four hundred shekels of silver according to the standard of the merchants
וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮ אֶל־ עֶפְרוֹן֒ וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן אֶת־ הַכֶּ֕סֶף אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֖ר בְּאָזְנֵ֣י בְנֵי־ חֵ֑ת אַרְבַּ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שֶׁ֣קֶל כֶּ֔סֶף עֹבֵ֖ר לַסֹּחֵֽר

וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע  And  listened 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שָׁמַע 
Sense: to hear, listen to, obey.
אַבְרָהָם֮  Abraham 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אַבְרָהָם  
Sense: friend of God and founder of Hebrew nation via God’s elective covenant.
עֶפְרוֹן֒  Ephron 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֶפְרֹון 
Sense: a Hittite, son of Zohar and the one from whom Abraham bought the field and cave of Machpelah.
וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל  and  weighed  out 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שָׁקַל  
Sense: to weigh, weigh out, pay out.
לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן  for  Ephron 
Parse: Preposition-l, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: עֶפְרֹון 
Sense: a Hittite, son of Zohar and the one from whom Abraham bought the field and cave of Machpelah.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הַכֶּ֕סֶף  the  silver 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: כֶּסֶף  
Sense: silver, money.
דִּבֶּ֖ר  he  had  named 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: דָּבַר 
Sense: to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing.
בְּאָזְנֵ֣י  in  the  hearing 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, fdc
Root: אֹזֶן  
Sense: ear, as part of the body.
בְנֵי־  of  the  sons 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
חֵ֑ת  of  Heth 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: חֵת  
Sense: a son of Canaan and the progenitor of the Hittites.
אַרְבַּ֤ע  four 
Parse: Number, feminine singular construct
Root: אַרְבַּע  
Sense: four.
מֵאוֹת֙  hundred 
Parse: Number, feminine plural
Root: מֵאָה 
Sense: hundred.
שֶׁ֣קֶל  shekels 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: שֶׁקֶל  
Sense: shekel.
כֶּ֔סֶף  of  silver 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: כֶּסֶף  
Sense: silver, money.
עֹבֵ֖ר  according  to  the  standard 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: עָבַר 
Sense: to pass over or by or through, alienate, bring, carry, do away, take, take away, transgress.
לַסֹּחֵֽר  of  the  merchants 
Parse: Preposition-l, Article, Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: סָחַר  
Sense: to go around, go about, travel about in, go about in trade.