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Genesis 23:18--24:2

Context
23:18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city. 1 

23:19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 23:20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site 2  from the sons of Heth.

The Wife for Isaac

24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years, 3  and the Lord had blessed him 4  in everything. 24:2 Abraham said to his servant, the senior one 5  in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh 6 

1 tn Heb “his city”; the referent (Ephron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn See G. M. Tucker, “The Legal Background of Genesis 23,” JBL 85 (1966):77-84; and M. R. Lehmann, “Abraham’s Purchase of Machpelah and Hittite Law,” BASOR 129 (1953): 15-18.

2 tn Heb “possession of a grave.”

3 tn Heb “days.”

4 tn Heb “Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

5 tn The Hebrew term זָקֵן (zaqen) may refer to the servant who is oldest in age or senior in authority (or both).

6 sn Put your hand under my thigh. The taking of this oath had to do with the sanctity of the family and the continuation of the family line. See D. R. Freedman, “Put Your Hand Under My Thigh – the Patriarchal Oath,” BAR 2 (1976): 2-4, 42.



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