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Genesis 23:4 New English Translation (NET Bible)

“I am a foreign resident, a temporary settler,[a] among you. Grant[b] me ownership[c] of a burial site among you so that I may[d] bury my dead.”[e]


  1. Genesis 23:4 tn Heb “a resident foreigner (גֵּר; ger) and an immigrant (תּוֹשָׁב; toshav).” The term גֵּר (ger) refers to a foreign resident, but with different social implications in different settings. The Patriarchs were foreign, temporary residents in parts of Canaan, who abided by the claims of local authorities (see Gen 20, 23, 26). The noun toshav (תּוֹשָׁב) is less common. Under Mosaic Law it refers to someone of lesser standing than a resident foreigner (גֵּר; ger) since the ger had given full covenantal allegiance to the Lord. While not referring to a citizen, the precise nuance of toshav as an immigrant, resident, or (temporary) settler, is not clear. But in this case it may be a case of hendiadys, where the two terms together mean “an alien resident.”
  2. Genesis 23:4 tn Heb “give,” which is used here as an idiom for “sell” (see v. 9). The idiom reflects the polite bartering that was done in the culture at the time.
  3. Genesis 23:4 tn Or “possession.”
  4. Genesis 23:4 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose.
  5. Genesis 23:4 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
New English Translation (NET)

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