Genesis, in the Holy Bible, gives a vivid account of how Abraham safely bought land in the ancient city of Canaan. Thousands of years afterward, Abraham’s distant descendants continue to enjoy the land without any litigation. But what do we find today? You buy land today and tomorrow, you are in litigating over the ownership of the land.
So how did Abraham go about buying land that made land litigation flee from his distant descendants? The story Genesis tells has wise lessons that may be ancient but may still relevant in our days. Let’s read the Bible;
Genesis 23 – “1 When Sarah was 127 years old, 2she died at Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron) in the land of Canaan. There Abraham mourned and wept for her. 3Then, leaving her body, he said to the Hittite elders, 4”Here I am, a stranger and foreigner among you. Please sell me a piece of land so I can give my wife a proper burial” 5The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6“Listen, my lord, you are an honoured prince among us. Choose the finest of our tombs and bury her there. No one will refuse to help you in this way.”
7Then Abraham bow low before the Hittites and said, 8“Since you are willing to help me in this way, be so kind to ask Ephron son of Zohar 9to let me buy his cave at Machpelah, down at the end of his field. I will pay the full price in the presence of witnesses, so I will have a permanent burial place for my family. 10Ephron was sitting there among the others, and he answered Abraham as the others listened, speaking publicly before all the Hittite elders of the town. 11“No, my lord, he said to Abraham, “Please listen to me. I will give you the field and the cave. Here in the presence of my people, I give it to you. Go and bury your dead”
12Abraham again bowed low before the citizens of the land, 13and he replied to Ephron as everyone listened. “No, listen to me, I will buy it from you. Let me pay the full price for the field so I can bury my dead there.”
14Ephron answered Abraham, 15My lord, please listen to me. The land is worth 400 pieces of silver, but what is that between friends? Go ahead and bury your dead.” 16So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price and paid the amount he had suggested – 400 pieces of silver, weighed according to the market standard. The Hittite elders witnessed the transaction.
17So Abraham bought the plot of land belonging to Ephron at Machpelah, near Mamre. This included the field itself, the cave that was in it, and all the surroundings trees. 18It was transferred to Abraham as his permanent possession in the presence of the Hittite elders at the city gate. 19Then Abraham buried his wife, Sarah, there in Canaan, in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre (also called Hebron). 20So the field and the cave were transferred from the Hittites to Abraham for use as a permanent burial place.”
Genesis 25 - “7Abraham lived for 175 years, 8and he died at a ripe old age, having lived for a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zophar the Hittite. This field was the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites and where he had buried his wife Sarah.
Genesis 49 - 29Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30This is where the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah. 32It is the plot of land and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.”
Genesis 50 –“12So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them. 13They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the cave that Abraham had bought as a permanent site from Ephron the Hittite.”I believe you have picked some lessons from the Bible. I also strongly believe you would like to share these lessons with me. You may also have some questions. Please do let me know. Thank you for taking your time to learn the right way to buy land and avoid dispute.