Ephron, son of Zohar, was a Hittite who lived near Kirjath-arba in the Plain of Mamre, Canaan. This city came to be called Hebron by Moses' time. It was from him that Abraham purchased a field with an adjoining cave at Machpelah.

Though Abraham had lived in the area for 62 years, he was not a land owner at the time. As a result, he had place to bury his wife, Sarah, when she died at Hebron. The people of the area had grown to honor him, and his family, and offered any of their tombs for the purpose. Abraham humbly rejected the idea, asking only for a cave that he had in mind on Ephron's land.

When Abraham asked to buy the cave that belonged to Ephron, Ephron offered the cave and the field as a gift. When pressed for a price for the cave, Ephron gave the full price for the parcel of land, 400 shekels of silver, while at the same insisting that he didn't want the money.

Having successfully negotiated a sizable real estate deal, Ephron accepted what amounted to 10 pounds of silver.[1] At current (2015) prices the value of the land would be about $41,000. If converted to the value of human labor, this would pay for 1600 days work. (For more, see full article: Money.)

It became the burial place for Abraham[2], Isaac[3] and Jacob[4], and their wives, Sarah[5], Rebekah and Leah[3].


  1. Gen. 23:1-20
  2. Gen. 25:9
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gen. 49:31
  4. Gen. 50:13
  5. Gen. 25:19