Acts 7:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

New Living Translation
Their bodies were taken to Shechem and buried in the tomb Abraham had bought for a certain price from Hamor's sons in Shechem.

English Standard Version
and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

Berean Study Bible
Their bones were carried back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a price he paid in silver.

Berean Literal Bible
and they were carried over into Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

New American Standard Bible
"From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

King James Bible
And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
were carried back to Shechem, and were placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem."

International Standard Version
They were brought back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought at a high price from Hamor's descendants in Shechem.

NET Bible
and their bones were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

New Heart English Bible
and they were brought back to Shechem, and placed in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor in Shechem.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he was moved to Shechem and was placed in a tomb, which Abraham had bought with silver from the sons of Hamor.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They were taken to Shechem for burial in the tomb that Abraham purchased in Shechem from Hamor's sons.

New American Standard 1977
“And from there they were removed to Shechem, and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

Jubilee Bible 2000
who were carried over into Shechem and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor of Shechem.

King James 2000 Bible
And were carried over into Shechem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem.

American King James Version
And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

American Standard Version
and they were carried over unto Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver of the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they were translated into Sichem, and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem.

Darby Bible Translation
and were carried over to Sychem and placed in the sepulchre which Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the [father] of Sychem.

English Revised Version
and they were carried over unto Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver of the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

Webster's Bible Translation
And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

Weymouth New Testament
and they were taken to Shechem and were laid in the tomb which Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a sum of money paid in silver.

World English Bible
and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.

Young's Literal Translation
and they were carried over into Sychem, and were laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in money from the sons of Emmor, of Sychem.
Study Bible
Stephen's Address to the Sanhedrin
15So Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our fathers died. 16Their bones were carried back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a price he paid in silver. 17As the time drew near for God to fulfill His promise to Abraham, our people in Egypt increased greatly in number.…
Cross References
Genesis 23:4
"I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight."

Genesis 23:16
Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

Genesis 33:19
He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, for one hundred pieces of money.

Genesis 47:30
but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place." And he said, "I will do as you have said."

Genesis 50:13
for his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite.

Exodus 13:19
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, "God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you."

Joshua 24:32
Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of Joseph's sons.
Treasury of Scripture

And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulcher that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

were. Of the two burying-places of the patriarchs, one was at Hebron, the cave and field which Abraham purchased of Ephron the Hittite, (Ge.

Acts 23:16 And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went …

Exodus 13:19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straightly …

Joshua 24:32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up …

the sepulchre.

Genesis 33:9-20 And Esau said, I have enough, my brother; keep that you have to yourself…

Genesis 35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

Genesis 49:29-32 And he charged them, and said to them, I am to be gathered to my people…

Emmor.

Genesis 34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, …

Hamor, Shechem.

(16) And were carried over into Sychem.--The words appear to include Jacob, who was buried not at Sychem, but Machpelah (Genesis 1:13). If we limit the verb to the patriarchs, which is in itself a tenable limitation, we are met by the fresh difficulty that the Old Testament contains no record of the burial of any of the Twelve Patriarchs, with the exception of Joseph, whose bones were laid, on the occupation of Canaan, in Shechem (Joshua 24:32); and Josephus states (Ant. iv. 8, 2) that they were buried at Hebron. This, however, only represents, at the best, a local tradition. In the time of Jerome (Ep. 86) the tombs of the Twelve Patriarchs were shown at Shechem, and this in its turn witnesses to a Samaritan tradition which continues to the present day (Palestine Exploration Report, Dec., 1877), and which Stephen, it may be, followed in preference to that of Juda. Looking to the probabilities of the case, it was likely that the example set by Joseph would be followed by the other tribes, and that as Shechem was far more prominent than Hebron, as the centre of the civil and religious life of Israel in the time of Joshua, that should have been chosen as the burial-place of his brethren rather than Machpelah. Looking, again, to the fact that one of Stephen's companions, immediately after his death, goes to Samaria as a preacher, and that there are good grounds for believing that both had been previously connected with it (see Note on Acts 6:5), we may probably trace to this influence his adoption of the Samaritan version of the history. The hated Sychar (Ecclesiasticus 1:26; see Note on John 4:5) had, from Stephen's point of view, a claim on the reverence of all true Israelites, and his assertion of that claim may well have been one of the causes of the bitterness with which his hearers listened to him.

That Abraham bought for a sum of money.--Here we seem to come across a direct contradiction to the narrative of Genesis. The only recorded transaction in which Abraham appears as a buyer, was his purchase of the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite (Genesis 23:16). The only recorded transaction in which the sons of Emmor, or Hamor, appear as sellers, was in Jacob's purchase of the field at Shechem (Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32). What we have seen above, however, prepares us for there having been a Samaritan tradition carrying the associations of Shechem to a remoter past. And, assuming such a tradition, there are significant facts in the patriarchal history of which it furnishes an explanation. (1) Jacob gives as a special inheritance to Joseph, "one portion" (in the Hebrew, "one Shechem;" in the LXX., Sikima) above his brethren, which he had taken "out of the hands of the Amorites with his sword and his bow." Of that conquest--as it is clear that the words cannot refer to the massacre connected with the story of Dinah, which Jacob had severely condemned (Genesis 34:30)--the history contains no record, and to interpret the words as prophetic of future conquests is to strain them to a non-natural interpretation which they will hardly bear. Jacob did not come as an invader, nor had the time for thus taking possession of the whole land as yet arrived. The facts of the case suggest a special right claimed and asserted in regard to this one possession, and that right presupposes a previous purchase by some ancestor of Jacob's--i.e., by Abraham. This being done and the right asserted, to make the portion larger, and perhaps as a measure of conciliation, there followed the subsequent purchase of Genesis 33:19. (2) Shechem was the earliest settlement of Abraham on his entrance into Canaan, and there he built an altar (Genesis 12:7). But the feeling of reverence for holy places, always strong in the Hebrew race, as seen, e.g., in the case of David and Araunah, would hardly permit a man of Abraham's wealth and princely nobleness to offer burnt-offerings to the Lord of that which had cost him nothing (2Samuel 24:24); nor would a devout worshipper be content to see the altar so consecrated in the possession of another, and so exposed to desecration. The building of an altar involved, almost of necessity, as in the case just cited, the purchase of the ground on which it stood. (3) The Samaritans had an immemorial tradition (adopted by Dean Stanley, Ffouikes, Grove, and others) that the sacrifice of Isaac took place on the mountain of Moriah (Genesis 22:2), or Gerizim, which commands the plain of Moreh (Genesis 12:6), or Shechem; and, without now discussing the evidence for or against the tradition, it almost involved of necessity the assumption that Abraham had already an altar there, and with it a consecrated field which he could call his own. (4) Another Samaritan tradition, it may be noted, connected Shechem with the sacrifice offered by Melchizedek. This is enough to show the extent of the claims which were made by the Samaritans on behalf of their sacred places, and, taken together with the statement referred to in the previous Note as to the tombs of the Patriarchs, leads us to the conclusion that Stephen, more or less influenced by his recent associations with them, adopted their traditions. This seems, at any rate, the most probable solution of the difficulty which the statement at first sight presents. To do this in Jerusalem, before the very Sanhedrin, the members of which had reviled our Lord as a Samaritan (John 8:48), required a martyr's boldness, and, claiming as it did, a brotherhood for the hated Samaritans, the hereditary foes of Judah, had, we may believe, much to do with causing the fury that ended in his actual martyrdom. It may be added (1) that the manifest familiarity of St. Luke with Samaria and the Samaritans would dispose him to accept such a tradition without correction (see Introduction to St. Luke's Gospel); (2) that the Twelve, some of whom had sojourned for three days at Sychar (John 4:43), were likely to have become acquainted with it, and to have been ignorant of the Hebron traditions; (3) that the well-known substitution of Gerizim for Ebal in Deuteronomy 27:4, in the Samaritan Pentateuch, not less than their addition of a commandment to build an altar on Gerizim to the ten great laws of Exodus 20, shows a tendency to deal freely with the text and the facts of the Pentateuch, so as to support their own traditions as to their sacred places.

Of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.--The insertion of the word "father" instead of "son," which would be (as in Matthew 10:3; Luke 3:23) the natural rendering of the Greek construction, must be looked on as betraying a wish on the part of the translators to meet the difficulty presented by the statement in Genesis 34:2, that Shechem was the son of Hamor the Hivite. It may be noted that it is the only English version that thus tampers with the text--Tyndale giving "at Sychem;" Wiclif, Cranmer, Geneva, and the Rhemish giving "son of Sychem." A possible explanation of the apparent discrepancy may be found in the very probable assumption that Shechem may have been a quasi-hereditary name appearing in alternate generations. In this instance, however, textual criticism comes in to cut the knot. Many of the better MSS., including the Vatican and the Sinaitic, give the reading "in Sychem," and so make the name apply to the place and not to a person.

With the exception of Acts 7:43, we have now come to the last of the difficulties, chronological, historical, or numerical, presented by St. Stephen's speech. They have been approached by writers of different schools of thought in ways singularly, sometimes almost painfully, characteristic. On the one hand, there has been something like the eagerness of a partisan mustering all objections and anxious to secure an adverse verdict; on the other, there has been an almost hysterical alarm and indignation that such questions should be ever raised. Here the effort has, at least, been made to deal with each on its own merits, and not to force facts this way or that to meet a foregone conclusion. Should there be errors of transcription, of report, or even of memory in the record of St. Stephen's speech, they need not shake the faith of those who have learnt to take a higher view of inspiration than that which depends upon the registers of genealogies or chronological tables. But it may be well also not to assume too hastily that men of average culture and information would be altogether ignorant of the facts which they narrate, and the sacred writings which have been the object of their continual study. And it may be urged that the appearance of seeming inaccuracies, which a moment's reference to the Book of Genesis would have enabled the writer to correct, is, at any rate, evidence of faithfulness in his report of the speech which he thus reproduces.

Verse 16. - And they were for and were, A.V.; unto Shechem for into Sychem, A.V., i.e. the Hebrew for the Greek form of the name (Genesis 34:2); tomb for sepulcher, A.V.; a price in silver for a sum of money, A.V.; Hamor for Erect, A.V. (Hebrew for Greek form); in Shechem for the father of Sychem, A.V. and T.R. As regards the statement in the text, two distinct transactions seem at first sight to be mixed up. One, that Abraham bought the field of Machpelah of Ephron the Hittite for a burial-place, where he and Sarah, and Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah, were buried (Genesis 24:16, 17, 19; Genesis 25:9, 10; Genesis 35:27-29; Genesis 49:29-31); the other, that Jacob "bought a parcel of a field..., at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money," where the bones of Joseph were buried by Joshua (Genesis 33:19; Genesis 50:25; Joshua 24:32), and where, according to a tradition still surviving in the days of St. Jerome, the other patriarchs were also buried ('Epistol.'86," She came to Sichem, now called Neapolis (or Nablous), and from thence visited the tombs of the twelve patriarchs"). See also Jerome, 'De Optimo Genere Interpretandi. All Jewish writers, however, are wholly silent" about this tradition, perhaps from jealousy of the Samaritans (Lightfoot, vol. 8. p. 423). And Josephus affirms that all but Joseph were buried at Hebron ('Ant. Jud.,'2. 8:2); and that their beautiful marble monuments were to be seen at Hebron in his day. In the cave of Machpelah, however, there is no tomb of any of the twelve patriarchs except Joseph; and his so-called tomb is of a different character and situation from the genuine ones (Stanley's 'Lectures on Jewish Church,' 1st series, pp. 498-500. See also 'Sermons in the East': 'The Mosque of Hebron'). But on looking closer at the text it appears pretty certain that only Shechem was in Stephen's mind. For first he speaks of Shechem at once, And were carried over unto Shechem. And adds and were laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver of the sons of Hamor in Shechem. Except the one word "Abraham," the whole sentence points to Shechem. What he says of Shechem is exactly in accordance with Genesis 33:18, 19. And what he says of their fathers being carried over and buried at Shechem is exactly true of Joseph's bones, as related in Joshua 24:32. So that the one difficulty is the word "Abraham." It seems much more probable that this word should have been interpolated by some early transcriber, who saw no nominative case to ὠνήσατο, and who had in his mind a confused recollection of Abraham's purchase, than that Stephen, who shows such thorough knowledge of the Bible history, should have made a gross mistake in such a well-known and famous circumstance as the purchase of the field of Machpelah, or that Luke should have perpetuated it had he made it in the hurry of speech. It cannot be affirmed with certainty that Stephen confirms the story of the other patriarchs being buried at Shechem, though possibly he alludes to the tradition. The plural, "they were carried," etc., might be put generally, though only Joseph was meant (as Matthew 27:44; Matthew 26:8 compared with Luke 23:39; John 12:4), or "the bones of Joseph" might possibly be the subject, though not expressed. Lightfoot - followed by Bishop Wordsworth, who thinks that Abraham really did buy a field of Ephron in Sychem, when he was there (Genesis 12:6)-would thus be right in supposing that the point of Stephen's remark was that the patriarchs were buried in Shechem. And were carried over into Sichem,.... The Syriac version reads in the singular number, "and he was translated into Sichem, and laid", &c. as if this was said of Jacob only, whereas he is not spoken of at all, only the fathers, the twelve patriarchs; for Jacob, though he was carried out of Egypt, he was not buried in Sichem, but in the cave of Machpelah, Genesis 50:13. But Joseph and the rest of the patriarchs, who died in Egypt, when the children of Israel came out from thence, they brought their bones along with them, and buried them in Sichem: of the burial of Joseph there, there is no doubt, since it is expressly affirmed in Joshua 24:32 and that the rest of the patriarchs were buried there, and not in Hebron, as Josephus asserts (x), may be concluded from hence; because in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron, there are never mentioned more in Jewish writers (y), than these four couple; Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah; from whence, they say, Hebron was called Kirjath Arba, the city of four; as also, because it is the general consent of the Jews; and if they had not agreed in it, or said nothing about it, the thing is natural to suppose, that the children of Israel brought the bones of all the patriarchs out of Egypt, along with Joseph's (z); and since they buried the bones of Joseph in Sichem, it is most reasonable to believe, that the rest were buried there likewise; though it must be owned, that there is an entire silence about them, even when the sepulchre of Joseph is taken notice of: so R. Benjamin speaking of the Samaritans says (a),

"among them is the sepulchre of Joseph the righteous, the son of Jacob our father, on whom be peace, as it is said, Joshua 24:32.''

And says another of their writers (b),

"from Sichem about a sabbath day's journey, in a village, called Belata, there Joseph the just was buried;''

but of the rest, no mention is made:

and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor, the father of Sichem; the last clause, the father "of Sichem", is left out in the Syriac version; and the Alexandrian copy reads it, "in Sichem"; as if it was the name of a place, and not of a man: the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read, "the son of Sichem"; whereas it is certain, that Sichem was the son of Emmor, or Hamor, Genesis 33:19 unless it can be thought there were two Sichems, one that was the father of Emmor, and another that was his son: but the great difficulty is, how the sepulchre in which the fathers were laid at Sichem, can be said to be bought by Abraham of the sons of Emmor, when what Abraham bought was the field and cave of Machpelah; and that not of the sons of Emmor, but of the sons of Heth, and of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hitrite, Genesis 23:16. Whereas the parcel of ground in Sichem, bought of the sons of Emmor, the father of Sichem, was bought by Jacob, Genesis 33:19. Various things are suggested, to reconcile this; some think the word Abraham is an interpolation, and that it should be read, which he (Jacob) bought; but to support this, no copy can be produced: others observe, that it may be read, which he bought for Abraham; that is, which Jacob bought for Abraham and his seed, as a pledge of the inheritance of the whole land, promised unto him; others think that by Abraham is meant a son of Abraham, that is, Jacob; as children are sometimes called by their father's name; as the Messiah is called David, and the like; but what best seems to remove the difficulty is, that the words refer to both places and purchases; to the field of Machpelah bought by Abraham, and to the parcel of field is Sichem bought by Jacob, of the sons of Emmor; for the words with the repetition of the phrase, "in the sepulchre", may be read thus; "and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money", and in the sepulchre (bought by Jacob) "of the sons of Emmor", the father of Sichem; or the words may be rendered thus, "they were carried over into Sichem, and laid in the sepulchre which Abraham bought for a sum of money, besides" that "of the sons of Emmor", the father "of Sichem"; namely, which Jacob bought, and in which Joseph was laid, Genesis 33:19. And this agrees with Stephen's account and design, in the preceding verse; he observes, that Jacob died in Egypt, and all the twelve patriarchs; and here he tells us how they were disposed of, and where they were buried, both Jacob and his sons; they were removed from Egypt, and brought into the land of Canaan; Jacob, he was laid in the cave of Machpelah, in the sepulchre Abraham bought of the children of Heth; and Joseph and his brethren, they were laid in the sepulchre at Sichem, which Jacob bought of the sons of Emmor: upon the whole, the charge of several errors brought by the (c) Jew against Stephen appears to be groundless; the sum this sepulchre was bought for was an hundred pieces of money, Genesis 33:19.

(x) Antiqu. l. 2. c. 8. sect. 2.((y) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 13. 1. Cippi Heb. p. 4. R. Benjamin. Itinerar. p. 48, 49. (z) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 13. Bava Kama, fol. 92. 1. Maccot fol. 11. 1. & Gloss. in ib. Bereshit, fol. 89. 1. Sepher Jasher apud Gaulmin. not. in Vita Mosis, l. 2. c. 2. p. 287. (a) ltinerar. p. 39. (b) Cippi Heb. p. 34. (c) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 63. p. 450, 451. 7:1-16 Stephen was charged as a blasphemer of God, and an apostate from the church; therefore he shows that he is a son of Abraham, and values himself on it. The slow steps by which the promise made to Abraham advanced toward performance, plainly show that it had a spiritual meaning, and that the land intended was the heavenly. God owned Joseph in his troubles, and was with him by the power of his Spirit, both on his own mind by giving him comfort, and on those he was concerned with, by giving him favour in their eyes. Stephen reminds the Jews of their mean beginning as a check to priding themselves in the glories of that nation. Likewise of the wickedness of the patriarchs of their tribes, in envying their brother Joseph; and the same spirit was still working in them toward Christ and his ministers. The faith of the patriarchs, in desiring to be buried in the land of Canaan, plainly showed they had regard to the heavenly country. It is well to recur to the first rise of usages, or sentiments, which have been perverted. Would we know the nature and effects of justifying faith, we should study the character of the father of the faithful. His calling shows the power and freeness of Divine grace, and the nature of conversion. Here also we see that outward forms and distinctions are as nothing, compared with separation from the world, and devotedness to God.
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