Acts 7:16

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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. (ASV)


There are several mistakes in this verse. The author of Acts apparently got confused between several similar-sounding stories in Genesis.

Acts 7:16 states the following:

  • The bodies of Jacob and his ancestors were brought back to Shechem and laid in a tomb there.
  • The tomb in Shechem was one that Abraham had bought.
  • Abraham had bought the tomb from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

This is wrong on several accounts:

  • It was Jacob, not Abraham, who bought land from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. (Genesis 33:19)
  • The land in Shechem was bought to live on, not to be used as a tomb.
  • Abraham did buy a cave, but it was in Machpelah, a place near Mamre (Hebron), not in Shechem. (Genesis 23:3–20)
  • Abraham bought the cave from Ephron the Hittite, not the sons of Hamor. (Genesis 49:30)
  • Jacob's body was buried at Hebron, not Shechem. (Genesis 49:29–30)
  • Only Joseph's bones were buried at Shechem, not those of the rest of his family. (Joshua 24:32)

Josephus also states that the bodies of everyone except Joseph were buried in Hebron. (Antiquities 2.8.2)


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