Then Abraham rose up and bowed down to the people of the land, that is, to the sons of Heth. Bible see other translations

“Abraham rose up.” It seems to be the custom that negotiations were normally carried out while sitting down, perhaps because they normally took so long (Gen. 23:10; Ruth 4:1-2). The fact that Abraham “rose up” before he started to speak likely signifies the fact that he thought of this negotiation as of particular importance. He was asking for a permanent possession of land in the Promised Land. He would have sat back down again after making the request.

“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth, as we see here. This is the same word that is translated as “worship” when the subject is God.

[For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:20.]

“sons of Heth.” Genesis 10:15 tells us that Heth was a son of Canaan, so it makes sense that he and his descendants would settle in the land of Canaan. It is possible that these Hittites are related to the Hittites of Asia Minor that we today know as Turkey, but it is also possible that the name is the same but the people are not related.

Commentary for: Genesis 23:7