Genesis 21 records a dispute over a well between Abraham and Abimelech:
At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. Now swear to me right here in God’s name that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. Show me, and the land where you are staying, the same loyalty that I have shown you.”
Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” But Abraham lodged a complaint against Abimelech concerning a well that Abimelech’s servants had seized. “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”
Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof that I dug this well.” That is why he named that place Beer Sheba, because the two of them swore an oath there.
In the passage, Abimilech does not deny or dispute Abraham's ownership of the well or his water rights, but simply states that he did not know there was a problem. Why then, does Abraham immediately offer cattle for the purchase of the well if his ownership is undisputed? Or is this even payment, as the text says these were "legal proof"? I know that sandals were often used as legal proof of contracts, but cattle were very valuable and this seems like an expensive proof. Furthermore, a sandal is a non-perishable good, while the cattle may become sick or die, so this seems like a poor token for this purpose, so the idea that this is not payment seems unlikely.