(Gen 25:1 NASB) Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.
Gen 25:1: In all likelihood, Keturah was Abraham’s wife before the death of Sarah. Therefore she was considered a concubine (1 Chron. 1:32-33).
(Gen 25:2 NASB) And she bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah.
(Gen 25:3 NASB) And Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim and Letushim and Leummim.
(Gen 25:4 NASB) And the sons of Midian were Ephah and Epher and Hanoch and Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.
Gen 25:4: Several of these names are associated with the Arab world while some of them are virtually unknown. The names mentioned in verse two tell us that Isaac had six half brothers aside from Ishmael.
(Gen 25:5 NASB) Now Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac;
(Gen 25:6 NASB) but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east.
Gen 25:6: It is interesting that Abraham apparently did not follow the law of the firstborn as described in Deut. 21:15-17. According to this law, Ishmael should have inherited the lion’s share of Abraham’s wealth. There are three possible explanations for this action:
1. Is it possible that only part of Torah was revealed to Abraham? There is no evidence of that up to this point.
2. Abraham did not accept Ishmael as his son. That contradicts the fact that Abraham was greatly distressed by the dismissal of Ishmael and he was referred to as “his son” (Gen. 21:10-11). Hagar was a concubine (wife) of Abraham’s, not a mistress. Otherwise Abraham would have been committing adultery.
3. Ishmael lost his birthright through disobedience. This is the most likely answer. We are told that Ishmael was mocking (Gen. 21:8-9). Paul tells us the same thing (Gal. 4:28-31). Torah tells us that if this mocking included the mother of Isaac, this would have been reason to have Ishmael killed. This is the subsequent law which follows the law of the birthright (Deut 21:18-21).
Elohim showed His mercy by not having Ishmael killed for this act. However, Ishmael did lose his birthright and was treated as if he were dead (Gen. 21:10-14). This explains the expulsion of Ishmael, why he was sent out with almost no provisions for survival, and why Abraham was so distressed over the matter. Abraham might have been afraid of having to kill Ishmael for his disobedience.
Regardless, Abraham provided for his other sons while he was still alive. But he did not want them near Isaac where they might have been envious of his wealth and caused him harm..
(Gen 25:7 NASB) And these are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years.
(Gen 25:8 NASB) And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:8: Abraham lived a long and full life. The phrase “he was gathered to his people” is saying that his family all gathered together before he died.
(Gen 25:9 NASB) Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre,
(Gen 25:10 NASB) the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife.
Gen 25:10: The presence of Ishmael at the funeral of Abraham is very interesting. If Abraham had allowed Ishmael to be dealt with unfairly, would Ishmael have acted this way?
It is likely that Abraham prayed for Ishmael when he disobeyed and this was the source of Abraham’s distress. The act of casting Ishmael out was just, merciful, righteous according to Torah. Ishmael must have understood this also.
(Gen 25:11 NASB) And it came about after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac lived by Beer-lahai-roi.
Gen 25:11: This exact location is unknown.
(Gen 25:12 NASB) Now these are the records of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maid, bore to Abraham;
(Gen 25:13 NASB) and these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the first-born of Ishmael, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam
(Gen 25:14 NASB) and Mishma and Dumah and Massa,
(Gen 25:15 NASB) Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.
Gen 25:15: As with the other genealogies, the line of ones not involved in the promised line are given first. This same pattern was used in giving the decendents of Cain and others.
(Gen 25:16 NASB) These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages, and by their camps; twelve princes according to their tribes.
(Gen 25:17 NASB) And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:17: The term “was gathered to his people” was used for Ishmael also. He also lived a long life and was blessed greatly.
The fact that twelve nations came from Ishmael tells us that Elohim was obviously true to His promise to make many nations of Abraham.
(Gen 25:18 NASB) And they settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives.
Gen 25:18: Ishmael was blessed and died in the presence of his family. Havilah is in central Arabia.
(Gen 25:19 NASB) Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham became the father of Isaac;
(Gen 25:20 NASB) and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.
(Gen 25:21 NASB) And Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen 25:21: Isaac is an often overlooked patriarch and that is not justifiable. Isaac was the only one who stayed in the land. He is the only one who was monogamous. He was also the only one who did not have his name changed. His life also displayed great faithfulness and trust in Elohim.
Rebekah’s age is omitted because she is not beyond the years of childbearing unlike Sarah.
(Gen 25:22 NASB) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
(Gen 25:23 NASB) And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples shall be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”
Gen 25:23: The Hebrew phrase the tells us the words of Rebekah tell us that she was in great pain during her pregnancy. It is also noteworthy that she went to Elohim with her difficulties and did not struggle with them by herself.
The struggle of the two boys in the womb was a foreshadowing of the struggles they would have later in life and later through their descendants.
(Gen 25:24 NASB) When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
(Gen 25:25 NASB) Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.
(Gen 25:26 NASB) And afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.
Gen 25:26: The name “Esau” means “the hairy one” and also implies red hair. This also provides a connection to his other name with is “Edom” meaning “red.”
“Jacob” means “he grasps the heel” or “supplants.” These two boys were named by first impressions.
(Gen 25:27 NASB) When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.
Gen 25:27: The only other hunter named in the Bible is Nimrod. It is probably not a good thing to be known as a hunter in that day. Keep in mind that the animals raised and sacrificed by Israel were always domestic animals, not wild ones. It would appear that Esau was a “man’s man.”
Jacob, on the other hand, is almost described as a “mama’s boy…”
(Gen 25:28 NASB) Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Gen 25:28: These preferences follow the description of the boys in the previous verse and lead to much sorrow.
(Gen 25:29 NASB) And when Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished;
(Gen 25:30 NASB) and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom.
(Gen 25:31 NASB) But Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”
(Gen 25:32 NASB) And Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”
Gen 25:32: Why would there have been a concern by Jacob for the law of the birthright if the law did not yet exist (Deut. 21:15-17)? Jacob was well aware of this and deeply treasured his fathers land given by Elohim. Esau, on the other hand, could not have cared less.
(Gen 25:33 NASB) And Jacob said, “First swear to me”; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
(Gen 25:34 NASB) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Gen 25:34: For Esau to despise his birthright is for him to despise the one that gave it to him. His birthright consisted of the promise to be a blessing to all nations.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas