Let’s start our study of Genesis Chapter 25 today!
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Version, click here.
Genesis Chapter 25 can be divided into three parts.
The first part wraps up the final details of Abraham’s life.
The second part talks about Ishmael’s descendants.
In the third part, we are shown the transition from the second patriarch Isaac to Jacob.
Let’s take a look at the first part today.
We are told that “Abraham took a wife and her name was Keturah“.
First, this was not really Abraham’s wife.
She was what we would call a concubine.
She had the same status as Ishmael’s mother Hagar.
In no way did she have the same full legal status that Sarah had.
When I say this, I mean that besides Sarah, the other women were not given a marriage contract.
In Hebrew, a “Ketubah“.
Second, there is some scholarly debate as to exactly when the children from this union were born.
If Abraham did indeed sire these children after he had Isaac, then in a sense these children were also miraculous conceptions.
Hence, there is the view that Abraham fathered these children way before he had Isaac.
However, some scholars insist that after he gave birth to Isaac, for an indeterminate amount of time, Abraham was given supernatural procreation ability.
Maybe, maybe not.
Personally, I don’t think this account is chronological and that these children were born before he had Isaac.
It is entirely possible that Abraham was in a sexual relationship with Keturah while married to Sarah.
The name “Keturah” comes from the Hebrew word “Ketoret” which means spices.
Indeed, it does appear that the descendants from these sons were involved in the trading of spices.
The name Midian in particular should stand out.
This is the area that Keturah’s descendants settled in and will play a large role in Moses life.
In fact, Moses’ first wife will be a Midianite.
They settled in an area located on the Arabian Peninsula near the eastern border of what we today call the Gulf of Aqaba.
The descendants from these six sons of Abraham and Keturah will become what we today call the Arab peoples.
The term Arab actually didn’t come into use until after King David’s reign about nine centuries later.
Let’s take a look at verses 5 and 6.
“And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But to the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he let lived, eastward, unto the east country.“
The fact that Isaac inherited everything his father had no doubt would have incited much jealousy from his half brothers.
So Abraham after giving them gifts, which would have been a healthy amount of mucho denero given his tremendous financial status, had to send them away.
Notice that the Scripture says he sent them away eastward, to the land of the east.
Remember, there is always a spiritual significance attached to the direction east that will become more and more apparent as we move through the Scriptures.
Also notice that God is actively engaged in the process of dividing and separating His chosen away from those who have not been elected.