A Daily Genesis

Genesis 25:1-6

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:1 . . Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.[/B]

According to 1Chrn 1:32, Ms. Keturah wasn't really a full-fledged wife as Sarah had been, but was a wife of a different color altogether. She was a[I] piylegesh[/I] (pee-leh'-ghesh) which means: a mistress or a paramour; viz: a concubine. So that Gen 25:1 really should be translated: "Abraham took another woman"

It was considered okay in those days for men to sire children by concubines and nobody seemed to think much of it. But at Abraham's age!? Wow! Earlier, at Gen 17:17, Abraham considered himself much to old to father a child; and in truth, he was.

"By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-- and Sarah herself was barren --was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore." (Heb 11:11-12)

Not only was Sarah miraculously made fertile in her old age, but so was her husband Abraham. In fact his libido, and his fertility, were so well repaired that the old boy couldn't leave the ladies alone even after he was more than 140 years old! So the comment at Gen 24:1 wasn't meant to convey the idea that Abraham lacked vigor.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:2-4 . . She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurim, the Letushim, and the Leummim. The descendants of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Enoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.[/B]

According to a web site called Mr. Showbiz, Tony Randall, the Odd Couple sitcom star, became a first-time father at age seventy-seven in May of 1997 when his wife, then twenty-seven-year-old Heather Harlan, gave birth to their daughter Julia. A second baby came in June 98. Mr. Randall would have been ninety-eight when the first one graduated from college in 2019 had he lived.

Others have brought children into the world during their later years too-- e.g. Clint Eastwood, Charlie Chaplin, and Cary Grant. Anthony Quinn had his thirteenth child at the age of eighty-one. Some men can father children late in life; although it's very risky. The chances for schizophrenia and other birth defects increase as men get older.

Keturah's age is uncertain. But she was obviously young enough to have children; and in that day, women retained their strength pretty far up into life. However, by the time Sarah was ninety, she was past menopause.

Where did Abraham find Keturah? Was she an Egyptian like Hagar? Was she maybe a local Canaanite; possibly from Ephron's clan, the guy who sold Abraham a plot for Sarah's cemetery? No. If Abraham wouldn't let Isaac marry a women of Canaan, then he sure wasn't going to sleep with one himself. Was she from Haran; Rebecca's home town? Nobody really knows and it doesn't even matter anyway. None of Keturah's children would share in the ownership of Eretz Israel-- only Isaac's progeny. It all went to him by Divine fiat.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:5 . . Abraham willed all that he owned to Isaac;[/B]

Abraham had already willed all that he owned to Isaac even before any of Keturah's boys were born. The servant told Becky's family so back in chapter 24. This verse is just to make sure nobody forgets that Isaac is the only son that really matters.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:6a . . but to Abraham's sons by concubines Abraham gave gifts while he was still living,
When Ishmael was cut loose back in chapter 21, there was no mention of gifts. In fact, they left home with hardly anything at all. Apparently, later on, Ishmael returned to visit his dad on occasion and Abraham eventually compensated him for the loss of his firstborn rights. Abraham's generosity towards his sons was a right thing to do.

"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." (1Tim 5:8)

Rather than stipulate his sons' inheritances in a written will, Abraham took care of them all while he was still alive; probably to make sure there was no squabbling over his estate in probate after he was dead and thereby possibly jeopardizing Isaac's future.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:6b . . and he sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the East.[/B]

The "land of the East" is a general name for Arabia, which stretched away to the southeast and east of the point where Abraham resided in the south of Palestine. The northern part of Arabia, which lay due east of Palestine, was formerly more fertile and populous than now.

Sending someone away is not really the same as driving them off; but more like a send-off; viz: a bon voyage (e.g. Gen 24:59). It's far more likely Abraham helped them all get settled outside of Canaan rather than leave them to the whims of fate. Once settled into their own territories, the other boys would be less inclined to muscle in on Isaac's turf or freeload off him in the event they fell onto hard times.

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