A Daily Genesis

Genesis 25:8c-10

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:8c . . and he was gathered to his kin.[/B]

"gathered to his kin" isn't recorded only of special people; not when Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron, and Moses are all recorded to have been gathered to their kin too. An analysis of the contexts in which the phrase is found reveals that it is to be distinguished from burial because "gathering" always happens prior to interment.

The phrase is employed of Abraham, Aaron, and Moses, none of whom were buried with their forefathers in the same grave nor even in the same graveyard. And in point of fact, the only "kin" that Abraham had buried in Canaan was Sarah. So Genesis really could have said Abraham was gathered to Sarah since she was it.

Burials always follow the phrase "gathered to his kin". So the gathering happens as soon as the person dies; and prior to their funeral. The difference between gathering and burial is quite distinct in Jacob's case; who was interred no less than forty days after his passing, yet was gathered to his kin immediately upon expiring. (Gen 49:33-50:3)

It would seem, therefore, that the employment of this idiom-- like the corresponding figure of speech: to lie down with one's fathers --refers to an ancient belief that despite Man's mortality, he possesses a rather durable component that survives beyond the death of his body.

In other words: assassins may terminate the life of a human body; but they cannot terminate the life of a human soul. Not that it's impossible; it's just that only man's maker has the power to pull that off.

"Don't be afraid of them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather be afraid of Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matt 10:28)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:9a . . His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him[/B]

Isaac and Ishmael were by far the oldest of all the boys. At the time, they lived reasonably close to each other and I would not be surprised if Ishmael came up to visit his dad quite often and was fully aware of the old boy's health. Abraham was 86 years old when his first son was born; so Ishmael would be going on 90 when his dad died. (cf. Gen 16:16, Gen 25:7)

Like Isaac, Ishmael was an only child; that is until Isaac came along. But at first, he had his dad all to himself for at least fifteen years. Both of these guys were older and wiser men by this time. I'm sure Ishmael understood that it was no fault of Isaac's that he lost his birthright and had to leave home. And Isaac harbors no ill will towards his half-brother for anything he may have done as a kid.

After all, grown-ups are no longer the kids they grew from. The kids they were are long gone. So it's not a good thing to hold grudges against people for the things they did when they were underage and didn't know any better.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:9b-10 . . in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, the field that Abraham had bought from the Hittites; there Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife.[/B]

No doubt when Abraham negotiated for this property, he anticipated his own eventual interment. Well, this cave is big enough to become a family crypt. Later, more of his progeny would follow him there.

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