A Daily Genesis

Genesis 25:11-18

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:11a . . After the death of Abraham, God blessed his son Isaac.[/B]

With the death of Abraham, the covenant torch is passed on to the next patriarch. The promises now shift into Isaac's possession and it becomes his responsibility to take over as the family priest too.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:11b . . And Isaac settled near Beer-lahai-roi.[/B]

Everyone else from Abraham's camp settled there too now that Isaac is the new godfather. All of Abraham's servants, all his livestock, all the camels, all everything; the whole shebang is Isaac's and follows Isaac wherever Isaac tells them to go.

You know, it's very difficult to forget Hagar while Genesis continues to mention a very sacred spot dear to her own heart. But this is the very last mention of Beer-lahai-roi. It's as if Abraham's era is closing and now we move forward into Isaac's.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:12 . .This is the line of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's slave, bore to Abraham.[/B]

Never once is Hagar listed as one of Abraham's wives. She was Sarah's slave; and nothing more. Genesis gives Ishmael's line only passing mention because the real focus lies along the covenant line. So we won't follow Ishmael's exploits after listing his progeny.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:13-16 . .These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the first-born of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedmah.

. . .These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names by their villages and by their encampments: twelve chieftains of as many tribes.[/B]

Twelve tribes; just as God had foretold in Gen 17:20. These twelve "encampments" were little more than nomadic tent communities as compared to the more permanent fortified towns and hamlets that were common in the Canaan of Isaac's day.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 25:17 . .These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; then he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his kin.[/B]

When Ishmael was "gathered to his kin" it wasn't to Abraham's clan but to his own: the Ishmael line. However, Abraham remained Ishmael's biological father whether Ishmael was legally his son or not. You can never change who sired you. Your genetic origin is impossible to reverse or alter; though it can be legally dissolved.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 25:18 . .They dwelt from Havilah, by Shur, which is close to Egypt, all the way to Asshur; they camped alongside all their kinsmen.[/B]

The "they" in this verse are the kin of verse 17 unto whom Ishmael was gathered.

Even though Ishmael's line isn't actually legal kin to Abraham's progeny, the line is still related to the other boys by blood and therefore genetic kinsman.

The expression "all the way to Asshur" is probably better rendered "as you go to Asshur" or "on the way to Asshur"-- ancient Assyria, now modern day Iraq. The Ishmaelites lived along the main caravan route leading from Egypt to Assyria; which would be very advantageous if you were into international trading, which they were (cf. Gen 37:25-28).

The precise locations of the Havilah and Shur of verse 18 are unknown; although it's fairly safe to assume that Havilah (sandy), and Shur delineated a region stretching from portions of modern day Jordan and Saudi Arabia, past Elat, across the northern Sinai Peninsula, and on over to Suez. In the time of Saul, Ishmael's territory was controlled by a people called Amalekites (1Sam 15:7).

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