Gen. 25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
Gen. 25:2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
Gen. 25:3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
Gen. 25:4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Abraham took another wife, Keturah. They had more children who began tribes or groups of their own that could claim to be descendants of Abraham. You can’t help but wonder how many of Israel’s enemies today descended from these sons.
Gen. 25:5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
Gen. 25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. Before he died, however, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away to the land of the east—away from Isaac. The terminology used here is a bit confusing. The word “concubines” is plural. The only woman I would have identified as a concubine at this point was Hagar. Keturah is called a wife in verse one, but the Hebrew does allow for “woman, female and adulteress.” She is called a concubine in 1Chronicles.
1 Chronicles 1:32 “Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine….”
Later on the handmaids of Leah and Rachel are called Jacob’s wives.
Genesis 37:2 “These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives.”
The word for “wives” is the same Hebrew word used in verse one of this chapter regarding Keturah. The offspring resulting from all of Jacob’s liaison’s were accepted by God, but Abraham’s weren’t.
Stedman: “Isaac is throughout a picture of Christ. We read that Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, just as the Father gives all that he has to the Son. This is a portrait of a life that is so Christ-centered that it exercise care to protect the inheritance and to keep away the things that might harm it.”
Gen. 25:7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
Gen. 25:8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
Gen. 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;
Gen. 25:10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Abraham lived for 175 years. Isaac (74) and Ishmael (87) buried him in the cave of Machpelah with Sarah. Evidently the two half brothers were still in touch with one another, and Ishmael apparently held no grudge against his father for sending him and his mom away.
Stedman: “So Abraham was gathered to his people. This phrase indicates that by no means did his life end 4,000 years ago: In Matthew, when the Sadducees -- who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead -- asked Jesus a question, he answered them: "Have you not read what was said to you by God, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?' He is not God of the dead, but of the living." (Matthew 22:31b-32 RSV).”
Gen. 25:11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi.
After Abraham’s death, God blessed Isaac—just as He had promised. Isaac was still living in the desert area where he began his life with Rebekah by the well of Lahairoi.
Gen. 25:12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
Gen. 25:13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
Gen. 25:14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,
Gen. 25:15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah:
Gen. 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
Gen. 25:17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.
Gen. 25:18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.
Next we are given a listing of the sons of Ishmael, father of the Arab nations. He had twelve sons who became tribal rulers (as the Lord had promised 17:20). Ishmael lived to the age of 137. His descendants lived in an area that stretched from Egypt to Arabia and to the northeast Sinai, south of the Mediterranean coast. Note that this is a record of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.
Genesis 17:20 “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”
Gen. 25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:
Gen. 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
Gen. 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen. 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
Gen. 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Gen. 25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Gen. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
Gen. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
Next, we go to the descendants of Isaac. In the eyes of the world it would seem as though Ishmael was the son of greater blessing by the number of his children. God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation through Isaac would be a very deliberate process through which only God could get the glory.
Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. (He was 37 when his mother died; 3 years he had mourned his mother before having Rebekah to comfort him. He must have been very close to his mom.) Isaac prayed to the Lord for Rebekah because she was barren. God answered by allowing Rebekah to become pregnant.
Henry: “The fulfillment of God's promise is always sure, yet it is often slow. The faith of believers is tried, their patience exercised, and mercies long waited for are more welcome when they come.”
As time went on, Rebekah must have realized there was more than one baby in her, so she went to the Lord to ask what was happening—not why it was happening. It’s interesting to me that she “went to enquire of the Lord” and He answered her. It sounds like they were talking personally. Where did she go? How did they communicate? Just curious; just jealous again of the ability to get solid answers.
The Lord told her that two nations were in her womb. Two peoples would come from within her separately. One of the nations would be stronger than the other nation, and the older brother and his descendants would serve the younger.
The first son to be born was red (compared to a hairy garment), and they named him Esau. The second son was born holding on to his brother’s heel and was named Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when his sons were born—20 years after he and Rebekah were married.
Gen. 25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
Gen. 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Gen. 25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
Gen. 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
Gen. 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
Gen. 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
Gen. 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Gen. 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter. Jacob was a quiet man who liked to stay around the house. Isaac’s favorite was Esau, and Rebekah’s favorite was Jacob. One day Jacob was cooking some stew, and Esau came in starved after a day of hunting. He told Jacob to give him some stew since he felt so weak. Jacob wouldn’t serve him until Esau promised to give Jacob his birthright. (It makes you wonder if Rebekah had told Jacob about God’s words to her, and he was trying to work things out for himself instead of trusting God to do it. He knew that his father favored Esau.) Esau thought he was dying and said so; what good would the birthright be to him if he died. Jacob was insistent; he made Esau swear an oath to him giving up his birthright. Foolish Esau did just that. So Jacob served him the bread and stew; Esau ate and drank, and then left.
“Esau despised his birthright” – This just means that he didn’t appreciate what the birthright represented. He was a man of the moment and wasn’t really thinking about the future. The birthright represented a place of privilege in the family. It carried with it a double portion of the inheritance from the father and the position of authority in the family. Esau gave up his place of privilege and blessing in the family, but he did not lose his position as a son in the family.
Constable: “This section is a warning that profane (secular) people who live to satisfy their fleshly appetites will lose more valuable things of lasting spiritual worth. Christians who live for the present will not lose their salvation, but they will lose some of their eternal reward (1Corinthians 3:10-15).”