Genesis 25:1-18

1 Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.

And the sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac.

But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines which Abraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east.

This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years.

Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.

And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite,

10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth. There Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife.

11 And it came to pass, after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac. And Isaac dwelt at Beer Lahai Roi.

12 Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore to Abraham.

13 And these were the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,

14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa,

15 Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.

16 These were the sons of Ishmael and these were their names, by their towns and their settlements, twelve princes according to their nations.

17 These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; and he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.

18 (They dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt as you go toward Assyria.) He died in the presence of all his brethren.

Abraham lived thirty-eight years after Sarah’s death. The children of Keturah evidence the supernatural renewing of the body of Abraham (Genesis 17:5-6, 15-17; Romans 4:17-22).

It was told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:4, 6, 16) and not of Israel only. Of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, God said that he would beget “a great nation” (Genesis 17:20). — Scofield, page 37.


Sarah having waxed old and vanished away (Hebrews 9:13), that is, the Jewish covenant of works and exclusive salvation having determined, Keturah, the Gentile, now appears with her sons. Thus is the future pictured. Isaac, slain and raised to life again (Christ) takes to himself a bride, Rebekah (Israel). He brings her into his mother’s tent who had been the depository of the promises. So will Israel, in a future happy day, be brought by Christ in the new marriage covenant into all that was promised to her under the old, and over Jerusalem and all the land will be a covering of nuptial glory (Isaiah 4:5).

This having been accomplished, the nations of the earth (Keturah and her sons) will be raised up as children to Abraham and receive their inheritance. …

[Abraham] was born of the Spirit at 75 years of age and departed to be with Christ at 175.

Note the language of verses 12 and 19. Compare the words “Ishmael, Abraham’s son” and “Isaac, Abraham’s son,” but observe what followed in each case. In the one case, “who Hagar, the Egyptian, the slave, bare.” In the other case the majestic words, “Abraham begat Isaac.” The word “begat” is important, it is the same form of the verb as in the case of the birth of Seth, i.e. the godly seed. — Williams, pages 28-29.


Of Keturah’s six sons, the descendants of Zimran, Ishbak, Shuah, and Medan have not been satisfactorily identified. Jokshan is identified primarily by his two sons, Sheba and Dedan, who are mentioned on a number of occasions later in the Bible. On the other hand, two other men named Sheba and Dedan are listed in Genesis 10:7 as grandsons of Cush. Another Sheba was a grandson of Eber (Genesis 10:28). It is difficult to distinguish one from the other in the later references.

The other son of Keturah was Midian, and his descendants are mentioned frequently in the Old Testament. The Midianites, on various occasions, seem to have been allied with the Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:25-36), the Moabites (Numbers 25:1-15, and the Amalekites (Judges 6:3). — Morris, page 408.


They [the sons of Keturah] were sent by Abraham into the east country, which would mean into Arabia. Through millennia of migrations and intermarriages, it seems likely that all of these people, together with the descendants of Ismael, Lot, and Esau, along with earlier descendants of Shem, and in some cases, Ham, have gradually merged and become the modern-day Arabic people.

Before he died, Abraham endowed all the sons of Keturah, as well as Ishmael, the son of Hagar (Keturah and Hagar are both called “concubines” at this time, to distinguish them from his primary wife, Sarah), with “gifts,” no doubt a reference to an adequate provision for each to have a reasonable start on his own flocks and herds. The bulk of his inheritance, however, he gave to Isaac. — Morris, page 408.


Abraham was “gathered to his people,” which (since none of his ancestors were buried in the cave of Machpelah, where he was buried) can not refer simply to his death and burial, and therefore must refer to life after death, with those who before him had died in faith. The location of such departed spirits was, nineteen hundred years later, actually called “Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22).

He was buried, where Sarah was also buried, in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, with Isaac and Ishmael both officiating. Their earlier estrangement had evidently been healed, possibly because of their father’s death. — Morris, page 409.


This section contains “the generations of Ishmael.” It may be that Ishmael had kept this record, and that Isaac incorporated it into his own “generations” record (Genesis 25:19).

Ishmael [at the time of Abraham’s death] was ninety years old. His own twelve sons were grown, and they had become prolific and powerful enough to have settled towns and strongholds of their own, and to be called princes, as God had promised (Genesis 17:20).

As in the case of Keturah’s sons, the specific sons of Ishmael have been hard to identify archaeologically … Kedar (who is associated with Nebaioth in Isaiah 60:7) evidently had many descendants, and his name is often used in Scripture as essentially synonymous with all the Arabs (Isaiah 21:17, for example). …

Ishmael died a the age of 137, fifty-eight years before Isaac died. Scripture says that Ishmael, like Abraham, was “gathered unto his people.” This suggests that, though not sharing in the material aspects of the Abrahamic covenant, Ishmael was a believer in the God of Abraham and shared in the spiritual blessings of all who die in the true faith.

Scripture tells us that [Ishmael’s sons] “dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria,” and this places them generally in northern Arabia, along the main caravan route between Egypt and Assyria. Shur is the wilderness just east of the border of Egypt, and Havilah (meaning “sandy”) probably refers to all the sandy desert area of northern Arabia.

Ishmael “died” (literally “fell”) in the presence of (possibly better rendered “to the east of”) all his brethren. He apparently was something of a “loner,” as had been predicted (Genesis 16:12). — Morris, pages 410-411.

This entry was posted in Galatians. Bookmark the permalink.