Genesis 25

1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
2 And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
3 And Jokshan begat Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.
4 And the sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Enoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.
5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
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.
7 And these were the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, one hundred seventy-five years.
8 Then Abraham expired and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
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 in front of Mamre;
10 the field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth, there was Abraham 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 by the well Lahairoi. {Heb. the Living One who sees me}
12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, son of Abraham, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, gave birth unto Abraham:
13 And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their lineages: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth, and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa,
15 Hadar, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns and by their palaces; twelve princes according to their families.
17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, one hundred thirty-seven years; and Ishmael expired and died and was gathered unto his people.
18 And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria; and he fell in the presence of all his brethren.
19 And these are the generations of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac;
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel, the Aramean of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Aramean.
21 And Isaac prayed unto the LORD for his wife because she was barren; and the LORD accepted him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22 And the sons struggled together within her; and she said, If this is so, why should I live? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like a hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 And afterwards his brother came out with Esau’s heel grasped in his hand; and his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 And the boys grew, and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was an upright man, remaining in the tents.
28 And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his venison; but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 And Jacob boiled pottage; and Esau came from the field, and he was faint;
30 and Esau said to Jacob, Give me to eat, I pray thee, of that red pottage; for I am faint. Therefore was his name called Edom.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he swore unto him and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau of the bread and of the pottage of lentils; and he ate and drank, and rose up, and went away. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Genesis 25 Commentary

Chapter 25

Abraham's family by Keturah, His death and burial. (1-10) God blesses Isaac The descendants of Ishmael. (11-18) The birth of Esau and Jacob. (19-26) The different characters of Esau and Jacob. (27,28) Esau despises and sells his birth-right. (29-34)

Verses 1-10 All the days, even of the best and greatest saints, are not remarkable days; some slide on silently; such were these last days of Abraham. Here is an account of Abraham's children by Keturah, and the disposition which he made of his estate. After the birth of these sons, he set his house in order, with prudence and justice. He did this while he yet lived. It is wisdom for men to do what they find to do while they live, as far as they can. Abraham lived 175 years; just one hundred years after he came to Canaan; so long he was a sojourner in a strange country. Whether our stay in this life be long or short, it matters but little, provided we leave behind us a testimony to the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord, and a good example to our families. We are told that his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him. It seems that Abraham had himself brought them together while he lived. Let us not close the history of the life of Abraham without blessing God for such a testimony of the triumph of faith.

Verses 11-18 Ishmael had twelve sons, whose families became distinct tribes. They peopled a very large country that lay between Egypt and Assyria, called Arabia. The number and strength of this family were the fruit of the promise, made to Hagar and to Abraham, concerning Ishmael.

Verses 19-26 Isaac seems not to have been much tried, but to have spent his days in quietness. Jacob and Esau were prayed for; their parents, after being long childless, obtained them by prayer. The fulfilment 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. Isaac and Rebekah kept in view the promise of all nations being blessed in their posterity, therefore were not only desirous of children, but anxious concerning every thing which seemed to mark their future character. In all our doubts we should inquire of the Lord by prayer. In many of our conflicts with sin and temptation, we may adopt Rebekah's words, "If it be so, why am I thus?" If a child of God, why so careless or carnal? If not a child of God, why so afraid of, or so burdened with sin?

Verses 27-28 Esau hunted the beasts of the field with dexterity and success, till he became a conqueror, ruling over his neighbours. Jacob was a plain man, one that liked the true delights of retirement, better than all pretended pleasures. He was a stranger and a pilgrim in his spirit, and a shepherd all his days. Isaac and Rebekah had but these two children, one was the father's darling, and the other the mother's. And though godly parents must feel their affections most drawn over towards a godly child, yet they will not show partiality. Let their affections lead them to do what is just and equal to every child, or evils will arise.

Verses 29-34 We have here the bargain made between Jacob and Esau about the right, which was Esau's by birth, but Jacob's by promise. It was for a spiritual privilege; and we see Jacob's desire of the birth-right, but he sought to obtain it by crooked courses, not like his character as a plain man. He was right, that he coveted earnestly the best gifts; he was wrong, that he took advantage of his brother's need. The inheritance of their father's worldly goods did not descend to Jacob, and was not meant in this proposal. But it includeth the future possession of the land of Canaan by his children's children, and the covenant made with Abraham as to Christ the promised Seed. Believing Jacob valued these above all things; unbelieving Esau despised them. Yet although we must be of Jacob's judgment in seeking the birth-right, we ought carefully to avoid all guile, in seeking to obtain even the greatest advantages. Jacob's pottage pleased Esau's eye. "Give me some of that red;" for this he was called Edom, or Red. Gratifying the sensual appetite ruins thousands of precious souls. When men's hearts walk after their own eyes, ( Job 31:7 ) , and when they serve their own bellies, they are sure to be punished. If we use ourselves to deny ourselves, we break the force of most temptations. It cannot be supposed that Esau was dying of hunger in Isaac's house. The words signify, I am going towards death; he seems to mean, I shall never live to inherit Canaan, or any of those future supposed blessings; and what signifies it who has them when I am dead and gone. This would be the language of profaneness, with which the apostle brands him, ( Hebrews 12:16 ) ; and this contempt of the birth-right is blamed, ver. ( 34 ) . It is the greatest folly to part with our interest in God, and Christ, and heaven, for the riches, honours, and pleasures of this world; it is as bad a bargain as his who sold a birth-right for a dish of pottage. Esau ate and drank, pleased his palate, satisfied his appetite, and then carelessly rose up and went his way, without any serious thought, or any regret, about the bad bargain he had made. Thus Esau despised his birth-right. By his neglect and contempt afterwards, and by justifying himself in what he had done, he put the bargain past recall. People are ruined, not so much by doing what is amiss, as by doing it and not repenting of it.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 25

This chapter contains an account of Abraham's marriage with another woman, and of the children he had by her and of their posterity Ge 25:1-4; of Abraham's disposal of his substance; and his sons, Ge 25:5,6; of the years of his life, his death and burial, Ge 25:7-11; of the children of Ishmael, and of the years of his life, and of his death, Ge 25:12-18; and of the sons of Isaac the fruit of prayer, and of the oracle concerning them before they were born, and of their temper and disposition, conduct and behaviour, Ge 25:19-34.

Genesis 25 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010