Genesis 25

Abraham's Death

1 Now Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.
2 1She bore to him Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah.
3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim and Letushim and Leummim.
4 The sons of Midian were Ephah and Epher and Hanoch and Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.
5 2Now Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac;
6 but to the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still living, and 3sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east.
7 These are all the years of Abraham's life that he lived, 4one hundred and seventy-five years.
8 Abraham breathed his last and died 5in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was 6gathered to his people.
9 Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in 7the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing * Mamre,
10 8the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife.
11 It came about after the death of Abraham, that 9God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac lived by 10Beer-lahai-roi.

Descendants of Ishmael

12 Now these are the records of the generations of 11Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maid, bore to Abraham;
13 and these are the names of 12the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam
14 and Mishma and Dumah and Massa,
15 Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.
16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages, and by their camps; 13twelve * princes according to their tribes.
17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael, 14one hundred and thirty-seven * years; and he breathed his last and died, and was 15gathered to his people.
18 They settled from 16Havilah to 17Shur which is east * of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; 18he settled in defiance * of all his relatives.

Isaac's Sons

19 Now these are the records of 19the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham became the father of Isaac;
20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took 20Rebekah, the 21daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the 22sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.
21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and 23the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife 24conceived.
22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to 25inquire of the LORD.
23 The LORD said to her, "26Two nations are in your womb; 27And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And 28the older shall serve the younger."
24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 Now the first came forth red, 29all over like a hairy garment; and they named * him Esau.
26 Afterward his brother came forth with 30his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so 31his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was 32sixty years old when she gave birth to them.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, 33living in tents.
28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had 34a taste for game, 35but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29 When Jacob had cooked 36stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished;
30 and Esau said to Jacob, "Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished." Therefore * his name was called Edom.
31 But Jacob said, "First sell me your 37birthright."
32 Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?"
33 And Jacob said, "First swear to me"; so he swore to him, and 38sold his birthright to Jacob.
34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. 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.

Cross References 38

  • 1. 1 Chronicles 1:32, 33
  • 2. Genesis 24:35, 36
  • 3. Genesis 21:14
  • 4. Genesis 12:4
  • 5. Genesis 15:15; Genesis 47:8, 9
  • 6. Genesis 25:17; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:29, 33
  • 7. Genesis 23:17, 18; Genesis 49:29, 30; Genesis 50:13
  • 8. Genesis 23:3-16
  • 9. Genesis 12:2, 3; Genesis 22:17; Genesis 26:3
  • 10. Genesis 16:14; Genesis 24:62
  • 11. Genesis 16:15
  • 12. 1 Chronicles 1:29-31
  • 13. Genesis 17:20
  • 14. Genesis 16:16
  • 15. Genesis 25:8; Genesis 49:33
  • 16. 1 Samuel 15:7
  • 17. Genesis 20:1
  • 18. Genesis 16:12
  • 19. Matthew 1:2
  • 20. Gen 24:15, 29, 67
  • 21. Genesis 22:23
  • 22. Genesis 24:29
  • 23. 1 Samuel 1:17; 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 33:13; Ezra 8:23; Psalms 127:3
  • 24. Romans 9:10
  • 25. 1 Samuel 9:9; 1 Samuel 10:22
  • 26. Gen 17:4-6, 16; Numbers 20:14; Deuteronomy 2:4, 8
  • 27. Genesis 27:29
  • 28. Genesis 27:40; Malachi 1:2, 3; Romans 9:12
  • 29. Genesis 27:11
  • 30. Hosea 12:3
  • 31. Genesis 27:36
  • 32. Genesis 25:20
  • 33. Hebrews 11:9
  • 34. Genesis 27:19
  • 35. Genesis 27:6-10
  • 36. 2 Kings 4:38
  • 37. Deuteronomy 21:16, 17; 1 Chronicles 5:1, 2
  • 38. Hebrews 12:16

Footnotes 27

Chapter Summary


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

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