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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 25

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-18

Abraham’s other descendants (25:1-18)

Before continuing the story of Isaac, the writer concludes the story of Abraham with a summary of his other descendants. Besides having a relationship with Hagar, Abraham had taken a minor wife, Keturah (1 Chronicles 1:28,1 Chronicles 1:32). But since Isaac was the promised heir, only he could remain in Canaan and receive Abraham’s inheritance. Abraham therefore gave gifts to his minor wives and their children and sent them off to establish independent lives elsewhere. They became ancestors of various Arab tribes (25:1-6).

There was a brief reunion between Ishmael and Isaac at the burial of Abraham (7-11), but Ishmael and his family remained largely outside Canaan. The promises given earlier to Ishmael were fulfilled in the many Arab tribes descended from him (12-18).

Verses 19-34


Isaac’s two sons (25:19-34)

After being childless for twenty years, Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons. The characters of the two sons proved to be opposites, and this was later reflected in the two nations that were descended from them. God appointed that the elder, Esau, should serve the younger, Jacob (19-26). But that did not excuse the worthlessness of Esau in selling his right as the eldest son (cf. Hebrews 12:16-17). Nor did it excuse the ruthlessness of Jacob in gaining the birthright (27-34).

The right of the firstborn was to become family head and receive a double share of the inheritance. In the wider view of the covenant promises given to Abraham, the inheritance involved headship of the nation Israel and possession of the land of Canaan.

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Genesis 25". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/genesis-25.html. 2005.
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