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This Chapter closes the historical relation of Abraham's life. Having carried on the interesting account of the Patriarch, from his call of God, through all the several gracious manifestations, which, in a covenant-way, the same God made towards him: we are now arrived in this Chapter, to the period of his death. The particulars relating to the disposal of his effects to his children and family; and the interment of the Patriarch, by his sons, Isaac and Ishmael; are also related in this Chapter: and the sacred Historian, having done with the memoirs of Abraham, immediately takes up the narrative of Isaac, with whom the promise is lodged, and through whom the history is to go on in succession, until He comes, to whom the whole of the promise is referred: and in whom it is finished. Here is an account of Isaac's prosperity: Of his two sons, Esau and Jacob: Of their different characters: Of the birth-right sold by Esau to Jacob: and the consequence hinted at, in which that event differently interested the parties.
Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
Six sons added to Abraham's family. Genesis 12:2 .
And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
Was not this typical of Christ's fulness? John 3:35 ; Colossians 1:19
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.
Sweet distinction, in comparing this verse with the former. Providential mercies are one thing: Gracious gifts are another. Reader! If Jesus be your portion, in possessing him, you possess all. 1 Corinthians 3:22-23 .
And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 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.
Precious thought! He was gathered to his people! Whose people? See Genesis 49:10 ; John 11:52 ; Matthew 1:21 .
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; The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
See how the grave is calculated to reconcile differences! The mingling of the dust of relations, is an ancient custom. See Genesis 23:19 .
And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahairoi. Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 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, And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
Ishmael's children become heads of nations. See Genesis 17:18 .
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. 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.
That is the south of Moab. From the river Euphrates on the east, to Egypt on the west.
And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: 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. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Twenty years Rebekah continued barren, for Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah, and 60 years old when Esau and Jacob were born. See Genesis 25:26 .
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 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. 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. And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Is not this of spiritual signification also in every true believer's experience? Compare Genesis 3:15 with Galatians 5:17
And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 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.
The Holy Ghost mentions this, a thousand years after, with peculiar marks of approbation: See Hosea 12:3 . Esau means perfectly made; and Jacob a supplanter.
And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
How like was Esau to Nimrod! A man of the field, in scripture language means, a man of the world, carnally minded: But dwelling in tents, describes a pilgrim, one who hath here no continuing city: such was the Patriarch Jacob. See Hebrews 11:8-10 .
And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.
No doubt Rebekah had an eye to God's promise: Compare Genesis 25:23 with Romans 9:12 .
And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 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. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
See Deuteronomy 21:16-17 . Spiritually considered this is truly interesting, See Hebrews 12:15-16 . And doth not every carnal man the same, who barters Jesus, and the blessings in him, for the husks of the world?
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 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.
It is hardly possible, to close our view of the life of Abraham, without blessing God for such an illustrious testimony as his history affords of the triumph of faith. Lord, I would say, give to me a double portion of the same spirit! But do we not behold in the Patriarch, some faint outlines of resemblance of Him, who according to the flesh, was in after ages, to be his seed! Was not Abraham, as the chosen of God and the covenant head and father of millions of redeemed souls, a lively type of that Almighty Saviour, who was set up as the Covenant head of his people; and the one chosen of the Father before all worlds, in whom all nations are blessed! It is said, that by faith the Patriarch, when he was called of God to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed and went out, not knowing whither he went! and do we not from hence call to mind, the obedience of the Son of God, who left the realms of bliss, and Came down a stranger in this strange land, that all his people might afterwards, through Him, receive the gift of an eternal inheritance? Blessed Jesus! May everything of a gracious nature in thy holy word, lead me to discover somewhat of thyself, that while I admire and learn to praise God for the exercise of the faith and grace which I behold among men, I may be looking up, with gratitude and thankfulness unto thee, who art both the Author and Giver of Faith, and of all our Mercies.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 25". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17