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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Genesis 25:18

They settled from Havilah to Shur which is east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he settled in defiance of all his relatives.

Adam Clarke Commentary

They dwelt from Havilah unto Shur - The descendants of Ishmael possessed all that country which extends from east to west, from Havilah on the Euphrates, near its junction with the Tigris, to the desert of Shur eastward of Egypt; and which extends along the isthmus of Suez, which separates the Red Sea from the Mediterranean.

As thou goest toward Assyria - "These words," says Calmet, "may refer either to Egypt, to Shur, or to Havilah. The desert of Shur is on the road from Egypt to Assyria in traversing Arabia Petraea, and in passing by the country of Havilah. I know not," adds he, "whether Ashshurah in the text may not mark out rather the Asshurim descended from Keturah, than the Assyrians, who were the descendants of Asshur the son of Shem."

He died in the presence of all his brethren - The original will not well bear this translation. In Genesis 25:17; it is said, He gave up the ghost and died, and was gathered to his people. Then follows the account of the district occupied by the Ishmaelites, at the conclusion of which it is added נפל אחיו כל פני על al peney col echaiv naphal, "It (the lot or district) Fell (or was divided to him) in the presence of all his brethren:" and this was exactly agreeable to the promise of God, Genesis 16:12, He shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren; and to show that this promise had been strictly fulfilled, it is here remarked that his lot or inheritance was assigned him by Divine Providence, contiguous to that of the other branches of the family. The same word, נפל naphal, is used Joshua 23:4, for to divide by lot.

On the subject of writing the same proper name variously in our common Bibles, the following observations and tables will not be unacceptable to the reader. "Men who have read their Bible with care," says Dr. Kennicott, "must have remarked that the name of the same person is often expressed differently in different places. Indeed the variation is sometimes so great that we can scarcely persuade ourselves that one and the same person is really meant. A uniform expression of proper names is diligently attended to in other books: perhaps in every other book, except the Old Testament. But here we find strange variety in the expression, and consequently great confusion: and indeed there is scarcely any one general source of error which calls for more careful correction than the same proper names now wrongly expressed. I shall add here, from the Pentateuch, some proper names which are strangely varied: first, twenty-three names expressed differently in the Hebrew text itself, and seventeen of them in our English translation; and then thirty-one names expressed uniformly in the Hebrew yet differently in the English.

"Nothing can be more clear than that these fifty-four proper names (at least the far greater part of them) should be expressed with the very same letters, in the places where they are now different. In the second list, instances 6, 10, and 13, have been corrected and expressed uniformly in the English Bible printed at Oxford in 1769. And surely the same justice in the translation should be done to the rest of these proper names, and to all others through the Bible; at least, where the original words are now properly the same. Who would not wonder at seeing the same persons named both Simon and Shimon, Richard and Ricard? And can we then admit here both Seth and Sheth, Rachel and Rahel? Again: whoever could admit (as above) both Gaza and Azzak, with Rameses and Raamses, should not object to London and Ondon, with Amsterdam and Amstradam. In short, in a history far more interesting than any other, the names of persons and places should be distinguished accurately, and defined with exact uniformity. And no true critic will think lightly of this advice of Origen, Contemnenda non est accurata circa Nomina diligentia ei, qui volurit probe intelligere sanctas literas? No person who desires thoroughly to understand the sacred writings, should undervalue a scrupulous attention to the proper names." - Kennicott's Remarks.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/genesis-25.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur,.... That is, the posterity of Ishmael, whose country reached from one place to the other; not from India to Chaluza, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; but the extent is that vast desert of Arabia, which eastward was called the wilderness of Havilah, and westward the wilderness of Shur; so that they inhabited it from east to west:

that is before Egypt, as thou goest to Assyria; which last place was over against Egypt, and bordered on that part where lies the way to the land of Assyria:

and he died in the presence of all his brethren; they being present when he died, or in peace with them, in all prosperity along with them: but since his death is spoken of before, and here the situation of his posterity, the words may be read, "it fellF25נפל "cecidit habitatio ipsi", Schmidt; "cecidit sors ejus", Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Ben Gersom, and Ben Melech. in the presence of his brethren"; his lot, or the habitation of his posterity fell by lot between his brethren the Egyptians on one side of him, and the Israelites on the other; or between the sons of Keturah on the east, and the posterity of Isaac on the west.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/genesis-25.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that [is] before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: [and] he died g in the presence of all his brethren.

(g) He means that his lot fell to dwell among his brethren as the angel promised.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/genesis-25.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he died — rather, “it [their lot] fell” in the presence of his brethren (compare Genesis 16:12).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/genesis-25.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

18.He died in the presence of all his brethren (25) The major part of commentators understand this of his death; as if Moses had said that the life of Ishmael was shorter than that of his brethren, who long survived him: but because the word נפל (naphal) is applied to a violent death, and Moses testifies that Ishmael died a natural death, this exposition cannot be approved. The Chaldean Paraphrast supposes the word “lot ” to be understood, and elicits this sense, that the lot fell to him, so as to assign him a habitation not far from his brethren. Although I do not greatly differ in this matter, I yet think that the words are not to be thus distorted. (26) The word נפל (naphal) sometimes signifies to lie down, or to rest, and also to dwell. The simple assertion therefore of Moses is, that a habitation was given to Ishmael opposite his brethren, so that he should indeed be a neighbor to them, and yet should have his distinct boundaries: (27) for I do not doubt that he referred to the oracle contained in the sixteenth chapter (Genesis 16:1) where, among other things, the angel said to his mother Hagar, He shall remain, or pitch his tents in the presence of his brethren. Why does he rather speak thus of Ishmael than of the others, except for this reason, that whereas they migrated towards the eastern region, Ishmael, although the head of a nation, separated from the sons of Abraham, yet retained his dwelling in their neighborhood? Meanwhile the intention of God is also to be observed, namely, that Ishmael, though living near his brethren, was yet placed apart in an abode of his own, that he might not become mingled with them, but might dwell in their presence, or opposite to them. Moreover, it is sufficiently obvious that the prediction is not to be restricted personally to Ishmael.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/genesis-25.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Genesis 25:18 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.

Ver. 18. And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur.] A large tract and territory; but nothing so large as his posterity the Saracens’, called more rightly Hagarenes, [Psalms 83:6] proved to be; whose name and empire notwithstanding is now swallowed up in the greatness of the Turkish empire; which laboureth with nothing more, than with the weightiness of itself. (a)

And he died.] Or, dwelt, as some read it. Compare Genesis 16:12.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/genesis-25.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Genesis 25:18. He died in the presence In the Hebrew it is, he, or it fell: some therefore think, that it refers to the lot or inheritance of Ishmael: and his lot fell, or lay in the presence or midst of all his brethren. The LXX and Onkelos render it, he dwelt, agreeably to what is foretold, ch. Genesis 16:12. to which we refer. I humbly believe the translation last mentioned is the best. Houbigant very judiciously observes, that the plural word rendered they dwelt, at the beginning of the verse, should be read in the singular, he dwelt, as the discourse is only concerning Ishmael: the Seventy have it in the singular. Thus the whole is clear, and the prophecies exactly fulfilled: Genesis 25:17. Ishmael died; and when living, he dwelt from Havilah, &c. In the last clause the "and" is redundant, and is not in the Hebrew, he dwelt in the presence of all his brethren.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/genesis-25.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria, i.e. on that part or side of Egypt which leads to Assyria.

He died in the presence of all his brethren; his brethren surviving him, and being his neighbours, and therefore as they had conversation with him in the time of his life, so now they did him honour at his death. But this translation and interpretation may seem improbable,

1. Because his death was related, Genesis 25:17, and would not be so presently repeated.

2. Because the foregoing words in this verse speak not of his death, but of his dwelling, to which these words do very well agree. For what we translated

and he died, is commonly rendered and he fell, or it fell, and is most commonly used concerning a lot whereby men’s portions are designed and divided, as Leviticus 16:9,10 Num 33:54 Joshua 16:1; and so the sense may be, it fell, i.e. that country fell to him or his; or he lay, or was stretched out, or posted himself, as the Hebrew word is used, Jude 7:12, i.e. he dwelt

in the presence of all his brethren; and so indeed his country lay between the children of Keturah on the east, and the children of Isaac and Israel on the west.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/genesis-25.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18. From Havilah unto Shur — Or, as we might say, from the Arabian Gulf and the Euphrates to the border of Egypt and the Red Sea. On Havilah see Genesis 10:7; Genesis 10:29; and on Shur see on Genesis 16:7; Genesis 20:1, and Exodus 15:22.

As thou goest toward Assyria — One journeying most directly from Egypt to Assyria would pass through this broad Ishmaelite territory.

Died — Rather, he fell, or threw himself, נפל . This word is here used somewhat in the sense of the American word squat; he threw himself down upon, or settled in this region, between Havilah and Shur. The word is rendered lay along in Judges 7:12, where it is said the Midianites and Amalekites and Bene-Kedem fell with their tents and cattle in the valley. That is, they dropped down, flung themselves down, intending to stay. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Genesis 16:12.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/genesis-25.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

In the presence, &c. As he was the eldest, so he died first; having lived unmolested and fearless among his father's children, chap. xvi. 12. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/genesis-25.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

died = had inheritance. Heb, naphal, to fall, esp. as a lot, giving inheritance (Judges 18:1. 1 Chronicles 1:20; 1 Chronicles 26:14. 2 Chronicles 15:9. Psalms 16:6 (compare Joshua 23:4. Hebrew caused the lot to fall). Hence, to dwell with, as in Proverbs 1:14. Compare Judges 7:12, to encamp, lying along the ground. Ishmael was to dwell in the presence (Hebrew "on the face") of his brethren, i.e. mixed up with them (Genesis 16:12). See Genesis 37:25, Genesis 37:28, Genesis 37:36; Genesis 39:1, and compare Judges 8:24. Midian, being his half-brother (Genesis 15:11, Genesis 15:12). Naphal never rendered "die" elsewhere.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/genesis-25.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

They dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria. Havilah [Septuagint, Euilat] was a country of great extent, the exact site of which, however, it is not easy to determine; but it lay along the borders of Arabia Felix and Arabia Petraea (see the note at Genesis 10:29). "Shur" probably denotes here the last Arabian town on the northeast of the Red Sea before entering Egypt, "as thou goest toward Assyria - i:e., in the direction of Assyria-so that the region principally frequented by the Ishmaelites was the whole of northern Arabia, from the Persian to the Arabian Gulf. 'Havilah and Shur formed the southeastern and southwestern boundaries of the territories of the Ishmaelites, from which they extended their nomadic excursions toward the northeast, as far as the districts under Assyrian rule, traveling the whole of Arabia Deserta' (Keil).

And he died in the presence of all his brethren. This version makes a needless repetition of what was stated in the preceding verse respecting Ishmael's death; and so also does that of Dr. Arnold ('Ishmael; or, Natural History of Islamism'), 'he fell opposing all his brethren,' implying that he was slain in some tribal contest. It is more accordant with the tenor of the first clause in this verse to render the last, instead of "he died," 'he settled,' or 'encamped' [since the verb naapal (Hebrew #5307) signifies, Judges 7:12, "in the presence of all his brethren;" and this is the view taken by the Septuagint, kai kata prosoopon pantoon toon adelfoon autoiu katookeese], 'he dwelt in the presence of all his brethren. The clause is thus the recorded filfillment of the prediction (Genesis 16:13); while, as Havernick has remarked, 'it leaves us at liberty to suppose that Ishmael may have had other sons, who did not, however, attain to the rank of phylarchs.'


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/genesis-25.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) Havilah was far to the south, on the Persian Gulf. (See Genesis 10:29.)

Shur.—This was their western limit towards Egypt. (See Genesis 16:7.) In 1 Samuel 15:7 this same region is assigned to the Amalekites.

As thou goest toward Assyria.—This does not mean that Shur was on the route toward Assyria, but gives the eastern limit of the country inhabited by the descendants of Ishmael.

He died.—But the Hebrew is, he fell—that is, his lot fell; he settled there.

In the presence of.—This means to the east of all his brethren. Just as Assyria was regarded as lying to the north of Palestine, because on starting the traveller journeyed in that direction, so Arabia was considered to be on the east, for a similar reason. (But see Note on Genesis 16:12.)


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/genesis-25.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
Havilah
2:11; 10:7,29; 20:1; 21:14,21
as thou
13:10
toward
2 Kings 23:29; Isaiah 19:23,24
died
Heb. fell.
14:10; Psalms 78:64
in the
16:12

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 25:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/genesis-25.html.

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