The first eleven verses of chapter 25 will complete the story of Abraham. However, the events recorded toward the end of the chapter probably also occurred during Abraham’s long life. Verse 7 tells us that “Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years.” Since Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old, this would mean that Isaac was 75 years old when his father died. And we know that Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25:20) and 60 years old when Jacob and Esau were born (Genesis 25:26). Therefore, Jacob and Esau were 15 years old when their grandfather Abraham died.
READ GENESIS 25:1-11 阅读创25:1-11
We know very little about Keturah except that she became Abraham’s wife after the death of Sarah and bore him six sons. Verse 6 and 1 Chronicles 1:32 (“The sons born to Keturah, Abraham’s concubine”) indicate that she was a “concubine” which would indicate that she had lower social status than Sarah did. The fact that the word “concubine” is plural may be an indication that Keturah was not the only woman that gave birth to Abraham’s children.
What is the purpose of recording this information about these sons and grandsons of Abraham?
How did Abraham show that Isaac was the son of the promise?
Why did Abraham send all of his sons away to the land of the east (verse 6)?
The New Testament records a sort of “epitaph” of Abraham’s life in several places. Jesus said: “Have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matthew 22:31–32). And the book of Hebrews, after listing Abraham among the Old Testament believers, says: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:13–16).
The New Testament says that Abraham was “living by faith when he died.” What was Abraham’s faith? What did he believe?
It is interesting that Isaac and Ishmael worked together to bury their father in the cave of Machpelah next to his beloved wife Sarah. Perhaps the half-brothers simply worked together for this one task, or perhaps they had been on friendly terms with each other. In either case, they put aside any animosity to show honor to their aged father.
Verse 11 tells us that Isaac was living “near Beer Lahai Roi” after Abraham’s death. We are uncertain of the location of this place, but Genesis 16:14 tells us that there was a well there, and it was located between Kadesh and Bered. It is the place where the Lord appeared to Hagar when she fled from Sarah.
After studying the life of Abraham, what do you think is the main lesson for us from all of these chapters?
READ GENESIS 25:12-18 创25:12-18
We were introduced to Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar, in Genesis 16. Already then, we learned that he was half Hebrew and half Egyptian by birth. In Genesis 21:18 we read how God promised to make a great nation of Ishmael. And in Genesis 17:20 w read God’s promise to Ishmael that he would become the father of twelve rulers (chiefs), and this is a record of God’s faithfulness to those promises.
The record of Ishmael’s descendants is repeated in 1 Chronicles 1:28-31. From the comments in verse 18, it seems that they settled to the south of Canaan, toward the direction of Egypt.
We know that Ishmael was not the son of the promise, and not the ancestor of the Messiah, yet the Lord made it clear that he loved Ishmael. What was the evidence that God loved this man also?
The final verses of this chapter begin the record of the life and family of Isaac which will continue through chapter 35. Because the focus of this course was on the life of Abraham, we will not go into so much detail on these final verses of chapter 25.
READ GENESIS 25:19-34 阅读创25：19-34
How many years were Isaac and Rebekah married without having any children?
What truth does Isaac’s prayer on behalf of his barren wife (v. 21) teach us? (see also Psalm 127:3; James 1:17; and Psalm 113:9)
What prophecy did the Lord communicate to Rebekah when she realized that something special was happening with her pregnancy?
What is the meaning of the name “Esau”?
What is the meaning of the name “Jacob”?
Verse 31-34 record how Esau despised his birthright. What is a “birthright”? (see Hebrews 12:16 and Deuteronomy 21:17 for help)
In the New Testament Esau was strongly criticized for exchanging his birthright for a bowl of stew. Here is what the New Testament says: “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.” (Hebrews 12:16–17)
Here is where this course on Genesis 12-25 will end. The main character of these chapters has been Abraham, the founder of the Hebrew nation.
In these chapters we observed the following truths that God wants us to remember:
God is faithful to his promises. Over and over again we read the promises of God to Abraham and saw how God kept every one of them, and in so doing showed that he is able to do the impossible.
God prepared a nation and place for the day when he would send the Messiah. We saw how God created a new nation (the Hebrew people or the children of Israel) from Abraham and his descendants, and how God began to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. The Messiah was born into the Hebrew people and lived in the land of Canaan when he came to this earth.
God wants us to believe his words and promises. These chapters reinforced the truth that righteousness comes through faith and not through good works.
All of our blessings come from God, who gives them even though we are undeserving.