Abraham’s Legacy & Death
Abraham’s Marriage to Keturah and Her Sons (25:1-4)
1 And Abraham took another wife named Keturah [‘perfume’]. v.1 Keturah. Some have tried to say that Keturah was Abraham’s wife while Sarah was living, but there is no proof of this. Furthermore, it destroys the type that we have in these chapters. Sarah is a type of Israel set aside (ch.23) after the death of Christ (ch.22), Rebecca of the church as the bride of the risen Christ (ch.24), and Keturah of the remnant of Israel restored in a future day, blessed with the Gentiles in the Millennium (ch.25). Others argue that the marriage to Keturah and the children born to her occurred earlier than the events of ch.24. However, once again there is no evidence for this. Keturah is called Abraham’s wife, just as Hagar was in ch.16. Together, the two women are called “the concubines that Abraham had” (v.6), distinguishing them no doubt from Sarah who had a special place. Keturah is called Abraham’s concubine again in 1 Chronicles 1:32.
2 And she bore him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan; and the sons of Dedan were the Asshurim, and the Letushim, and the Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian were Ephah, and Epher, and Enoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were sons of Keturah. vv.2-4 The Sons of Keturah. The sons of Keturah are familiar names of the Gentile nations that descended from Abraham. Medan and Midian are especially familiar. They represent the nations that will come into blessing in the millennium, once the Church period closes.
Abraham Bequeaths All to Isaac (25:5-6)
5 And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. 6 And to the sons of the concubines that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and, while he yet lived, sent them away from Isaac his son, eastward to the east country. vv.5-6 Abraham’s Heirs. Isaac is carefully separated from the other sons of Abraham. They all were given gifts, but Isaac was the sole heir. This is fitting as Isaac is a type of Christ, who is “the heir of all things” (Heb. 1:3). The Gentiles in the millennium will be blessed, but the inheritance belongs to Christ! Yet incredible truth, Christ shares His inheritance with the Church as his co-heirs! The other sons are even “sent away” eastward to create distance from Isaac. Isaac is not sent away. He remains in the possession.
Death and Burial of Abraham (25:7-10)
7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: a hundred and seventy-five years. 8 And Abraham expired and died in a good old age, old and full of days; and was gathered to his peoples. vv.7-8 The Death of Abraham. At last the great patriarch, the father of the faithful, the friend of God, dies “in a good old age”. His life was filled with ups and downs, with successes and failures. However, it was a life lived in communion with God. He received vast promises, yet walked as a stranfer and a pilgrim in the land of promise. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13). How happily Abraham ended his days, especially if we compare him with his nephew Lot. Abraham’s life spanned 175 years. He departed from Haran at 75 years old (Gen. 12:4), which means he spent exactly 100 years in the land of promise, less the time he spent in Egypt.
9 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 was opposite to Mamre — 10 the field that Abraham had purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. vv.9-10 The Burial of Abraham. As with Sarah, so with Abraham. He is buried, which has resurrection in view. Ishmael and Isaac reunite one last time to bury their father. These two sons couldn’t be more different in character and destiny, yet they come together in sorrow and family duty. They bury Abraham in the cave of Machpelah, which was in the field he had purchased to bury Sarah. He was buried in the land of promise, possessing nothing on earth except a burial ground. “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Heb. 11:16).