25 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah. 5 Now Abraham gave [a]everything that he had to Isaac; 6 but to the sons of his [b]concubines [Hagar and Keturah], Abraham gave gifts while he was still living and he sent them to the east country, away from Isaac his son [of promise].
7 The days of Abraham’s life were a hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and he died at a good old age, an old man who was satisfied [with life]; and he [c]was gathered to his people [who had preceded him in death].(A) 9 So his sons [d]Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is east of Mamre, 10 the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife. 11 Now after the death of Abraham, God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac lived at Beer-lahai-roi.
Descendants of Ishmael
12 Now [e]these are the records of the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maid, bore to Abraham; 13 and these are the names of the [twelve] sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their births: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their settlements, and by their encampments (sheepfolds); twelve princes (sheiks) according to their tribes.(B) 17 Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years; then he breathed his last and died, and [f]was gathered to his people [who had preceded him in death]. 18 Ishmael’s sons (descendants) settled from Havilah to Shur which is [g]east of Egypt as one goes toward Assyria; he [h]settled [i]opposite (east) of all his relatives.
19 Now these are the records of the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham was the father of Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean (Syrian) of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was unable to conceive children; and the Lord granted his prayer and Rebekah his wife conceived [twins]. 22 But the children struggled together within her [kicking and shoving one another]; and she said, “If it is so [that the Lord has heard our prayer], why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the Lord [praying for an answer]. 23 The Lord said to her,
“[The founders of] two nations are in your womb;
And the separation of two nations has begun in your body;
The one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger.”
24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out reddish all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau (hairy). 26 Afterward his brother came out, and his hand grasped Esau’s heel, so he was named Jacob ([j]one who grabs by the heel, supplanter). Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27 When the boys grew up, Esau was an able and skilled hunter, a man of the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet and peaceful man, living in tents. 28 Now Isaac loved [and favored] Esau, because [k]he enjoyed eating his game, but Rebekah loved [and favored] Jacob. 29 Jacob had cooked [reddish-brown lentil] stew [one day], when Esau came from the field and was famished; 30 and Esau said to Jacob, “Please, let me have a quick swallow of that red stuff there, because I am exhausted and famished.” For that reason Esau was [also] called Edom (Red). 31 Jacob answered, “First sell me your [l]birthright (the rights of a firstborn).” 32 Esau said, “Look, I am about to die [if I do not eat soon]; so of what use is this birthright to me?” 33 Jacob said, “Swear [an oath] to me today [that you are selling it to me for this food]”; so he swore [an oath] to him, and sold him his birthright. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and got up and went on his way. In this way Esau scorned his birthright.(C)
Isaac Settles in Gerar
26 Now there was a famine in the land [of Canaan], besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to [m]Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2 The Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I will tell you. 3 Live temporarily [as a resident] in this land and I will be with you and will bless and favor you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish and carry out the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.(D) 4 I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,(E) 5 because Abraham listened to and obeyed My voice and [consistently] kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”
6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7 The men of the place asked him about his wife, and he said, “She is my [n]sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife”—thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, since she is very beautiful.” 8 It happened when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac [o]caressing Rebekah his wife. 9 Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, “See here, Rebekah is in fact your wife! How did you [dare to] say to me, ‘She is my sister’?” And Isaac said to him, “Because I thought I might be killed because of her [desirability].” 10 Abimelech said, “What is this that you have done to us? One of the men [among our people] might easily have been intimate with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us [before God].” 11 Then Abimelech commanded all his people, “Whoever touches this man [Isaac] or his wife [Rebekah] shall without exception be put to death.”
12 Then Isaac planted [seed] in that land [as a farmer] and reaped in the same year a hundred times [as much as he had planted], and the Lord blessed and favored him. 13 And the man [Isaac] became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and extremely distinguished; 14 he owned flocks and herds and a great household [with a number of servants], and the Philistines envied him. 15 Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with dirt. 16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from here, because you are far too powerful for us.” 17 So Isaac left that region and camped in the Valley of Gerar, and settled there.
Quarrel over the Wells
18 Now Isaac again dug [and reopened] the wells of water which had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, because the Philistines had filled them up [with dirt] after the death of Abraham; and he gave the wells the same names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of flowing [spring] water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours!” So Isaac named the well Esek (quarreling), because they quarreled with him. 21 Then his servants dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so Isaac named it Sitnah (enmity). 22 He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over that one; so he named it Rehoboth (broad places), saying, “For now the Lord has made [p]room for us, and we shall be [q]prosperous in the land.”
23 Then he went up from there to Beersheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him the same night and said,
“I am the God of Abraham your father;
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
I will bless and favor you, and multiply your descendants,
For the sake of My servant Abraham.”
25 So Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord [in prayer]. He pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
Covenant with Abimelech
26 Then Abimelech came to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath, his [close friend and confidential] adviser, and Phicol, the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you [people] come to me, since you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28 They said, “We see clearly that the Lord has been with you; so we said, ‘There should now be an oath between us [with a curse for the one who breaks it], that is, between you and us, and let us make a covenant (binding agreement, solemn promise) with you, 29 that you will not harm us, just as we have not touched you and have done nothing but good to you and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed and favored of the Lord!’” 30 Then Isaac held a [formal] banquet (covenant feast) for them, and they ate and drank. 31 They got up early in the morning and swore oaths [pledging to do nothing but good to each other]; and Isaac sent them on their way and they left him in peace. 32 Now on the same day, Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug, saying, “We have found water.” 33 So he named the well [r]Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.(F)
34 When Esau was forty years old he married Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite as his wives; 35 and they were a [s]source of grief to [Esau’s parents] Isaac and Rebekah.
- Genesis 25:5 As the legal firstborn, Isaac was entitled to at least a double share of his father’s estate.
- Genesis 25:6 See note 22:24.
- Genesis 25:8 This expression is a reference to the Old Testament belief in a life after death and to the expectation of a reunion with loved ones.
- Genesis 25:9 Isaac was seventy-five and Ishmael nearly ninety years of age when their father died. Jacob and Esau were fifteen, and may have been present.
- Genesis 25:12 Lit these are the generations of.
- Genesis 25:17 See note v 8.
- Genesis 25:18 Lit before.
- Genesis 25:18 Lit fell over against his brothers.
- Genesis 25:18 Or in defiance.
- Genesis 25:26 Another meaning may be protect, i.e. may God protect.
- Genesis 25:28 Lit game was in his mouth.
- Genesis 25:31 In later times, this was the right of the firstborn to take over as head of the family and to receive a double share of the inheritance (cf Deut 21:17). The rewards given to Jacob appear to have been even greater (Gen 27:37). Furthermore, in Jewish tradition it was reported that before the tabernacle was set up, sacrifices were offered by the firstborn of a family.
- Genesis 26:1 This is not the Abimelech of ch 20. Abimelech may actually be a dynastic title, like Caesar or Pharaoh, instead of a proper name. The events recounted in chapters 20 and 26 are separated by almost a hundred years.
- Genesis 26:7 When Abraham used this ploy, it was a half-truth; when Isaac said this it was a complete lie. At this time Isaac was at least seventy-five years old; Rebekah’s age at this time is not known.
- Genesis 26:8 The name “Isaac” is based on the Hebrew verb translated “caressing,” whose primary meaning is “to laugh” (cf 17:19).
- Genesis 26:22 I.e. broad places.
- Genesis 26:22 Lit fruitful.
- Genesis 26:33 This could mean “oath” or “overflow, abundance.” Likewise, the name Beersheba could mean “well of abundance,” or “well of the oath,” or “seven wells.”
- Genesis 26:35 Lit bitterness of spirit.