Genesis Chapter 25

Abraham is getting to be much older in years, by this point in the scriptures. His wife, Sarah died and his son has been married off. The story of Abraham continues:

1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.
2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.
3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

Abraham was remarried to Keturah. He continued to have children and add to the number of his descendants, which he had been promised would be great upon the earth.

5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
6 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.
7 And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
8 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.
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 is before Mamre;
10 The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.

Isaac was the son of birthright and covenant, once Ishmael had been made to leave his home. Abraham gave Isaac his inheritance and his other sons were given gifts and left the land to Isaac. Then Abraham died and was buried where Sarah had been buried earlier, by his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Looking at the footnotes in this chapter, we can see that this became the resting place for the patriarchs of Abraham’s posterity. In verse 8, it says that Abraham was “gathered to his people”. The footnote references eternal family. I think this is a beautiful phrase in reference to the death of so great a patriarch and prophet of God. Abraham died and was gathered with his family and loved ones who waited for him on the other side of the veil. I am sure that it was a beautiful reunion for him there.

11 And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi.

Isaac became the patriarch of his family and I believe that he was blessed with the blessings of Abraham through the priesthood.

12 Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s handmaid, bare unto Abraham:
13 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,
14 And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa,
15 Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah:
16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations.
17 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.
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.

The grandsons of Abraham through Ishmael were princes of twelve nations. This was according to a promise given to Abraham by the Lord, in which he had said that Ishmael would be the father of twelve princes and through him a great number would be added to Abraham’s seed. Then, Ishmael died.

19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:
20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21 And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22 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.
23 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.

Rebekah like Sarah before her, was unable to have any children. This was probably very difficult for them, considering the promised blessings they had been given about being the father and mother of nations. I am sure they had a great deal of faith in the promises they had been given, and the Lord blessed them for this faith. Isaac prayed to the Lord on her behalf, and they were blessed to have twins. Rebekah seems to have been able to tell from before they were born, that the two would not get along. She prayed to know about them and was told that her two sons would become two separate nations, and one would rule over the other.

24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
26 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.
27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau was the firstborn of Isaac and Rebekah, followed by Jacob, who was holding onto Esau. I find it interesting that they appeared so different from birth since they had already been prophesied to be very different later on. Esau was loved by his father, because he was a good hunter and a provider of food for the family. Rebekah, however, loved Jacob. These verses describe Jacob as a plain man, which I think means that he was simple and yet obedient to the commandments. I think it means that he was not one to seek for the things of the world, but that he was able to be a happy man with the simple things of life.

29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
30 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.
31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
34 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.

Jacob convinced Esau to sell his birthright to him for food. Esau did not care for the birthright as much as Jacob desired to have it, but rather cared that he be able to eat and continue on his way. I’m not sure how this plays out after this point, but it is interesting to know that he was willing to give up all that Isaac had to give him. The birthright was not only for the physical blessings of land and such, but it also was the birthright to the covenant blessings of the priesthood. Since Jacob was righteous and seemingly more focused on devoting his life to God, he was the more worthy choice for the birthright. I know that great blessings come to those who choose to focus their lives on the gospel and keeping the commandments, rather then seeking for things of this world.

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