|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:1-10 All the days, even of the best and greatest saints, are not remarkable days; some slide on silently; such were these last days of Abraham. Here is an account of Abraham's children by Keturah, and the disposition which he made of his estate. After the birth of these sons, he set his house in order, with prudence and justice. He did this while he yet lived. It is wisdom for men to do what they find to do while they live, as far as they can. Abraham lived 175 years; just one hundred years after he came to Canaan; so long he was a sojourner in a strange country. Whether our stay in this life be long or short, it matters but little, provided we leave behind us a testimony to the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord, and a good example to our families. We are told that his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him. It seems that Abraham had himself brought them together while he lived. Let us not close the history of the life of Abraham without blessing God for such a testimony of the triumph of faith.
Verses 8-10. - Then Abraham gave up the ghost (literally, breathed out, a the breath of life), and died in a good old age, - literally, in a flood hoary age, i.e. "with a crown of righteousness upon his hoary head" (Hughes) - an old man, and full of years. Literally, and satiated, i.e. satisfied not merely with life and all its blessings, but with living. The three clauses give an elevated conception of the patriarch s life as that of one who had tasted all the sweets and realized all the ends of a mundane existence, and who accordingly was ripe and ready for transition to a higher sphere. And was gathered to his people. An expression similar to "going to his fathers" (Genesis 15:15, q.v.), and to "being gathered to one's fathers" (Judges 2:10). "The phrase is constantly distinguished from departing this life and being buried, denotes the reunion in Sheol with friends who have gone before, and therefore presupposes faith in the personal continuance of a man after death" (Keil). Abraham died in the hope of a better country, even an heavenly (Hebrews 11:13-16). And his sons Isaac and Ishmael - Isaac as the heir takes precedence; but Ishmael, rather than the sons of Keturah, is associated with him at his father's funeral; probably because he was not so distant as they from Hebron (Lunge), or because he was the subject of a special blessing, which they were not (Keil, Murphy); or perhaps simply Ishmael and Isaac united as the eldest sons to perform the last rites to a parent they revered (Kalisch). "Funerals of parents are reconciliations of children (Genesis 35:29), and differences of contending religionists are often softened at the side of a grave" (Wordsworth) - buried him (vide on Genesis 23:19) in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre (vide on Genesis 23:3-20); the field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth (a repetition which augments the importance of the statement that Abraham did not sleep in a borrowed tomb): there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Abraham gave up the ghost,.... Very readily and cheerfully, without any previous sickness or present pain, but through the decay of nature by reason of old age, in a very easy quiet manner:
and died in a good old age, an old man; for quantity, in those times few arriving to a greater; for quality, not attended with those inconveniences and disadvantages with which old age generally is, and therefore called evil:
and full of years; in the original it is only, "and full"; the Targum of Jonathan adds, "of all good"; temporal and spiritual, with which he was filled and satisfied; or he had had enough of life, and was willing to depart, and was full of desires after another and better world:
and was gathered to his people; which is to be understood not of his interment, there being only the body of Sarah in the sepulchre in which he was laid; but of the admission of his soul into the heavenly state upon its separation from the body, when it was at once associated with the spirits of just men made perfect. The Arabic writers (f) say that he died in the month of Nisan, others say Adar, in the year of the world 3563; but, according to Bishop Usher, he died A. M. 2183, and before Christ 1821.
(f) Elmacinus, p. 34. Patricides, p. 21. Apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. p. 315.
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