Genesis 25:3
And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
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(3) Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan.—But Sheba and Dedan are also described as the sons of Raamah, the son of Cush (Genesis 10:7). We have here proof that these genealogies are to a certain extent geographical, and that whereas these districts at first were peopled by a Hamitic race, they were subsequently conquered by men of the Semitic stock, who claimed Abraham for their ancestor. Most probably, therefore, we ought not to regard Sneba and Dedan as the names here of men. As men they were the sons of Raamah, but when the sons of Jokshan wrested these two countries from the family of Cush, they called them sons of their progenitor, because the dominant portion of the population had sprung from him. They appear as countries in Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 49:8; Ezekiel 25:13; Ezekiel 27:15; Ezekiel 27:22; Ezekiel 38:13, &c.

Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.—These are certainly not the names of men, but of the three tribes into which the Dedanites were divided.

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.Sheba, Dedan, and Asshurim are recurring names Genesis 10:7, Genesis 10:22, Genesis 10:28, describing other tribes of Arabs equally unknown. The three sons of Dedan may be traced in the tribe Asir of the south of Hejaz, the Beni Leits of Hejaz, and the Beni Lam of the borders of Mesopotamia. Of the sons of Midian, Epha is mentioned in Isaiah 60:6 along with Midian. Epher is compared with Beni Ghifar in Hejaz, Henok with Hanakye north of Medinah, Abida with the Abide, and Eldaah with the Wadaa. These conjectures of Burckhardt are chiefly useful in showing that similar names are still existing in the country. There are here six sons of Abraham, seven grandsons, and three great-grandsons, making sixteen descendants by Keturah. If there were any daughters, they are not noticed. It is not customary to mention females, unless they are connected with leading historical characters. These descendants of Abraham and Keturah are the third contribution of Palgites to the Joktanites, who constituted the original element of the Arabs, the descendants of Lot and Ishmael having preceded them. All these branches of the Arab nation are descended from Heber.CHAPTER 25

Ge 25:1-6. Sons of Abraham.

1. Abraham took a wife—rather, "had taken"; for Keturah is called Abraham's concubine, or secondary wife (1Ch 1:32); and as, from her bearing six sons to him, it is improbable that he married after Sarah's death; and also as he sent them all out to seek their own independence, during his lifetime, it is clear that this marriage is related here out of its chronological order, merely to form a proper winding up of the patriarch's history.

No text from Poole on this verse. And Jokshan begat Sheba and Dedan,.... Bochart (o) is of opinion, that the posterity of this Sheba are the same with the Sabeans who inhabited at the entrance of Arabia Felix, not far from the Nabathaeans; and who, by Strabo (p), are mentioned together as near to Syria, and used to make excursions on their neighbours; and not without some colour of reason thought to be the same that plundered Job of his cattle, Job 1:15. From Dedan came the Dedanim or Dedanites, spoken of with the Arabians in Isaiah 21:13; Junius thinks Adada in Palmyrene of Syria had its name from this man, and in which country is the mountain Aladan or Alladadan. Bochart (q) more probably takes Dedan, a city in Idumea, to derive its name from him. There is a village called Adedi in the country of the Cassanites, a people of Arabia Felix, which Ptolemy (r) makes mention of, and seems to have some appearance of this man's name:

and the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim; these names being plural are thought not to be proper names of men, but appellatives, descriptive of their places of abode, or of their business: hence the Targum of Onkelos represents them as such that dwelt in camps, in tents, and in islands; and the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem call them merchants, artificers and heads of the people: however, Cleodemus (s) the Heathen historian is wrong in deriving Assyria from Asshurim, whom he calls Ashur; since Assyria and Assyrians are so called from Ashur, the son of Shem, Genesis 10:22.

(o) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 9. col. 227. (p) Geograph. l. 16. p. 536. (q) Phaleg. l. 4. c. 6. col. 219. (r) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) (s) Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. 9. c. 20. p. 432.)

And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.
3. Sheba … Dedan] These places have already been mentioned by P in a different connexion (Genesis 10:7). The identity of the names illustrates the fact, that there were different Israelite traditions explaining the relation of the different members of the Hebrew-speaking families.

Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim] These plural names are noticeable as obviously denoting, not individuals, but peoples. The Asshurim are probably to be connected with the “Asshur” (R.V. “Assyria”) of Psalm 83:8, and possibly with the mention of Asshur in the present chapter (Genesis 25:18) and in Numbers 24:22. In both instances, an allusion to obscure tribes on the Arabian borders of Palestine is more suitable than to the Assyrian empire.

Ephah] Cf. Isaiah 60:6, “the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah,” a passage confirming the probability that the present group of names is Arabian.Verse 3. - And Jokshan begat Sheba, - probably the Sabeans: Job 1:15; Job 6:19 (Keil) - and Dedan - probably the trading people mentioned in Jeremiah 25:23 (Keil). And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, - who have been associated with the warlike tribe of the Asir, to the south of Hejas (Keil) - and Letu-shim, - the Bann Leits in Hejas (Keil) - and Leummim - the tribe Bann Lam, which extended even to Babylon and Mesopotamia (Keil). When the caravan arrived in Canaan with Rebekah and her maidens, Isaac had just come from going to the well Lahai-Roi (Genesis 16:14), as he was then living in the south country; and he went towards evening (ערב לפנות, at the turning, coming on, of the evening, Deuteronomy 23:12) to the field "to meditate." It is impossible to determine whether Isaac had been to the well of Hagar which called to mind the omnipresence of God, and there, in accordance with his contemplative character, had laid the question of his marriage before the Lord (Delitzsch), or whether he had merely travelled thither to look after his flocks and herds (Knobel). But the object of his going to the field to meditate, was undoubtedly to lay the question of his marriage before God in solitude. שׂוּח, meditari, is rendered "to pray" in the Chaldee, and by Luther and others, with substantial correctness. The caravan arrived at the time; and Rebekah, as soon as she saw the man in the field coming to meet them, sprang (נפל signifying a hasty descent, 2 Kings 5:21) from the camel to receive him, according to Oriental custom, in the most respectful manner. She then inquired the name of the man; and as soon as she heard that it was Isaac, she enveloped herself in her veil, as became a bride when meeting the bridegroom. צעיף, θέπιστρον, the cloak-like veil of Arabia (see my Archologie, 103, 5). The servant then related to Isaac the result of his journey; and Isaac conducted the maiden, who had been brought to him by God, into the tent of Sarah his mother, and she became his wife, and he loved her, and was consoled after his mother, i.e., for his mother's death. האהלה, with ה local, in the construct state, as in Genesis 20:1; Genesis 28:2, etc.; and in addition to that, with the article prefixed (cf. Ges. Gram. 110, 2bc).
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