Genesis 25:6
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) The east country.—By this is meant Arabia and Southern Mesopotamia, where, by their superior vigour and organisation, the descendants of Abraham were able to establish their supremacy over the natives. Burckhardt tells us that the Bedaween still follow Abraham’s practice. When their children are grown up, they give each of the younger sons his share of their goods (Luke 15:12), whereupon they move to a distance, and leave the eldest brother in quiet possession of the home.

Genesis 25:6. Abraham gave gifts — Or portions. Abraham may be an example to us in almost every circumstance of life: we find him, with great prudence: making, in his lifetime, proper provision for his sons by his secondary wives, Hagar and Keturah, and sending them away from Isaac; whereby, in all probability, he prevented great animosities and dissensions.

How happy would it be if all parents, in the time of health, would take care to settle, by will, the division of their goods among their children! What confusion! what quarrels! what discord! what never to be reconciled animosity among brethren, might this prevent! These sons of the concubines, as they are here called, were sent into the country that lay east of Canaan, and their posterity were termed the children of the east, famous for their number. Their great increase was the fruit of the promise made to Abraham, that God would multiply his seed.

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.Abraham makes Isaac his heir Genesis 24:36. He gives portions to the sons of the concubines during his lifetime, and sends them away to the East. Ishmael had been portioned off long before Genesis 21:14. The East is a general name for Arabia, which stretched away to the southeast and east of the point where Abraham resided in the south of Palestine. The northern part of Arabia, which lay due east of Palestine, was formerly more fertile and populous than now. The sons of Keturah were probably dismissed before they had any children. Their notable descendants, according to custom, are added here before they are dismissed from the main line of the narrative.5, 6. Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac … unto the sons of the concubines … Abraham gave gifts—While the chief part of the inheritance went to Isaac; the other sons (Ishmael included) migrated to "the East country," that is, Arabia, but received each a portion of the patrimony, perhaps in cattle and other things; and this settlement of Abraham's must have given satisfaction, since it is still the rule followed among the pastoral tribes. The concubines, Hagar and Keturah. Concubines are sometimes called wives, as Genesis 16:3 Judges 19:1-3,29, but their children had no right to the inheritance. For though the children of Jacob’s concubines did equally partake of the inheritance with the other children, that was done by Divine appointment, and Jacob’s voluntary act, and upon special reason, because of the vast inheritance promised, and afterwards given to them, which made it no loss, but a great convenience and advantage to the children of the chief wives to have their half-brethren, the sons of the concubines, seated so near to them.

Sent them away from Isaac; partly, that the entire possession of that land might be reserved to the children of Isaac; and partly, lest nearness of relation joined with cohabitation or neighbourhood should beget a great familiarity between them, whereby Isaac’s seed were likely to be infected by their brethren, whose degeneration and apostacy Abraham might easily foresee from the evil inclinations of their own hearts, and God’s exclusion of them from that covenant of grace and life, which was the only effectual remedy against that powerful and universal corruption.

Eastward, unto the east country; into Arabia, and other parts of Asia the Greater, which were situate eastward from the southern part of Canaan where Abraham now was, whence these people are oft called the children of the east, as Judges 6:3 7:12 Job 1:3.

But unto the sons of the concubines which Abraham had,.... These were Hagar and Keturah, though they are both called his wives, Genesis 16:3; yet they were concubines; so Keturah, 1 Chronicles 1:32; they were, as some render the word, "concubine wives" (e); they were half wives or secondary ones: the Jewish writers say that they were espoused, but not by writing, as wives were; they were under the lawful wife, when there were any, and a kind of head servants in the family, and their children did not inherit; now the sons of the concubines of Abraham were Ishmael by Hagar, and the six above mentioned by Keturah: to these

Abraham gave gifts; money, gold and silver, of which he had plenty: the Targum of Jonathan calls them substance and movable goods; by this it appears, that though he had sent Ishmael away without anything, yet he afterwards remembered him, and gave him a portion with the rest of the children of his, concubines:

and sent them away from Isaac his son; that they might not be troublesome to him and his family; and that there, might be no contention among them about inheriting the land of Canaan given to him and his seed: and this Abraham did

while he yet lived; or otherwise after his death a separation would not have been easily made; but his authority had weight with them: and they were sent by him

eastward, into the east country; into Arabia, and the parts thereabout, which lay east from the place where Abraham was; these are the children of the east, mentioned along with the Midianites, who sprung from Keturah, Judges 6:3.

(e) "concubinarum uxorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

But unto the {b} sons of the {c} concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham {d} gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

(b) For by virtue of God's word he not only had Isaac, but begat many more.

(c) See Ge 22:24.

(d) To avoid the disputing that otherwise might have come because of the heritage.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. the concubines] i.e. Hagar and Keturah; although in Genesis 16:3 Hagar is called Abraham’s wife, as also is Keturah in Genesis 25:1 of this chapter.

sent them away] The present passage belongs to J, a different source of tradition from chap. 21 (E). It ignores the account of the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael related in that chapter, and of the dwelling of Ishmael in the wilderness of Paran (Genesis 21:21).

unto the east country] i.e. the Syro-Arabian desert, on the east of Palestine. Genesis 29:1; Jdg 6:3; Jdg 6:33; Jdg 7:12; Jdg 8:10; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 49:28; Ezekiel 25:4; Ezekiel 25:10 are passages in which “the children of the east” (b’nê ḳedem) are mentioned as the nomad occupants of this region.

Genesis 25:6Before his death, Abraham made a final disposition of his property. Isaac, the only son of his marriage with Sarah, received all his possessions. The sons of the concubines (Hagar and Keturah) were sent away with presents from their father's house into the east country, i.e., Arabia in the widest sense, to the east and south-east of Palestine.
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