Devotional Short Note to Genesis 25


The chapter starts with a list of nearly all Abraham’s wives and children. An extended family that almost compare to African traditional cultural habits of multiple wives and also in Islam religion. Polygamy they call it. Polygamy was not the Garden of Eden ideal. Abraham sinned by having multiple wives because God does not change His ideal.

The reality on the ground was mixed sinfulness with a Sin-deceiver of God’s Word lurking around every corner with everyone who wants to open the doors of their heart and passions to him [Lucifer the fallen angel]. Abraham had concubines “But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son” = וְלִבְנֵי הַפִּילַגְשִׁים אֲשֶׁר לְאַבְרָהָם נָתַן אַבְרָהָם מַתָּנֹת וַיְשַׁלְּחֵם מֵעַל יִצְחָק בְּנוֹ (Genesis 25:5).

Abraham started looking for a companion after Sarah’s death and that was not unlawful: “And Abraham took another wife” = וַיֹּסֶף אַבְרָהָם וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה (Genesis 25:1). Taking another wife after Sarah’s death is not a problem and not against the Word of God.

But his concubines were. This is not an achievement but a deterioration as far as the Word of God is concerned.

There are even Christian cults that teach their members that to increase the “remnant” they need to have multiple wives to help God grow the remnant on earth. Fallacy and deception by the Deceiver.

No prophet, no person, no Patriarch can go against the Word of God explicitly giving the ideal as was done in Genesis 2 and 3 repeated and upheld in the New Testament by Jesus and Paul and the others. A word by Jesus is a Word of God for Jesus was God becoming man, the Son of Man.

But Abraham fell short of the glory of God and his wives are listed.

Moses wrote this because he wanted to come to God’s plan through all this: the sons of the concubines or sinful acts of Abraham was not to inherit Abraham’s main capital at all. Only Isaac was selected (Genesis 25:6).

Abraham sent all the others away with gifts and not empty-handed. That is what he did with Ishmael.

Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. This is because as a prophet receiving the Word of God with the promise of the great nation in announcing the birth of Isaac, this direct revelation by God only came to him with the birth of Isaac, not with these other children. So, although legal children were in a second marriage, they were not to inherit with the “promised child” Isaac.

God had to choose a birthline for the birth of the Messiah. This is what was at stake here. Jesus was to be born form Isaac, the Son of God, God Himself. It was the plan of God in the long-run that was prepared early enough.

Moses counted Abraham’s years and concluded that he died in a good age full of years, 175 years old in 2065 BCE. “100 year, and 70 year, and 5 years” = מְאַת שָׁנָה וְשִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְחָמֵשׁ שָׁנִים. The reason Moses used singular after 100 is because he is talking about the column for hundreds followed by the column for the tens and after 5 does not follow any line-divider vertically for addition but just the total beneath and this total is indicated by the plural “years”. When the readers sees “year” he was to draw a mental line vertically after that and move to the next space to the left which is the area for the “tens” and mentally draw another vertical line when he sees the singular “year” and then write the number below ten without another “year” for now the plural “years” asks the reader to add up the sum = 175 years. Moses is using the decimal system of counting here. It may be that the original source from the Book of Patriarchs that Moses was excerpting from, used a decimal system in the days of Abraham in 2065 BCE already.

In Middle Egyptian numerals as Gardiner explains in his Egyptian Grammar of the 3rd edition 1988, paragraph §261 where the example is given: twenty years but it is written in the signs: year (singular) 20 = rnpt 20. They worked with a decimal system in Egypt of Moses’ days.

The number is plural but the year is singular. The Egyptians will make the sign for 100 first, move right and provide all the tens and then move further right and give the numbers 1-9. (see the example of 75 with Gardener here). ∩∩∩∩∩∩∩|||||. Moses knew Egyptian fluently since he grew up with it.

The Sumerian language in the days of Abraham in 2065 BCE had a sexagesimal (6 counting) system in which numeration occurred in alternating steps of 10 and 6: 1-10, 10-60, 60-600, 600-3600 etc. (see Otto Edzard, Sumerian Grammar chapter 10, also online available). The word ĝeš was 60 and u was 10. Thus ĝeš-u meant “sixty ten” = 600. One get’s a feeling for the biblical numbers knowing these facts.

From Genesis 25:8-10 follows a Moses summation of past actions in previous chapters. It is like the typical journalist last paragraphs in an article putting the reader into the picture of what is happening.

Then Moses wanted to speak about Isaac after the death of Abraham in verse 11 and Ishmael in verse 12. Ishmael died in 2017 BCE since he was born in 2154 BCE when Abraham was 86.

Urnammu of Ur III died in 2095 BCE and his son Shulgi took over until 2047. He praised himself a lot and deified himself while he was still alive. It is a good thing Abraham’s family was no longer in Ur. The ruler cult was a persecution for dissidents in Ur at this time.

The other sons of Urnammu ruled afterwards Amar-sin, Shu-sin and Ibbi-sin and it was during Ibbi-sin’s reign that Ishmael died. Even though it was a Sumerian society, the names of the rulers showed semitic elements and influence.

Moses then skipped a lot of information in the Book of the Patriarchs and moved on to a paragraph that he cited about Isaac and his wedding life in Genesis 25:19-26.

He further skipped information and excerpted an incident of the birthright that was forfeited by Esau to Jacob over a meal (Genesis 25:27-34).

Isaac was 60 when they were born, these twins in 2080 BCE because Isaac was born in 2140 BCE. Shulgi ruled until 2047 BCE so it was in his reign that they were born. It was terrible times at Ur but also terrible among the remnant of God. The birthright stolen situation was wrong. One cannot make a right by a wrong deed. God would have taken care of it by Himself, he did not have to steal his future blessings from his older brother.


Dear God

We always want to take things in our own hands. Help us to patiently wait and pray for answers to our prayers. In Jesus Name. Amen.