“This is the length of Abraham’s life, one hundred seventy-five years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. His sons, Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with his wife Sarah. After the death of Abraham, God blessed his son Isaac. Isaac dwelt at Beer-lahai-roi.”
Abraham lived to be a 175 years so that he ‘died in a good old age, an old man and full of years and was gathered to his people.’ That is a beautiful phrase, ‘full of years.’ His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him with Sarah in the cave of Machpelah that he had purchased for her. Isaac settled in Beer-lahai-roi. There is no mention of Keturah and her 6 sons. It is quite possible that she could have been his wife for the last thirty years of his life. Apparently, they and Ishmael are out of luck, as Isaac got everything.
“Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.”
Now we find out about another wife of Abraham. Wow, number 3 after Sarah and Hagar. There is no indication of a time frame, after Sarah’s death or during her lifetime. If after her death he would have been over 137 years old when he had these 6 children. In fact, there may have been other concubines. Abraham gave everything to Isaac, who was lucky since he had a hard time with Ishmael. Abraham gave these children of Keturah gifts and sent them away from Isaac to the east country. We might call these people the wandering Arabs. This is an attempt to show how other Arab tribes can be traced to Abraham.
Three of these children are only mentioned here and nowhere else except in the Chronicles: Zimran, Medan, and Ishbak. The name Shuah appears elsewhere in biblical literature. However, only two are mentioned as having further children. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. There are at least 4 different people named Sheba in the biblical literature. Then Dedan’s sons are mentioned. Perhaps there is a link to Cush since one of his sons was named Dedan. However, Dedan’s sons Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim, are only mentioned here and nowhere else. The descendents of Midian become important on the western territory between Canaan and Egypt. In fact, Moses will go to their territory and marry the daughter of a Midian priest. There are at least 3 people named Ephah and Epher, while this is the only mention, except for Chronicles, of Abida and Eldaah.