Genesis Overview: Abraham Endings

a) Keturah's Sons (25.1-6 in J)

As forty years earlier Abraham had thought it impossible to beget a child, these verses are somewhat curious  if we are to take them as following chronologically from the previous material and it might be taken to detract from it; but the redactor's chief aim was not consistency but gathering the sources (J +E & P). The genealogy is a post-script not of actual but later gathered names, including Midianites and Sabeans. The diversity of the list shows J's interest in the implications of Yahweh outside Judaism.

b) Abraham's Death (25.7-11 in P)

P is only interested in objective facts which accounts for the brevity of the narrative. Abraham died exactly 100 years after his entrance into Canaan (cf 12.4b). It anticipates events as Jacob and Esau were already 14 but this rounds everything off. "Old and full of years" bespeaks a life well lived. Isac is alone.

c) Ishmael's Descendants (25.12-18 in P)

A passage from the Toledoth Book. It speaks of twelve tribes and twelve princes. The territory of these Bedouins is wide, comprising the wilderness of North-West Arabia, touching the 12-tribe Aramean unit (cf. 22.20-24).

KC VI/14

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