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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Ketu´rah (incense), the second wife, or, as she is called in , the concubine of Abraham, by whom he had six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah, whom he lived to see grow to man's estate, and whom he established 'in the East country,' that they might not interfere with Isaac (). As Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born, who was given to him by the special bounty of Providence when 'he was as good as dead' (), as he was 140 years old when Sarah died; and as he himself died at the age of 175 years, it has seemed improbable that these six sons should have been born to Abraham by one woman after he was 140 years old, and that he should have seen them all grow up to adult age, and have sent them forth to form independent settlements in that last and feeble period of his life. If Isaac was born to him out of the course of nature when he was 100 years old, how could six sons be born to him in the course of nature after he was 140? It has therefore been suggested by good commentators, that as Keturah is called Abraham's 'concubine' in Chronicles, and as she and Hagar are probably indicated as his 'concubines' in , Keturah had in fact been taken by Abraham as his secondary or concubine-wife before the death of Sarah, although the historian relates the incident after that event, that his leading narrative might not be interrupted. According to the standard of morality then acknowledged, Abraham might quite as properly have taken Keturah before as after Sarah's death; nor can any reason why he should not have done so, or why he should have waited till then, be conceived. This explanation obviates many difficulties, and does not itself contain any.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Keturah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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