Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.
This verse gave me a pause. The reason is none other than Abraham’s attitude with his second set of children with Keturah after Sarah died.
First, Abraham gave those sons gifts alone. Wow. That must have hurt both Keturah and his sons, to come as ‘second class’ to Abraham’s first family. But then again, we can have the benefit of the doubt that because Abraham was so rich, the gifts may have been well-received.
However, the Bible says Abraham sent them away to the east sake of Isaac’s promise. In other words, they were robbed of an intimate relationship with their father while he was still alive.
That sucks to me because I come from a broken family. As at the time I needed a parent when I was in my teens, my father was elsewhere taking care of another set of children. Recently he told me one is younger than my not-so-little sister, which means after he left us, he was totally having a good time elsewhere.
I’m so inexplicably disappointed in Abraham for this, although I may be seeing from a biased point of view. After all, he was reluctant to send Ishmael away in the very beginning of the promise issue after Isaac was born(Gen. 21:11).
So let us see if Abraham was right or wrong.
Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born and Sarah was 90. Sarah was 127 years old when she died, which means Isaac was 37 years old at the time. Abraham was therefore 137 years old when Sarah died.
Abraham then married Keturah when he was…the Bible doesn’t say. But he died when he was 175 years old. So the period between his death and Sarah’s death is 38 years. And Isaac got married three years after Sarah’s death, when Isaac was 40.
So assuming Abraham married at the time of Isaac’s marriage, Abraham was 140 years old when he married Keturah and gave birth with her. The time between his second marriage and his father is 35 years.
The Bible makes it clear that ‘while he was still alive’ he sent Keturah’s kids away. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, his last child was probably already twenty when Abraham finally died. That is more than equivalent to today’s age of maturity which is eighteen. They were quite old enough to leave and live on their own, considering their level of maturity was probably higher than that of ours today.
I guess Abraham was not a bad father after all. He was just looking out for the great Covenant God made with him(Gen. 17:2). I think I need to move on from my abandonment issues.