Who was Keturah in the Bible?

Genesis 25 records that Keturah is the wife Abraham married after his first wife Sarah died. First Chronicles 1:32 refers to Keturah as Abraham's concubine, so there is some debate as to the exact nature of their relationship. However, it seems apparent that the two of them were monogamous and that she did not bear him any children until after Sarah's death. Both Genesis and First Chronicles record that Keturah bore Abraham six sons: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

Because Sarah was Abraham's first wife, the son she bore him, Isaac, was considered the firstborn with all the rights and privileges that afforded in their society. This status was unusual because Abraham had first fathered Ishmael with Sarah's servant Hagar, however Ishmael was not granted the same rights or inheritance. Similarly, "Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent [the sons of Keturah] away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country" (Genesis 25:6). These sons became the fathers of the Arabian tribes who lived east of Israel including the Midianites who appear later throughout the Old Testament. When Abraham died at age 175, Isaac and Ishmael were the only two sons noted as being present to bury him. They buried him in the cave of Machpelah east of Mamre where his first wife Sarah had been lain (Genesis 25:7–10).

Nothing more of Keturah is mentioned in the Bible besides her relationship to Abraham and the six sons she bore him. So we do not know her age, heritage, beliefs, or even what happened to her after Abraham's death. But God did see fit to include her name in the Bible as noteworthy. God knows each person's name and even the number of hairs on each person's head (Isaiah 45:4; Luke 12:7). The relationships we have and the roles we hold in this life are important to God. Whether those roles be spouse, parent, worker, friend, student, or anything else, God sees your life and wants to equip you to live out those roles in ways that bring Him glory and are a blessing to you and those around you (Deuteronomy 10:12–13; John 15:1–17).

Related Truth:

What is the biblical account of Abraham?

Why do women seem to have a small role in the Bible?

The Abrahamic covenant – What is it?

What is the biblical account of Isaac?

What is the biblical account of Jacob?

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Truth about People in the Bible

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