These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 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. Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife. After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.
These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. (These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled over against all his kinsmen.
Comment: This short passage does three things at least. i) As a person Abraham is removed from the scene but his effect, the fulfilling of God’s promise to him is the remainder of the Bible. ii) Isaac is established as the person through whom God is to continue His carrying out His promise to Abraham. iii) The rest of the world, including Ishmael. is by no means written off, but is moved to the outer of the major story of God’s dealing with mankind, until Jesus comes and then the scene turns from Jewry to the whole world!
Prayer: May I come o understand more fully how You have, are and will deal with Your creation – both things and people, O Lord.