on Genesis 25 :1
Then again Abraham took a wife - When Abraham took Keturah we are not informed; it might have been in the lifetime of Sarah; and the original ויסף vaiyoseph, and he added, etc., seems to give some countenance to this opinion. Indeed it is not very likely that he had the children mentioned here after the death of Sarah; and from the circumstances of his age, feebleness, etc., at the birth of Isaac, it is still more improbable. Even at that age, forty years before the marriage of Isaac, the birth of his son is considered as not less miraculous on his part than on the part of Sarah; for the apostle expressly says, Romans 4:19, that Abraham considered not his own body Now Dead, when he was about a hundred years old, nor the Deadness of Sarah's womb; hence we learn that they were both past the procreation of children, insomuch that the birth of Isaac is ever represented as supernatural. It is therefore very improbable that he had any child after the birth of Isaac; and therefore we may well suppose that Moses had related this transaction out of its chronological order, which is not infrequent in the sacred writings, when a variety of important facts relative to the accomplishment of some grand design are thought necessary to be produced in a connected series. On this account intervening matters of a different complexion are referred to a future time. Perhaps we may be justified in reading the verse: "And Abraham had added, and had taken a wife (besides Hagar) whose name was Keturah," etc. The chronology in the margin dates this marriage with Keturah A. M. 2154, nine years after the death of Sarah, A. M. 2145. Jonathan ben Uzziel and the Jerusalem Targum both assert that Keturah was the same as Hagar. Some rabbins, and with them Dr. Hammond, are of the same opinion; but both Hagar and Keturah are so distinguished in the Scriptures, that the opinion seems destitute of probability.
on Genesis 25 :1
Added and took a wife. - According to the laws of Hebrew composition, this event may have taken place before that recorded in the close of the previous chapter. Of this law we have several examples in this very chapter. And there is nothing contrary to the customs of that period in adding wife to wife. We cannot say that Abraham was hindered from taking Keturah in the lifetime of Sarah by any moral feeling which would not also have hindered him from taking Hagar. It has been also noticed that Keturah is called a concubine, which is thought to imply that the proper wife was still living; and that Abraham was a very old man at the death of Sarah. But, on the other hand, it is to be remembered that these sons were in any case born after the birth of Isaac, and therefore after Abraham was renewed in vital powers. If this renewal of vigor remained after the birth of Isaac, it may have continued some time after the death of Sarah, whom he survived thirty-eight years. His abstinence from any concubine until Sarah gave him Hagar is against his taking any other during Sarah's lifetime. His loneliness on the death of Sarah may have prompted him to seek a companion of his old age. And if this step was delayed until Isaac was married, and therefore separated from him, an additional motive would impel him in the same direction. He was not bound to raise this wife to the full rights of a proper wife, even though Sarah were dead. And six sons might be born to him twenty-five years before his death. And if Hagar and Ishmael were dismissed when he was about fifteen years old, so might Keturah when her youngest was twenty or twenty-five. We are not warranted, then, still less compelled, to place Abraham's second marriage before the death of Sarah, or even the marriage of Isaac. It seems to appear in the narrative in the order of time.
on Genesis 25 :1