Gen 25:1-10 Abraham – who had married Keturah after the death of Sarah, and had fathered six more sons - dies and is buried at Hebron.
- cenotaph above the
Cave of Machpelah,
Abraham died in c.1815BC and was buried in Machpelah Cave near Hebron (bought by Abraham from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place for his wife Sarah - see Genesis 23:9). Other members of Abraham’s family who were buried here included his son Isaac and his daughter-in-law Rebekah. His grandson Jacob and his wife Leah were also buried here (see Genesis 23:1-20, 25:9, 49:29-32 & 50:12-13).
After the conquest of Canaan under Joshua in c.1406BC, the Anakite city of Kiriath Arba (later renamed Hebron – see Joshua 14:15) became one of the six ‘cities of refuge’ where those who had killed someone accidentally could take refuge (see Joshua 20:1-7). It became King David’s capital for over seven years before he captured Jerusalem in 1004BC (see 2 Samuel 2:1-4 & 5:6-10).
Hebron is the second holiest city in Judaism after Jerusalem, as three generations of the founding fathers of Judaism, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – known as ‘the Patriarchs’ – are buried here. The city is also regarded as holy by followers of both Christianity and Islam, and many synagogues, churches and mosques have been built here to commemorate the lives of the three Patriarchs.
Abraham’s tomb can still be visited at Hebron. In the 1st century BC, King Herod the Great built a high, fortified wall around the Tomb of the Patriarchs (the Haram el-Khalil) which still stands today. A Christian church built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I over the Cave of Machpelah in the 6th century, however, was destroyed in the following century. A Crusader church, built over the site of the tomb in the 12th century was later converted into the Mosque of Abraham that can be visited today. The sanctuary is currently shared by Jews and Muslims.
Tomb of the Patriarchs, Hebron (Zairon)
Other sites that can be visited at Hebron include Abraham’s Well and the Oak of Mamre, 1 mile / 2 km west of Hebron at nearby Khirbet es-Sibte where a Russian Orthodox church and monastery commemorate the spot where it is believed Abraham pitched his tent (see Genesis 18:1).
Gen 25:11 Isaac continues to live near Beer Lahai Roi (see Genesis 24:62).
Gen 25:12-18 Ishmael’s descendants live in the area "from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt, stretching towards Assyria" (Genesis 25:18) (see Map 41).
Gen 25:19-34 In c.1760BC, after many years of trying, Isaac and Rebekah have twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Years later, when they have grown up, Esau arives home famished one day and recklessly sells his rights as the first-born son to Jacob in return for a bowl of soup.