Q&A: Keturah - Wife or Concubine? - Genesis 25:1 and 1 Chronicles 1:32

Keturah - Wife or Concubine? - Genesis 25:1 and 1 Chronicles 1:32

Question

Is Keturah a wife or concubine? Genesis 25:1 and 1 Chronicles 1:32

Answer

Genesis 25:1 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.

1 Chronicles 1:32 The sons born to Keturah, Abrahams concubine: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan.

In 1 Chronicles, Abraham's decedents through Keturah are being distinguished from the line of promise in Isaac. However, Genesis 25:5-6 also points to the same difference; as Keturah's children are included among the sons of the concubines:
Genesis 25:5-6 Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
NOTE: In Genesis 25:1, the Hebrew word for "wife" (ishshah) may also mean "woman."

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Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).