“And these are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. And Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people. Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah,… ~Genesis 25:7-9a
These verses are a goldmine, full of all kinds of interesting facts and tidbits. Abraham lived seventy-five years after the birth of Isaac. We are told that Rebekah, Isaac’s wife, gave birth to the twins, Esau and Jacob, when Isaac was sixty, so Abraham lived to see these important grandchildren. Jacob, after all, would become Israel, the father of the twelve tribes!
(KJV) “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full [of years]; and was gathered to his people.” ~Genesis 25:8
I like the insight that the King James Version gives for verse 8; instead of “breathed his last”, it reads “gave up the ghost”. The Hebrew word is “gavà”, which simply means “died, expired”. I didn’t realize that this expression, “gave up the ghost”, originated from the Bible. Amazing! It seems like, perhaps, a reference to giving up your spirit, leaving your earthly body at death.
The Hebrew word for “in a good” (old age) is “towb”, which means “pleasant, glad, prosperous, good, happiness”. “and full” (of years) is “sabeà” in Hebrew, meaning “satisfied”. In the New American Standard Version (NASV), which is what I use most of the time here in my blog, it is translated as “in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life”. Here is another expression that originated from the Bible, “a ripe old age”. Quite a number of our expressions today came from the Bible!
It sounds like Abraham had been content with what God had given him in his life. He died happy and satisfied. I want to be content with what God gives me, satisfied in my life! Don’t we all want that, a heart of contentment and happiness?
“and he was gathered to his people”. The Hebrew word used here is ” ‘acaph”, which means “to receive, gather, assemble, be brought in”. This tells us that he was not simply dead and gone, but his spirit went to be with his family that had died before him.
In verse 9, we are told that both Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham. There must have been a reconciliation in the family sometime before this. And Abraham was laid to rest next to his wife, Sarah.
So ends the historical account of Abraham. A pretty nice ending- happy and content, satisfied with life, family around him, gathered to be with his ancestors, but most importantly, received by his Lord, the One True God.
Hebrews 11 (known as the “hall of faith”) gives us much more insight into the life and heart of Abraham. A large portion of the chapter is dedicated to Abraham, in fact. God uses him as an example for us to learn from. His obedience, trust, and faith were pleasing to God. I want to have a trusting, obedient, and faith-full heart like that!