The Unknown Children of Abraham

How many children did Abraham have and are they all covered in God's covenant?

During my study of the bible, not very long ago, I read a passage in the book of Genesis that caused me to wonder about the covenant that God had made with Abraham. But first I want to mention a verse in Genesis 15:18 (NKJV) which states: 18 On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates..........

Another verse that is just as important to this one is Genesis 17: 7 (NKJV) which states: 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendents after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendents after you.

Now the main verses to look at here that really drew my attention goes all the way back to Genesis 12: 7 (NKJV) which states: 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said; "To your descendents I will give this land." And there he built an alter to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

In this verse (7) God stated "decendents" and no names or groups within Abram's decendents were mentioned. At this point one can only assume the word descendents in this case mean all descendents of Abram.

Now to support my understanding of what God meant when He said "descendents" I refer to the verse in Genesis 15: 5 (NKJV) which states: 5 Now when He brought him outside and said; "Look now towards heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendents be."

This verse seems to clarify what God had meant in Genesis 12: 7. regarding "descendents."

The story line goes on to the point where Abram name is change by God to Abraham and then later Abraham helped conceived a child name Ishmael through a maidservant named Hagar. A number of years later Abraham again helps conceived another son with his wife Sarah and this son is named Isaac. As the story line continues, Abraham's son Ishmael later has many children and Isaac has two. Ishmael goes on to have total of 12 that are mentioned by name. The story line then begain to focus on the two sons of Isaac. Isaac's two sons are named Esau (the older) and Jacob (the younger). As most christian are aware much later God changed Jacob's name to Isreal. And from this comes the 12 tribes (sons) of Israel.

In this story we find that Sarah, Abraham's wife, dies as it is mentioned in Genesis 24:67.

Now we arrive at the part of the story of how many children did Abraham have. We find out that Abraham had a total of 8 children. In Genesis 25.1-2 (NKJV) it states the following: 1 Abraham again took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bore him Zimram, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.

So here are the names of all 8 children of Abraham:









The bible then mentions the children from Jokshan and Midian, which are just a few as far as we know at this time.

In the many years of my chirstian faith I had never seen or heard from others this fact as mentioned in the bible. Most mainstream christian religion never mentions the fact that Abraham had 8 children. So now I ask this question regarding the covenant God made with Abraham as mentioned in Genesis 12: 7. Are these six children and the descendents of these 6 children, who are barely mention in the bible, who are also the seed (descendents), also going to someday possess the land that God had promised the descendents of Abraham?

I also wonder why these children of Abraham are never mentioned again in the bible. There is no doubt that Abraham had two wives, but why are 6 of Abraham's children lost in history?

Maybe someday we'll find out.

God bless.

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Comments 26 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I always pause when the words land and mansion and nation are used in the Bible. Seems like they refer to a state of mind just as much as a place.

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

I know what you mean . It has a way of drawing ones attention. Thanks for the comment.

God bless

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

I hope to have a follow up to this HUB at a later date.

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 3 years ago from HubPages, FB

Many major on genealogies. Paul did mention about not arguing about it. This is faith which counts. Temporary it was important for people to stay together. The family is nucleus or cell of nation. Today anyone can believe and become descendant of Abraham. There is one Huber who is claiming Esau was good gay and Jacob was bad. He is Edomite I think. But the truth is that Esau was man of flesh and Jacob represented man of spirit even he was not recreated spirit yet.

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Thanks for the comment Vladimir- I'm not that much into genealogy, but when I had read this verse about Abrahams six other sons it left me wondering about the covenant God made with Abraham. There isn't any background on this six other sons of Abraham. They just seem to fade into bible history. Abraham was a man of great faith in God, which is one of the reasons why I don't understand why there wasn't more writen about his other six children.

Thanks again Vladimir.

Vladimir 3 years ago

I am sorry, I did not meant to neglect genealogies. They are good and important.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 3 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Interesting observation. I would like to know myself. I tend to think of Isaac as "The" one and only promised son (like Christ) which would be like the firstborn with the rights and provisions, privileges and promises but we do see that Ismael being a son of Abraham is blessed as well but not not as an heir of the promise. I would tend to think that the others would be similarly positioned blessed but not with the same entitlements.

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Tamarajo- thank you for your comment.

The following verses may inclued all of Abrahams children regarding the Covenant God made with Abraham which is in Ezekiel 47: 21 thru 23 (NKJV) which states: 21 Thus you shall divide this land ammong yourselves according to the tribes of Isreal. 22 It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves; AND for the strangers who will dwell among you and who bear children among you. The shall be to you as native-born among the children of Isreal; they shall have an inheritance WITH you among the tribes of Isreal. 23 And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give them his inheritance; says the Lord God.

Clearly in these verses it was refering to God's covenant with Isreal's future inheritance of the promise land which will be shared among strangers. These so called strangers very well could be the rest of Abraham's descendents through Abraham's other 6 sons. But note, this is only guess work on my part. But if I'm right then clearly God has kept His promise as always.

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 3 years ago from HubPages, FB

Under Old Covenant children of Abraham-Isaac is the line. It leads to Yeshuvah HaMashiah. New Covenant is different, not anymore flesh but spirit. There are many Russian people (it is known to me) who are not Jews. They live now in Israel. God is satisfied since all Jews or not will be saved. In the meantime some will be not reaching right time. All unsaved Jews will be judge by the Law. All believers in Jesus were already judged. The Fig Tree signify Israel. But there is another new Tree and it is Olive Tree. That is new creation man.

I want to avoid word "Christian" since not all under this name is. Interesting enough, recently my second cousin from Europe wrote on question: Who are you? He said: "I am half atheist but I am acting as Christian."

I hope I am understood.

PS. Now new creation is is spirit line.

I did write this fact about children of Abraham in my Slovak book Abraham. Also I would like to underline fact that there is difference between wife and concubine.

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Vladimir Uhri

I believe that Ezekiel 45 is refering to a time that will be long after Jesus second coming. Isreal will inherite the promised land copmpletly at that time. To explain it all now would take far to long than I care to write at this time. It is something I may decide to write a HUB about when time allows.

I believe Abraham's second wife was a concubine long before she became Abraham's second wife, so I believe both are correct.

Thank you very much for your comment and it's great to see you again. May many of God's blessings follow you.

Little Grandmommy profile image

Little Grandmommy 3 years ago from Small Town Tennessee

This is definitely something I would like to know. You have peaked my curiosity for sure. I will start trying to see what I can learn about this. Thanks for a good hub!

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Little Grandmommy- Thanks for your comment and following. If you do learn more about this subject it would be nice if there's a way to let me know. I have been through a lot of the bible searching for more information about Abraham's other 6 children, but as far as I can tell they are barely mentioned anywhere else. If you do find more please let me know.

Many blessing and thanks.

right4life profile image

right4life 3 years ago from SW Florida

Isaac was the child of "promise" through Sarah. "And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called". Gen 21:12

That's why :)

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

right4life- many thanks for your comment. I realize God's promise through Sarah. But that still does not rule out the promise God made to Abraham regarding his descendents.

Many blessing to you

right4life profile image

right4life 3 years ago from SW Florida

Thanks grace...

I should be more clear. God told Abe that it is in ISAAC that through his seed (his seed meaning Christ and Christians) would be called". Gen 21:12. Those who are significant enough to be acknowledged by the scriptures are ISAAC's progeny only because our savior and messiah Jesus Christ came through Abe first but then Isaac then Jacob and so on and so on until his "SEED" which is the Church or rather all those in Christ. That's why his other children are of no importance scripturally because the heritage through Isaac to Christ is the focus our Lord wants us to have. Remember its all about Christ and Christ alone.

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

right4life- again many thanks for your comment. I guess my question is this. Will all of the descendent of Abraham, as states in Genesis 12: 7, at some point in time received the land God had promised. It should be noted that Genesis 12:7 says "Descendents. It does not indicate selected groups within Abraham's seed within this verse. So my question is What happen to these 6 other son's of Abraham and the descendents of them. Do they have any kind of inheritance because they too are Abraham's seed ?


right4life profile image

right4life 3 years ago from SW Florida

I love this discussion. (Hebrews 11:17) - "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son." I believe that in God's eyes, Isaac was Abrahams only son (son of promise) even though Abraham had six other sons through his second wife Keturah that he married after Sarah died, (Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah). Check out this website...


graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

right4life- I believe I got your point. I will check out the website you mentioned and I deeply thank you for all of your comments.

God keep you in his grace.

celafoe profile image

celafoe 3 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

the covenant is with Isaac only and Christ is of the lineage of Isaac. The others of course are part of the many descendants (like the sand of the sea) that are promised to Abraham.

remember God called Isaac abrahams only son. he was the only one that God gave to him for a special purpose

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

celafoe- Thank you for point out the err . I will correct it shortly.

I am aware that God called Isaac the only son of Abraham. My only question is about the promise God made with Abraham which is Genesis 12: 7 which states. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said; " To your descendents I will give this land". ..... In this statement, it seems to me that God meant all of Abrams descendents. It seems to me that at that point God did not identify a select group within Abrams descendents . And please understand I am stating this as a question. Not as a fact. You could say I'm looking for clarity here.

Thank you so much for your comment.

celafoe profile image

celafoe 3 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

yes that is correct and if you follow through in scripture we see that He did give that land to his descendants. The promise of the land was different than the promise of Jesus the seed, that was to come through him also. and of course Abraham was also the father of Israel which was God's chosen people until they refused to accept and killed Jesus the savior. Now the true Israel of God (chosen people) are those who elect to follow Christ as savior

keep up the good work

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

celafoe- Your comments have helped with clarity. And I thank you very much for it. It is also my intent to review a great deal more of your Hub's too. Again many thanks

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 3 years ago from HubPages, FB

But it is not all, many are comming now to Yehuvah. Glory to God!

graceinus 3 years ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Vladimir Uhri- I believe that the Covenant God had made with Abraham is still an on going process that has not even come close to reaching it's final point. I believe also that there are many secerets that God has not yet revealed to us. I do believe that the comments in this Hub have provided more clarity on the subject of Abraham's sons than what I had known before, and yet I can't help but feel there may still be more unknown out there. Something we need to keep searching for in God's word.

Thanks and God Bless.

Emberlynn 23 months ago

Well put, sir, well put. I'll ceniatrly make note of that.

graceinus 23 months ago from those of the Ekklesia Author

Emberlynn- Thank you for your comment and visit.

God bless

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