Ishmael buried Abraham?

The burial account of Abraham in Genesis 25:9 reads: “Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre…” How did Isaac and Ishmael bury Abraham if Abraham sentIshmael and Hagar into the desert many years before? Thank you for your assistance and all that you do at Catholic Answers!!!
With Christ’s Blessings,
StElizabeth

The Book of Genesis only gives us a brief outline of what transpired between Abraham and Ishmael. Its primary purpose was to explain the development of the covenant. Jewish tradition attempts to fill in the gaps in the story.

According to Rabbinic literature Ishmael and Abraham did later have a reconciliation of sorts. According to Jewish midrash Ishmael was one of the two men Abraham brought with him when he was commanded to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22:3). Abraham also visited Ishmael a few times and at one point Ishmael even divorced a wife that Abraham did not approve of. According to this line of tradition Ishmael eventually resettled with his family in Canaan near Abraham.

Therefore there appears to have been some communication between Ismael and Abraham’s family and he would have been easily aware of his father’s death.

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