Avraham’s Wives



I know that Abraham had only two wives.  Sara gave birth to Isaac towards the end of her life, and Hagar gave birth to Yishmael. But in the Torah portion of Chayei Sara,( Gen. 25:1) another of Avraham’s wives appears. The verse clearly states: “And Abraham took another wife and her name was Keturah.” Who is Keturah? In the next verse, it says: “And she bore him Zimran and Yokshan and Medan and Midian and Yishbak and Shuach,” meaning that Avraham had another wife and six more children, even though Avraham was considered a widower after the death of Sarah. Why does the verse start by saying “Avraham added” instead of simply saying “Avraham took (another wife)?


Your question is likely based on the fact that the wife Avraham took after Sara’s death was actually Hagar. He remarried her after he sent her away. She is called Ketura here because she guarded herself all the years she was in exile and did not marry another man. Ketura is derived from the word keshurah, or kosher.

As to why the verse uses the term “And he added”  as opposed to “And he took,”  our sages  tell us that it is because she was already his servant while Sara was alive and she had already bore him a son, Yishmael. Because she was returning, the verse says, “And he added.”
According to the simple meaning, because she was another woman, the term “And he added” also fits, as he took her as another wife.