In Genesis 25 we meet Isaac who marries Rebecca. Rebecca conceives and gives birth to twins Esau and Jacob. Isaac is above sixty years of age when the chapter closes.

Genesis 25 NASB

20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the [o]Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the [p]Aramean, to be his wife.

In Genesis 26 Isaac goes to Gerar during a famine in Canaan. He conceals his marriage to Rebecca and lives there for some time. It seems here the twins had not yet been conceived for there is no mention of Rebecca having any children.

Genesis 26 NASB

6 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines.6 So Isaac [h]lived in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “[i]the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful.

In Genesis 27 we now meet Isaac an old man who was almost blind. Jacob beguiles him and receives the blessings

Genesis 27 NASB

27 Now it came about, when Isaac was old and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called his older son Esau and said to him, “My son.” And he said to him, “Here I am.”18 Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that [k]you may bless me.

The Gerar incident should have come before the birth of the twins.


  1. Genesis 25 Isaac is above sixty years

  2. Genesis 26 Isaac is between forty and sixty years

  3. Genesis 27 Isaac is about one hundred and sixty years

How can we understand the above chronology?

  • What in chapter 26 makes you think he is 40-60? Is it just that it doesn't mention Rebecca having already had children? That's a pretty weak inference.
    – curiousdannii
    May 18, 2020 at 10:53
  • @curiousdannii,tthe inference comes from that they stayed,sowed and harvested at Gerar which would not have been probably had they left their children in Canaan.Another inference comes from that it would have been difficult to hide the fact that either she was pregnant or had children. May 18, 2020 at 12:38
  • Or they could easily have been teenagers or in their 20s, perhaps even older than that!
    – curiousdannii
    May 18, 2020 at 12:46
  • @curiousdannii,isaac married at forty May 18, 2020 at 13:15

2 Answers 2


There is a lot of material out of chronological sequence in much of Genesis, put particularly the last half. Note the following:

  • Isaac born to Abraham when he was 100 yeas old. Gen 21:1-5
  • Abraham goes to sacrifice Isaac at an unspecified time, Gen 22
  • Sarah dies at age 127 (Gen 23:1), Abraham is 137, Isaac is 37.
  • Isaac marries Rebekah Gen 24, at age 40, Gen 25:20
  • Isaac visits Philistia at an unspecified time but before the birth of his twins, Gen 26
  • Isaac has twin sons at the age of 60 Gen 25:26
  • Abraham dies at the age of 175 (Gen 25:7, 8), Isaac is 75, the twins are 15 years old.
  • Jacob (at age 71) deceives Isaac when he is 131, Gen 47:9, 45:6, 41:47
  • Jacob returns from Padam Aram after 20 years at age 91, as Joseph is born, Isaac 151.
  • Joseph is sold into slavery at age 17 (Gen 37:2), Jacob is 108, Isaac is 168.
  • Isaac dies at age 180, Gen 35:28.

From the above brief survey, it is obvious that the Genesis incidents are not chronologically arranged but are mostly arranged topically.

  • +1 Why do you think this story is inserted in between the two Jacob and Esau stories?
    – Austin
    Dec 18, 2021 at 21:48
  • @Austin - I am not sure why the stories are placed in the order that they are except that these are often placed such as to complete one part of a story befor beginning the narrative about something else. That is, chronology is a secondary matter in Genesis.
    – Dottard
    Dec 18, 2021 at 22:02
  • Dottard, that's what's so puzzling. The Abimelech story doesn't match that pattern. It splits the story of Jacob and Esau.
    – Austin
    Dec 18, 2021 at 23:15

Isaac at the time of the blessing was roughly the same age as when Ishmael passed away and Rebekah had to be at least 100+....so the earlier chapters are correct in their listing. I highly doubt Rebekah was turning King's eyes at 100+.... More than likely, it happened soon after they were married and before the twins birth.

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