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KETURAH (, lit. "incense"):

Abraham's second wife, whom he married after the death of Sarah (Gen. xxv. 1; I Chron. i. 32). She was the ancestress of sixteen tribes, among which were Arabian and Midianite ones. In I Chron. i. 32 Keturah is called "the concubine of Abraham," and, probably for this reason, she is identified in the Midrash (Gen. R. lxi., quoted also by Rashi) and in the Palestinian Targumim with Hagar, who was the first concubine of Abraham. The Midrash explains the name "Keturah" as based on her acts, which were pleasant like frankincense. In Gen. xxv. 5 the Midrash (l.c.) reads the term "ha-pillagshim" (= "the concubines") without the yod, which is the sign of the plural (), explaining that there was only one concubine, as Hagar and Keturah were one person. Still it seems that such was not the opinion of the Talmudic doctors; for the children of Ishmael and the children of Keturah are kept distinct in the story of their complaints against the Jews before Alexander the Macedonian (Sanh. 91a).

E. G. H. M. Sel.
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