Well, outraged Christians objected and Salon immediately retracted the story. Took it down. Unfortunately it's behind a paywall, but Free Inquiry has now published an expanded version, augmented by consultation with biblical scholars. I can recommend FI, if you're interested in buying a magazine subscription.
Anyway, on with the show. Here's the beginning of Genesis 25.
Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. 3 Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. 4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
5 Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. 6 But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
7 Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
In the first place, it seemed in Genesis 24 that old Abe was on his last legs and about to cash in his chips, but no, he's got the energy for another wife (maybe, hold that thought) and an unknown number of concubines. In case you're wondering, a concubine is a sex slave. Anyway, what's the deal with Keturah. She's supposedly his wife, and has six sons, but they don't count. Isaac gets everything. Later, in Chronicles, Keturah is referred to as Abraham's concubine, which would make sense of this.
I must also say it was mighty sporting of Ishmael to show up for the funeral, since Abraham had cast him out into the desert to die with his mother. Twice. And he gets no inheritance. But we are treated to his begats:
12 This is the account of the family line of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s slave, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.Why are we supposed to care about all this? None of these people or tribes ever show up again. The bit about "hostility" may be a mistranslation. One would hope so.
13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16 These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. 17 Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. 18 His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward[b] all the tribes related to them.
Anyway, the rest of this chapter is a bit more interesting. We'll get to it next week.