Genesis 24: Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah

Why was Abraham so concerned about who his son Isaac would marry?

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Genesis 24:1–3 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in all things.
To his senior servant with oversight in all his affairs, Abraham said, “Put your hand under my thigh and swear by the Lord God, ruler of earth and sky, that you will not allow my son to marry a Canaanite woman.
King James
Genesis 24:1–3 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

Why did Abraham think a wife from his homeland would have to be better than any woman in Canaan?

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Genesis 24:4 Go to my homeland and find a wife for my son Isaac among my relatives.”
King James
Genesis 24:4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

Why wasn’t a great place to find a wife not also a great place to live?

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Genesis 24:5–7 “What if the woman is unwilling to leave home and come with me?” the servant said. “Shall I then take your son to your homeland?”
“No,” Abraham said. “Never take my son back there.
“The Lord God above took me away from my father’s house and my birthplace and swore that he would give this land to my descendants. God will send his angel before you so you can find a wife for my son.
King James
Genesis 24:5–7 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.

If Abraham was so sure God would lead his servant, why free him from his oath if he’s not successful?

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Genesis 24:7–9 “The Lord God above took me away from my father’s house and my birthplace and swore that he would give this land to my descendants. God will send his angel before you so you can find a wife for my son. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are released from your promise. But you must not take my son back there.”
“The servant put his hand under Abraham’s thigh and swore to do what his master had asked.
King James
Genesis 24:7–9 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

Why did the servant take so many camels?

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Genesis 24:10 He took ten camels laden with the good things from his master and left for Abraham’s brother Nahor’s city among the two rivers in Mesopotamia.
King James
Genesis 24:10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.

How reasonable was the servant’s prayer for a woman to not only give him water but to water his ten camels as well?

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Genesis 24:11–14 In the evening, at the hour when the women go out to draw water, he made his camels kneel by the well outside the city. “God of Abraham,” he prayed, “show kindness to my master and let me meet the right person today. Here I am by the well where men’s daughters from the city come for water. When I ask a young woman to let down her jar and give me water to drink, let her do that and want to draw water for my camels as well. Let her be the one you have chosen to be Isaac’s wife, and I will know you have shown kindness to my master.”
King James
Genesis 24:11–14 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

How did God orchestrate the timing to answer the servant’s prayer at the moment it ended?

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Genesis 24:15 While he was praying, Rebekah came with a jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Abraham’s nephew Bethuel, the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife Milcah.
King James
Genesis 24:15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

What did the servant think would happen when he asked Rebekah for water? Why did he run to meet her?

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Genesis 24:16–18 The young woman was very beautiful, a virgin, having never been one with any man. She went to the well, lowered her jar, and brought it up.
The servant ran to meet her and said, “Let me drink a little water from your jar.”
“Drink, sir.” She lowered her jar and gave him a drink.
King James
Genesis 24:16–18 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.

What did the servant think while he was drinking the water, when Rebekah had said nothing about the camels?

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Genesis 24:18–19 “Drink, sir.” She lowered her jar and gave him a drink.
After giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have had all they want to drink.”
Genesis 24:21 Saying nothing to encourage or discourage her, the servant watched to see if his prayer had been answered, that the Lord had already made his journey successful.
King James
Genesis 24:18–19 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.
Genesis 24:21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.

How much time was needed for Rebekah to water the camels? During this time, what did the servant do?

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Genesis 24:20 She quickly emptied her jar into the trough and kept running back to the well for refills until she had satisfied all his camels with water.
King James
Genesis 24:20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

Why was Rebekah willing to invite a stranger to stay in her father’s and brother’s households?

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Genesis 24:22–25 When the camels had finished drinking, the servant brought her a half-shekel gold earring and two ten-shekel gold bracelets. “Whose daughter are you?” he said. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for me to spend the night?”
“I am Bethuel’s daughter,” she said. “Nahor and his wife Milcah are my grandparents. We have plenty of room and provisions for you and your camels.”
King James
Genesis 24:22–25 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in? And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.

How grateful was the servant for what he perceived as God answering his prayer?

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Genesis 24:26–27 The servant bowed to worship the Lord. 27 “Praise the Lord God of Abraham,” the servant said, “who has been kind and faithful to my master, for he has led me to the household of my master’s relatives.”
King James
Genesis 24:26–27 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

How might Rachel’s brother have had a different kind of excitement from what she had?

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Genesis 24:28–30 The young woman ran to tell her mother’s family all that had happened.
Rebekah’s brother Laban ran to meet the servant, for he had seen his sister wearing the gold earring and bracelets and heard her talk about the man who stood by the camels at the well.
King James
Genesis 24:28–30 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.

How large a household did Bethuel and Laban have? Why?

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Genesis 24:31–32 “Come to my place,” Laban said, “you who are blessed of the Lord. Why are you standing here? We have room for you in our house, and there is plenty of space for your camels.”
So Abraham’s servant followed Laban, and the camels were unloaded, fed, and bedded. The servant and his men were welcomed into Laban’s home, their feet washed.
King James
Genesis 24:31–32 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.

Why couldn’t the servant tell his story during the meal instead of before it?

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Genesis 24:33–49 When the meal was set before him, the servant said, “I will not eat until I have told the purpose for my coming.”
“Then tell us,” Laban said.
“I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, giving him sheep and cattle, gold and silver, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. After Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son when she was old, everything was given to him. My master made me swear that his son would not take a wife from among the Canaanite women. He told me to go to his father’s family to find a wife for his son among his relatives.
“I asked what to do if the woman wasn’t willing to go back with me. He said that the Lord who walked with him would send his angel to guide me. I must find a wife for his son from among his father’s relatives. I can be released from my oath only if she is not allowed to go back with me.
“Today when I came to the well, I asked the Lord God of Abraham to show my master success on this journey. Here I am by the well, I said. When a young woman comes and I ask her to give me water from her jar to drink. Let her do that and want to draw water for my camels as well. Let her be the one you have chosen for my master’s son.
“While I was praying, Rebekah came with a jar on her shoulder. She went to the well to draw water, and I asked for a drink. She quickly lowered her jar, gave me a drink, and wanted to water my camels. So I drank, and the camels drank until they were satisfied.
47 “I asked whose daughter she was and learned that she is Bethuel’s daughter, and Nahor and Milcah are her grandparents. So I gave her the earring and bracelets. 48 I bowed to worship the Lord God of Abraham for guiding me to the granddaughter of my master’s brother.
“Will you be kind and faithful to my master? Tell me one way or the other so I will know what to do.”
King James
Genesis 24:33–49 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand.
And he said, Speak on.
And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house: Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath. And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the Lord hath appointed out for my master’s son. And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son. And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.

How well do you think the servant told his story? Why?

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Genesis 24:50–52 Laban and Bethuel said, “This is the Lord’s doing. We have no voice in the matter. Take Rebekah with you. As the Lord has directed, let her be your master’s son’s wife.”
Upon hearing those words, Abraham’s servant bowed to worship the Lord.
King James
Genesis 24:50–52 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

Why didn’t the servant give something to Rebekah’s father?

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Genesis 24:53 He gave clothing and gold and silver jewelry to Rebekah and also gave valuable gifts to her brother and her mother.
King James
Genesis 24:53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

Why did the servant think he needed to leave the next morning? Why was he begged to stay for a while? How long would they have wanted him to stay?

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Genesis 24:54–56 After eating and drinking, the servant and his men spent the night.
The next morning, he said, “Bid me farewell. I must return to my master.”
Rebekah’s mother and brother said, “Let her stay with us a few days—at least ten. Then she can go.”
“Don’t delay my departure,” the servant said. “Now that the Lord has fulfilled my mission, it’s time for us to go.”
King James
Genesis 24:54–56 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.

Why was Rebekah asked what she wanted to do? What would the servant have done if she had said she would go in three days? Why??

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Genesis 24:57–61 “Let’s call Rebekah,” they said, “and ask what she wants to do.”
They called Rebekah. “Are you willing to leave with this man now?”
“Yes,” she said, “I will go.”
So they sent Rebekah and her female attendant with Abraham’s servant and his men. They blessed Rebekah, saying, “You are our sister. May you be the mother of millions. May your descendants conquer the cities of their enemies.”
Rebekah and her attendants mounted the camels and followed the servant as he led the way.
King James
Genesis 24:57–61 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

Why did Rebekah cover her face with a veil?

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Genesis 24:62–65 Isaac had left Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the south country. In the evening, he went to the field to meditate. When he looked up, he saw the camels coming.
When Rebekah saw Isaac, she got down from her camel after asking who the man was. When the servant said he was his master, she covered her face with a veil.
King James
Genesis 24:62–65 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.

How did Isaac feel after he heard the servant tell all that had happened? How did Abraham feel when he got the news?v

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Genesis 24:66–67 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her and was comforted after his mother’s death.
King James
Genesis 24:66–67 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.