The marriage of Isaac and Rebecca.
VERSE 1. Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. The LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
VERSE 2. Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh.
VERSE 3. I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.
VERSE 4. But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
VERSE 5. The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”
VERSE 6. Abraham said to him, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again.
VERSE 7. The LORD, the God of heaven—who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your offspring—he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
you shall take a wife for my son from there. Abraham is very confident about this. Perhaps he was speaking as a prophet.
Back in Genesis chapter 20, the LORD God told Abimelech that Abraham was a prophet:
Genesis 20:7. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don’t restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours.”
VERSE 8. If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”
VERSE 9. The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
VERSE 10. The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
The servant took ten of his master’s camels. That’s a lot of camels!
Much later in the biblical narrative, camels will be used in battle:
Judges 6:5. For they came up with their livestock and their tents. They came in as locusts for multitude. Both they and their camels were without number; and they came into the land to destroy it.
VERSE 11. He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.
VERSE 12. He said, “The LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
the God of my master Abraham. The servant speaks as if he is not a believer.
VERSE 13. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
Isaac’s servant and Rebecca met at a well. And in the next generation, so will Jacob and Rachel:
Genesis 29:2. He looked, and saw a well in the field, and saw three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well’s mouth was large.
VERSE 14. Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ then she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
VERSE 15. Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder.
VERSE 16. The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin. No man had known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up.
VERSE 17. The servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.”
VERSE 18. She said, “Drink, my lord.” She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him a drink.
VERSE 19. When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will also draw for your camels, until they have finished drinking.”
VERSE 20. She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
VERSE 21. The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
VERSE 22. As the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold,
Shekel. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces.
VERSE 23. and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay?”
VERSE 24. She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”
VERSE 25. She said moreover to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in.”
VERSE 26. The man bowed his head, and worshiped the LORD.
VERSE 27. He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”
VERSE 28. The young lady ran, and told her mother’s house about these words.
VERSE 29. Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring.
VERSE 30. When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring.
VERSE 31. He said, “Come in, you blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”
VERSE 32. The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
VERSE 33. Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.” Laban said, “Speak on.”
VERSE 34. He said, “I am Abraham’s servant.
VERSE 35. The LORD has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. The LORD has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
VERSE 36. Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him.
VERSE 37. My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,
VERSE 38. but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’
VERSE 39. I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’
VERSE 40. He said to me, ‘The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father’s house.
VERSE 41. Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don’t give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.’
VERSE 42. I came today to the spring, and said, ‘The LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go—
VERSE 43. behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,”
VERSE 44. then she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,”—let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’
VERSE 45. Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
VERSE 46. She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink.
VERSE 47. I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands.
VERSE 48. I bowed my head, and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son.
VERSE 49. Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”
VERSE 50. Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The thing proceeds from the LORD. We can’t speak to you bad or good.
VERSE 51. Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the LORD has spoken.”
VERSE 52. When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to the LORD.
VERSE 53. The servant brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother.
VERSE 54. They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
VERSE 55. Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go.”
VERSE 56. He said to them, “Don’t hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”
VERSE 57. They said, “We will call the young lady, and ask her.”
Will you go with this man?. Isaac offered to Rebecca’s father Laban that he would marry Rebecca.
Laban, in turn, asked Rebecca if she would like to marry Isaac.
It was Rebecca’s choice to get married or not.
Many people assume that during the Old Testament era, women were little more than property.
We believe during the Old Testament era, the biblical world was favorable for Jewish women.
VERSE 59. They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men.
VERSE 60. They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them.”
the mother of thousands of ten thousands. Rebecca is the blessed one. She is seen as the progenitor of the future blessing.
Through the woman, the blessing begins.
VERSE 61. Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
VERSE 62. Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South.
VERSE 63. Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes and looked. Behold, there were camels coming.
VERSE 64. Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she got off the camel.
VERSE 65. She said to the servant, “Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” She took her veil, and covered herself.
VERSE 66. The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
VERSE 67. Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
What event was it that switched them to being married? What act caused these two people to switch from being single to being married?
In our day, couples go to a religious leader for a religious wedding. Or they go to the secular government for a secular wedding.
So in our day, the wedded state is something caused by a third party. Without the third party, the wedded state does not happen.
But in the tent where Isaac brought Rebekah, there was no third party. There was just Isaac and Rebekah. What did they do to cause themselves to become married?
Our theory is that it was sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse was the act that caused the wedded state.
This verse says Isaac “took Rebekah, and she became his wife.”
If our theory is true, it explains why there is no mention of pre-marital sex in the Old Testament. If a couple were to have sexual relations, by that very act, they were married.
CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.