For our lesson of Rebekah, Genesis 24; 25:19-34; 26:1-28 on pages 28-31, in our main text Women of the Bible by Jean E Syswerda.
1. Her name probably means “Loop” or “Tie”. (2, pg.28.)
2. Her character: Hard-working and generous, her faith was so great that she left her home forever to marry a man she had never met. Yet she played favorites with her sons and failed to trust God fully for the promise he had made. ( 3, pg. 28)
3. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, Abraham’s nephew, sister of Laban, wife of Isaac,and mother of Esau and Jacob. (1, pg. 14)
4. Genesis 24:1-9, Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2. He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4. but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.(Ft. nt.Gen. 24:2-chief servant in his household. Probably Eliezer of Damascus, see note on 15:2). Put your hand under my thigh, Near the organ of procreation, probably because this oath was related to Abraham’s last will and testament and called for faithful implementation on the part of his son, Isaac must accept Abraham’s and God’s choice (see also Genesis 47:29 and note). 5. The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?” 6. “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me an oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’– he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” 9. So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter. (2, pg. 56)
5. Genesis 24:10-12 – Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. Then he prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.(1, pg 56.)
6. Genesis 24:15-18 – Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. (1, pg. 57)
7. Genesis 24:50-51 – Laban and Bethuel answered, this is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed. (1, pg 58)
8. Genesis 24:66-67 – Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. (1, pg. 59)
9. Genesis 25:21-23 – Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two people from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”(1, pg.60-61)
10. Genesis 25:24-26 – When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in the womb. The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment, so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. (1, pg. 61)
1. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume Four R-Z, In Four Volumes, Abingdon Press, New York 1962.
2. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan 2008 Edition (All scriptures)
3. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999, pg. 221.