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Reference: Rebekah


The daughter of Bethnel, the son of Nahor, Abraham's brother, and his wife Milcah (Ge 22:23). She was also the sister of Laban and became the wife of Isaac. The well-known story of the facts leading up to the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah is told in Ge 24, and gives valuable information as to early marriage customs. Isaac is not consulted. Abraham's servant Eliezer (Ge 15:2) is sent to seek for a wife among his master's kinsfolk. The servant proceeds to the 'city of Nahor' (Haran), and, arriving at the gate of the city, waits by the well till the women come out to draw water (Ge 15:11). He prays that God may prosper him and give him a sign by which he may recognize the woman Providence has set apart for Isaac. Rebekah comes out and offers to draw water for the stranger and his camels. The servant loads her with gifts, and her family, led by her brother Laban, being convinced of Abraham's wealth, and recognizing the will of Heaven in the selection, agrees to the marriage. Rebekah returns with the servant and becomes Isaac's wife (v. 67).

In Ge 25:21 we are told that Rebekah, like many other favourite wives of the OT (e.g. Sarah, Rachel, Hannah), was at first barren, but in answer to Isaac's prayer Jacob and Esau were born (Ge 25:24-26). Before their birth Rebekah received the oracle from Jehovah, that two nations were in her womb and that the elder should serve the younger. No doubt this story is a late Jewish legend, arising from the desire to find the history of the two peoples Israel and Edom foreshadowed in the lives of their progenitors.

Rebekah again comes before us during Isaac's sojourn in Gerar (Ge 26:6-11). Fearing lest the beauty of his wife might excite the desire of the king of Gerar and so lead to his own death, Isaac passed her off as his sister

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