The story begins when Abraham’s servant, tasked with finding a suitable wife for Abraham’s son Isaac, embarks on a journey to Abraham’s homeland. He prays for a clear sign from God to guide him in finding the right woman. Upon reaching the city of Nahor, the servant encounters Rebekah, who exempl
Rebekah was the beautiful and intelligent daughter of Bethuel, the great-niece of Abraham, and the sister of Laban. Rebecca married Isaac, the son promised to Abraham and Sarah. She bore two sons, Esau and Jacob. The nation of Israel came from Jacob, and the line of Esau became the Edomites.
Rebekah tried to take God’s plan into her own hands. As we know from Sarah, this never works out in the way we had hoped. It’s easy to grow impatient or anxious when God doesn’t move within the timeframe we want or expect. Waiting on God is difficult, but there are blessings in waiting.
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The Story Of Rebekah In The Bible
The story of the wooing of Rebekah unfolds in Genesis 24, the longest chapter in the Book of Genesis. A spouse for Isaac is to be obtained from his uncle Nahor’s family; the ensuing cousin marriage, with Rebekah and Isaac both members of the same kinship group, serves to emphasize the importance of their lineage.
Rebekah is a prominent figure in the Hebrew Bible. She was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. The narratives in Genesis 24-27 describe how she becomes Isaac’s wife, gives birth to twin sons after initial barrenness, and finally obtains the primary place in the lineage for her younger son, Jacob, who is destined to become ancestor of all Israel.
Who Is Rebekah In The Bible
Rebekah was born in Paddan Aram, Aram-Naharaim (present-day Harran, Turkey) to Laban, Rebekah’s brother 1. She was a beautiful young woman who won the heart of her cousin Jacob. Jacob had traveled a great distance to find Laban, Rebekah’s father. During Jacob’s stay, he fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work seven years for Laban in return for her hand in marriage. On the night of the wedding, the bride was veiled and Jacob did not notice that Leah, Rachel’s older sister, had been substituted for Rachel. Later Jacob confronted Laban, who excused his own deception by insisting that the older sister should marry first. He assured Jacob that after his wedding week was finished, he could take Rachel as a wife as well, and work another seven years as payment for her. After the birth of two sons, Jacob and Esau, Rebekah became a central figure in the family’s story.
Rebekah was a woman of great faith and devotion. She was a loyal wife to Isaac and a loving mother to her sons. She was also a woman who was willing to do whatever it took to protect her family. When Isaac was old and blind, Rebekah helped Jacob deceive him into giving Jacob the family blessing instead of Esau. This deception caused a rift between Jacob and Esau that lasted for many years.
Lessons From Rebekah In The Bible
The story of Rebekah highlights the importance and power that faith has in our lives. Isaac and Rebekah’s relationship provides a great example of how love can exist in the face of uncertainty. Rebekah had to act in faith to choose to leave her family for a man she didn’t know and to marry him.
Be encouraged that God hears your prayers
Rebekah was an answer to one man’s prayers. Even though Abraham’s servant did not have a personal relationship with God, he still prayed to his master’s God who was the true God. God honored the servant’s prayer as well as Abraham’s desire. God also heard and honored Isaac’s prayer for Rebekah when she was unable to conceive children and blessed Rebekah with twins. In addition, God responded to Rebekah’s inquiry when she asked about her sons inside her womb.
Even though God is sovereign and all-knowing, He still desires for us to communicate with him our needs and desires. The servant’s prayers show us that prayers do not need to be long, intricate, or formal. His prayer was done near a water well as he was waiting for an answer. It was not long or repetitive, but it was a conversation with God about what exactly he needed in order to know who to bring back as a wife for Isaac. And God answered his prayer even before he finished praying!
Isaac’s prayer for God to open up Rebekah’s womb reveals to us the power of intercessory prayer. When we earnestly plead on someone’s behalf, God will even bless someone because of our prayers for them. And God answering Rebekah’s question about why her two sons were struggling with each other inside the womb, tells us that there is no prayer too small for God to listen and reply. Answered prayers are sprinkled throughout Rebekah’s story. So be encouraged to continually pray to God about everything.
Character is more important than outward beauty
When Abraham’s servant was praying for God to reveal Isaac’s future wife to him, his prayer was not that the woman would look like a beauty queen, but instead, he asked for someone with good character. This was revealed when he prayed that the woman would give him a drink of water as well as water his camels. It would be a woman who was hospitable and generous.
Rebekah displayed these qualities when not only did she do as the servant prayed, but she even addressed him with respect calling him “lord.” Rebekah also had a willing heart. Her mother and brother wanted her to stay back 10 days, but she was ready to go at a moment’s notice and went back with the servant without any hesitation.
Although Rebekah was outwardly beautiful, she did not allow that to be where her confidence came from. She worked on her inner self and let her character shine as her attractive quality. Because she already had hospitality and generosity, when the time came for God to choose someone through the servant, it was these qualities that gave her favor.
Man may look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Rebekah is a reminder to work fervently at building our character instead of our appearance. It is character that will take us to places that beauty cannot.
God’s perfection is sovereign over humanity’s imperfection
All throughout the Bible, we see God working through the faults of the people He chose. Rebekah was no exception. Her favoritism towards her younger son caused her to deceive her husband into blessing Jacob with the inheritance of the firstborn. The worst part is that by telling her son how to trick his father, she was teaching him that misleading behavior is acceptable behavior.
Even though Rebekah’s actions can be seen as manipulating, God’s plans for preserving the ancestral lineage through Jacob prevailed through her well-planned scheme. God knows our weaknesses and mess-ups beforehand, yet He still decides to co-partner with His creation to accomplish His purposes and plans. This shows us how sovereign, loving, and perfect He really is. We can trust God to work His purposes through our lives despite our imperfections.
Why Is Rebekah Important In The Bible
Meaning of Rebecca’s Name
The Hebrew meaning for the name Rebecc” is “to tie firmly” or “a noose.” “Applied to a female, the figure suggests her beauty by means of which men are snared or bound. Thus another meaning of Rebekah is that of “captivating,” according to BibleGateway.
As her name reflected, Rebecca was a woman of captivating beauty. In Genesis 24:16, it was noted “the young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known.”
Isaac did not even want to refer to her as his wife because of the possibility that other, jealous men might kill him to get to Rebecca (Genesis 26:7).
Rebecca’s Marriage to Isaac
After the death of Sarah, Abraham sent out his servant to his hometown of Aram Nahariam to select a bride for their son Isaac. The servant was provided clothing, jewelry, and gifts to be given to the bride and her family. Before leaving on the journey, the servant was worried if the woman would return with him. Abraham relieved his worries by telling the servant that he would be “released from this oath” (Genesis 24:8) if the woman was unwilling to come back with him.
During the journey he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham,” (Genesis 24:12). The servant asked God for a sign in verse 14: “May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
Before the servant finished his prayer, a young woman appeared with a jar on her shoulder and went down to the spring to draw water. The conversation between the servant and who he soon learned to be Rebecca followed the script exactly as mentioned in Genesis 24:43-44. After some hesitancy, Rebecca’s father and brother agreed for her to leave with the servant.
Upon nearing Abraham’s home, Rebecca saw Isaac praying his afternoon prayer. She was taken by such spirituality and jumped off her camel and inquired as to his identity. After she realized he was her husband to be, she put on a veil. Isaac then married Rebecca in his mother’s tent.
Rebecca’s Children: Esau and Jacob
When Rebecca became pregnant with twins, she was confused because “the babies jostled each other within her, and she said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD” (Genesis 25:22).
The Lord responded, “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 young.” (Genesis 25:23).
A highlight of Rebecca’s life is her actions in the deception of her husband, Isaac. Esau was the firstborn of Isaac and Rebecca and, therefore, was entitled to the blessing. But Rebecca orchestrated a plan for her younger son, Jacob, to receive the blessing instead.
Isaac was of an elderly age, between the age of 132 and 137, and wanted to bestow the blessing prior to his death. His mother died 137 and the Sages taught that the child dies near the same age of the parent who died first. Knowing that his death was nearing, Isaac request Esau: “Take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die” (Genesis 27:3-4).
Rebecca was listening to Isaac’s request and told Jacob to “go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves” (Genesis 27:9). Then Isaac would believe Jacob to be Esau and give the younger son the firstborn’s blessing.
But Jacob was concerned this plan to deceive his father might fail, even with Isaac’s deteriorating vision, because Esau was a hairy man and he was clean-shaven. Rebecca’s solution was to dress Jacob in Esau’s clothing. She also put the hairy skins of the young goats on Jacob’s hands and neck to resemble the feeling of a “hairy man” such as Esau.
Jacob approached his father, and Isaac request that Jacob to “come near” so he could positively identify Esau. Isaac remarked, “the voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau” (Genesis 27:22). The charade was successful as Isaac requested the food and proceeded to bless Jacob. It continued when Isaac requested the son to “come near and kiss me, my son.” Genesis 27:26. This aspect of the deception passed the inspection as well because “Isaac smelled the smell of his garments” and determined they “smell of my son is as the smell of a filed that the Lord has blessed!” (Genesis 27:27).
The farce was finally unveiled when Esau returned. Unaware the blessing was given to his brother, Esau “also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father” and told him, “let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me” (Genesis 27:31). Isaac realized he was deceived and informed Esau, “your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing” (Genesis 27:35).
This caused Esau to hate his brother and threaten to kill him. Rebecca told Jacob of Esau’s plan and advised him to flee to her brother Laban until Esau’s “fury turns away” and “forgets what you have done to him” (Genesis 27:43).
Rebekah’s story is a reminder of the importance of faith and devotion. She was a woman who was willing to do whatever it took to protect her family. She was also a woman who was willing to take risks and make sacrifices for the people she loved. Her story is a testament to God’s faithfulness and loving care for His people.