Genesis 24 * Isaac’s Marriage

IT’S LOVE AT FIRST SITE

IT’S ROMANTIC FOR SURE

It was true love, and is a wild story.

Enjoy one of the sweeter chapters in all scripture.

Sarah is dead and Abraham is on his way, though the Patriarch prospered in the land, his family lives holding onto a future promise.

Isaac cannot leave in search of a wife, in fact he will never leave the land of his birth, staking out a permanent claim to the land God gifted to his father, and with no godly wife found among the local Canaanite people, Abraham asked an unnamed servant for help.

THE SERVANT AND THE THIGH

Abraham asked his servant to go on a 500 mile road trip, to the land of his birth, Mesopotamia, in order to bring back a godly virgin wife for Isaac.

Ancient Rabbi’s tell us ancient tribal men sometimes made oaths through tribal—dare I say vulgar gestures. For example, if the request was serious enough, a man sometimes grabbed the privates of the other, and swore an oath of allegiance, something neither would ever forget, and something that was never sexual.

Such actions were done, but are not what scripture teaches.

Abraham chose a less vulgar approach, asking his servant “to put his hand under his thigh.” The servant touching him in that way meant Abraham was serious, and also communicated the servants intentions to follow through.

The promise was to find a wife to carry on the lineage leading to the coming of the Messiah.

THE INSTRUCTION

The unnamed servant was given a direct order:

  1. Find a wife for my son from my relatives,
  2. And do not take my son out of the land, no matter what.

If the woman refused, the servant was free from his oath.

CAMELS

This is the first recorded use of camels in all human history. Camels were almost never used in this way, and they are a sure sign of Abraham’s wealth and dominance. Their appearance in Mesopotamia would have impressed and intimidated the locals.

BY THIS

As the servant approached the city, he left the camels outside the city, by a watering hole, prayed, then waited.

In direct answer to prayer, Rebekah arrives and gives the servant something to drink. In further answer to prayer she waters the camels, an enormous physical task—not only is Rebekah fit, but scripture says, “she is very attractive in appearance.”

The prayer is now answered, the wife is found, but what will Rebekah and her family do?

ENGAGEMENT GIFTS

The servant gifted Rebekah, and then her family, with precious bracelets and ornaments. In a nod toward a future conflict, Laban notices Rebekah’s gifts and runs to greet the servant.

The servant’s character is steel, and does not allow social rules or family edicate to deter him from his gospel mission. The family attempts to keep him from leaving, but Abraham’s servant speaks boldy, reasoning well—if in fact God has moved, then do not delay in moving with God.

Rebekah is allowed to decide for herself, a rare occurence in those days, boldly choosing adventure, and to love a man she has never seen.

TRUE LOVE

After months on the road, the caravan approached Isaac’s home. Rebekah saw her love, veiled herself, and went to be with her man.

Isaac immediately took her, and enjoyed her.

Scripture says he loved Rebekah.

And he did.