Theme: People often must face decisions that will change their lives forever. How can we make the most of the opportunities life gives us? Rebekah took initiative in answering the call to become the wife of Isaac and thus to play an important role in the unfolding of God’s promises.
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses. The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Genesis 24:12; “And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.” This is a prayer that Abraham’s servant prays to God for the success of his journey to identify and return with a wife for his master’s son, Isaac. Abraham loved and was obedient to God; and likewise, his servant loved Abraham and was obedient to him.
* v.13 and 14, “Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14. And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down the pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also; let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy, servant Issac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.” The unnamed servant of Abraham is praying that the Lord would direct him to a potential wife for His master’s son, Isaac. He, like Abraham, was obedient and faithful to the Lord. He wanted a virtuous girl that would assist in fulfilling the Covenant that God made with Abraham; in that he would be a father of many nations. He sought specific signs that God would provide to identify which girl was the one that the Lord had chosen for Isaac. He sought a girl who would offer water to him and his camels. If the Lord could grant this wish, he would be confident that the Lord had shown him favor.
*v. 15-16, “And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.” Before the servant had ended his prayer to God, the answer was on its way. The Lord favored the servant with everything he had requested in a woman, and one thing he had not asked for but got: beauty. There were many girls coming to the well, but this one stood out as she carried her pitcher to draw water.
*v.17,18, and 19, “And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18. And she said, Drink, my lord; and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.” The servant met the girl upon her return from the well and asked for a drink which she gave, and later offered drink to his 10 camels. This was definitely God’s sign to the servant that he had the correct girl. She exhibited hospitality, and other criteria which Abraham had instructed him that she possess, and she was also a relative of Abraham’s family.
*v.20 and 21, “And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21. And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the lord had made his journey prosperous or not.” The servant observes the utmost in hospitality when she begins to draw water from the well to give to his 10 camels. It is said that a thirsty camel can drink between 25 to 40 gallons of water, and a gallon of water weighs 8.3 lbs. (total wt 2,075 to 3,320 lbs). Measurement accuracy is not the point, but the offer to show hospitality of this nature to a stranger “is beyond the pale”, meaning outside of expected behavior. “To wit”, in v. 21 means to know. Even with all of that information, the servant has some doubts.
(Read verses 22 to 60 to appreciate what has occurred prior to verse 61.)
*v.61 and 62, “And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah and went his way. 62. And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.” These verses are occurring at the same time. Rebekah and her attendants are riding with Abraham’s servant back to Abraham’s family in Hebron. Meanwhile, Isaac who lived separately from his family is coming to meet his prospective new bride in Hebron. The well Lahai-roi is where God provided water for Hagar and Ishmael, after she was forced to leave the House of Abraham years before. If God would provide for Ishmael who was not Abraham’s chosen son, how much more would he do for Isaac who was.
*v.63, 64, and 65, “And Isaac went out to mediate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65. For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.” God’s plan is gradually coming together. From the Covenant between God and Abraham, to Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for Isaac, they fortuitously meet at the Lahai-roi well. As Isaac looked up from his mediation, he saw camels coming in his direction. About the same time Rebekah saw Isaac and lifted her veil which was the custom. When she discovered it was Isaac, she began to accept her new role in God’s plan.
*v. 66 and 67, “And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” Isaac was still mourning the death of his late mother, Sarah, and when they became husband and wife, she comforted him, and he was very much in love with her.