Genesis Chapter 24. The Marriage of Isaac.
Eleazar's mission and his progress.
1. Abraham's blessing and prosperity.
2-9. Eleazar's oath and commission.
10,11. Journey of Eleazar.
12-21. Prayer of Eleazar. Ans. 15-21.
22-25. His conference with Rebekah.
26. His worship of Yahaveh.
27-32. Reception of Eleazar.
33. Entertainment. Declined.
Genesis 24:1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age (about 140 years old): and the LORD (YHVH) had blessed Abraham in all things.
(Abraham was a very rich man, in all things; land, servants, cattle, flocks, silver, and Isaac his son was his most prized blessing, as well as the unlimited promises that God had given to him.)
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house (Eleazar of Damascus), that ruled over all that he had, "Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
("Eleazar" in the Hebrew means "Yah is my help". According to the Midrah and ancient Jewish expositors, a Euphemism for the organs of generation, as most sacred. According to Ibn Ezra and present Indian custom, on the thigh is a token of subjection.)
3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God (Elohim) of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
(Mixed with the Nephilim. Emphatic in contrast with the Canaanites. Hence Abraham's horror of mixing the holy seed with that of the Nephilim = mighty men, abominations.This would have destroyed the promised seed, and God's plan, all the way back to the beginning in the Garden of Eden; and the time when the angels attempted to destroy the seed, as recorded in Genesis six.
This may be hard to take by many, and they may call it racist, however, it was through the Adamic race of Adam, through Abraham, will come the Christ child that is a blessing to all races. God went to a great extent to keep that race pure, so that His Son, the Christ child would be a perfect sacrifice for one and all times. And that is the sole reason that Isaac's wife must come from the same bloodline, or family as Abraham, that God's promise must be kept.
Remember God walked and talked with Abraham many times, and in their conversation must have been a time the plan of God was explained in detail to wise old Abraham, for Abraham knew the importance of Isaac, and Isaac's future generations. There is nothing racial about this, and those who understand the Word of God in depth have no racial problems with this verse.)
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred,
(Gentiles thus expressly excluded from this chapter, if regarded as a type.)
and take a wife unto my son Isaac."
5 And the servant said unto him, "Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?"
6 And Abraham said unto him, "Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
(This is a warning to the servant, a stern warning; under no circumstances do you take my son back to the land that I departed from. This was the land that God had blessed for Abraham, and had Isaac gone back, it would be like Lot going back to Sodom. It would be breaking God's will and command to Abraham.)
7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again."
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.
("Nahor" is Abraham's brother. Mesopotamia = high between the two rivers-Tigris, Euphrates. The country of Haran.
We will see that this was a wise servant, who did not overlook details. Eleazar was the top boss when it came to the managing the affairs of Abraham.)
11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
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.
(Abraham had taught his servants well, and here the servant talks to God, just as you or I would today.)
13 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 thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink;' and she shall say, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also:'
(A sign requested contrary to the custom.)
let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master."
(Eleazar is setting up quite a test for this future wife of Isaac to do to prove her worth. He is setting up the bounds for the test, as to what she will not only do, but what she will say; and it is God that will instill within her the willingness to do it cheerfully. It is going to take a lot of water to, to service ten camels, and the men that came with Eleazar, the servant. Hardly anyone would refuse a man a drink of water, but to take the time and energy to go up and down the steps of the well to water the camels and the men, is truly a test of God.)
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking (cp. Isa. 65:24), that, behold, Rebekah (= captivating) came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
(Isn't it wonderful how we can see God work, and perform His work in people; and it comes out like clockwork. The test was placed in the mind of the servant, and as the test was being planted in Eleazar's mind, God set the mind of His appointed, Rebekah, to be prepared to do that what was expected of her, that it would be known that it was of God. Rebekah, was a very beautiful woman, as was her great aunt, Sarah. The name "Rebekah" in the Hebrew tongue means "fettering, by beauty, or to ensnare with ones beauty".)
16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her:
(Every virgin is a maiden, but every maiden is not a virgin, hence she was pure.)
and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 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.
(This wasn't a passive response to Eleazar's request, but she in haste gave him to drink, like she was concerned for his comfort. She was compassionate for his well being, and how she could be of service to him. To Rebekah, the servant and those around him were strangers at this time, so we see that her qualities really came through, as Abraham's servant is looking for the best for Isaac.)
19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, "I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking."
20 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.
(She ran to the well, and up and down those steps she went, carrying the water to the camels until all ten of them were filled. This shows the kind of woman that she was, in caring for others, and tending to the task with the right spirit. Rebekah was chosen by God for Isaac, to bare Jacob, and through her womb and her children would come nations, and more so, the promised seed, Jesus Christ.
When you do something do you put your whole heart into it, or do you make it appear as a drudge. Do you make people feel like it is a real problem even talking to them, or do you make them feel like it makes your whole day just having the pleasure to talk and be of service to them. This is the key also to a successful business, and bringing customers in; that is giving your best to what ever you attempt to do, no matter how small the task.)
21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
(This "golden earring" was more a forehead piece, that an earring as we would think of it today. So Rebekah was rewarded for her kindness of giving the water, and the effort that she gave.)
23 And said, "Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?"
(Abraham's servant is now concerned as to her family, and if she is of the right lineage, to satisfy his master Abraham.)
24 And she said unto him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor."
25 She said moreover unto him, "We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in."
26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.
(Abraham's servant knew who had arranged these things, and he had witnessed how perfectly everything came together, and he was humbled by it. He bowed his hear and praised God, and thanked Him for the work that God had done in selecting Isaac's wife. He knew that it was God that led him straight to the well, and quickly brought forth Rebekah to meet and pass the test that God had laid upon his mind, and that this maiden is the sure choice hand picked by the Almighty God.)
27 And he said, "Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."
28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things.
(Rebekah is telling her family that we have a man here from my kinsman, he is from my uncle Abraham.)
29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban (= white): and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
(We will see later that this brother of Rebekah's was like a rip off artist. If there wasn't something paid up front, he certainly wouldn't water any camels. There is quite a bit of difference between Rebekah and Laban; Rebekah thought was for the well being of others and the gift given to her was because kindness and work done, however Laban isn't interested until he has seen the gifts that were given, and that were worn by Rebekah.)
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well."
(Character of Laban. Rebekah showed kindness before she saw.)
31 And he said, "Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."
(Now this old boy, Laban, is ready to show how he can put himself out for the stranger also, once he sees there is something in it for himself also. Laban is letting Abraham's servant know all the work he has gone through for them. Do you see the type of person that Laban is? This type of persons are running all over the place today; sure they will help you, however, you know they will call the favors back and multiplied, if you allow them to do a favor for you.
People can tell when you are honest with them, and when you are playing games with them.)
32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.
33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, "I will not eat, until I have told mine errand." And he (Laban) said, "Speak on."
(The servant of Abraham told the family of Rebekah that he must tell them why he was there, before he would sit down to eat, or take any part of their hospitality.
Genesis 24:34-67. Eleazar's mission and marriage of Issac.
34-36. Abraham's blessings and prosperity.
37-41. Eleazar's oath and commission.
42-. Journey of Eleazar.
-42-45-. Prayer of Eleazar. Ans. 45-.
-45-47. His conference with Rebekah.
48. His worship of Yahaveh.
49-53. Reception of Eleazar's message.
54-. Entertainment accepted.
Genesis 24:34 And he said, "I am Abraham's servant.
(This is identifying the kinship of Abraham, to his brother Nahor, the grandfather of Rebekah.)
(note the number of items which went to make up Abraham's wealth. 12 "and's", 3x4 = 12 = abundance of earthly wealth)
the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
37 And my master made me swear, saying, 'Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
(Laban does understand the reason that uncle Abraham wanted a wife for Isaac, for that was a custom of their people.)
38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.'
39 And I said unto my master, 'Peradventure the woman will not follow me.'
40 And he said unto me, 'The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house:
("From my fathers house", meant the houses of his own brothers, for remember, Terah had died almost a hundred years prior, after he had taken his family out of the land of Ur, and up to Haran.)
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.'
42 And I came this day unto the well, and said,
(Eleazar repeats his prayer from memory, but inexactly. Who could have written the actual words, vv.12-21, but the Holy Inspiring Spirit? He records both the prayer itself and Eleaazar's remembrance of it.
Though this is a repeat of what we have just gone over, look again how God had prepared both the minds of those involved in the selection of Isaac's wife, but also He has allowed everything to be timed to fall in place in proper order. This happens today also for God's own. He will prepare the way of each of us to do the task we are to do for Him, and when there is confusion in our minds, there is not on God's. That is when we are to fall back on God's promises, and be willing to take the path He sets before us.)
'O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, "Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;"
44 And she say to me, "Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels:" let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son.'
45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart (= mind), behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, 'Let me drink, I pray thee.'
46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also:' so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
(She completed the tasks that had to be done with speed; the servant is documenting here that he had asked a sign of God, and Rebekah had preformed all the tasks of that test, with a cheerful heart, to identify her as God's chosen for the wife of Isaac. She fulfilled the prayer to God, and without even being asked.)
47 And I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter art thou?' And she said, 'the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him:' and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way (cp. Ps. 107:7) to take my master's brother's daughter (daughter put for grand-daughter) unto his son.
(This servant of Abraham had enough respect for God to thank God when He has allowed things to go right. Do you have enough respect for our Heavenly Father when he clears the path in your life. For we owe Him thanks even for the air we breath, and the life within us. When the blessings come your way, keep on thanking Him for them, and they will continue to come.)
49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
(Both Rebekah's father and her brother knew that what had been said is of God, and they knew the test that had been placed before Rebekah, and that God had placed within her the desire to carry it out. This was a matter of more discussion, for they both were men who knew God.)
51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken."
(Laban regarded Yehovah as arranging all. There are two things going for the union between Isaac and Rebekah, the first is that God had been in control of it from the start; and the second is brother Laban, who after hearing how his sister could marry into the richest family in the area, of course would urge his dad strongly to let Rebekah go. Laban is thinking, what a brother-in-law to have, especially when the going gets tough.
We will see the true colors of brother Laban, when we see how he treated Jacob, when Jacob came to his uncle to marry his daughter Rachel. We haven't seen the last of Laban, but he is the type that you have to keep alert, when dealing with him, and his type.)
52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
(Eleazar again praised the Lord God for the positive answer as he bowed before the Lord.)
53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
(Rebekah received many fine things, like those she would receive also when she wed Isaac; and I'm sure also that Laban was more than satisfied with the gifts he received, as was Rebekah's mother. Remember back when the journey begin, Eleazar was a wise servant, and prepared himself with adequate gifts for this occasion. The joining of the two families, that of Abraham and his brother Nahor has come about in Isaac and Rebekah.)
54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night;
24:-54-67. Eleazar's Mission And Return.
-54-. The return desired.
-54. Request for departure made.
55. Departure hindered.
56. Request for departure renewed.
57-60. Departure expedited.
61-67. The return consummated.
and they rose up in the morning, and he said, "Send me away unto my master."
55 And her brother and her mother said, "Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go."
(Seven days = a week, but ten or a decade = 1/3 of a month, sometimes reckoned as a longer but strictly defined period.
Laban doesn't want to turn lose of a good thing, and we will see this happen again again one generation later.)
56 And he said unto them, "Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master."
57 And they said, "We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth."
(So rather then argue over the matter, they will let it be up to Rebekah.)
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, "Wilt thou go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
(After what Rebekah had seen what had taken place, and heard the servant's statements about the test given her, and also heard of this young man waiting for her hand in marriage; she was willing to go without delay.)
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, "Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them."
(I'm sure that Eleazar had shared the promises that God had given to Abraham, as well as the wealth of blessings, and thus they also wished well of their daughter and sister, as she was going to become part of that promise. When you know and understand what those promises are, then it is easy to see how God has kept His word, and fulfilled all the promises written in His holy Word. They are repeating the promises that God said would come to pass.)
61 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 (= the spring of life and vision); for he dwelt in the south country.
(It is a place where Isaac went to meditate and think upon things. It had been three years that his mother had passed away, and this departure of Sarah, left a great void in his life.)
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide:
(Refers back to historical context, 23:19. The death and burial of Sarah, his mother. What follows this digression, of which Isaac as yet knew nothing, in 24:1-67 shows that Isaac went out, not to "meditate", or to "pray", or "take a walk", or "muster the flocks", but to mourn. This is the meaning of the Heb. sach in Ps. 44:25. Lam. 3:20.)
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.
(Rebekah didn't do anything in a sloppy manner, she knew what she wanted, and she went and got it done. Isaac and Rebekah are of the same age, and both of these young people had a young love that God had placed in their hearts for each other. I can see it now, as she jumps off that old camels in excitement.)
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 vail, and covered herself.
(She wants to do things right from the start, and Rebekah took the vail to cover her head, and present herself the virgin that she was, to her husband to be, Isaac.)
66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
(As Rebekah was preparing to be presented to her husband for the first time, the servant, Eleazar was describing all the details of the journey, as well as the visit that he had with his uncle, and his family.)
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.
(This was a very loving seen, for the closest thing to Isaac's heart was his mother Sarah, and Sarah's tent would now become Rebekah's tent. Rebekah married Isaac, and you can truly say that God had a part in this marriage, that was truly made in heaven. God placed a love in each of their hearts for each other, and Rebekah filled the void that came after Sarah's death.
The wedding ceremony was not as we have it today, but merely making the commitment, and spending the night together, bound your marriage. From this union will come children that will multiply into nations, and it is through them that the whole earth will be blessed.)