Rebecca Typifies a Godly Wife

Abraham Desires a Wife for Isaac

Rebecca at the Well by Antonio Bellucci cir. 1700

Rebecca at the Well by Antonio Bellucci cir. 1700

Abraham was  one hundred forty years old and sensing the need to find a suitable wife for his son Isaac. Many of the individual promises of the Abrahamic Covenant were fulfilled during his lifetime. While he had been blessed with wealth, status and influence he did not possess the full extent of the land given in the covenant. He achieved the first legally obtained parcel though. The full promise of all the land would not be realized until the Messianic Kingdom. Nevertheless Abraham affirms the fact that Isaac (his seed) will have the land. Therefore he must have a wife in order to produce an heir to which the Covenant will pass. He approached an unnamed slave/servant of his household who controlled all of his considerable estate. We know this to be Eliezer of Damascus (Genesis 15: 2). This was the same trusted slave/servant who would have been Abraham’s choice for inheritor if Jehovah God had not given him Isaac. Now Abraham requires him to swear a solemn oath not to take a wife for Isaac from among the Canaanites where they were living. Abraham knew that his nephew Bethuel had recently had a daughter who was called Rebecca. Abraham makes Eliezer swear an oath to Abraham that he will carry out this task. In ancient Mid-Eastern practice Eliezer is told to place his hand under Abraham’s thigh and this would signify the acceptance of the oath. This means that if you are subject to my authority then I will sit on your hand in affirmation of you being under my will.

Eliezer then asks Abraham what he will do if the chosen woman will not follow him back to Canaan. Abraham says that Jehovah God will send His angels in front of him to secure the task. If the woman will not come Eliezer is told not to go back to Mesopotamia to find her a second time.

The twenty-fourth chapter is the longest in the book of Genesis. It is important for several reasons.  First, it is a wonderful model of the appropriate characteristics we should look for in a spouse. Secondly, since the New Testament describes Isaac as a type of Christ we can see those parallels.

The Bible has many references to Isaac as a type. In Amos 7:9,16, Israel is identified as his people. He is used to illustrate the resurrection of the dead and life after death in both Matthew 22:23-33 and Mark 12:18-27. In Galatians 4:28-31 he is used to illustrate the relation of the Old Law to the New. His blessing of his sons is cited as an example of faith in Hebrews 11:20. Read more

Share on Facebook
1 2