Torah Study 30: Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah - Genesis (24: 42-67)

Genesis 24: 42-67 tells how the servant met Eliezer Rebekah. According to the plan of God, Rebekah became the wife of Isaac. Here too we see how God determines the history of mankind. Everything goes according to his large master plan. That Isaac was going to marry Rebekah was conceived by God in advance. That is why Eliezer knew exactly which woman to choose for Isaac. This article is written on the basis of sources from Jewish holy books.

Genesis 24: 42-67

Now I came to the well today and I said: Lord God of my lord Abraham, want to prosper the way I am going; behold, I stand by the well; let it now be so that the virgin who comes out to draw and who, when I say to her, Give me a little water to drink from your pitcher, will say to me: Drink yourself, and also for your I will put camels to be the woman whom the Lord has ordained for my lord's son ... Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, This is a blessing from the Lord; we cannot say anything to you, for evil or for good. Behold, there is Rebekah, take her, and go, that she may be the wife of your lord's son, as the LORD hath said. And Isaac came from the direction of the Lachai-rof pit; he lived in the Zuiderland. Isaac went out by nightfall to ponder in the field. He opened his eyes and saw camels coming. When Rebekah opened her eyes and saw Isaac, he slid off the camel. And she said to the servant, Who is the man there who meets us in the field? And the servant said: That is my lord. Then she took the veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac everything he had done. And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. Thus Isaac found comfort after the death of his mother.

The full text in Hebrew is:

מב וָאָבֹא הַיּוֹם אֶל-הָעָיִן וָאֹמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲדֹנִי אַבְרָהָם אִם-יֶשְׁךָ-נָּא מַצְלִיחַ דַּרְכִּי אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי הֹלֵךְ עָלֶיהָ. מג הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נִצָּב עַל-עֵין הַמָּיִם וְהָיָה הָעַלְמָה הַיֹּצֵאת לִשְׁאֹב וְאָמַרְתִּי אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי-נָא מְעַט-מַיִם מִכַּדֵּךְ. מד וְאָמְרָה אֵלַי גַּם-אַתָּה שְׁתֵה וְגַם לִגְמַלֶּיךָ אֶשְׁאָב הִוא הָאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר-הֹכִיחַ יְהוָה לְבֶן-אֲדֹנִי. מה אֲנִי טֶרֶם אֲכַלֶּה לְדַבֵּר אֶל-לִבִּי וְהִנֵּה רִבְקָה יֹצֵאת וְכַדָּהּ עַל-שִׁכְמָהּ וַתֵּרֶד הָעַיְנָה וַתִּשְׁאָב וָאֹמַר אֵלֶיהָ הַשְׁקִינִי נָא. מו וַתְּמַהֵר וַתּוֹרֶד כַּדָּהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ וַתֹּאמֶר שְׁתֵה וְגַם-גְּמַלֶּיךָ אַשְׁקֶה וָאֵשְׁתְּ וְגַם הַגְּמַלִּים הִשְׁקָתָה. מז וָאֶשְׁאַל אֹתָהּ וָאֹמַר בַּת-מִי אַתְּ וַתֹּאמֶר בַּת-בְּתוּאֵל בֶּן-נָחוֹר אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה-לּוֹ מִלְכָּה וָאָשִׂם הַנֶּזֶם עַל-אַפָּהּ וְהַצְּמִידִים עַל-יָדֶיהָ. מח וָאֶקֹּד וָאֶשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לַיהוָה וָאֲבָרֵךְ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲדֹנִי אַבְרָהָם אֲשֶׁר הִנְחַנִי בְּדֶרֶךְ אֱמֶת לָקַחַת אֶת-בַּת-אֲחִי אֲדֹנִי לִבְנוֹ. מט וְעַתָּה אִם-יֶשְׁכֶם עֹשִׂים חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת אֶת-אֲדֹנִי הַגִּידוּ לִי וְאִם-לֹא הַגִּידוּ לִי וְאֶפְנֶה עַל-יָמִין אוֹ עַל-שְׂמֹאל. נ וַיַּעַן לָבָן וּבְתוּאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵיְהוָה יָצָא הַדָּבָר לֹא נוּכַל דַּבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ רַע אוֹ-טוֹב. נא הִנֵּה-רִבְקָה לְפָנֶיךָ קַח וָלֵךְ וּתְהִי אִשָּׁה לְבֶן-אֲדֹנֶיךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה. נב וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר שָׁמַע עֶבֶד אַבְרָהָם אֶת-דִּבְרֵיהֶם וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ אַרְצָה לַיהוָה. נג וַיּוֹצֵא הָעֶבֶד כְּלֵי-כֶסֶף וּכְלֵי זָהָב וּבְגָדִים וַיִּתֵּן לְרִבְקָה וּמִגְדָּנֹת נָתַן לְאָחִיהָ וּלְאִמָּהּ. נד וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׁתּוּ הוּא וְהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר-עִמּוֹ וַיָּלִינוּ וַיָּקוּמוּ בַבֹּקֶר וַיֹּאמֶר שַׁלְּחֻנִי לַאדֹנִי. נה וַיֹּאמֶר אָחִיהָ וְאִמָּהּ תֵּשֵׁב הַנַּעֲרָ אִתָּנוּ יָמִים אוֹ עָשׂוֹר אַחַר תֵּלֵךְ. נו וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אַל-תְּאַחֲרוּ אֹתִי וַיהוָה הִצְלִיחַ דַּרְכִּי שַׁלְּחוּנִי וְאֵלְכָה לַאדֹנִי. נז וַיֹּאמְרוּ נִקְרָא לַנַּעֲרָ וְנִשְׁאֲלָה אֶת-פִּיהָ. נח וַיִּקְרְאוּ לְרִבְקָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֶיהָ הֲתֵלְכִי עִם-הָאִישׁ הַזֶּה וַתֹּאמֶר אֵלֵךְ. נט וַיְשַׁלְּחוּ אֶת-רִבְקָה אֲחֹתָם וְאֶת-מֵנִקְתָּהּ וְאֶת-עֶבֶד אַבְרָהָם וְאֶת-אֲנָשָׁיו. ס וַיְבָרְכוּ אֶת-רִבְקָה וַיֹּאמְרוּ לָהּ אֲחֹתֵנוּ אַתְּ הֲיִי לְאַלְפֵי רְבָבָה וְיִירַשׁ זַרְעֵךְ אֵת שַׁעַר שֹׂנְאָיו. סא וַתָּקָם רִבְקָה וְנַעֲרֹתֶיהָ וַתִּרְכַּבְנָה עַל-הַגְּמַלִּים וַתֵּלַכְנָה אַחֲרֵי הָאִישׁ וַיִּקַּח הָעֶבֶד אֶת-רִבְקָה וַיֵּלַךְ. סב וְיִצְחָק בָּא מִבּוֹא בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב בְּאֶרֶץ הַנֶּגֶב. סג וַיֵּצֵא יִצְחָק לָשׂוּחַ בַּשָּׂדֶה לִפְנוֹת עָרֶב וַיִּשָּׂא עֵינָיו וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה גְמַלִּים בָּאִים. סד וַתִּשָּׂא רִבְקָה אֶת-עֵינֶיהָ וַתֵּרֶא אֶת-יִצְחָק וַתִּפֹּל מֵעַל הַגָּמָל. סה וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל-הָעֶבֶד מִי-הָאִישׁ הַלָּזֶה הַהֹלֵךְ בַּשָּׂדֶה לִקְרָאתֵנוּ וַיֹּאמֶר הָעֶבֶד הוּא אֲדֹנִי וַתִּקַּח הַצָּעִיף וַתִּתְכָּס. סו וַיְסַפֵּר הָעֶבֶד לְיִצְחָק אֵת כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה. סז וַיְבִאֶהָ יִצְחָק הָאֹהֱלָה שָׂרָה אִמּוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת-רִבְקָה וַתְּהִי-לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ וַיִּנָּחֵם יִצְחָק אַחֲרֵי אִמּוֹ.

Genesis 24:42

Now I came to the source today.

3 hour journey

From Hebron to Charan is a 17-day trip and Eliezer made the trip in three hours.

Genesis 24:55

Then her brother and her mother said.

Bethuel

But where was Bethuel? He wanted to prevent it and so he was hit during the night.

Genesis 24:57

Let us call the girl and ask her for a verdict.

Arranged marriages

We learn from this that we should not marry a woman without her permission.

Genesis 24:63

Isaac went out to pray in the field ... and see! camels are coming.

Rebekah came to Isaac

Sometimes a person has to go to his partner and sometimes his partner comes to him. In this case of Isaac, his wife came to him, for it is written: "And he saw and behold camels coming." Jacob, however, went to his wife because it is written: "And Jacob went to Beer Sheva ..." (Genesis 28:10)

Genesis 24:67

And Isaac brought her to Sarah's tent.

Sara's tent

This verse can also be accentuated: "And Isaac brought her into the tent — his mother Sarah," emphasizing that when she came into the tent she became his mother Sarah. For as long as Sarah lived, a cloud (meaning the Divine presence) hung over her tent; when she died the tent disappeared; but when Rebekah came the cloud returned. Her doors were wide open as long as Sara was alive; openness diminished at her death; but when Rebekah came it returned. As long as Sarah was alive, there was a blessing on her dough and the lamp that usually burned from the evening of the Sabbath to the evening of the next Sabbath; when she died they declined; but when Rebekah came they returned.

Genesis 24:67

And Isaac comforted his mother.

Comfort his wife

This is how it goes in the world: as long as a person's mother lives, he is attracted to her; when she dies he finds comfort with his wife.


Summary - questions

To check for yourself whether you have understood the text correctly, here are a few questions. You will find the answers in the text above.
  1. How long did Eliezer's journey from Hebron to Charan take?
  2. What do we learn from Genesis 24:57?
  3. How did Isaac and Jacob approach their wives? What was the difference?
  4. What is meant by Rebekah becoming Sara?
  5. Where does Isaac find comfort when his mother died?

Video: MTOI Weekly Torah Study - Pinchas Numbers 25:10-30:1 (April 2020).

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