This Way To Genesis

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Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:3c-10

Gen 24:11 . . He made the camels kneel down by the well outside
the city, at evening time, the time when women come out to draw

"evening time" is from an ambiguous word that indicates any time between
high noon and sunset as opposed to morning which can indicate any time
between sunrise and high noon.

Gen 24:12 . . And he said: O Lord, God of my master Abraham,
grant me good fortune this day, and deal graciously with my master

This steward was truly a God-fearing man, and truly faithful to the one who
sent him on this errand. His prayer is not self centered, but centered upon
the best interests of his master's son. Incidentally, this is the very first
prayer recorded in the Bible of any individual clearly requesting Divine

Gen 24:13-14 . . Here I stand by the spring as the daughters of the
townsmen come out to draw water; let the maiden to whom I say
"Please, lower your jar that I may drink" and who replies "Drink,
and I will also water your camels"-- let her be the one whom You
have decreed for Your servant Isaac. Thereby shall I know that You
have dealt graciously with my master.

This man didn't beat around the bush, nor begin reading from a siddur, nor
a missal, nor did he chant by rote, nor blather in tongues. He gets right
down to business and spells out his concerns in plain language. Let me say
something very clearly: If you are the kind of person who has to pray in
tongues because you don't have enough command of your own native
language to express yourself in any other way, then maybe you should go
back to school for a while.

Of great interest is the steward's apparent lack of concern regarding the
prospective bride's looks. Only God truly knew who would be right for Isaac,
and Abraham's steward is not going to select a bride for his master's son like
as if she's flesh on the line the way the sons of God did back in Gen 6:2. No;
she must be hand-picked by God alone because He alone knows what's in a
heart. If the girl that God chooses for Isaac is attractive; well that will be a
bonus, but absolutely not the deciding factor.

Gen 24:15 . . He had scarcely finished speaking, when Rebecca--
born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah the wife of Abraham's brother
Nahor --came out with her jar on her shoulder.

As fortune would have it, the very first girl to arrive is Becky. Although she's
related to Abraham, at this point Abraham's steward doesn't know who she
is yet. In fact he's probably expecting to conduct many tiresome interviews;
testing one girl after another until the right one shows up.

Gen 24:16a . .The maiden was very beautiful,

Some chafe at that passage and refuse to believe Genesis is talking about
Becky's physical assets. However, later on, in Gen 26:6-7, Isaac will attempt
his dad's old trick and say Becky is his sister; in order to save his skin. The
reason Isaac gives for the lie is he believed the men of Gerar would be
tempted to kill him because Becky was attractive. It is highly unlikely pagan
men would take Becky away from Isaac just because she had a beautiful
personality. As a rule, ancient men didn't fight over the nice girls; they
battled for the alluring ones.

Gen 24:16b . . a virgin

Becky is three girls in one: a maiden, a virgin, and a virgin. What the heck
you say? How is she two virgins?

The word for "virgin" in 24:16 is bethuwlah (beth-oo-law') which can
indicate a virgin, a bride; and also a city or state. Technically, bethuwlaw
doesn't necessarily indicate a girl who's never slept with a man. The primary
denotation is chronological, and the word simply indicates a mature young
woman of marriageable age whether she is married or not; e.g. Joel 1:8,
where a bethuwlah laments the husband of her youth.

Gen 24:16c . . whom no man had known.

That kind of wording says that Becky is not only all grown up, but she's a
bethuwlah who still has her virginity. We have before us a gorgeous peach,
not living with a man, neither has ever slept with a man. In other words,
Rebecca was a square and wouldn't fit very well into a typical vulgar
television sit-com like Seinfeld, Friends, or Sex In The City; nor would she
be a likely candidate for a cover picture on Playboy, Maxim, or Cosmo.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:16d-22

Gen 24:16d . . She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and
came up.

The "spring" in this case was a small pool of water fed by an aquifer, which
is different than an artesian well. Artesians gush, while aquifers seep.

Some of the shafts of ancient man-made wells in that part of the world
resemble mini open-pit mines; with steps hewn into the sides to facilitate
access to the water for dipping jars and buckets. Becky's spring was likely
constructed like that.

Gen 24:17a . .The servant ran toward her

The Hebrew word for "ran" is the same word used in Gen 18:2 and 18:7 to
describe Abraham's movement when the three men appeared in his camp.
Abraham was about 99 years old at the time and it's very doubtful he was
able to move his legs all that fast. It's far more likely he just hastened.

In any case, it was nevertheless essential that Abraham's steward not waste
any time because Becky had strong legs and would surely be gone away
home in a blink.

Gen 24:17b . . and said: Please, let me sip a little water from your

It's amazing that a gorgeous young girl like Becky would allow a total
stranger to approach her without protest or without screaming for help. Was
she naïve? Was she foolish?

Well . . maybe in that day, and around her town, you could trust people. But
it would not be wise to do that in some parts of New York or Los Angeles. A
seemingly honest appeal for assistance could very well be a distraction while
an accomplice sneaks up behind you.

Although Becky arrived first, ahead of the other girls, by now there may
have been several others milling around the spring because that was the
time of day for them to be there. In groups, they could all watch out for
each other. Genesis doesn't tell about any of the others though because the
spotlight is totally on Isaac's future bride.

Gen 24:18a . . Drink, my lord: she said,

The Hebrew word for "lord" is 'adown (aw-done') and is suitable for
courteously addressing a male superior; wither actual or assumed; viz:
fathers, seniors, kings, husbands, and/or God.

Gen 24:18b . . and she quickly lowered her jar upon her hand and
let him drink.

The word for "quickly" is from mahar (maw-har') which means: to be liquid
or flow easily; viz: nimble (the opposite of that would be the sluggishness of
molasses in January) and implies to act promptly. I really like the way Becky
responded. When people do things grudgingly, they often stonewall, perform
slowly, and drag their feet just to show you they're annoyed. But Becky
didn't hesitate. She gave water to the man whole-heartedly, sharply, and

Whether she actually let him drink out of her hand is doubtful. Lowering the
jar upon her hand merely indicates it was previously up on her shoulder or
maybe on top of her head. Becky probably just supported it from underneath
with one hand while tilting the top with the other so the contents would pour
out and Abraham's steward could slack his thirst.

Gen 24:19-20 . .When she had let him drink his fill, she said: I will
also draw for your camels, until they finish drinking. Quickly
emptying her jar into the trough, she ran back to the well to draw,
and she drew for all his camels.

Flo-Jo Becky-- flying all over the place like a US Navy SEAL trainee in hell
week. No time to waste if she was going to water all those camels before

The Arabian camel can drink more than twenty gallons of water in one sitting
when it's very thirsty. I hope that man gave them some water earlier
because he had ten camels and Becky could be hauling as much as 200
gallons. If her pitcher held five gallons, the weight would be about 41
pounds of water for each one of the forty trips she would have to make
down and back up out of that spring. Wow that girl was fit! Well, she did it--
and all without any grousing about it.

Gen 24:21 . .The man, meanwhile, stood gazing at her, silently
wondering whether The Lord had made his errand successful or not.

That man must have been totally blown away. The very thing about which
he prayed barely five minutes ago was occurring right before his eyes and all
so brisk and sudden too. This was just too easy and just too unbelievable.
Could this really be of The Lord? He dared not let himself enjoy any success
yet until he knew for sure.

Gen 24:22 . .When the camels had finished drinking, the man took
a gold nose-ring weighing a half-shekel, and two gold bands for her
arms, ten shekels in weight.

The word for "nose-ring" is nexem (neh'-zem) which just means ring, or
jewel. Without a modifier, there is no way of knowing for sure if the ring is
for the nose or the ear. However, in verse 47 up ahead, Abraham's steward
will say he installed the ring in Becky's nose.

The half shekel was a unit of weight and a media of exchange in those days.
It weighed about 6.019 grams which is equal to about 92.87 grains. Typical
.22 caliber lead bullets weigh approximately 40 grains apiece, so it would
take at least two and a third of them to equal the weight of the ring. That's
really not much, but if it's stuck in your nose or hanging on your ear I guess
it would become noticeable after a while.

The combined weight of the two bands was ten shekels, which is twenty
times the weight of the ring; or about 1,857 grains; which is equivalent to
forty-six .22 cal lead bullets.

1,857 grains + 93grains = 1,950 grains; which is equivalent to 4.06 troy
ounces of gold. ( a troy ounce is equal to 480 grains) As of Feb 23, 2017 the
commodity value of gold was roughly 1,329 US dollars per troy ounce. So to
date, Becky's gold, in commodity value, was worth roughly 5,396 US dollars.
(4,387 Euro)



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:23-32

Gen 24:23-25 . . Pray tell me; he said: whose daughter are you? Is
there room in your father's house for us to spend the night? She
replied: I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she
bore to Nahor. And she went on: There is plenty of straw and feed at
home, and also room to spend the night.

That did it. The identity of Becky's family was the final chop that felled the
tree. Abraham's steward had no more doubts about the Lord's providence.
At this point, he put the ring in Becky's nose and the bands on her arms.

Gen 24:26-27 . .The man bowed low in homage to The Lord and
said: Blessed be The Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has
not withheld His steadfast faithfulness from my master. For I have
been guided on my errand by The Lord, to the house of my master's

How utterly astounded Becky must have been that this stranger would give
her all that gold for doing nothing more than watering him and his camels;
and then his prayer to boot.

I'm guessing that at this point, Becky began to suspect that something was
up. There were men with Abraham's steward who were no doubt all intently
observing this scene and gauging Becky's reactions throughout the whole
incident. Looking at them, looking at the man, looking at his camels loaded
down with all manner of stuff, and that there were more saddled camels
than men to ride them; I think Becky began to get nervous because right
then she took off out of there for home like a United passenger with scarcely
seconds to spare to catch their connection from Chicago to Seattle.

Gen 24:28 . .The maiden ran and told all this to her mother's

Becky told the story to her mom's side of the family, which suggests that her
dad Bethuel may have kept a concubine as well as a wife.

Here's a possible scenario of what happened next.

Becky's mom (whose name isn't given) has become anxious-- it's getting
late, and her baby hasn't returned yet with the evening water supply.

Then, WHAM! as sudden and unexpected as a California earthquake: an
excited, out of breath Becky-girl comes crashing through the door with a
shriek and a squeal; dropping her jug on the floor with a thud, sloshing
water over the floor, accompanied by the incomprehensible jabbering of a
flock of magpies-- gasping for air, lungs burning; she spits her tale as arms
flash with gold, and the ring in her nose sparkles like a glimmering salmon
lure every time she turns her head; which is quite often.

At first, in dazed silence, everyone is paralyzed and nobody moves.

Then, BOOM! the whole place erupts and people start scrambling. Chairs get
knocked over, tables bumped out of their places, lamps teeter, and doors
slam with the whump and concussion of incoming mortar rounds. People out
in the courtyard are barking orders to the servants at the tops of their
voices; as everyone bolts off from ground-zero in ten different directions like
panicked North Koreans making emergency preparations to put Kim Jong-Un
up for the night.

Meanwhile, Becky's brother Laban (who just happens to be infected with a
severe case of unbridled avarice) ignites the afterburners and sails out the
door at Mach 2 on his way to fetch Abraham's steward.

Gen 24:29-30a . . Now Rebecca had a brother whose name was
Laban. He ran out to the man at the spring when he saw the nose
ring and the bands on his sister's arms, and when he heard his sister
Rebecca say: Thus the man spoke to me.

There's no record that Laban ever actually met Abraham in person, but
Bethuel surely must have talked about him around the dinner table-- how
the god of Noah had called uncle Abram to leave Mesopotamia and head
south to the frontier. And caravans arriving from Egypt surely passed
through Abraham's region, picking up news and information about the great
sheik's exploits and the fact that Abraham's camp was very large; a
community of at least a thousand people.

Then; Shazaam! Abraham's steward seemingly materializes out of nowhere
- totally unexpected like Forrest Gump's friend Jenny after a long absence -
with samples of Abraham's prosperity. That must have been really exciting:
akin to news from early-day Texas oilfields.

Gen 24:30b-31a . . He went up to the man, who was still standing
beside the camels at the spring. He said: Come in, O blessed of The

The word for "Lord" is actually YHVH and is the very name of deity the
steward used in his prayer.

Laban didn't actually worship Yhvh nor serve Him either. The steward's god
was Yhvh; so for now, Yhvh would be Laban's god too. Becky's brother was
a flexible, clever manipulator. By feigning respect for the steward's god;
Laban no doubt hoped it would work to advantage. Later we're going to
discover that Laban's own personal religion was actually idolatry. He kept a
supply of divine figurines in his home-- little statuettes called teraphim.

Gen 24:31b . . why do you remain outside, when I have made
ready the house and a place for the camels?

Unlike Abraham's home, where Abraham ruled supreme, the daddy in
Becky's home doesn't seem to have much voice or power in it. Bethuel's
son, is the principle spokesman. He and his mom together seemed to run
the place. Some husbands are happy with that kind of an arrangement so
what the hey, if it works for them? It could be too that the daddy's health
was not all that good and so he preferred letting his family manage the



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:32-35

Gen 24:32 . . So the man entered the house, and the camels were
unloaded. The camels were given straw and feed, and water was
brought to bathe his feet and the feet of the men with him.

In those days, when somebody "entered the house" they actually entered a
gateway into a courtyard bordered by living quarters and stables.

Who took care of the animals? Probably servants. Which would indicate that
Bethuel had done pretty well for himself in life. His home was spacious
enough to shelter the servant and his detachment; plus he had enough
provender and bedding for at least ten camels. Hmmmm. Makes you wonder
why Becky was out there fetching water. Why did she have to do it if they
had servants? Well, I don't think she really had to; but Isaac's future bride
was no narcissistic prima donna: she was one of those people who don't
mind pitching in and getting their hands dirty. Privileged or no privileged;
that girl was something.

Gen 24:33a . . But when food was set before him, he said: I will not
eat until I have told my tale.

Always one for business, the man got straight to the point.

Gen 24:33b . . He said: Speak, then.

Who was it said: speak? Well, the nearest antecedent is Laban. You know,
that boy reminds me of Sonny Corleone; the eldest brother in Mario Puzo's
book "The Godfather". Sonny was headstrong, outspoken, and a slave to his
passions; just like ol' Laban.

Gen 24:34 . . I am Abraham's servant: he began.

I think it's commendable that this man, so far from home, didn't introduce
himself by his own name but rather by the name of the one whom he

Gen 24:35 . .The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has
become rich: He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold,
male and female slaves, camels and burros.

I love the way this man gives credit to Yhvh for Abraham's good fortune
rather than to idols, heathen deities, dumb luck, brute force, fortuitous
circumstance, and/or Abraham's business skills.

It was important that the man tell Becky's family about Abraham's religion,
and about his wealth, because in a moment he's going to drop a 2,000 lb
bunker buster that will change their lives forever.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:36-53

Gen 24:36a . . And Sarah, my master's wife, bore my master a son
in her old age

Curiously, he doesn't mention Sarah's passing. But then, the Scriptures don't
record every word that people ever spoke-- just excerpts really. Back in
verse 30, Becky's entire experience at the spring is recounted in a very
simple phrase: "Thus the man spoke to me."

If Becky wasn't listening before, you can just bet your equity line that her
little ears perked up like a NORAD radar station at the mention of Abraham's
son. And not just a son, but a son born in Sarah's old age; which would
mean that Abraham's boy was relatively young, or at least age-appropriate
for her liking-- and maybe available too.

Americans don't take marriage serious enough. It was life or death in those
days. Ancient women didn't have the advantages of modern careers, open
promiscuity, and independence like the women in twenty-first century
America. Family life was all that really mattered to the women of old. It was
their career goal and it was their old age security. Single women were
failures and most likely headed for poverty. And some even felt it was an
evidence of Divine disfavor to become an old maid-- which only served to
aggravate their despair even more. So when those women got married
and/or had a baby; it was a very big cause for celebration.

Gen 24:36b . . and he has assigned to him everything he owns.

It's no doubt obvious by now to everyone in the house where the servant is
going with his narrative. Why else would he tell of the son's inheritance if
not to impress Becky's family in order to secure her for the son's bride?

Gen 24:37-41 . . Now my master made me swear, saying: You shall
not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in
whose land I dwell; but you shall go to my father's house, to my
kindred, and get a wife for my son. And I said to my master: What if
the woman does not follow me?

. . . He replied to me: The Lord, whose ways I have followed, will
send His angel with you and make your errand successful; and you
will get a wife for my son from my kindred, from my father's house.
Thus only shall you be freed from my adjuration: if, when you come
to my kindred, they refuse you--only then shall you be freed from my

The "kindred" who might refuse the servant, includes the potential bride
herself because Abraham said so at Gen 24:8.

In the ancient East, daughters were often given in arranged marriages
without their consent. And normally, if Becky's kin were to say she was
going to marry Isaac, well then she was going to marry Isaac and that was
the end of discussion. Up ahead, we'll see that very fate befall Becky's
nieces: Rachel and Leah.

But Abraham didn't want Isaac's bride to be purchased. No. In this case,
Abraham broke with tradition and mandated the prospective bride herself
cast the deciding vote. So if Becky refuses, the servant can't be blamed for
dereliction of duty; and nobody is going to handcuff Becky and ship her off
to Palestine via UPS ground. Abraham wants her to come down there of her
own volition; and if not, then he'll look elsewhere . . . and no hard feelings
about it.

Gen 24:42-48 . . This portion is pretty much what went on before
except that in this version, the family is told how Becky came to
have the nose ring and the arm bands.

Becky hadn't known till just now that the servant prayed for special
providence prior to her arrival at the spring-- the part concerning drinking
the maiden's water, and her serving the camels. Becky must have been
totally astonished to think that the actual True God led that man, not just to
her doorstep, but right smack dab to her footsteps. Wow!

But she had no say in the negotiations at this point. Proposals were made to
the senior members of the family in those days, not to the girl.

Gen 24:49-51 . . And now, if you mean to treat my master with true
kindness, tell me; and if not, tell me also, that I may turn right or
left. Then Laban and Bethuel answered: The matter was decreed by
Yhvh; we cannot speak to you bad or good. Here is Rebecca before
you; take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master's son, as
the Lord has spoken.

Actually Bethuel himself didn't say anything. Laban spoke in proxy for him in
the same way that the steward was now speaking as Abraham in Isaac's
best interests. Bethuel and Laban may have had a quiet pow-wow off to the
side and then Laban came forward and announced their decision.

At this point, Becky would have normally become legally engaged to marry
Isaac. But Abraham would not permit the marriage to be set in stone until
the girl actually consented for herself. So it's not over yet.

Gen 24:52 . .When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed
low to the ground before the Lord.

Abraham's steward is one of the most pious men in the Bible, and people
like him can be very influential for God. If you've ever been in the presence
of someone like him you know what I'm saying. All the prayers I learned as
a child were rote; just a memorized litany of chant-like mantras. The first
time I overheard someone pray candidly, from the heart, it was very

Gen 24:53 . .The servant brought out items of silver and gold, and
garments, and gave them to Rebecca; and he gave presents to her
brother and her mother.

The gifts were a good-faith token that the servant meant what he said; and
I've no doubt that had Becky ultimately refused, he would not have
demanded them back.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:54-61a

Gen 24:54-55 . .Then he and the men with him ate and drank, and
they spent the night. When they arose next morning, he said: Give
me leave to go to my master. But her brother and her mother said:
Let the maiden remain with us some ten days; then you may go.

Their request was reasonable. After all, this was all so sudden. They didn't
even have a chance to announce the engagement nor organize a bridal
shower. Becky's friends would all want to come over to the house and ooo
and ahhh the jewelry and go nuts over the exotic fashions from Canaan. And
they would all want to give her one last hug and wish blessings on her new
life. What's so wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with that; but
Abraham's wishes have to take priority in this matter. (cf. Luke 9:61-62)

Gen 24:56-57a . . He said to them: Do not delay me, now that The
Lord has made my errand successful. Give me leave that I may go to
my master.

Abraham probably had a pretty good idea how long his servant should be
gone; and if the return was delayed, Abraham might begin to become
anxious and wonder what was going on up there in Haran what with no
internet email, telephones, HAM radio, telegraph, nor even any way to send
a post card back home.

Becky has now agreed to be Isaac's bride. She made that decision the
moment she accepted clothing and jewelry that were offered to her in
Isaac's name. The big question now is: how much longer does she wish to
remain a maiden before becoming a married woman with a home of her

Gen 24:57b-58 . . And they said: Let us call the girl and ask for her
reply. They called Rebecca and said to her: Will you go with this
man? And she said: I will.

Exactly what so strongly motivated Becky to agree to leave home on such
short notice is open to speculation. Some feel it was because, unknown to
the writer of Genesis, she had been praying for The Lord's providence in this
very matter of finding the right man. The events of the previous evening
were enough to convince Becky that this was truly divine providence; and
she wasn't about to procrastinate now and louse up her chances for God
given happiness and security. That man was leaving, and the soon-to-be
Mrs. Isaac ben Abraham was not going to miss her ride; uh-uh, no way!

Gen 24:59a . . So they sent off their sister Rebecca

The word for "sister" is from 'achowth (aw-khoth') and isn't limited to
siblings. It applies to all manner of female kin-- sisters, daughters, aunts,
nieces; even to a lover, as in Song 4:9-12.

You can imagine the flurry that went on in that house getting Becky's bags
packed on such short notice. You can bet there was no joy around there that
morning. An air of sadness marked her departure. Everyone was no doubt
well aware they would likely never see Becky ever again. In those days,
when somebody moved 500 miles away, they might just as well have gone
to Pluto.

Gen 24:59b . . and her nurse along with Abraham's servant and his

The word for "nurse" is from yanaq (yaw-nak') and implies wet nursing. This
may be an indication that, for reasons unspecified, Rebecca's mom was
unable to breast feed her children. In Mesopotamia, wet nurses frequently
had the additional duties of bringing up the child and acting as their
guardian; viz: a nanny. The nurse (whose name is Deborah; Gen 35:8) was
probably either Becky's first choice as personal assistant, or Deborah herself
just couldn't part with her little Becky and volunteered to go along as a
chaperon. It's not unusual for mentors, like Helen Keller's tutor Anne
Sullivan, to become permanently bonded and dedicated to their charges.

Gen 24:60 . . And they blessed Rebecca and said to her: O sister!
May you grow into thousands of myriads; may your offspring seize
the gates of their foes.

That prophetic bon voyage was undoubtedly an acknowledgement of the
promises God made to Abraham following the Akedah (Gen 22:15-18).
Abraham's steward spent the night in Becky's home; and while eating dinner
and chatting, no doubt shared many wonderful events from Abraham's and
Isaac's lives to which Becky's family must have listened just as spellbound
as all of us who study Genesis in our own day and age.

The Akedah surely must have been to them almost beyond belief that God
would ask Abraham to sacrifice the very son in whom all the promises would
be fulfilled. No wonder Becky was so ready to go. She just had to get on
down there and see this man in whom God had taken such a particular

Gen 24:61a . .Then Rebecca and her maids arose, mounted the
camels, and followed the man.

The word for "maids" is from na'arah (nah-ar-aw') and means a young,
underage girl. A Bible maid is just a lass, not really a grown up adult
woman. She could be a pre teen or a late teen and any age in between. It
wasn't unusual for a woman from a family of means to have a retinue of
young girls in attendance. Becky's maids possibly were the children of her
home's adult servants.

Then too, young girls were often indentured into maid service. Sometimes it
was because of parental greed, but often it was because the family was in
poverty and desperate. In the last decade alone, many families in
Afghanistan were forced to sell their children just to survive the Taliban ruin
of their country. Sometimes young girls were fortunes of war in Becky's day
and could be bought and sold at market; for example the Jewish damsel in
2Kgs 5:1-3 who helped Naaman get his leprosy cured.



Senior Member
Dec 17, 2017
I am enjoying your thread WebersHome. I just thought I would make a post to keep it current enough to find. Keep up the good work.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:61b-64

Gen 24:61b . . So the servant took Rebecca and went his way.

The 500 mile trip to Isaac's camp, which must have taken at least two
weeks, was a great opportunity for Rebecca to become familiar with the
manager of her spouse's goods. People bond well under hardship and under
close knit circumstances. In the years to come, the friendship and trust that
developed en route with Rebecca and the man, would really come in handy
after she took over Isaac's home. We can easily guess what the primary
topic of conversation was on the way back-- Mr. Isaac.

"Oh, do tell me more about him. What's his favorite food? His favorite color?
When's his birthday? Has he been a playboy, dating lots of girls? Is he
mellow or is he thin-skinned and easily angered? What does he do in his
spare time? How tall is he? Does he have many pet peeves? What color is
his hair and eyes? How old is he? Does he have a sense of humor? Would he
get upset if I burned the toast? Is he affable and approachable? Is he
reasonable? Is he despotic? Is he generous with his money, or a miserly
tight wad? Do you really think he will like me?"

All those things, and lots, lots more, are very important to most brides and I
have no doubt that Rebecca pried a great many things out of Abraham's
steward concerning her Isaac. By the time they arrived, all of Becky's
anxieties and fears about her future husband were resolved, and she was in
love with that man before even meeting him for the very first time.

You know, Becky only had the steward's word that there really was an Isaac.
She herself had never seen him, her family had never seen him, in fact no
one in her whole town had ever seen him. What if the entire story were a big
hoax and the man was not telling the truth. Perhaps he was a smooth con
man who actually had in mind to sell Becky into slavery down in Egypt.

The farther and farther she got from home, the more danger Becky was in.
The land was strange and hostile, Becky had no friends and no one to turn
to if she might try an escape. She was in fact trusting her very life to an
almost complete stranger. (cf. Php 1:6)

But that man's speech and his bearing were powerfully persuasive. He was
able to convince Becky that he was genuinely Abraham's steward and that
there really was an Isaac waiting for her at trail's end. Becky left home with
one stranger to marry yet another stranger. But by the time they arrived,
Abraham's trusty steward had proved himself to Becky that her escorts were
all trustworthy men and only meant good by her.

Gen 24:62 . . Isaac had just come back from the vicinity of Beer
lahai-roi, for he was settled in the region of the Negeb.

Beer-lahai-roi was the source of water where Hagar met God for the very
first time; and her experience caused the well to be named the way it was in
Gen 16:13-14.

Hagar's water source became not only somewhat of a holy monument, but
also an important watering hole for people with flocks and herds down there
in the Negev; thanks to a runaway slave girl.

Gen 24:63a . . And Isaac went out walking in the field toward

The precise location of this field is uncertain. Since Isaac's ranch was in the
Negev, near Hagar's well, that might be where this next scene occurred.

There lacks a consensus opinion among Jewish scholars as to the precise
meaning of the Hebrew word laasuwach, which is translated "walking" in
some Bibles; and "meditate" in others. The JPS rendering, "walking" is based
upon the Arabic saha. Tradition has it that Isaac was out in the field for
reflection and prayer. What might he be praying about?

Well, most likely about his impending marriage to a mail-order bride. If
Rebecca was at all nervous, you can bet Isaac was just as nervous himself.
These two were going to be joined at the hip for the rest of their lives and
they had yet to even meet.

Gen 24:63b-64a . . and, looking up, he saw camels approaching.
Raising her eyes, Rebecca saw Isaac.

I've heard the wording suggests a simultaneous meeting of the eyes. Isaac
saw Rebecca just when she saw him. Rebecca couldn't be positive at that
moment the man she saw was her future husband; but one thing Isaac
knew: his dad's servant didn't leave home with female passengers. One of
those women out there on the camels had to be meant for him.

Gen 24:64b . . She alighted from the camel

Suspecting that the man up ahead just might be her future husband,
Rebecca took no chances of getting off on the wrong foot with impropriety.
She could always get back up on the camel if it turned out the man wasn't
her Isaac; but just in case . . .



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 24:65a-67

Gen 24:65a . . and said to the servant: Who is that man walking in
the field toward us? And the servant said: That is my master.

Well; the man approaching was much too young to be Abraham, and there
was only one other person on the whole planet that Abraham's servant
would ever call his master-- the heir apparent.

Gen 24:65b . . So she took her veil and covered herself.

Becky's veil was a full body wrap, similar to a burqa; not just a stylish hijab
or a cute little semi-transparent scarf in front of her face. In Akkadian, the
bride on her wedding day was called kallatu kutumtu, (the veiled bride).

Also, in Akkadian; she was called pussumtu, (the veiled one), which means
the same as kallatu, (bride). In that day, Rebecca's veil had both symbolic
and socio-legal significance.

It was an unmistakable signal to Isaac that among all those ladies riding
along with his dad's servant that day; the burqa-ette was to be his wife.

This meeting is interesting. We spent quite a bit of time viewing the
character, the background, and the beauty of a really outstanding young
woman in the beginning of this chapter. But it's all under wraps now in the
presence of the groom. Becky is doing absolutely nothing to attract Isaac at
this point. In fact, Isaac can't even see past the veil to what a gorgeous
package of womanhood that Becky really is.

The anonymous steward who went north to speak with Becky on Isaac's
behalf, will now speak with Isaac on Becky's behalf. Thus, Abraham's
steward will be an ambassador for both Isaac and Rebecca; and when he's
done, Becky will know all she needs to know at this point about Isaac, and
Isaac will know all he needs to know at this point about Rebecca; even
before they meet each other for the very first time.

Gen 24:66 . .The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.

The steward's responsibility was to canvas Abraham's kin for a bridal
candidate, engage the girl to marry Isaac, gain her consent to leave home,
and then transport her safely back to Palestine. Next hurdle: Isaac's
acceptance of the candidate. The marriage still isn't set in concrete yet until
Isaac meets Becky and voluntarily accepts her to be his wife.

But this phase of the romance is out of the steward's jurisdiction. It's not his
responsibility to make the couple like each other. He only had to bring them
together. (cf. John 6:44)

Gen 24:67a . . Isaac then brought her into the tent of his mother

That tent was once Abraham's home. His choice to donate it for Becky's
temporary quarters was very thoughtful, and must have meant a lot to her;
since at this point, Becky was far from home, family, and friends; and her
future was in doubt. Meeting one's future in-laws can prove a bit scary for
some. To be given Sarah's tent was a very good indication that Isaac's dad
was pleased, and that the girl was okay by him.

She, and her nurse, and her maidens would live in the donated domicile
until such a time as the marriage was performed, or (if Isaac didn't like her)
until she was sent back home. There's more to marriage than just business;
after all, marriage is a union of two people-- and people have feelings. It's
one thing to do your duty, but it's quite another to feel loved-- and marriage
really ought to have some love in it after all.

Gen 24:67b . . and he took Rebecca as his wife.

The literal of that verse is: he took Rebecca and she became his wife. The
meaning of "he took" Rebecca, is that Isaac accepted her. The meaning of
"she became his wife" is that Rebecca accepted Isaac. So that the marriage
was between two people who truly accepted each other; not between two
people who were stuck with each other. It turned out that those two went
together like a pair of old shoes: quite literally a match made in heaven.

Gen 24:67c . . Isaac loved her,

The word for "love" is from 'ahab (aw-hab') and means: to have affection
for. This instance is only the second time in the first twenty-four chapters of
Genesis where that word appears. The other was in chapter 22, just prior to
the Akedah, when God asked Abraham to "Take your son, your favored one,
Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a
burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you."

So Isaac genuinely loved Rebecca as a person just as much as Abraham had
loved Isaac as a son. Their union wasn't just another arranged marriage like
so many of the others in that day; but was truly a romance.

Gen 24:67d . . and thus found comfort after his mother's death.

All too often, men experience very little happiness with their mothers during
boyhood. A callous mom can easily become a boy's worst influence, and
permanently warp his attitude towards women for the remainder of his life;
even leading to male frigidity.

But Isaac's mom wasn't like that at all. Sarah was not only a good mother to
Isaac, but she was also a really good buddy too. In spite of her domineering
personality, Sarah and Isaac had somehow managed to become good
friends; and her loss left a big hole in his heart. It would take a very special
girl to repair that hole. Well, Rebecca was just the one to do it. She not only
replaced Sarah in the matriarchy, but she also replaced Sarah as the female
buddy in Isaac's life.

NOTE: Wasn't that a good story? Joseph's story is pretty good too. You
know: Genesis is no country for a drudge. Only people with a heart can truly
appreciate this book. For anybody else; it's just academic.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:1-6

Gen 25:1 . . Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.

According to 1Chrn 1:32, Ms. Keturah wasn't really a full-fledged wife as
Sarah had been, but was a wife of a different color altogether. She was a
piylegesh (pee-leh'-ghesh) which means: a mistress or a paramour; viz: a
concubine. So that Gen 25:1 really should be translated: "Abraham took
another woman"

It was considered okay in those days for men to sire children by concubines
and nobody seemed to think much of it. But at Abraham's age!? Wow!
Earlier, at Gen 17:17, Abraham considered himself much to old to father a
child; and in truth, he was.

"By faith Abraham, even though he was past age-- and Sarah herself was
barren --was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful
who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as
dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as
countless as the sand on the seashore." (Heb 11:11-12)

Not only was Sarah miraculously made fertile in her old age, but so was her
husband Abraham. In fact his libido, and his fertility, were so well repaired
that the old boy couldn't leave the ladies alone even after he was more than
140 years old! So the comment at Gen 24:1 wasn't meant to convey the
idea that Abraham lacked vigor.

Gen 25:2-4 . . She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian,
Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. The
descendants of Dedan were the Asshurim, the Letushim, and the
Leummim. The descendants of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Enoch,
Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.

According to a web site called Mr. Showbiz, Tony Randall, the Odd Couple
sitcom star, became a first-time father at age seventy-seven in May of 1997
when his wife, then twenty-seven-year-old Heather Harlan, gave birth to
their daughter Julia. A second baby came in June 98. Mr. Randall would have
been ninety-eight when the first one graduated from college in 2019 had he

Others have brought children into the world during their later years too--
e.g. Clint Eastwood, Charlie Chaplin, and Cary Grant. Anthony Quinn had his
thirteenth child at the age of eighty-one. Some men can father children late
in life; although it's very risky. The chances for schizophrenia and other birth
defects increase as men get older.

Keturah's age is uncertain. But she was obviously young enough to have
children; and in that day, women retained their strength pretty far up into
life. However, by the time Sarah was ninety, she was past menopause.

Where did Abraham find Keturah? Was she an Egyptian like Hagar? Was she
maybe a local Canaanite; possibly from Ephron's clan, the guy who sold
Abraham a plot for Sarah's cemetery? No. If Abraham wouldn't let Isaac
marry a women of Canaan, then he sure wasn't going to sleep with one
himself. Was she from Haran; Rebecca's home town? Nobody really knows
and it doesn't even matter anyway. None of Keturah's children would share
in the ownership of Eretz Israel-- only Isaac's progeny. It all went to him by
Divine fiat.

Gen 25:5 . . Abraham willed all that he owned to Isaac;

Abraham had already willed all that he owned to Isaac even before any of
Keturah's boys were born. The servant told Becky's family so back in chapter
24. This verse is just to make sure nobody forgets that Isaac is the only son
that really matters.

Gen 25:6a . . but to Abraham's sons by concubines Abraham gave
gifts while he was still living,

When Ishmael was cut loose back in chapter 21, there was no mention of
gifts. In fact, they left home with hardly anything at all. Apparently, later on,
Ishmael returned to visit his dad on occasion and Abraham eventually
compensated him for the loss of his firstborn rights. Abraham's generosity
towards his sons was a right thing to do.

"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his
immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel."
(1Tim 5:8)

Rather than stipulate his sons' inheritances in a written will, Abraham took
care of them all while he was still alive; probably to make sure there was no
squabbling over his estate in probate after he was dead and thereby possibly
jeopardizing Isaac's future.

Gen 25:6b . . and he sent them away from his son Isaac eastward,
to the land of the East.

The "land of the East" is a general name for Arabia, which stretched away to
the southeast and east of the point where Abraham resided in the south of
Palestine. The northern part of Arabia, which lay due east of Palestine, was
formerly more fertile and populous than now.

Sending someone away is not really the same as driving them off; but more
like a send-off; viz: a bon voyage (e.g. Gen 24:59). It's far more likely
Abraham helped them all get settled outside of Canaan rather than leave
them to the whims of fate. Once settled into their own territories, the other
boys would be less inclined to muscle in on Isaac's turf or freeload off him in
the event they fell onto hard times.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:7-8b

Gen 25:7 . .This was the total span of Abraham's life: one hundred
and seventy-five years.

Abraham resided in Canaan for 100 years; and outlived Sarah by 48. That's
not the way it usually happens here in modern America. Wives typically
outlive their husbands; and if you don't think that's true, just visit any one
of a number of retirement communities. Men over 80 who can still walk on
their own, and drive a car, are like the proverbial fox in a henhouse. As of
2009, the male/female ratio for people aged 85 and older was twice as many
women as men.

Gen 25:8a . . And Abraham breathed his last,

Abraham lived to see Jacob's and Esau's fifteenth birthday. The twins were
born when Isaac was sixty. And Abraham died when Isaac was seventy-five.
So the boys got to know their grandpa pretty good before the old master
passed on.

Abraham lived a very brief life in comparison to his forebears. From Noah's
point of view, who lived to 950, Abraham practically died as a child. Out
ahead in the new world, a man of a hundred years old will be considered just
a kid. (Isa 65;19-20)

The human life span has steadily declined since Noah's day, and now the
average American, even with all the food, and the most advanced medical
care in the world, only lives on average about 77 years or so.

Gen 25:8b . . dying at a good age, old and contented;

Too many people die at a bad age; viz: too soon-- for example all the teens
who died in the Viet Nam war, and the ones currently being killed in

The word for "contented" is from sabea' saw-bay'-ah) which means:
satiated. In other words: Abraham didn't die unfulfilled; he lived a very
satisfying life: he touched all the bases.

Thoreau once said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Well; that doesn't fit Abraham. He never wished his life had turned out

"Piety with contentment is great gain." (1Tim 6:9)



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:8c-10

Gen 25:8c . . and he was gathered to his kin.

Burials always follow the phrase "gathered to his kin". So the gathering
happens as soon as the person dies; and prior to their funeral. The
difference between gathering and burial is quite distinct in Jacob's case; who
was interred no less than forty days after his passing, yet was gathered to
his kin immediately upon expiring. (Gen 49:33-50:3)

It would seem, therefore, that the employment of this idiom-- like the
corresponding figure of speech: to lie down with one's fathers --refers to an
ancient belief that despite Man's mortality, he possesses a rather durable
component that survives beyond the death of his body. In other words:
assassins may terminate the life of a human body; but they cannot
terminate the life of a human soul. Not that it's impossible; it's just that only
man's maker has the power to pull that off.

"Don't be afraid of them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:
but rather be afraid of Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in
hell." (Matt 10:28)

Gen 25:9a . . His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him

Isaac and Ishmael were by far the oldest of all the boys. At the time, they
lived reasonably close to each other and I would not be surprised if Ishmael
came up to visit his dad quite often and was fully aware of the old boy's
health. Abraham was 86 years old when his first son was born; so Ishmael
would be going on 90 when his dad died. (cf. Gen 16:16, Gen 25:7)

Like Isaac, Ishmael was an only child; that is until Isaac came along. But at
first, he had his dad all to himself for at least fifteen years.

Both of these guys were older and wiser men by this time. I'm sure Ishmael
understood that the loss of his birthright due to his mother's emancipation
wasn't Isaac's fault. And Isaac harbors no ill will towards his half-brother for
anything he may have done as a kid. After all, grown-ups are no longer the
kids they grew from. The kids they were are long gone. It's not a good thing
to hold grudges against people for the things they did when they were
underage and didn't know any better.

Gen 25:9b-10 . . in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of
Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, the field that Abraham had bought from the
Hittites; there Abraham was buried, and Sarah his wife.

No doubt when Abraham negotiated for this property, he anticipated his own
eventual interment. Well, this cave is big enough to become a family crypt.
Later, more of his progeny would follow him there.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:11-18

Gen 25:11a . . After the death of Abraham, God blessed his son

With the death of Abraham, the covenant torch is passed on to the next
patriarch. The promises now shift into Isaac's possession and it becomes his
responsibility to take over as the family priest too.

Gen 25:11b . . And Isaac settled near Beer-lahai-roi.

Everyone else from Abraham's camp settled there too now that Isaac is the
new godfather. All of Abraham's servants, all his livestock, all the camels, all
everything; the whole shebang is Isaac's and follows Isaac wherever Isaac
tells them to go. You know, it's very difficult to forget Hagar while the Bible
continues to mention a very sacred spot dear to her own heart. But this is
the very last mention of Beer-lahai-roi. It's as if Abraham's era is closing and
now we move forward into Isaac's.

Gen 25:12 . .This is the line of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom
Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's slave, bore to Abraham.

Never once is Hagar listed as one of Abraham's wives. She was Sarah's
slave; and nothing more. Genesis gives Ishmael's line only passing mention
because the real focus lies along the covenant line. So we won't follow
Ishmael's exploits after listing his progeny.

Gen 25:13-16 . .These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by
their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the first-born of
Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad,
Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedmah. These are the sons of Ishmael
and these are their names by their villages and by their
encampments: twelve chieftains of as many tribes.

Twelve tribes; just as God had foretold in Gen 17:20. These twelve
"encampments" were little more than nomadic tent communities as
compared to the more permanent fortified towns and hamlets that were
common in the Canaan of Isaac's day.

Gen 25:17 . .These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one
hundred and thirty-seven years; then he breathed his last and died,
and was gathered to his kin.

When Ishmael was "gathered to his kin" it wasn't to Abraham's clan but to
his own: the Ishmael line. However, Abraham remained Ishmael's biological
father whether Ishmael was legally his son or not. You can never change
who sired you. Your genetic origin is impossible to reverse or alter; though it
can be legally dissolved.

Gen 25:18 . .They dwelt from Havilah, by Shur, which is close to
Egypt, all the way to Asshur; they camped alongside all their

The "they" in this verse are the kin of verse 17 unto whom Ishmael was

Even though Ishmael's line isn't actually legal kin to Abraham's progeny, the
line is still related to the other boys by blood and therefore genetic kinsman.

The expression "all the way to Asshur" is probably better rendered "as you
go to Asshur" or "on the way to Asshur"-- ancient Assyria, now modern day
Iraq. The Ishmaelites lived along the main caravan route leading from Egypt
to Assyria; which would be very advantageous if you were into international
trading, which they were (cf. Gen 37:25-28).

The precise locations of the Havilah and Shur of verse 18 are unknown;
although it's fairly safe to assume that Havilah (sandy), and Shur delineated
a region stretching from portions of modern day Jordan and Saudi Arabia,
past Elat, across the northern Sinai Peninsula, and on over to Suez. In the
time of Saul, Ishmael's territory was controlled by a people called Amalekites
(1Sam 15:7).



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:19-20

Gen 25:19 . .This is the story of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham
begot Isaac.

The word for "son" is ben (bane) and is used like American's use a middle
name. Isaac's whole name is: Isaac ben Abraham. It's a common idiom in
the Old Testament, and found in the New Testament too.

"They said: Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we
know? How can he now say? "I came down from heaven" (John 6:42)

The Lord's Greek name is lesous (ee-ay-souce') which is equivalent to the
Hebrew name Yehowshuwa' (yeh-ho-shoo'-ah) which means: Joshua.

His dad's name in Greek is loseph (ee-o-safe') which is equivalent to the
Hebrew name Yowceph (yo-safe') which means Joseph. So "Jesus, the son of
Joseph" in hybridized English and Hebrew: is Joshua ben Joseph.

NOTE: The English spelling of Hebrew words often disagree with the
spellings used by Orthodox Jews because there is no set standard for
rendering Hebrew words in English form as yet so it's not uncommon for
discrepancies to occur.

Gen 25:20a . . Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife

Forty years-old might seem a bit late in life to get married for the first time,
but in those days, a forty year-old man was still quite young.

The life expectancy of the average US male born in 2007 is 75.4 years. Isaac
lived to 180; so at his marriage to Rebecca, he was about the equivalent of
a modern 17 year-old. Jacob himself didn't marry Leah and Rachel and until
he was over 80-- attesting to the robust health and longevity that men
enjoyed in those days.

Gen 25:20b . . daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram,
sister of Laban the Aramean.

The identity of Rebecca's mom remains a total mystery. By the time of
Moses, uncle Laban was a large figure in Jewish history and you can safely
bet the people of Israel were very familiar with that old rascal's ways. He
mistreated not only Jacob, but also Leah and Rachel too, so he's not too
popular with the people of Israel even today; seeing as how he was unkind
and dishonest with their sacred ancestors and all.

The holiday of Purim commemorates an Agagite named Haman, who tried to
exterminate the Jews in Esther's day. Maybe there should be a memorial for
Laban too. Although he wasn't a villain on the scale of Haman, he
nevertheless made ol' Jacob's life pretty miserable there for a while.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:21

Gen 25:21a . . Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife,
because she was barren;

Oh no. Not again! It seems like all the really good-looking girls among
Terah's female grandchildren had some sort of infertility condition.

Supposing Isaac never prayed for Rebecca. Would she have children?
Absolutely! God gave his word to Abraham in Gen 17:19 that Isaac would
become a very numerous people. So Rebecca, Isaac's divinely selected wife,
was going to be a mommy; it was only a matter of time. But about one thing
I think we can be sure of: Isaac didn't want to wait until Rebecca was ninety
years old like his mom before having their first baby.

This is now the second time that the people of Israel were perpetuated by a
miracle-- proving they are no ordinary people, but a people who wouldn't
exist at all if God hadn't willed them into existence and into perpetuity.

Gen 25:21b . . and the Lord responded to his plea, and his wife
Rebecca conceived.

The twins Jacob and Esau were born when Isaac was 60 years old. So Isaac
and Rebecca had been trying to have children for about 19 years. There is
no record that Abraham ever prayed concerning Sarah's infertility. He dealt
with the problem in another way.

Isaac, rather than follow the example of papa Abraham and sleep with one
of the maids; did the wise thing by electing to petition God to cure his wife
so they could have their own baby. There is of course no guarantee prayer
will work for everyone, but it was just the ticket for them.

Youngsters can learn from their parents mistakes. If there was one thing you
can bet Isaac did not want in his family, it was another Ishmael. Not that
Ishmael was a bad seed, but his place in Abraham's home was a catalyst in
generating much friction and rivalry, and also caused an inheritance problem
for Isaac; not to mention Abraham's eventual heartbreak of finally
emancipating Hagar and thus sending her and Ishmael off to fend for



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:22

Gen 25:22a . . But the children struggled in her womb,

The word for "struggled" is from ratsats (raw-tsats') which means: to crack
in pieces, literally or figuratively

Haw-Haw-Haw-Haw-Haw. Those little tiny babies were trying to bust each
other's skulls in there! The word ratsats is used just like that in a couple of
places. (e.g. Jgs 9:53, Ps 74:12-13)

But I think it is more likely that each wanted to dominate the other. A
common use of the word ratsats is oppression. (e.g. Deut 28:33-34, Jgs

Gen 25:22b . . and she said: If so, why do I exist?

That rendering is a bit murky. I think it would be better to paraphrase it: "If
this is the case; then what am I doing here?"

Although Genesis revealed in verse 22a that Rebecca was carrying more
than one child, and that the children were struggling for domination in the
womb, the author wrote from inspiration and hind sight while Rebecca
herself had no way of knowing what was going on at the time. It must have
appeared to her that she was having a difficult pregnancy and in grave
danger of dying in child birth.

That of course would make no sense at all to Rebecca because she was
chosen for Isaac's wife by Divine providence; and her pregnancy was the
result of Isaac's intercession. What was the point of going to all that trouble
if she was only going to die right along with their first baby? In her mind,
she certainly would have been much better off to have remained up north
with her family than leave home with the servant to marry Isaac and lose
her life bearing his child.

Gen 25:22c . . She went to inquire of the Lord,

Went where? Well . . Isaac had settled near Beer-lahai-roi, the very water
source where Hagar met with God for her very first time. This record is the
very first time Rebecca met with God too, and she very likely met with God
right at the same place Hagar did.

Hagar gave that spring of water its name Beer-lahai-roi in honor of her new
best friend-- 'Ataah 'Eel R'iy --the god who was aware of her problems, and
who was also interested in helping her deal with them.

In the movie "Titanic" after looking at drawings a passenger made of some
unusual women in Paris, and listening to him relate intimate details about
them, the heroine turned and said: "You have a gift Jack. You see people."

Well, God sees people too. Beer-lahai-roi was Hagar's secret garden, and I
sometimes wonder if Isaac didn't settle there because of that. I believe that
is where Rebecca went to talk with God about her boys. And why not? That
spring had good karma. And if God was sympathetic with Hagar there, then
why wouldn't He be sympathetic with Rebecca there too? 'Ataah 'Eel R'iy is
the very best kind of god to have-- one who sees people.

But suppose Rebecca had instead opted to pray from inside her tent? Would
God have heard her from there? Yes, He would have heard (cf. Ps 139:7-12,
Matt 6:6). It isn't necessary to resort to a special sanctuary, or a shrine, or
take your case to a professional priesthood for mediation. People often pray
from very unusual places; and get good results. (e.g. Jonah 2:1-3)

If Jonah could pray and be heard from inside a smelly ol' fish's tummy, and
if God can be worshipped elsewhere than a church (John 4:21-24) then I
guess it should be okay if Rebecca prayed from inside her tent-- and it
should be okay if somebody prayed from their car, or bedroom, or in the
mountains on a hike, or even in the restroom at work.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:23a

Gen 25:23a . . and the Lord answered her: Two nations are in your
womb, two separate peoples shall issue from your body;

The Hebrew word for "nations" is from gowy (go'-ee); or the short version
goy (go'-ee) which means: (in the sense of massing) a foreign nation;
hence, Gentiles; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.

The words gowy and goy, are commonly used by modern Jews in referring to
people who aren't Jewish. But the words goyim and goy do not especially
mean non-Jews. Those words apply to all manner of people masses; both
Jew and Gentile. There are other Bible examples where those words
unmistakably apply to not only non Jews, but Jews too. For example:

"I will make of you a great nation" (Gen 12:2).

That promise was made to Abraham regarding his progeny. The word for
"nation" in that verse (which in this case clearly refers to the people of
Israel) is gowy, the same word describing both Jacob and Esau.

Another example is Gen 18:17-18 where both Hebrews and Gentiles are
referred to as goyyim:

"Now the Lord had said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,
since Abraham is to become a great and populous nation and all the nations
of the earth are to bless themselves by him?"

In another instance; God gave His word that, while the universe exists, the
people of Israel would never cease to be goy.

"Thus said the Lord, Who established the sun for light by day, the laws of
moon and stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea into roaring waves,
Whose name is Lord of Hosts: If these laws should ever be annulled by Me--
declares the Lord-- only then would the offspring of Israel cease to be a
nation before Me for all time." (Jer 31:35-36)

So the people of Israel are still goy even to this very day.

Gen 25:23a is an interesting development. God chose Sarah to be the one
through whom Abraham's covenant would perpetuate-- likewise He chose
Rebecca for the same purpose. It was through her that the covenant would
perpetuate too. But Rebecca is somehow different. For reasons of His own,
God waited for her to come along before getting serious about multiplying
Yhvh's people.



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:23b-26b

Gen 25:23b . . One people shall be mightier than the other, and the
older shall serve the younger.

Esau will come out first; therefore, chronologically, he's the eldest son.
However, the right of primogeniture was taken from him and given to Jacob.
That was God's sovereign prerogative as the paterfamilias of Yhvh's people.

Biblically, the firstborn son's birthright isn't inalienable; rather quite
transferable to a younger sibling e.g. Rueben and Joseph (1Chrn 5:1) and
Mannasah and Ephraim. (Gen 48:13-19)

"Rebecca's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet,
before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad-- in order that
God's purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls -
she was told: "The older will serve the younger." (Rom 9:7-12)

There was certainly nothing in Jacob's infant character that earned him the
firstborn position, and it was just as assuredly not his eventual craftiness
that got it for him either. It was simply Divine prerogative. In some things,
God is sovereign and there is not one single thing h.sapiens can do about it.

Gen 25:24 . .When her time to give birth was at hand, there were
twins in her womb.

Multiple births in human beings arise either from the simultaneous
impregnation of more than one ovum or from the impregnation of a single
ovum that divides into two or more parts, each of which develops into a
distinct embryo. Plural offspring developing from a single egg are known as
"identical"-- they are always of the same gender, resemble one another very
closely, and have similar fingerprints and blood types.

Offspring produced from separate ova are "fraternal"-- not necessarily of the
same gender; they have the usual family resemblance of brothers and

Precisely of which type Jacob and Esau were, is difficult to tell. However,
they are definitely not identical; either in physical appearance nor in
personality, nor in speech.

Gen 25:25a . .The first one emerged red, like a hairy mantle all

The word for "red" is 'admoniy (ad-mo-nee') which can refer to either red
hair or to a reddish, rosy complexion. In Esau's case, it's difficult to know for
certain which applied. That he was a hairy kid right from birth is
uncontested. However, to avoid the association with red hair; some feel that
the conjunction "and" should be inserted just after the comma, so that the
verse would read: The first one emerged red, and hairy all over like a

Jacob looked like most babies do at birth: a little cherub; bald and smooth

Esau, in contrast, was not only hairy, but because of his fur, he was rough to
the touch; sort of like a woolen G.I. blanket. Esau wasn't your typical cuddly
little tykester. When Rebecca held him, it wasn't like holding a little boy, it
was more like holding a grizzly bear cub, so to speak. Maybe that was a
contributing factor in Rebecca's favoritism of Jacob? How many mothers can
really warm up to a baby who looks like he'll morph into a werewolf any

Gen 25:25b . . they named him Esau.

The Hebrew word for Esau is from 'Esav (ay-sawv'); the meaning of which
isn't known for certain. Some say it means rough-- like rough to the touch.
Others think it might mean to cover, or envelop like a blanket --a distinct
possibility given Esau's appearance as one covered with hair all over his
body. (maybe even on his little tush too.)

Gen 25:26a . .Then his brother emerged, holding on to the heel of

Sibling rivalry between the two baby brothers was very intense. Jacob
undoubtedly held on to Esau's heel to slow him down so he wouldn't get too
far ahead-- and also an aggressive attempt to stop him from going first even
though Esau was legitimately first in line to be born.

Gen 25:26b . . so they named him Jacob.

The Hebrew word for Jacob is from Ya' aqob (yah-ak-obe') which means:

Esau defined a heel-catcher like this:

"Esau said: Was he, then, named Jacob that he might supplant me these
two times? First he took away my birthright and now he has taken away my
blessing!" (Gen 27:36)

Supplanters take things by coup, usurping, artifice and/or treachery. Right
from the womb, Jacob desired supremacy over his brother Esau and
struggled to get out ahead of him. How male infants can be so competitive
at such an early age is a total mystery; but not impossible. Boys are
competitive by nature, and don't like to come in second place; especially
against a brother. For some strange reason, it is much easier for a boy to
suffer defeat by a non-kin male opponent than by his own sibling.

Jacob is one very Tricky Ricky who knows how to trip people up, and how to
keep them from getting ahead, and how to cleverly separate them from
what is rightfully theirs.

That boy was born way too soon. He should have been on Wall Street;
manipulating stocks, marketing derivatives, and raiding corporations. Jacob
isn't usually portrayed in Scripture as a man of muscle and brute strength,
but as a man of cunning and determination, a man who gets what he wants
by patience, stealth, intelligence, and/or trickery rather than by brute force.
Maybe he should have been a corporate lawyer?



Senior Member
Dec 9, 2014
Genesis 25:26c-27b

Gen 25:26c . . Isaac was sixty years old when they were born.

Isaac married Rebecca at forty (Gen 25:20). If Becky was 18 at her
wedding, she would have been 38. Imagine waiting twenty years to have
your first child? Quite a few modern marriages end long before then.

Gen 25:27a . .When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful
hunter, a man of the outdoors;

Esau was the macho kind of boy dads are usually very proud of. He was a
rugged, athletic man who preferred to sleep on the ground, under the stars,
rather than between sheets. A real he-man; who, in our own day, would
very likely own several guns; some of which would be brutal calibers like a
.44 magnum revolver or a 10 ga. shotgun.

But Esau was totally physical. The poor lad had no brain at all. He was
brave, adventurous, and a natural at hunting, but that is about all you could
say for him-- kind of like professional sports stars who only got into college
because of their athletic ability, not especially for any academic

Esau pegged the mark in virility; but at the same time rated a big fat zero in
sense and sensibility-- a Neanderthal knuckle-dragger kind of guy. There
was really no need for Esau to kill wildlife for fresh meat: as if the family
were desperate for food; after all, Isaac was very wealthy in livestock.

No. Esau hunted for sport, and his goal was not to help support the family,
but to show-off his prowess, and to impress himself, and those around him.

Esau excelled in outdoor survival skills: he was very definitely one-up on
Jacob in that sphere; plus it gained him a level of admiration from his dad
that exceeded the esteem Isaac held for Jacob.

But for all his natural athletic ability, Esau placed no importance whatsoever
upon things of eternal value. He was the classic man under the sun; viz:
earthly, secular to the bone, and his so-called "needs" took the highest
priority over everything. (cf. 1Cor 2:14)

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of
bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there
be no immoral or impious person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a
single meal." (Heb 12:15-16)

Gen 25:27b . . but Jacob was a mild man

What's Genesis saying? That Jacob was a wimp; some kind of a mommy's
boy? No. Far from it. The word for "mild" is from tam (tawm) which means:
gentle; viz: temperate.

The Bible's God holds gentleness in very high regard.

"For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently
consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth;
and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Ps 37:10-11)

"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt 5:5)

The koiné Greek word for "meek" in the third beatitude is praus (prah-ooce')
which means essentially the very same thing as tam; viz: temperate; mild.

Moses was meek (Num 12:3) and the Lord was meek. (Matt 11:29, Matt

Webster's defines mild as: gentle in nature or behavior; viz: temperate; in
other words: agreeable, approachable, reasonable, calm, mellow, and self

Non-temperate people could be characterized as moody, grudging, irritable,
emotional, thin-skinned, unreasonable, irrational, reactive, defensive,
confrontational, assertive; and around whom one has to walk on egg shells
all the time.

A temperate person, though mellow in demeanor, should never be assumed
lacking in strength, courage, conviction, or self confidence. Anybody who's
studied the lives of Moses and Jesus can easily testify that neither of those
men were either timid, wimpy, or vacillating; no, they walked softly and
carried a big stick.

Jacob and his dad Isaac were temperate men; but could be assertive when
the situation called for it. Temperate people like Jacob and Isaac pick their
battles carefully, and avoid getting all riled up over trifles.

What that's all saying is that Jacob was mature and sensible; in contrast to
his brother Esau who was carnal, immature, sensuous, and acted more like
an adolescent than a grown man. Mature men take their responsibilities
seriously, and their priorities are far different than a guy like Esau who just
wants to have fun and adventure all the time.

So anyway, in the economy of God, a person with tam is to be admired way
over and above a rugged athletic he-man. It's okay to be a rugged athletic
he-man. There's nothing eo ipso wrong in that. After all, David was a rugged
he-man himself. But it's not okay to be one without tam. Well, that was
Esau-- the picture of health and male virility, but he lacked tam. Esau was a
rude, lewd, crude bag of pre-chewed food dude.

Jacob was very different. It's true he was crafty, and maybe a bit dishonest
at times; but he was no wimp I can assure you; and, on the whole, a very
good man.

Jacob was mellow: he didn't need to show off and win the applause of the
crowd to feel good about himself. He was the strong silent type who enjoyed
home life and ranching. He was productive, and that's where he found the
most contentment in life.

Jacob had the qualities that many good women look for in a husband. He
was stable, enjoyed being at home with his family, worked an honest day's
work, loved his mom, had no issues with women, and appreciated the value
of religion.

Jacob wasn't a grand-stander; nor the kind of guy to run off on adventures
all the time or constantly move to where the grass was greener. He didn't
leave home till he was 75, and even then it was only because he was on the
lamb. Jacob was the kind of man who buys a home and stays in the same
neighborhood until his kids are out of school.