Get a Wife

by Scarlett Stough

Abraham commissioned his chief servant to return to his home country to get a wife for his son Isaac (Genesis 24:1-4). The servant was concerned that a woman would not be willing to leave her family, travel to another area to marry a man she had never met—a reasonable concern. Then Abraham modified the request so the servant would be released from the mission if he could not find someone willing to return with the servant to marry Isaac.

When the servant arrived near the town of Nahor where Abraham's relatives lived, he waited with his camels at the well outside the town. He prayed God would show him the bride God had chosen for Isaac. He proposed a test. The servant would ask a girl who came to draw water to give him some to drink; she would then offer to draw enough water for all of his ten camels to drink also (Genesis 24:10-14). I suspect ten camels could drink a lot of water, so her offering to do that would show a great deal about her character—her willingness to give time and energy to show kindness, a serving heart.

After the girl, Rebekah, had watered all the camels, he gave her some of the gifts that were sent with him for the potential bride and asked for lodging. She brought him to her family home (Genesis 24: 21-23). Abraham's servant was welcomed into their home by her brother Laban. He told them why he had come and what made him believe that Rebekah was the woman chosen to be Isaac's bride. Rebekah's family agreed to allow her to become Isaac's wife, but they wanted her to remain with them for ten days or more before leaving. The servant wanted to get back quickly, so they left it up to Rebekah whether she wanted to go and when.

Rebekah wanted to go and agreed to go (Genesis 24:55-61). Once again she showed another aspect of her character, courage to face the unknown and willingness to act quickly.

As the caravan approached the field where Isaac was strolling and meditating, he saw her; she saw him; and “she fell* off her camel” (Tree of Life Version, Genesis 24:64). She did not sedately climb down as some translations describe their meeting. The Hebrew verb used here does mean “to fall”. This account describes two people who were quite impressed with their first sighting of each other. They married and Isaac loved her.

The blessing given to Rebekah and her offspring hints at the Messiah who was born to this line and called Jesus. Those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God and receive the Holy Spirit are often referred to as the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19:6-9; 22:17). We, too, are loved by our Heavenly Father and Jesus, our Lord and Savior (John 15:9-13). We can learn from Rebekah's example in our own walk with God.

*5307 naphal; a primary root; to fall, (only translated “lighted” twice in the KJV). From: The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001.