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Abraham #6

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Abraham #6
By James L. Thornton

1. A Bride For The Heir (
Genesis 24:1-67)

In this Study #6 of Abraham we will resume where we left off in Study #5. In the incident which we entitled "Good News From Home," someone had visited with Abraham from his old home back in Mesopotamia telling him of the birth of children to his brother Nahor. One of Nahor's grandchildren, Rebekah, was of great interest to Abraham because his own son, Isaac, was now forty years old and Abraham wanted him to have a wife from among his own people.

In this Study #6 Abraham sends his most trusted servant on the long journey back home to find a bride for Isaac. The hand of God was displayed in the choice of Rebekah. Then after she consents to go they begin the long journey home.

In the last chapter we study the last days of Abraham, his children by Keturah, and finally at the age of 175 Abraham dies and is buried beside his beloved wife Sarah in the grave at Machpelah.


1. A Bride For The Heir

2. No Turning Back

3. Eliezer, The Wife Seeker

4. Prayer Was Made

5. The Meeting With Rebekah

6. Rebekah's Family

7. I Will Go

8. The Journey's End

9. Presentation Of The Bride

10. Isaac Receives His Bride

11. The Last Days Of Abraham

12. Abraham's Death


1. A Bride For The Heir:    (Genesis 24)

This is the culmination of the event that we wrote about in Abraham #5, Link #7, (Good News From Home), where a  traveler brought news that Abrahm's nephew had a daughter, by the name of Rebekah, who was about Isaac's age. In this great story Abraham sends his trustud servant to seek a wife for Isaac.

Characters in this story.

1. Abraham
Type of a certain king who would make a marriage for his son. (Matt.22:2-14) Sends his servant seeking a Bride for him.

The friend of the Bridegroom. (John 3:29) unnamed, (Eliezer ?) Type of the Holy Spirit, who does not "speak of himself," but takes of the things of the Bridegroom with which to win the Bride (John 16:13,14). enriching the Bride with the Bridegroom’s gifts

(1 Cor. 12:1-11; Gal. 5:22)
Bringing the Bride to the meeting with the Bridegroom. (Acts 13:4; 16:6,7; Rom. 8:11; 1 Thess. 4:14-17) We see Divine Guidance. The "Angel shall be sent before thee," and will overrule the events, and wills, which seem to stand in the way (Genesis24:7).

3. Rebekah
Type of the Church, the "Called Out" Virgin Bride of Christ. who would go willingly on the invitation. (Genesis 24:16; 2 Cor. 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32)

4. Isaac.
Type of the Bridegroom, "whom not having seen," The Bride loves through the testimony of the servant. (1 Peter 1:8) Isaac, type of the Bridegroom who goes out to meet and to receive his Bride. (Gen. 24:63; 1 Thess. 4:14-16)

In this chapter we see a fitting description of God’s dealings with His Church.

The commission given by Abraham to his servant, a trusted messenger. (Genesis 24:1-9)

Genesis 24:1. And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. (KJV)

In the first line of chapter twenty four the aged Patriarch, blessed of Jehovah in all things, is fading from our sight.

Abraham is advanced in age, now about one-hundred-forty years old. We Must, From Henceforth, Look On A New Generation And See The Blessing Expanded.

Genesis 24:2a. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, (KJV)

"Eldest Servant," a title of honor. Unnamed, but probably Eliezer of Damascus (Genesis 15:2) for a-half century he was regarded as heir presumptive to Abraham’s house.

Gnesis 24:2b. …..Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3a. And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of Heaven, and the God of the Earth, ... (KJV)

This is an ancient form of oath, mentioned only here, and by Jacob. (Genesis 47:29) Probably originated by Abraham.

Genesis 24:3b. .., That thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

Isaac was now forty years old and Abraham was exercising the ancient practice that parents should dispose of their children in marriage before his own death.

Abraham is investing this trusted servant with authority to provide a wife, however, with certain stipulations, or conditions.

It did evince Isaac’s gentle disposition, (a life long disposition of Isaac) that though forty years of age, he neither thought of marriage, nor offered resistance to his father’s proposal, but mourned in devout contemplation for his Mother.

Isaac suffered himself to be governed by a servant.

Abraham intended to guard the purity of his race. He realized the growing licentiousness of the Canaanites, as well as their predicted doom. But mostly by a desire to preserve the purity of the promised seed.

Genesis 24:4. But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. (KJV)

Thou shalt go among the people in whom the knowledge of the true God is retained. Abraham had noted that indication of their piety.

Genesis 24:5. And the Servant said unto him, (not having the same faith as his master) peradventure (what if, just in case) 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? (KJV)

"Must Isaac go in person to take a wife from her father’s house?"
"Just for a short duration?"
"A little while?"
This seemed like a reasonable suggestion.

There was little probability that a modest girl would consent, on the invitation of a stranger, to leave her home and kindred, and accompany him into a distant land, and wed a man, even though a relative, whom she had never seen.

In a similar way "reason" can make out a case against almost every step in the Christian life as being unlikely, improbable, or imprudent.

But the aged servant’s anxiety was not shared by Abraham.

2. No Turning Back:

Genesis 24:6. And Abraham said unto him, beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. (KJV)

Literally, "beware for thyself, lest thou cause my son to return thither." Not for a moment would Abraham listen to the suggestion. At God’s call he had left Mesopotamia forever.

Hebrews 11:8. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (KJV)

To send his son back would be contrary to the principal of his whole life. It would be to distrust God’s promise and to think his will changeable. (1 Kings 13:1-32)

Contrast this with the faithlessness of the Israelites in their wilderness journey. They, "in their hearts turned back again into Egypt," even though in body they never returned.

Abraham would not allow even a temporary return.

Abraham speaks of Isaac’s going to Mesopotamia as a return, because he regarded Isaac, though then unborn, as having come out with him from Mesopotamia.

Genesis 24:7a. The Lord God of Heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred,.. (KJV)

The First Reason
Having emigrated from Mesopotamia in obedience to a call from Heaven, not without like instructions were they at liberty to return.

Second Reason,
Gen. 24:7b. .., And which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, unto thy seed will I give this land;... (KJV)

Abraham had been honored with Divine communications. The covenant transaction of (Genesis 15:18) carried all the force of an oath. And Isaac was the God appointed heir of the soil. (Genesis 15:4)

Abraham was sure that the Divine Promise was certain of fulfillment. He was also sure that the mission for a Bride would be successful.

Genesis 24:7c. ...; 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. (KJV)

"You will be at liberty to hold thyself as no longer under obligation in the matter." "Your responsibility will at that point cease."

Genesis 24:8b. ...: Only bring not my son thither again. (KJV)

Abraham repeats his warning to his trusted servant not to cause Isaac to leave the Promised Land. Because by doing so would reverse the Divine Call which had brought the Patriarch from Mesopotamia.

( Hebrews 11:13-16) Tells us that they had the opportunity to return.

Abraham knew it would also endanger the inheritance by exposing Isaac to the temptation of remaining in Mesopotamia, should his wife prove unwilling to return.

Genesis 24:9. And the servant (understanding the nature of his mission, and feeling satisfied on the points that impinged upon his conscience) put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.(KJV)

Swore to be true to his master, to and his mission, and to the hope and promise of the covenant.

3. Eliezer The Wife Seeker:

Genesis 24:10a> And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, (the camels were a gift from Pharaoh.)(Genesis 10:16) And departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: Abraham was immensely wealthy.

Genesis 13:2. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.(KJV)

Attended by a cavalcade of ten camels, and their drivers, and laden with the choicest of his master’s goods as presents for the Bride, since, they who go to woo must not neglect to carry gifts.

So the trusted servant started upon his mission, well prepared with supplies for the journey and gifts for the Bride elect.

Genesis 24:10b. ...: And he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. (KJV)

The scriptures spares us of the details of his journey, which would have been slow and across some of the most inhospitable land and climate on earth. The caravan traveled, sometimes on foot, sometimes on camels.

After many weeks of traveling he arrives in Mesopotamia and sought out the city where Nahor lived. Probably Nahor’s own village. He also was wealthy.

He arrived in late afternoon and stopped by the city well.

Genesis 24:11. 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. (KJV)

We see the shrewd common sense of the steward in the time, and place, where he stopped.

No better place, or time, could have been chosen, as most of the young women, and virgins, went out to the well to draw water at sunset.

4. Prayer Was Made:

Then he prays for the hand of God to guide him to the right young woman.

Genesis 24:12. 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. (KJV)

Maybe not articulately spoken. "In Mine Heart" (Genesis 24: 45) . This is the best prayer of all when our heart prays.

This is probably not the first prayer he had prayed concerning this matter. Beginning his search for the Maiden by prayer, and he closes it with thanksgiving. (Genesis 24:26)

His was a delicate mission, and so very important, and he feels the responsibility resting upon him. He knows that much of the satisfaction of Abraham, and the welfare of Isaac, will depend on his right performance of this duty which was cast upon him.

We see in this prayer a beautiful example of piety, and of the fruits of Abraham’s care for the souls of his household.

(Genesis 18:19) Tells us of the confidence that God had in Abraham’s influence on his household.

Eliezer was a servant which Abraham obtained in Damascus when he passed through there some years back. (Genesis 15:2)

One could wonder how many times He accompanied Abraham to worship, perhaps led the goat, and helped Abraham build altars, to make a sacrifice to his God.

He observed, he heard, he learned the Lord God of Abraham

Now as he stands by the well, and taking this matter to God in prayer as a concern which specially belongs to Abraham, he fixes upon a sign by which God should enable him to recognize the Bride designed for Isaac.

Genesis 24:13a. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; .. (KJV)

Literally, "look on me standing here..."
Bringing God’s attention upon him personally.

Genesis 24:13b. ...; And the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: (KJV)

He tells God every detail... Even though God already knew where he was and what happened there at this time every day.

Let’s tell God all the details...even though He already knows.

Then his request, he asked for what he felt he needed.

Genesis 24:14. 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: 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. (KJV)

This prayer was prayed in his heart. (Genesis 24:45)

Three Qualifications Were In The Mind Of Eliezer.
1. Beauty, both inside and outside.
2. Kind disposition.
3. Approval of God.

Eliezer did not hesitate to ask for God’s guidance. Many would have accounted this as quite within the scope of their own judgment to decide.

Many would have made their way directly into the city to Nahor’s house to choose for themselves. Many would have left the matter to be decided by chance; but Eliezer seeks guidance from God.

If more people would follow Eliezer’s example, and seek directions from God, there would be fewer unhappy marriages.

Notice How God Overtakes His Prayer.

Genesis 24:15. And it came to pass, (not by accident but by Divine arrangement) Before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, (Genesis 22:20-24) son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. (KJV)

See how the rapidity of the answer staggers belief.

"While they are yet speaking I will answer." (Isaiah 65:24)

 5. The Meeting With Rebekah:

While Eliezer was meditating in his heart his attention was arrested by a young maiden approaching the well with a pitcher on her shoulder to draw water.

Eliezer’s First Impression Of Rebekah

Genesis 24:16a. And the damsel was very fair to look upon,... (KJV)

Clearly this old man had a quick eye for beauty.

Genesis 24:16b. .., A virgin, neither had any man known her:.. (KJV)

A Repetition For Sake Of Emphasis.

Genesis 24:16c. ...: And she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. (KJV)

Nearly all wells in the east are hand dug and have steps down to the water, many are well over one-hundred feet deep. Rebekah descended the steps, filled her pitcher, and came back up, probably unconscious of the old man’s admiration.

Then Eliezer Sprang Into Action.

Genesis 24:17. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. (KJV)

Eliezer begins to initiate his prayer by tactfully asking for a drink from Rebekah’s pitcher. By faith, we need to set in motion our prayers so God can answer them.

Genesis 24:18. And she said, drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
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. (KJV)

She knew not that she was moving to fulfill the intention of God’s will for her life. In her acts, and in her words, she was doing that which was in harmony with the sign that Eliezer had asked.

Can we wonder how many trips down into that well and back up again with a full pitcher of water Rebekah made before ten camels and a caravan of men were filled?

Camels, though endowed with a marvelous power of enduring thirst, drink an enormous quantity of water when opportunity offers.

The trouble to which Rebekah cheerfully submitted required more than ordinary patience. Her kindness touched Eliezer, and made him silent in wonder.

Genesis 24:21a. And the man wondering at her... (KJV)

Gazing with attention on her. Amazed and astounded.

Genesis 24:21b. ... Held his peace, to wit... (KJV)

Silence being the customary attitude for the soul in, either expecting, or receiving, a Divine communication.

He knows that if God has answered in part He will answer fully. God’s dealings should always induce awe and patient waiting.

Exodus 14:13a. And Moses said unto the people, fear ye not, stand still, and see the Salvation of the Lord, ... (KJV)

Still Questions Remained To Be Answered
1. Was she one of Abraham’s kindred?
2. Was she single?
3. Would she be willing to follow him to Canaan?

Genesis 24:21c. ...Whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. (KJV)

How many times has God answered, or is answering, our prayers right before our eyes, yet questions keep flooding our minds?

Eliezer was anxious to know the answers so he acted in faith, giving very expensive gifts unto Rebekah. These gifts would indicate his business.

Genesis 24:22a. And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, ...(KJV)

This was neither a pendant for the ear (lxx., vulgate) nor a jewel for the forehead (a.v., margin), but a ring for the nose (Genesis 24:47), which was pierced for this purpose.

Such rings are still worn by oriental women and the nose ring is the usual engagement present among the Bedouins.

Genesis 24:22b. .., And two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; (KJV)

This is a favorite ornament of oriental ladies, and sometimes the whole arm from wrist to elbow is covered with them.

The value of these gifts was enormous, and would give an idea of the wealth of the giver. ($40,000 in today’s value)

Eliezer was anxious to know the answer to the questions which flooded his mind.

Genesis 24:23. And said, whose daughter art thou? Tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in? (KJV)

The answer to the first question must have gladdened the heart of this trusted servant of Abraham.

Genesis 24:24. And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. (KJV)

How the old man’s heart must have leaped at Rebekah’s answer. This was given to show that she was not descended from Nahor’s concubine.

This seemed to be the time at which the jewels were presented. (Genesis 24:47)

God had directed him to the very place, at the very time, when the very person would be at the well, to fulfill his mission. He remembered the words of his master Abraham.

"The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his Angel before thee, and prosper thy way; ..." (Genesis 24:40)

The answer to the second question was equally as stunning. "Is there room in thy fathers house for us to lodge in?"

Genesis 24:25. She said moreover unto him, we have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. (KJV)

It was conclusively determined, by her actions in watering the camels, and by her answering all the questions concerning her household, that the Lord had heard and answered his prayer, and that the Heaven-appointed Bride stood before him.

Genesis 24:26. And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord. (KJV)

This indicated the aged servant’s deep thankfulness for the guidance of the Lord.

Genesis 24:27. 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. (KJV)

Eliezer acknowledged God’s goodness in so quickly leading him to the house of his Master’s Brethren, and so unmistakably pointing out the Bride.

6. Rebekah’s Family:

When Rebekah heard the prayer of Eliezer, and him mentioning Abraham’s name, she immediately must have realized that this man was from her Uncle Abraham’s household, whom she had never seen.

Genesis 24:28. And the damsel ran, and told them of her Mother's house these things. (KJV)

Rebekah left the servant worshipping at the well and ran to tell her family what had occurred at the well.

Genesis 24:29. And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. (KJV)

That Laban, her brother, and not Bethuel, Rebekah’s father, should have the prominence in all subsequent transactions concerning Rebekah has been explained by the supposition that Bethuel was now dead (Josephus), but (Genesis 24:50) mentions him as being present.

Firstborn sons enjoyed, during their father’s lifetime, a portion of his authority, and even on important occasions represented him.

Also in those times it was usual for brothers to take a special interest in their sister’s marriages.

This is the first introduction that the Bible gives us of Laban, Rebekah’s brother. This is the man whom Jacob dealt with in (Genesis 29-31) by working many years to marry his daughters.

The Bible represents Laban as double dealing in his deals with Jacob, many years later (Genesis 31:38-41). Another great fault that immediately comes to light in this incident with Eliezer is greed.

Genesis 24:30. 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. (KJV)

This explains the cause of the quick action which Laban took in the previous verse (Genesis 24:29), Laban’s eye for greed.

"And when he saw the bracelets," & etc.
One thing moved Laban to offer hospitality to a stranger--- The vision of gold on his sister’s form.

The greed in Laban’s eye which glistened at the sight of the golden ornaments on his sister’s form deepened with the passing of years.

Genesis 24:31. 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. (KJV)

Though Laban was an idolater (Genesis 31:30), it seems like that we should regard him as belonging to a family in which the worship of Jehovah originated, and he still retained some degree, or form, of this worship.

Laban again gave the invitation, declaring that room had already been prepared for him, and his camels, and their attendants.

Genesis 24:32. And the man came into the house: and he (Laban) 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. (KJV)

This is the first intimation that any one accompanied the servant, though assistants were surely necessary for so large a train of camels and so long of a journey.

Laban went about with the usual hospitality of providing water for washing everyone’s feet.

Genesis 24:33a. And there was set meat before him to eat: ... (KJV)

A meal was the crowning act of hospitality in an oriental reception, meat only being served on special occasions.

Genesis 24:33b.... But he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he (Laban) said, speak on. (KJV)

Eliezer realizing his master was old and the urgency of his mission urged him to relate the mission at once.

Then we have the first recorded speech in the Bible. (Genesis 24: 34-49)

Eliezer first declares to them that he is Abraham’s servant. Abraham being a close relative of theirs whom none of them had ever seen.

Abraham was Laban’s and Rebekah’s grandfather’s brother, who had emigrated to Canaan more than sixty five years before.

Eliezer relates the wealth of his master, and that a son was born to him in his old age, and that all this was bequeathed to his son.

No doubt reasoning that no Mother would ever think of sending her daughter into a foreign country to be a poor man’s bride.

He told how he had taken an oath to his Master to seek a Bride for his son among his own kindred who knew Jehovah God, because he did not want his son to marry any of the daughters of the Canaanites

He spoke of Jehovah leading him to the well, and the prayer he had offered at the well. He told of the swiftness of Rebekah arriving and fulfilling every detail of the prayer that he had prayed.

He felt that the Lord had indeed revealed his choice of Rebekah, but the possibility remained that her people might not consent to her marriage.

Genesis 24:49. 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. (KJV)

In this case the servant would have to go farther. Then with solemn earnestness he asked for a decision.

Genesis 24:50. Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, the thing proceedeth from the Lord: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. (KJV)

This indicates that Rebekah’s father was still living. Rebekah’s father and her brother both agreed that the whole matter issued from the Lord. We see this as evidence of the underlying piety of those descendants of Nahor.

Genesis 24:51. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy Master's Son's Wife, as the Lord hath spoken.

They would not resist the clearly revealed will of God, and they took it for granted that Rebekah would in turn agree to go with this man to become Isaac’s Wife, however the final decision would be left to Rebekah. (Genesis 24:57-58)

Their words again kindled the flame of reverential piety in the old man’s heart.

Genesis 24:52. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. (KJV)

Literally, he prostrated himself to the earth before Jehovah.

All the prayers, the giving of thanks, and the worship, by Eliezer was a reflection of his association with Abraham. God had already taken note of the influence that Abraham had upon his family and his servants.

Genesis 18:19. For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. (KJV)

After giving of thanks and worshipping Jehovah, the servant, acting on behalf of Isaac, gave Bridal presents of silver, and gold, and raiment, to Rebekah.

Genesis 24:53a. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: (KJV)

These were not Wedding Gifts, but betrothal presents. The Wedding Gifts would consist of things of far greater value, and lasting duration.

Rebekah, in her wildest dreams, could never have conceived of the tremendous value of her fortune, both temporal and eternal. We will have more to say about that later in this chapter.

Genesis 24:53b. ..: He gave also to her brother (Laban) and to her Mother precious things. (KJV)

Rebekah’s Mother is mentioned here for the first time, as Eliezer continues to shower precious gifts upon her also, and he did not forget Laban.

Some time must have lapsed while Eliezer told of his mission, and then the acknowledgment of God’s purpose by Bethuel and Laban, then the bestowing of gifts by Eliezer.

Then with all this taken care of Eliezer was ready to sit down with the family for a meal.

Genesis 24:54a. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; ... (KJV)

I’m sure that Eliezer was too excited to sleep that night.

Genesis 24:54b. ..; And they rose up in the morning, and he said, send me away unto my master. (KJV)

Eliezer was eager to return home to Abraham and Isaac. He was anxious for several reasons.

He had been gone for several weeks and it would take that long to return, and he realized that much can take place in a few months in the life of an old man like his master.

He also realized that his journey, and mission, had been very successful and rewarding, and he could not wait to present the chosen Bride to his Master’s Son.

Genesis 24:55. 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. (KJV)

Laban and Rebekah’s Mother were willing to let Rebekah go but not so soon.

It was natural for them to ask that Rebekah be granted a few days to be with them before she left, for they realized that they would never see her again.

Genesis 24:56. 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. (KJV)

But Eliezer was still urging for permission to depart, reminding them that all this was in the will of God.

7. I Will Go:  (Genesis 24:57-67)

Genesis 24:57. And they said, we will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. (KJV)

Even though the consent of Rebekah is not needed, because, according to ancient custom, oriental women were at the absolute disposal, in respect of marriage, of their parents and elder brothers, but in respect to their piety they wanted Rebekah to make the final decision.

Genesis 24:58a. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, wilt thou go with this man? ... (KJV)

There is no doubt that Eliezer breathed another prayer as he anxiously awaited Rebekah’s answer.

Genesis 24:58b. ...? And she said, I will go. (KJV)

When consulted, Rebekah made the most important decision she would ever make in her life, she simply said, "I will go."

We said earlier Rebekah is a type of the Church, The called out Bride of Christ. Christ’s Bride is asked if she is willing to go. The Bride makes the choice to go.

The greatest choice a person can ever make when the invitation comes I will go.

Rebekah, expressed her readiness at once to accompany the messenger to his distant home.

Genesis 24:59. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. (KJV)

Without further delay she was dismissed from her mother’s tent, attended by a faithful nurse, and probably two or three servant girls (Genesis 24:61a).

This faithful nurse, Deborah, remained with Isaac’s household long after the death of Rebekah. (Genesis 35:8)

Genesis 24:60. 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.
61a. And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, ... (KJV)

Expressive of the promptitude, and urgency, with which she put her decision into action. And enriched by the blessings of her pious relatives.

Genesis 24:61b. ..., And they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

What a picture we have here of the Church in her journey to meet the Bridegroom.

This was no joy ride on a camel for a few minutes, but a long journey across some of the most inhospitable land in the world.

The journey would cover nearly a thousand miles, and take probably six to eight weeks.

They would follow the trade routes along the Euphrates river then drop down through Syria into Canaan.

The first week or two they would be near the river where there would be grass and water and cool breezes.

They would pass through small villages where the people would turn out to see them pass.

They would only stop long enough to rest a short while, and for the camel drivers to feed and water the camels, then hurriedly mount and ride on, because Eleizer was anxious to get home and present the Bride.

The first few days passed quickly, and Rebekah was excited, with visions of her new home, and thoughts of her husband floating through her mind.

About the middle of the second week she would begin to notice that the camel was not comfortable to ride on.

Into the third week she would begin to notice that the camel’s breath smelled bad, in fact it just plain stunk. A camel is one of the most foul smelling animals in the world.

By the fourth week they had left the river and entered into the desert, with only an occasional oasis to break the miles and miles of sand, and the heat was suffocating.

The drudgery of the journey, the monotony of long hours of the plodding of the camels, the day never seemed to end where she could lie down and rest her weary body.

Her mind would begin to wander back and forth between the home she had left in Mesopotamia, and the place of which this stranger had told her of. "Is there really such a place?"

She may have begun to question her decision.
"Did I do the right thing?" "Will I fit into this family?"
"Will my Husband love me?" "Will we ever get there?"

Does this sound like our Christian experience?

When we first start our walk with the Lord we are excited beyond measure, by faith we have excepted his offer to remove our sins by his atoning blood.

He filled us with his Spirit, and with that filling came many great and precious promises, including eternal life in a Mansion in Heaven.

2 Peter 1:4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (KJV)

He promised to comfort our hearts in times of distress. He also gave us many precious gifts. After all we are his espoused Bride.

We are in a sense like unto Rebekah.

Eliezer had given her some very precious gifts, along with some great promises that her husband was very rich, and these things he had given her were just a sample of what was waiting for her when they reached her new home.

Ephesians 1:13. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
14.Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his Glory. (KJV)

Rebekah went with Eliezer on the faith she had in his words. she believed in someone whom she had never seen, in like fashion we also believe in the words of Holy Scripture.

I Peter 1:8. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (KJV)

Eliezer did not promise Rebekah that the ride home would be a bed of roses, on the contrary, she understood that the way was long, and the conditions would be harsh.

But I’m sure Eliezer (a type of the Holy Spirit ) did promise to be near her, and to see to her every need.

In the same way the Holy Spirit is with us every step of the way, directing us, comforting us, strengthening us, rewarding us, desiring to make our journey easier.

When the camel’s back seemed a drudgery, when every thing about the journey was a chore, Eliezer was always there to help her bear the burden.

When her mind began to wander and something inside her made her question her decision, and something else says, "I wonder if it is really worth it," then all she had to do was to count the jewels, and weigh the gold and silver she had already received, and think, this is just a down payment.

The same is true with us, when the way seems uphill all the time, when the joy is hard to come by, and there will be days like that, just stop and count the blessings you have already received, and remember they are just the earnest of our inheritance.

The Real Benefits Lie Just Ahead.

By just staying on that camel, and sticking it out, Rebekah gained far more than she could have ever dreamed.

8. The Journey’s End, The Groom Receives His Bride:

Genesis 24:62a. "And ..." (KJV)

English grammar says never begin a sentence with the word ‘And’

After many weeks of traveling in all kinds of conditions, Eliezer and the Bridal train were nearing home.

All trials were behind them, the dust and sand, the heat, the fatigue, the discomfort of the camels, was all over, because they were almost home.

I’m sure that the day before Eliezer had told Rebekah that "Tomorrow We’ll Be There."

That morning he would have reminded her that "Today We’ll Be Home," and excitement must have once again surged within her.

Hour after hour she would have inquired of this trusted servant, "How Much Longer?"

The same holds true for the Church, this may be the day that we’ll be home.

The scripture simply shifts the scene from far-a- way Mesopotamia and a caravan of camels in their struggle against the elements with one word, "And ..." (Genesis 24: 62a)

Genesis 24:62. And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi (Hagar’s well Genesis 16:7,14); for he dwelt in the south country. (KJV)

Notice the shift from the struggle and bustle of the journey of bringing home the Bride, to the quite serenity of the Bridegroom’s place.

Like a cool breeze on a hot summer day.

Church, there is such a place, untouched by earthly struggle (read Revelations 22)

Isaac had probably been visiting the well which Hagar had found in the wilderness, when she was sent away by his father Abraham.

Genesis 24:63a. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: ... (KJV)

Home from the south country, Isaac had a lot on his mind.

It had not been long since his Mother’s death, (Genesis 23:1.2) and he was probably still in mourning over her.

All of his life he had been taught to pray and commune with his heart before God.

That day he went out to meditate, not about agricultural affairs, or improvements on his property, but chiefly he contemplated about his marriage.

Scarcely could the thought of Eliezer’s mission be excluded from Isaac’s mind.

Doubtless he would often, during the time of Eliezer’s absence, have his silent wondering about his return with the God provided Spouse.

No doubt the very evening that Eliezer stopped at the well in Mesopotamia and offered a prayer to God concerning the proper damsel for Isaac, he also was in the field, hundreds of miles away, meditating in prayer for his future Wife.

Almost certainly his prayers would ascend to Heaven on her behalf, as he meditated about her.
"What does she look like?"
"Is she kind?"
"Is she lazy?"
"Will she be a suitable partner?"

I said previously That Isaac was a type of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church, you can rest assured that we, the espoused Bride, the Church, is always on his mind.

We Are A Product, And A Beneficiary Of His Prayers.

John 17:20. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (KJV)

Genesis 24:63a. And Isaac went out to meditate ... To pray. (KJV)

Prayer is the thought expressed here.

Meditation is the nurse of prayer.

Meditation stirs up the spiritual fires within, and brings us closer to God.

While he was praying the answer was approaching.

Genesis 24:63b. ...: And he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. (KJV)

I feel that Isaac knew immediately that this was Eliezer returning with his Bride.

The wait was over, in minutes he would meet his Bride.

I’m sure he rushed forward to give a welcome to his Bride.

He came himself, he did not send a servant. (Genesis 24:65)

On the camel caravan Rebekah was looking and expecting, and each passing hour Eliezer would tell her how close they were to home.

Genesis 24:64a. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, …(KJV)

Rebekah was looking expectantly---"she saw Isaac."

The Writer Of Hebrews Reminds Us To Watch Expectantly.

Hebrews 9:28. ..; And unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (KJV)

When "She Saw Isaac," Her Heart Leaped Within Her, And All Her Weariness Vanished.

Paul tells us that when we see Christ that our mortal bodies shall be quickened (made alive) by his Spirit. (Romans 8:11)

One of the old Hymns says, "Just one glimpse of him in glory will all the toils of life repay." (When We All Get To Heaven)

Genesis 24:64. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. (KJV)

Literally, Fell; the word signifying a hasty decent.

One can only imagine the excitement and exhilaration which surged through her at that moment.

Genesis 24:65a. For she had said unto the servant, what man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? ... (KJV)

Isaac Was Coming To Meet Them.

Is not this the picture of Christ coming to meet his Bride?

Genesis 24:65b. ..? And the servant had said, it is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. (KJV)

On learning who it was, she took a veil, a cloak-like veil which covers, not merely the face, but, like a large wrapper, covering nearly the whole form, making it impossible to recognize the person.

Brides did not show their faces to their intended Husbands, as may be found in the case of Leah and Jacob. (Genesis 39:23,25)

9.Presentation Of The Bride

As the friend of the Bridegroom, Eliezer would be the proud one who would present the Bride at this ancient, primitive, Wedding.

John 3:29. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (KJV)

Genesis 24:66. And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.(KJV)

There was not one detail of the journey which Eliezer did not relate to Isaac.

Especially the incident at the well and how his prayer was answered so swiftly and surely.

He told Isaac how willing Rebekah was to give him water to drink, and also drew water for his camels, and then gave him and his men the invitation to come to her house.

In all this emphasizing how that God had made his journey prosperous.

He told how she was a woman with rights.

How that through no arbitrary compulsion, but with the free consent of her heart she made the decision to come.

Thus a dignity is accorded to her womanhood which was unusual for the ancient orient.

10.Isaac Receives His Bride

Genesis 24:67a. And Isaac brought her into his Mother (Sarah's )tent, (KJV)

In this act signifying that there was a new Princess of the family, Matron of his house.

What an honor this bestowed upon Rebekah, as Sarah was ordained a Princess by Jehovah (Genesis 17:15), and, no doubt, dwelt in the most elaborate tent in all of Palestine, and which had become a precious relic of the family.

Genesis 24:67b. .., And took Rebekah, and she became his Wife;... (KJV)

Isaac, in this ancient Wedding, publicly and solemnly, accepted Rebekah, in the presence of witnesses, as his Bride.

Thus, Without Elaborate Or Expensive Ceremonial Ritual, Rebekah "Became His Wife."

Genesis 24:67c. ..; And he loved her: ... (KJV)

To modern western thought many things concerning this Wedding belongs to a bygone time.

Rebekah comes, from far across the desert, by invitation of the friend of the Bridegroom, to marry a man whom she has never seen.

When she realizes that he is near, she immediately veils herself that he may not yet see her.

Those were strange customs, strange times, but what has time to do with these four words, "And He Loved Her?"

Ephesians 5:28. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (KJV)

It is a man’s duty to love his wife; it ought to be his happiness; it certainly will prove to their best interest.

Isaac loved Rebekah when he first saw her, and he loved no other woman all his life but Rebekah

Isaac had every reason to love her, for, besides being beautiful and kindly and Godly, she had, for his sake, performed a heroic act of self sacrifice, and, better still, had been selected for, and bestowed upon him by his own, and his father’s God, Jehovah.

Genesis 24:67d...: And Isaac was comforted after his Mother's death. (KJV)

Some translations read, "His Father’s Death," which is recorded in the next chapter.

Rebekah was there to soothe his sorrows, to cure his cares, and to dispel his despondence.

Rebekah was a jewel, which came into the life of Isaac, and the family, which God had chosen to bring the light of his Salvation into the world.

Little did she realize that the strange man who said to her, "let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink," was the trusted servant of the father of the faithful, the representative man of her race.

Rebekah would have fulfilled all that was required of her in civility to a stranger had she simply complied with his request for a drink.

But the extra time and effort she spent drawing water for ten thirsty camels bought her eternal life.

Humanly speaking, that added touch changed the whole direction of her life, giving her, in exchange for obscurity, the premier position among women of her race, and a sure place in its marvelous history.

11. The Last Days Of Abraham

Genesis 25:1-11

With these last few verses the scriptures closes out The last 35 years of Abraham’s life.

His great contribution to the work which God had called him for was almost over, and it remained for him to only remain true and faithful in these last few years.

With the marriage of Isaac, in the previous chapter, the scripture gently hands over the reigns of the Patriarchal Family to him.

Genesis 25:1. Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. (KJV)

It is impossible to calculate by the scriptures just how old Abraham was when he took Keturah as a Wife, or concubine.

Probably sometime after Sarah’s death, Keturah, who was probably a servant in the family, as Hagar had been, became a secondary wife to Abraham.

Even though Keturah succeeded Sarah in some ways, she never succeeded her in social status, as Rebekah had taken the role of matron of the chosen family.

Genesis 25:2.
And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. (KJV)

Six sons were born to Abraham by Keturah, seven grandsons, three great grandsons; in all sixteen descendants. (Genesis 25:2-4) Thus tying Abraham to many tribes and nations of the Arabs.

The Patriarch’s body, at 100 years old, was practically dead, (Romans 4:17-22) Yet restored to physical vigor just prior to the birth of Isaac, which must have remained for some years, even after Sarah’s death.

The narrative of verses(Genesis 25:1-4) is given to affirm the relationship of Abraham with certain Arabian tribes, and along with Ishmael and Isaac, would fulfill God’s promise to Abraham of a multitude of descendants.

Even today almost the entire Arab world, along with all Jews world wide, claim Abraham as their father. It Would Be Impossible To Calculate The Number Of Descendants From This One Man.

Genesis 25:5. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
6. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.(KJV)

Abraham, realizing that at his death there would be a quarrel over his possessions, took steps beforehand to settle his estate.

Probably some of this had been done long ago when Hagar and Ishmael were sent away. Then, or some time later, Abraham took care of Ishmael by giving him his part of the inheritance.

To each one of the sons of Keturah Abraham gave a portion, along with instructions to leave this part of the country because it belonged to Isaac.

To Isaac, Abraham gave the major portion of his wealth, along with the land which God had promised him. But the greatest gift of all he gave to Isaac, the Blessing of the Covenant, being the true heir.

This is true concerning the Church. Paul tells us about this in the Book of Galations. (Galations 4:22-31)

Abraham had many sons by bonds women which were born of the flesh, to which he gave gifts. (Genesis 25:6). He had one son by Sarah, who was a free woman, to whom he gave all that he had. (Genesis 25:5)

The Church has many off springs, which hold some manner of the truth of God’s word, some more, some less. To each of these God gives gifts, some more, some less.

Some claim, and receive healing, they receive a certain amount of peace, they also receive many financial benefits, which comes from their faith in him.

But to the true Church, those who have followed his word faithfully, and have been washed in his blood, and filled with his spirit, and walk in true holiness, God will give, not just gifts, but all that he has.

12. Abraham’s Death:

Genesis 25:7. And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.

Abraham was 175 years old when he died. He lived 75 years after the birth of Isaac, and 38 years after the death of Sarah. He had lived in the promise land 100 years.

His grandfather, Nahor, lived 148 years, his father, Terah, lived 205 years, his son, Isaac, lived 180 years, and his Grandson, Jacob, lived 147 years, so he lived an average life for that period of time.

Genesis 25:8. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. (KJV)

His end was peaceful, he breathed out his spirit into the hands of Jehovah, who gave it.

It is amazing how gently the scriptures tell about the death of the greatest of men and women who ever lived. Usually one or two verses tell the story. The scriptures want us to remember their life more than their death.

Observe in scriptures the deaths of Isaac (Genesis 35:29), of Jacob (Genesis 49:33), of Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1) of David (1 Kings 2:10, Psalms 31:5) of Jesus (Luke 23:46).

Genesis 25:9a. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him ..; (KJV)

It is fitting that his two principal sons, Ishmael, and Isaac, should together lay their father in his final resting place. Whether the sons of Keturah were present, the Bible is silent.

Genesis 25:9b.... In the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;
10. The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his Wife. (KJV)

Abraham was laid to rest along side his Wife, and companion of 100 years, Sarah, in the only plot of ground which he ever owned, there in his beloved promise land.

It is the most honored and sacred burial grounds on earth. There lie Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Leah. Rachel, alone of that great family being absent. She is buried just outside Bethlehem.

There, in Machpelah, they await their final call from the one they honored, and loved, and worshipped, and followed, to the end of their natural life.

We have followed Abraham’s footsteps from Ur of Chaldees to his final resting place in Machpelah as he sought for "A Better Country, that is an heavenly (Hebrews 11:16)

The way led past splendid cities, great palaces, and master-works of irrigation that turned deserts into grain-fields, and down by the green pastures of the Nile in Egypt, and back into the harsh wilderness of Canaan where the wanderer found his home.

No greater human ever lived on earth than Abraham, who will forever be known as the Friend of God. To him, God has promised a city, which he hath prepared, "for he is not ashamed to be called their God (Hebrews 11:16).

We close our Study on the life of Abraham, and We hope you received some benefit from this Study of one of the greatest persons that ever live on earth. Abraham was a shining example of a man walking by Faith in God.

This is a long study, 6 Sections, and we hope you will read all of it.

We would like for you to read the other Studies on this Web Site.

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By James L. Thornton

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