The Marriage Of Isaac and Rebekah
With her family’s blessing ringing in her ears, Rebekah prepared to leave with several maidservants and Deborah, her “childhood nurse”, who accompanied her much like a lady’s maid might in later centuries: as a trusted servant, a suitable chaperone, and an indication of Rebekah’s social status.
Then Rebekah and her servants got up on the camels and followed the man. So the servant of Abraham took Rebekah and left.
Camels traveled about 25 miles a day and could cover 60 miles if they had to, while the average pedestrian walked about 20 miles a day. A train of 10 camels with its attendants and guards could easily make the trip from Hebron to Mesopotamia and back (about 900 miles) in less than 2 months.
The servant was the kind of man who permitted no delay and was anxious to complete his task successfully. Certainly Abraham and Isaac were both praying for him and his mission, and their prayers were answered.
Meanwhile, Isaac had come back from a trip to Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the Negev.
Genesis 24:62 (VOICE)
Sure, we remember the place where Hagar named her heavenly visitor El Roi – God Who Sees Me. A place where God also watched Isaac venture forth, a young man unaware of who was heading in his direction.
If God took care of Hagar and met her needs, surely He would take care of Isaac and provide the wife that he needed in order to maintain the messianic line. Jehovah is the Living God who sees everything and plans all things for His glory and the good of His children.
One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming.
Genesis 24:63 (NLT)
In a single brush stroke, our narrator has painted the adult Isaac for us: a quiet, thoughtful, solitary man of faith.
This reveals Isaac was not a foolish person. He was in deep thought and meditation. The Scriptures tell us to ponder the path of our feet (Proverbs 4:26), or the course our lives are taking. This was what Isaac was doing. I’m sure he was thinking about the imminent arrival of his bride.
At the same time, Rebekah looked up; and when she saw Isaac, she slipped down quickly from the camel and spoke softly to the servant.
Rebekah: Who is that man over there, walking in the field to meet us?
Servant: Ah, it is my young master.
So she took her veil and covered herself so as to be in proper attire to meet her future husband.
Genesis 24:64-65 (VOICE)
I’m sure that Abraham’s servant had described Isaac to Rebekah in the conversations they had along the way. She had heard of him, but here she got to see him. This is similar to the way it is with our Savior and us. We have heard about Him and come to know Him through the Spirit, but someday we will get to see Him with our own eyes. What a day that will be.
Rebekah covering herself with a veil was a symbolic action of modesty. She had been uncovered with Abraham’s servant and the others who were traveling with her, but she wanted to approach her future husband with proper respect and modesty.
When Isaac reached them, the servant told him all of the amazing things that had happened.
Genesis 24:66 (VOICE)
I’m sure Isaac had at least some apprehension about this arranged marriage.
What would the woman be like?
But the supernatural events that put Abraham’s servant and Rebekah together alleviated any fears or worries he might have had.
Would to God that every man and woman approaching marriage had some supernatural events that brought them together that they could use to calm any fears. After the honeymoon wears off, the assurance that God was the One who made the two one is a strong refuge to run to in times of trouble.
Then Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her as his wife and slept with her, and grew to love her deeply. In this way, Isaac found comfort in the wake of his mother’s death.
Genesis 24:67 (VOICE)
Notice that marriage and this physical relationship comforted Isaac over the loss of his mother. We all need other people to lean on at times. We just have to be careful that we don’t substitute people for what only God can supply. The only people who can let you down are the ones you lean on.
Some take instances like this where there was no formal marriage ceremony and try to use them to say we don’t need marriage; cohabiting is sufficient. But there was a marriage. When Abraham’s servant gave the dowry to Rebekah’s family, Isaac and Rebekah were considered married.
How many marriages today would be different:
- If the Holy Spirit were the guide,
- If prayer and worship were the order of the day, and
- If the couple had the blessing of the family?