Bible Study Notes on Genesis 24 – 20161111

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 24:2  “…oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had…”
Probably Eliezer of Damascus that is mentioned in chapter fifteen.  Without a son, Abraham says he would be the heir.  Nothing is ever mentioned of strife or unfaithfulness in regard to him even though he surely knew he was in line to be the heir until Ishmael and Isaac were born.  And his actions in looking for a wife for Isaac show him to be not only faithful but an apparent God worshipper as well.

3  “…you will not take a wife for my son…”
As Sarah is already dead, it may have fallen on Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac if Abraham died.  As Abraham is already advanced in age, he needed Eliezer to do the searching as he was apparently unable to do so.

4  “…to my family…”
At this point, there isn’t a taboo or restriction on marrying a close familial relation.  Abraham had married his half sister.  I’m sure the people were just doing as they always had done.  From a genetic standpoint, the lines were probably still clean enough to prevent major mutation from recessive traits.  God would eventually set the boundaries on marital family relations.

6-9  “…LORD God of heaven…who…swore to me…To your descendants…will send His angel before you…only do not take my son back there”
Abraham had faith that God would provide a wife for Isaac.  Since God had promised the land to him and his descendants, he knew Isaac must not leave the land.  If the servant wasn’t able to find a wife, he was released from his oath to do so, but Isaac must not leave the land.  Abraham knew God would either help the servant find the woman or would provide for her another way.

10  “…to the city of Nahor”
They had received news of Abraham’s family before, so he knew they were still where Abraham left them so many years ago.

12  “…O LORD God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day…”
He certainly had seen the hand of God move in the affairs of Abraham.  I’m sure that had a profound effect on his belief.  Don’t know anything about his background, just that he was from Damascus, but I’ll bet he has decided that God Almighty is truly a real god, even if he doesn’t consider Him the only one.

14  “…Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink…”
Whoever would say that would be showing kindness as a part of their character.  Would not only be a good sign as to the right woman, but would show her to be a gracious young lady.

15  “…before he had finished speaking…”
God knows what we need and what we’re going to ask for before we do so.  He was already working on the request before the servant asked.

21  “…the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not”
I’m sure he had faith that God would direct him, but the speed with which it happened probably surprised him.

22  “…a golden nose ring…two bracelets for her wrists…”
How romantic.  Nothing says love and romance like a golden nose ring.  I am glad some customs have changed.

26  “…the man bowed down his head and worshiped the LORD”
Everything worked out perfectly.  God had led him to the right people and had shown him the right person.

29-31  “…Laban…he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists…Come in, O blessed of the LORD!…”
From what we will learn of Laban in a few chapters, I’m sure he took great notice when he saw the ring and bracelets.  But he does mention God by name.  He is part of the descendants from the Babel incident that continued to follow God, so it would not be surprising that his family still worships God.  It could also be that he knows of God and is using the term since his sister has told him what the stranger said.  Time and actions are usually a better determinant of a person’s motives than words.

Topics32  “…feet of the men who were with him”
He didn’t go on the mission alone.  Commentary made mention of the ten camels which he took with him which would have borne provisions and gifts, but this is the first mention that other servants went with him.  The ten camels could be in addition to those he and his servants rode.  This may have been quite an entourage.

35  “…LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great…”
He not only establishes that Abraham is a follower of God Almighty, but that he knows it is God’s doing that his master has prospered.  Eliezer was truly a man of good character.

53  “…gave precious things to her brother and to her mother”
Common practice, but I’m sure Laban didn’t object to any of it.

50-51, 55  “…The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you either bad or good…take her and go…her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go”
Checked with the commentaries as this little episode seemed a bit contradictory on the part of Rebekah’s family.  They seem to agree that God was behind the deal and allow Rebekah to go.  Now they are wanting her to stay.  Commentaries made more out of the translation of the amount of time, some saying it could have referred to months rather than days.  But all suggested the idea was probably that the family was thinking of an engagement period.  Betrothed virgins usually lived in their father’s house for a year before the actual consummation of the marriage.  They may only now realize that the servant wanted to take Rebekah immediately instead of just arranging a future marriage.

57  “…ask her personally”
First time Rebekah’s consent is asked, which wasn’t unusual.  The family normally made the marriage arrangements.  But in this case, she would be foregoing the engagement period time and leaving for another country.  So if it was ok with her, the family would allow her to go.

59, 61  “…Rebekah their sister and her nurse…Rebekah and her maids arose…”
It wasn’t just Rebekah that went.  She had a nurse who was probably a close servant and other attendants.  Don’t know to what extent this speaks of the prosperity of Bethuel’s family, but they obviously weren’t poor.

67  “…Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her…”
Simple marriage arrangement.  Covenant expressed between the two parties, probably before witnesses, and then consummation of the union.  While we add much to the arrangements now due to cultural, traditional, and legal requirements, the marriage is still just this simple.  It is still based on a covenant between the two parties and expressed/consummated by sexual relations.  Jewelry and paper cannot keep a marriage together, only commitment and trust.  Not sure what all is expressed by the phrase he loved her.  Reminds me of what husbands are admonished to do.  May speak much about his character.

67  “…Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death
Not sure why this was included.  Perhaps it speaks to his character also, the kindness of his heart which was still missing the presence of the primary female in his life.  Even men with the toughest of exteriors cannot, if honest, deny the need for the tenderness which is only found in a woman.  God created us with it.  It is a shame that it is abused today as much as it is.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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