Bible study 24 – Genesis 24Posted: October 27, 2016
Abraham needs to find a wife for Isaac, but he is too old to search himself, and wants his servant to go search for one. So he makes the servant grab him by the testicles and swear solemnly that he will definitely not search for Isaac’s wife-to-be among those Canaanites they are living among (who have been nothing but extremely kind to him so far). Instead, the servant is made to travel to Haran on camel-back to get a wife from Abraham’s family, who is living there. (This trip from central Israel through Syria to southern Turkey seems like it would take a while, but Google suggests you can hike there in 170 hours. Considering camels are probably a little faster and sturdier than humans, he could probably get there in two weeks or so.)
The servant leaves with ten camels and many presents. Once he reaches Haran, Abraham’s grandniece Rebekah gives his camels water, a sign from God that she is the One. The servant gives Rebekah some jewelry, and is invited into her father’s house. Here, he repeats almost verbatim everything that happened since he swore an oath to Abraham, left with ten camels, gave Rebekah the jewels, etc. Rebekah’s family quickly recognizes that he is sent by God, and says he can take Rebekah. The servant says that Abraham instructed him not to force her, but luckily Rebekah is fine with immediately setting off on a two week camel journey to marry her cousin, whom she has never met.
Isaac now lives in the Negeb (roughly the modern Negev desert), presumably a little south of his father’s home of Hebron. When the travelling party reaches the Negeb, Isaac meets them and takes Rebekah as his wife.