R4E130916 – Rebekah (Old Testament Character Study) by Douglas Jacoby
- Rivqah (Rebekah). In the OT Greek Bible (the Septuagint [LXX]), her name is rendered Rebekka.
- Berekhah (blessing) — a near anagram of Rebekah’s name.
- 22:23; 24 (all)
- 25:21-23; 25:20,26; 26:7 (see Genesis 12 and 20)
- 27:1-28:3; cp. 27:44 and 29:20
- 35:8; 49:31
- Study the character of Laban, Rebekah’s older brother (Genesis 24-25, 27-32).
- Extrabiblical: Archaeologists have discovered documents from the period (2nd millennium BC) directing that if a girl’s father is deceased and another male relative is doing the negotiating, she must give her own consent before being married off. (Yet Bethuel is still alive — 24:50 — even though Rebekah’s brother Laban seems to be doing the negotiating.)
- The New Testament:
- Romans 9:10ff — God’s choice is not made on merit, but by grace.
- Note: She is not mentioned in Hebrews 11, the “Hall of Fame of Faith.”
Some things we learn about God:
- While we ought not to grow lazy (giving up industriousness and responsibility), we do need to leave the outcomes to God. When we hold on to things too tightly, or scramble to reach what the Lord has promised us anyway, we are likely to lose them.
- As we age, we tend to revert to patterns of thinking and interaction that characterized our families of origin. Rebekah started out vibrant, giving, and faithful; as she got older, though not relinquishing her faith, she did succumb to temptations to take matters into her own hands. To stay close to the Lord, we need to resist the temptation to give in to fear; we must be more like Sarah in this regard (1 Peter 3).
- He will often bless us even though we are not acting in full faith — even when we give in to fear.
- Read excerpts from the story in Genesis 24 and comment on the character of the girl Rebekah.
- Was she quiet and selfish, or lively and giving?
- How could she have “done the minimum” when she met Abraham’s servant?
- How much does a camel drink? (There were 10 camels [v.10], each able to drink up to 100 liters [over 26 US gallons or 21 imperial gallons!)
- How strong do you think her arms (and back) were in order to water all the animals?
- Grown-ups do wrong things, too.
- Later in life, Rebekah deliberately deceived her husband (and one of her sons).
- Even people of faith do wrong things.
- The point is to stay close to God, and not to do things because we are afraid we will not be happy.
- 24:20 — Rebekah waters the camels, too. She goes way beyond the call of duty!
- 27:45 — Fear prompts her to try to control others (children, husband).