|Rebekah - |
Romans 9:10. Arabic, "a rope with a noose," i.e. captivating. Bethuel's daughter, Laban's sister, Isaac's wife (Genesis 22:23; Genesis 22:24), Rebekah, the grand-daughter of Abraham's brother, marries Isaac, Abraham's son; it is an undesigned coincidence with probability that Isaac was the son of Abraham's and Sarah's old age (Genesis 18:12), and so, though of a generation earlier than Rebekah, yet not so much her senior in years. (See ISAAC.) A model marriage: God's direction was asked and given, the godly seed was equally yoked with the seed of the godly, the parents sanctioned it, Rebekah was one who had as a maiden discharged domestic duties diligently; her beauty, courtesy, willing consent, modesty, all made her deservedly attractive, and secured Isaac's love at once and permanently. Barren for 19 years, she at last received children by God's gift in answer to Isaac's prayers.
Before they were born she was told, in answer to her inquiry of the Lord because of her sensations, the elder shall serve the younger (Genesis 25:21-23; Romans 9:10-12), illustrating "the purpose of God, according to election, not of works but of Him that calleth," inasmuch as it was when "neither had done any good or evil." (See JACOB; ESAU.) Jacob was her favorite because of his gentle domestic habits (Genesis 25:28). This partiality led her to the deceit practiced on Isaac to gain his blessing for Jacob (Genesis 27). Esau's Hittite wives "were a grief to Isaac and Rebekah" (Genesis 26:34-35.) Her beauty tempted Isaac when in Gerar, through fear of being killed for Rebekah's sake, to say she was his sister. All compromises of truth, through fear of man (Proverbs 29:25), bring their own punishment. Isaac exposed her to the risk of defilement, which a straightforward course would have averted, and exposed himself to the rebuke of the worldly Abimelech. (See ABIMELECH.) (Genesis 26).
She saved Jacob from Esau's murderous fury by inducing Isaac to send him away to Padan Aram (Genesis 28:1-5); thus she brought on herself by the one great sin the loss of her favorite's presence for the rest of her life, for she was not alive when he returned, Isaac alone survived (Genesis 35:27). Faith in God's promise as to Jacob the younger, given before birth, prompted her to seek the blessing for him; unbelief and ignorance of God's holiness tempted her to do evil that good might come. Deborah her nurse died and was buried at Bethel on Jacob's return. (See DEBORAH.) She evidently had gone back to Padan Aram, and joined Jacob after her mistress' death. Rebekah was buried in the cave of Machpelah with Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was subsequently buried there (Genesis 49:31).