My dear sisters in Christ, greetings!
Having written a post about single women last time, posting Rebekah’s story appeared obvious to me. Her story can be a lesson for every women, whether they are single or married.
Here is her story.
Meaning: bewitching woman (relates to her extreme beauty)
Husband: Isaac, Abraham’s son
Children: Esau and Jacob (twins)
Qualities: graceful, helpful and dynamic
Shortcomings: deceitful, scheming, openly favored her son Jacob over Esau
When his son Isaac reached the age to elope, Abraham grew worried that his son could marry a heathen woman and be influenced to worship false gods. Therefore, he called his senior servant and sent him in his family to choose a suitable bride for his son.
While his servant was travelling, he prayed and asked God to guide him in his choice. He asked God to show him a sign with the woman who would give him water to drink. He was still praying when suddenly, a beautiful young woman appeared to draw water.
He then asked her to give him some water. She did so and also brought water to his camels. He then proceeded to know her and asked who she was and where she came from. She explained that her name was Rebekah and that she was a relative of Abraham’s.
Abraham’s envoy thanked God and she brought him to her family. He shared her story with ther parents and Laban, her brother; and he gave him expensive gifts as well. He then asked Rebekah’s hand on behalf of Isaac. When Rebekah was asked if she consented to marry him, she accepted and joined Isaac. Isaac fell immediately in love with her and married her as soon as she arrived at his place.
Twenty years later, Rebekah also experienced the same pain than Sarah, her mother-in-law: she was desperately sterile and could not give children to her dear husband. Isaac prayed God and she finally got pregnant. However, she had a difficult pregnancy due to her children fighting in her womb. When she consulted the Lord about it, she was told that her sons represented two nations which would be constantly at war with one another. When she delivered her sons, Jacob’s hand was holding Esau’s heel, as if he wanted to appropriate the first place.
Later, Isaac loved Esau because he was a manly hunter but Rebekah’s preference went to Jacob, who a quiet and clever young man. One day, Isaac, who was old and blind, called Esau and asked him to kill some animal and to prepare his favorite dish; and that he would bless him as he was his firstborn son. When Rebekah heard that, she called her son Jacob and helped him to trick Isaac; so that Jacob would be granted his father’s benediction, instead of Esau. Jacob succeeded to steal Esau’s benediction and when Isaac realized what was done, it was too late for Esau.
One of Rebekah’s last actions was to help Jacob to escape his brother’s revenge. She died without having seen her favourite son again.
- The litteral meaning of Rebekah in Hebrew is “rope with a slipknot”. It was interpreted as a bewitching woman, with an extraordinary beauty
- When she saw Isaac for the first time, she covered herself with her veil, to show her modesty
- She married Isaac some time after he lost his mother Sarah. The Bible precised that he was consoled from his mother’s death after his marriage
- She was Isaac’s cousin, since her father was Abraham’s nephew
- She is indirectly responsible of the war between Edomites and Israelites because of her shemes and deceitful way. This tension between the two people could even be seen at the time of Jesus’s birth when Herod (an Edomite) killed all the children of Bethlehem so that there would be no Jewish Messiah.
What we can learn from Rebekah
- One day your prince will come, even when you don’t expect him! Be prepared and graceful at all times.
- When you need answers to your questions, go to God and consult him.
- Deception and scheming are not a satisying way to obtain what you want in your life. You can be happy in the short term but in the long run you will feel the consequences of your actions. Because of her deceitful ways, Rebekah died without seeing her favourite son again and never knew her grandchildren. She must have had her heart broken because of that.
- If you are a mother, don’t show preference to one of your children over the others. It can bring endless problems in your family in the future that you won’t probably able to fix
Book of Genesis, chapters 24 to 27
Rebekah: Women of Genesis, Orson Scott Card
Do you agree with life lessons from Rebekah’s story? Please feel free to share!