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Rebekah – Wife of Isaac

Profile of Rebekah, Wife of Isaac and Mother of Esau and Jacob

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Rebecca and Jacob
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Rebekah was assertive in a time when women were expected to be submissive. This quality helped her become Isaac's wife but caused trouble when she pushed one of her sons ahead of the other.

Abraham, father of the Jewish nation, did not want his son Isaac to marry one of the pagan Canaanite women in the area, so he sent his servant Eliezer to his homeland to find a wife for Isaac. When the servant arrived, he prayed that the right girl would not only offer him a drink of water from the well, but offer to water his ten camels too.

Rebekah came out with her water jar and did exactly that! She agreed to go back with the servant and became Isaac's wife.

In time, Abraham died. Like her mother-in-law Sarah, Rebekah was also barren. Isaac prayed to God for her and Rebekah conceived twins. The Lord told Rebekah what would happen to her sons:

"Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger." (Genesis 25:24, NIV)

They named the twins Esau and Jacob. Esau was born first, but Jacob became Rebekah's favorite. When the boys grew up, Jacob tricked his older brother into selling his birthright for a bowl of stew. Later, as Isaac was dying and his eyesight had failed, Rebekah helped Jacob deceive Isaac into blessing him instead of Esau. She put goatskins on Jacob's hands and neck to imitate Esau's hairy skin. When Isaac touched it, he blessed Jacob, thinking it was really Esau.

Rebekah's deception caused strife between Esau and Jacob. Many years later, however, Esau forgave Jacob. When Rebekah died, she was buried in the family tomb, a cave near Mamre in Canaan, the resting place of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and her daughter-in-law Leah.

Rebekah's Accomplishments:

Rebekah married Isaac, one of the patriarchs of the Jewish nation. She bore two sons who became leaders of great nations.

Rebekah's Strengths:

Rebekah was assertive and fought for what she believed was right.

Rebekah's Weaknesses:

Rebekah sometimes thought God needed her help. She favored Jacob over Esau and helped Jacob deceive Isaac. Her trickery led to a split between the brothers that has caused turmoil to this day.

Life Lessons:

Impatience and lack of trust made Rebekah interfere with God's plan. She did not consider the consequences of her action. When we step out of God's timing, we can sometimes cause a disaster we have to live with.

Hometown:

Haran

Referenced in the Bible:

Genesis 22:23: Chapter 24; 25:20-28; 26:7-8, 35; 27:5-15, 42-46; 28:5; 29:12; 35:8; 49:31; Romans 9:10.

Occupation:

Wife, mother, homemaker.

Family Tree:

Grandparents - Nahor, Milcah
Father - Bethuel
Husband - Isaac
Sons - Esau and Jacob
Brother - Leban

Key Verses:

Genesis 24:42-44
"When I came to the spring today, I said, 'LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar," and if she says to me, "Drink, and I'll draw water for your camels too," let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master's son.'" (NIV)

Genesis 24:67
Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. (NIV)

Genesis 27:14-17
So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made. (NIV)

Old Testament People of the Bible (Index)
New Testament People of the Bible (Index)

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