Women in the Bible: Rebekah
Rebekah married Isaac and had twin boys: Esau and Jacob. Her story is found in Genesis 24 through 28.
The family tree of Rebekah is confusing. She is the daughter-in-law of Abraham and Sarah, as well as their great niece (the daughter of their nephew, Bethuel. Remember Abraham and Sarah share the same father.) That means that Rebekah’s in-laws were also her great aunt and uncle. Talk about weird.
Abraham didn’t want his son Isaac to marry a local girl, so he sent his servant to his home country to find a wife for Isaac. At God’s direction, the servant found Rebekah—when she offered to water his camels—and she agreed to go with him to marry a man (and a relative) she had never met. This was a tribute to her character (or perhaps a reflection of her desire to leave home and marry). Isaac was forty at the time, but we don’t know how old she was.
Just like her mother-in-law, Rebekah was beautiful. And just like his father, Isaac passed her off as his sister: a bad lesson he learned from his parents.
It was twenty years before she could have children, but when she did, she had twins. While Isaac favored the older, Esau, Rebekah favored the younger, Jacob. When parents play favorites, it is never a good idea. The boys didn’t get along and conflicts ensued.
So Rebekah was a beautiful woman of character, who (along with her husband) wasn’t such a good parent. May we not repeat their error.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.