Started Strong, But Did He Stay the Course?
Steve Daskal, CMAA
Gen 24 — This long chapter contains the story of how Abraham endeavors to ensure that Isaac has children of his own from “good stock.” I’m not going to go through it verse by verse; you can read it on your own if you haven’t already. Essentially, Abraham is firmly determined to find a wife for Isaac “from amongst his own people” — someone of Semitic, Aramean descent, not a Hamitic Canaanite or Egyptian. He wisely does not want his son, whose descendants are to inherit the land, to marry into one of the pagan families of the “old order” in the land. He also is probably aware of, and saddened by, what happened to Lot, who had not been so careful with his children. Abraham’s anonymous servant is introduced here — and he has an important role for someone who is left anonymous. He may have been the Elieazer of Damascus, Abraham’s foreman spoken of in Gen 15:2, who would have been his heir had Isaac not been born, or perhaps one of Elieazer’s sons (among these people, servants had various degrees of rank, that were inheritable like property). The servant is made to swear two things — first that he would do his best to bring a wife to Isaac from amongst Isaac’s maternal cousins back in Paddan Aram, but above all, under no condition was he to bring or allow Isaac to go back to Aram! Abraham is confident that the servant will be successful; that God will send an angel to smooth his path before him to accomplish what is needful. Although Rebekah has never met her future husband, she seems quite willing to abandon her life in upper Mesopotamia and go in faith to meet and marry her new husband in a distant, unfamiliar land, knowing she will probably never see her family again.