Rebekah is identified as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau in the Bible. She was the daughter of “Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother” (Genesis 24:15). Like Sarah (ch. 12:11) and Rachel (ch. 29:17), Rebekah was very attractive (Genesis 24:15).
Abraham wanted to find a godly wife for his son Isaac, so he sent his servant to his family to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia on this mission. When the servant got there, he prayed at the city well that the Lord may prosper his efforts. When he finished his prayer, a beautiful young virgin named Rebekah, came to draw water from the well. So, Abram’s servant asked her for a drink. She not only offered him a drink but also watered his camels. Her act of kindness was a specific answer to the sign he put before God (Genesis 24:10–28).
Marriage arrangements were done between Abraham’s servant and Rebekah’s father—and brother, Laban. And the servant of Abraham took Rebekah back home to marry Isaac (Genesis 24:67). But she was barren, so Isaac prayed for her and the Lord heard his prayer (Genesis 25:21). The Lord answered and blessed her with a twins – Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:22–24).
During her pregnancy, the Lord gave her a prophecy showing that the babies in her womb will be two great nations but will oppose each other (Genesis 25:22–23). This prophecy was fulfilled for the descendants of Esau the Edomites warred against the descendants of Jacob until they were subdued (Obadiah 1:1-21).
Esau the oldest was a skilled hunter and Isaac’s favorite son (Genesis 25:28). Jacob the younger was a “mild man’ and Rebekah’s favorite son. Rebekah seeing that Jacob was more spiritual than his brother Esau and deserving of the birthright blessing, she planned for Jacob to deceive Isaac into giving him the birthright (Genesis 27:1–40). The plan worked.
When Esau found out that Jacob stole his birthright, he decided to kill him. So, Rebekah asked Jacob to flee to her brother Laban and start a new life there (Genesis 27:41–46). Instead of trusting God to choose the right man to receive His blessing, Rebekah took matters into her own hands forgetting that God was the One that blessed her and orchestrated all the events in her life.
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