Finding a Wife for Isaac—A Lesson in Faith and Obedience

Genesis 24:2, So Abraham said. In appointing Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac, Abraham was deputizing him to become the friend of the bridegroom, or the family representative in this important mission. (For more on this subject, see notes at John 3:29.)

Genesis 24:2, 9, Your hand under my thigh. (Heb. yarek; see also Gen 47:29) Abraham’s servant literally placed his hands on Abraham’s testicles swearing an oath on Abraham’s projected progeny, even as in modern times we place our hands on the Bible. Interestingly, the word testicle or teste derives from the Latin words testis meaning “testimony, testify and testament.” Yarek is the same word the KJV translates “hollow of his thigh” in Genesis 32:25 and 32, although, in this case, it seems to be referring to the tendon of the hip.

Genesis 24:4, Take a wife for my son Isaac. Some Bible students see in Abraham’s sending Eliezer his servant an allegory of our Heavenly Father choosing a bride for Yeshua, his Son with the help of the Set-Apart Spirit. The analogy goes like this: When speaking to Abraham, YHVH refers to Isaac as “your only son…whom you love” (Gen 22:2). In this statement, it’s hard to miss the similarity with the well-known John 3:16 passage where Yeshua refers to himself as the only begotten Son whom his Father in heaven loves. Isaac is an obvious prophetic picture of Yeshua in that Abraham sacrificed a ram in place of his only son whom he loved on the very spot where, one thousand years later, the Temple of Solomon would be built and where sacrifices were made to atone for men’s sin. This is the same spot later on where Yeshua himself was condemned to death and not far from there became the Lamb of Elohim who was sacrificed to atone for men’s sins. In addition, the name Eliezer means “my El helps,” which many see as an allusion to the Set-Apart Spirit who helps or comforts us, and to which Yeshua refers to as the Comforter or Helper (e.g. John 14:16). It is the Set-Apart Spirit that is choosing and preparing a bride from among called and redeemed Israelites for Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of Elohim.

Genesis 24:6, 8, Beware that you bring not my son there again. Why was Abraham insistent that Isaac not be exposed to Babylon? What was there to beware of (shamar/RNA) meaning “to guard against, protect from, keep watch and ward, preserve, keep oneself from”)? The key is verse seven. What does this teach us about protecting our children and loved ones from the corrupting influences of this world? We must be ever vigilant like a soldier on guard duty to preserve and protect our children from those things that could lead to their spiritual ruination. YHVH had led Abraham out of the spiritual filth of Babylon. In no way did he want Isaac to go back to what he had left behind. If Isaac had seen the prosperity and convenience of a Babylonian lifestyle, he might have been tempted to stay there—especially if he had found a suitable wife there. Abraham insisted that any potential mate leave Babylon and come to Isaac and not vice versa. Are we investing the necessary time and energy into our children to insure that they do not return to the spiritual Babylon from which we fled prior to our conversion, and that they find spouses who are willing to leave spiritual Babylon behind before marrying our children?

Genesis 24:12, Give me success. Scripture directs us to, “Trust in YHVH with all your heart and lean not unto your own understandings, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths” (Prov 3:5–6). Explain how Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, did this in executing his responsibilities in finding Isaac a wife.

Abraham was a man of faith—even the father of the faithful (Rom 4:12, 16). Eliezer was likewise a man of faith. Abraham had taught him well, just like a son. How does Eliezer evidence faith? For example, he blesses Rebecca even before he knows who she really is (Gen 24:22) all on the basis of an answered prayer. Do we walk in such trusting faith, day-by-day, moment-by-moment? Are we teaching the little ones under our charge these same attributes as Abraham taught his dependents?

Genesis 24:17–18, Let me drink. See notes at Mark 9:41.

Genesis 24:30, When he saw. Laban’s preoccupation with materialism would dominate his life for many years to come as the story of Jacob’s dealings with him would later prove. The character traits one manifests as a child or youth are often precursors of how a person will act later on whether good or bad. In Laban’s case, he was greedy and covetous as a youth and as an older man.

Genesis 24:45, Speaking in my heart. Obviously, Eliezer was in constant communications with YHVH through prayer. Is this not a character trait of a righteous person? 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing. In Luke 18:1–7, Yeshua teaches about the benefits of righteous and prevailing prayer. How often do you pray? Once a day? When you pray, is it merely a morning and/or evening ritual that leaves your soul (mind, will and emotions) untouched and unchanged? Is this the kind of relationship the Father is seeking with you? A mighty man of Elohim when asked the question, “How long do you pray each day?” once replied, “Seldom do I pray more than one-half hour, but seldom do I go more than a half hour without praying.” Could this be said of you?

Genesis 24:53, Then the servant brought out jewelry. Here Eliezer is presenting Rachel’s family with a dowry. What was the purpose of the dowry? In ancient times, a family’s efficiency and work force was diminished when losing a daughter to marriage. The dowry compensated the family for the loss of a worker. Often unmarried daughters not only fetched water from the well, but would also tend the father’s flock (Gen 29:6; Exod 2:16), tend to household chores or work in the fields (Manners and Customs, pp. 127–128). Additionally, the father was expected to give part of the dowry to his daughter in case the marriage failed, she would have some financial resources to fall back on. Leah and Rachel complained when their father failed to provide for them thusly (Gen 31:15; ibid., p. 128).

Genesis 24:58, I will go. Rebecca demonstrated unusual faith. She, like her Uncle Abraham and Aunt Sarah before her, was willing to leave the comforts and security of Babylon and to go with a stranger to a strange place and to live as a nomad. When asked, “Will you go with this man?” she replied quickly and to the point, “I will go.” Do you have such unreserved devotion to Yeshua, the Lover of your soul and your Betrothed, that you will go WHEREVER he leads no matter how difficult or uncomfortable the way? Or have you placed restrictions and qualifications on him? Compare your faith on a scale of one to ten with that of Abraham, Eliezer and Rebecca.

Genesis 24:62, The well of Lachai Roi. Isaac was a man of the well, for he is associated with a well eight times (24:62; 25:11; 26:19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 32). Eight is the biblical number of new beginnings. Spiritually, what does a well represent and how does this relate to the number eight? (See Isa 12:3 and John 4:7–13.)

The first mention in Scripture of Isaac after he was bound to the altar on Mount Moriah (Gen 22) was that “Isaac came from the way of the well Lachai-roi” (Gen 24:62). If Isaac’s binding to the altar typified the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Yeshua, and at the next mention of Isaac we find him at the well Lachai-roi (meaning “the Living One who sees me”) what does this spiritually typify? What blessing came to man upon Yeshua’s ascension? (Read John 16:7 where Yeshua takes about sending the Comforter or Helper and Ephesians 4:9 where we learn about the spiritual gifts Yeshua sent to his people after his ascension.)

Genesis 24:63, Went out to meditate. What does this one verse tell us about the kind of man Isaac was? Do you have moments each day where you turn off the world to connect with and listen to YHVH, to reflect before YHVH on the past day, and to meditate, pray and supplicate? Can you think of any other great biblical personages who would slip away from the press and exigencies of life to spend time alone with their Heavenly Father?

Prophetic Types and Shadows: A Quick Study on Isaac and Rebekah

There are many prophetic spiritual types and shadows to be found in the Torah that point forward prophetically to Yeshua the Messiah. A series of events in Isaac’s life beginning in Genesis 22 and culminating in chapter 24 provide us with some amazing antetypical glimpses into events that would surround the life of Yeshua the Messiah some 1800 years later.

  • Genesis 22, As we noted in the previous parashah, the Akeidah or binding of Isaac on Mount Moriah is prophetic shadow-picture of Yeshua’s crucifixion on the altar of the cross. But note the conclusion of this incident in verse 19. There we see that Abraham returns to his young men with no mention made of Isaac being with him. Where was Isaac? Obviously, he was accompanying his father, however the Scriptures fail to mention this. Interestingly, according to Jewish folklore, Isaac was actually killed, but that YHVH resurrected him subsequently. This further strengthens the assertion we have made that the Akeidah was a prophetic picture of the substitutionary death and resurrection of Yeshua at the cross. If Isaac was an antetype of Yeshua, then logically, Abraham would be a type of Elohim the Father. So for illustrative purposes, let’s assume that Isaac’s absence is a picture of Yeshua’s crucifixion and, thus following this scenario, when does Isaac (or Yeshua) next appear on the scene? A wonderful story is about to unfold from the pages of the Bible as we answer this question!
  • Genesis 24:1, After the death of Sarah, Abraham’s first order of business was to find a wife for Isaac. Similarly, after Yeshua was resurrected from the dead he returned to heaven where his Father began to prepare a spiritual bride for him, which are the saints of redeemed Israel (read 2 Cor 11:2; Rev 19:7–9).
  • Genesis 24:2ff, Who did Abraham employ to procure for his son a bride? It was Eliezar, his eldest and most trusted servant. In Hebrew, Eliezar means “El (God) is my helper.” Who is the Chief Servant, if you will, of the Father in heaven who is presently searching for and preparing a bride for Yeshua his Son? It is the Set-Apart (Holy) Spirit of Elohim who the Scriptures call the Comforter or Helper (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).
  • Genesis 24:10, Eliezar went to Babylon to find a bride for Isaac. In the last days, where is YHVH calling his people out of in order to prepare them to be the bride of Yeshua? (See Rev 18:2, 4.)
  • Genesis 24:14ff, Eliezar puts Rebekah to the test to determine her suitability as a wife for Isaac. Presently, the Father is testing the saints to determine their suitability as a wife for Yeshua. Not all redeemed believers will be the wife of Yeshua. There are levels of rewards in Elohim’s kingdom. Some will be the least in his kingdom and some will be the greatest (Matt 5:19), and not all the virgins were allowed into the wedding supper—only those who had prepared themselves spiritually (Matt 25:1–13).
  • Genesis 24:16, Although Rebekah lived in Babylon, she was a virgin (Heb. betulah). She hadn’t fornicated with any other men. Similarly, the Father is looking for a virgin bride for Yeshua who, though in the world, is not of the world (John 17:11, 14), and who has not spiritually fornicated with the world. (See 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:27 cp. Rev 14:4.)
  • Rebekah is found at a well drawing water. This a picture of the end time bride of Yeshua who will be found drawing water from the spiritual wells of salvation or Yeshua (Isa 12:3). From Yeshua she will be filling her vessels or lives with the Torah (the Word of Elohim) and the Spirit of Elohim (John 4:23–24). Not only that, Eliezar had ten camels (Gen 24:10) that Rebekah watered (verse 19). These camels are likely a picture of the ten lost and scattered tribes of Israel, who are the lukewarm believers, the foolish virgins, and the least in the kingdom who still haven’t come out of Babylonian religious systems and meet the qualifications of YHVH Yeshua’s bride-saints (see Rev 12:17; 14:12). Rebekah the bride feeding Eliezar’s camels is a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s end time saints spiritually watering or discipling new converts who need to come out of spiritual Babylonian religious systems (Rev 18:4). Malachi prophesied that in the end times just before the second coming (Mal 4:1–3) the people of YHVH would be returning to the Torah and turning their hearts back to the spiritual fathers of their faith (Mal 4:4–6).
  • Rebekah demonstrated a humble, modest, hard-working and submissive spirit. This is the type of demeanor Yeshua is looking for in his spiritual bride. 
  • Genesis 24:22, Eliezar gives gifts (Heb. mohar) to Rebekah as a down payment or “earnest money” showing the seriousness of Abraham’s offer to Rebekah. Similarly, Yeshua promised to send his Set-Apart Spirit to his disciples as a down payment or earnest money of his future intentions to marry them (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:14). Furthermore, Eliezar gives Rebekah a finger ring and an ear ring. The Bible indicates in several places that the servants of YHVH are to remember his ways—the Torah—in all that they do and think as if it were a mark on their head and hands (Exod 13:9, 16; Deut 11:18). In Revelation 22:4, we read that YHVH will write his name on the foreheads of his people in the New Jerusalem. Of course, those who serve the devil will have Satan’s counterfeit mark of possession on their heads and hands as well (Rev 14:9).
  • Genesis 24:54, Eliezar wanted to leave Babylon immediately with Rebekah and return to Abraham. This is prophetic of YHVH’s plea to his end time people to come out of Babylon the Great immediately (Rev 18:4), which is a last days religious, economic and political system that represents all that is evil and contrary to the Word, will and ways of YHVH-Elohim and YHVH-Yeshua his Son.
  • Genesis 24:55, Although Eliezar and Rebekah wanted to leave her father’s house in Babylon, her family was not willing to let go of her, but insisted that she remain with them in Babylon. In the end times, some believers will heed YHVH’s call to come out of Babylon the Great, while others will be reluctant to leave succumbing rather to the allurements of Babylon to stay “in her” (see Rev 18:3–4 cp. 2 Thess 2:1–12 with emphasis on verse 10–12).
  • Genesis 24:58, Rebekah was a woman of faith and was immediately willing to leave her home in Babylon to marry Isaac in Canaan, whom she had never seen. Those saints who wish to be the bride of Yeshua must be willing to leave the spiritual defilement of modern Babylon and to follow the Lamb wherever he goes, even though they have never literally seen him (Rev 14:4).
  • Genesis 24:62, The very next time we see Isaac after the akeidah is in verse 62 where he is meditating, supplicating and praying at the well of Lachairoi, which means, “well of the living one seeing me.” This is a prophetic picture of Yeshua the Son, in heaven awaiting his return to earth after his resurrection. There in the Presence of his Father, the Living One who sees him, and whose throne is the well or source of the river of life, Yeshua is making intercession for the saints who are his bride to be (Rom 8:34; Heb 7:25).
  • Genesis 24:64, Rebekah arrives from Babylon on a camel—a semi-kosher animal, which chews its cud, but does not have a completely split hoof (Deut 14:7). This animal is emblematic of Babylon—a word that means “mixture” of good and evil. This alludes to the fact that the bride of Yeshua who comes out of spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:4), like the animal Rebekah was riding, will not be a perfectly “kosher” or righteous or a Torah-obedient bride, but will be a mixture of good and evil. This also points to the grace of Elohim who loves us and accepts us as his Son’s bride, even though we still have worldly and carnal traits.
  • Now let’s look at this spiritual picture from a slightly different angle. Eliezar is a prophetic picture of the Spirit of Elohim finding and preparing a bride for Isaac (a picture of Yeshua). Rebekah answers the call of the Spirit, leaves Babylon, and with her come the ten camels picturing the ten tribes of Israel, which she is responsible for feeding and bringing out of Babylon. It is our role as redeemed Torah-obedient Israelites who have faith in Yeshua to share the truth of the Torah with as many of our Christian brethren as possible who are still caught up in many non-biblical and even pagan religious traditions. As we give them water (i.e. the Word of Elohim) from the wells of salvation (i.e, Yeshua who is both the Written Torah and the Living Torah, i.e, the Word of Elohim that was made flesh, see John 1:1, 14), they will want to come out of spiritual Babylon (Rev 18:4) and return to the Promised Land of the Hebraic roots of their faith. This fulfills Malachi’s end-times prophecy about the hearts of the children being turned back to their fathers (Mal 3:6).
  • Genesis 24:65,When Rebekah arrives in the Promised Land, Isaac comes out to meet her, his bride, who had just come from Babylon. This is a prophetic picture of Yeshua coming from heaven to meet his spiritual bride in the air at the resurrection of the saints (1 Cor 15:51–53; 2 Thess 4:13–18; Rev 11:14–18). Meanwhile, Rebekah covered herself with a veil. This prophetically points to the saints of Yeshua who receive their glorified bodies at the resurrection at his second coming. It also is a picture of the New Jerusalem descending upon the bride of Yeshua like a glorious spiritual bridal gown when (or after) Yeshua returns (Rev 21:2).
  • Genesis 24:67, Upon meeting, Isaac immediately takes Rebekah to his tent to consummate the marriage. This prophetically speaks of the marriage supper of the Lamb where Yeshua and his bride become one (Rev 19:7–9).Verse 63, Meditate. Heb. jUå/suwach meaning “muse, commune, speak, complain.” This is the only place in the Tanakh this word is found. According to the TWOT, the basic meaning of this verb seems to be “to rehearse, repent, or to over a matter in one’s mind,” and involves inward our outward (audible) contemplation. The parent noun is vjhå/siha (and cognates) meaning “prayer, thought, communication, or pious mediation.” This is the first mention in the Bible of someone praying.

Share your thoughts...