1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
Eliezer Loyal and faithfull. He could have served Abraham for 40 years since journeying down through Damascus to the land of Promise (Gen.15.2). Here is a period of probation, reminding us of the servant who loved his master and served him for Life, pierced through his ear with an awl to the Christ door (Ex.21.5.6. Pslm . .40.6) *Swearing oaths typically involved symbolic acts among the ancients.
3 And I will make thee swear by Yahweh, the Elohim of heaven, and the Elohim of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
Eliezer was pledged to find Isaac a wife, but not from the Canaanites. Christ's Bride is taken out of the world, but separate there-after from the world. (Song.l , IJhn.2.15,16,).
"Come out and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing."
Israel forgot these principles and in a third generation lapsed into worldly Apostasy through intermarriage (Jdg.3.6). The same happened to the pre-Flood generation Gen.6. 1,2, giving rise to that awful antediluvian Apostasy. *
Abraham, like every enlightened father, was anxious on the subject of the marriage of his son. His anxiety differed altogether from that of the moderns, whose principal solicitude relates to income and worldly prospects.
He might have found a suitable match on this score among "the daughters of Canaan"-the landed folk of the age; for he was on terms of equality with the leading people, even to their very kings. But he declined an alliance in this direction. The cup of the Amorites was not yet full, but it was filling, and he did not wish alliance with a state of society whose corruptions may be learnt from Lev. 18 as applied in verses 24-25.
He preferred to seek a wife for his son in the family of his own father, who had joined with him in the original pilgrimage from Ur at the command of the Lord (Gen. 11:31), and the members of which showed in their subsequent intercourse with Abraham's servant that they knew and feared the God of Abraham.
Thus early did scruples on the "marriage question" characterise the friends of God....
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
There are two difficulties in the way. Eliezer, his steward, did not know where he was to find his master's kindred (for there were no directories in those days, and a general reference to Mesopotamia was a poor guide); and even if he found them out, it might turn out there was no woman suitable for a wife for Isaac, or being suitable, she might be unwilling; and how, in that case, was the thing to prosper? Eliezer stated the latter difficulty, and enquired, in case it should turn out so, whether he was, in that case, to take Isaac back to Mesopotamia?
Abraham was emphatic on this point. Wife or no wife, Eliezer was to beware of taking Isaac back to Mesopotamia. It was a command from God that he and his seed were to sojourn in the land wherein they were strangers, and Abraham would not break one command in trying to keep another-a striking and important example. Abraham's confidence was this:
"The Lord God of heaven shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence."
He was prepared, however, for failure, if the will of God were so.
Ways of Providence
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 Yahweh Elohim of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
God's providence does work in the lives of the saints, and a faithful Israelite discerns this (Jer.l0.23).*
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
10 And the servant took 10 camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor.
11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
12 And he said, O Yahweh Elohim of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
Eleazer and his party, travelled NE to Haran, across Syria, across the Euphrates, a long arduous journey in faith, about 7-800 miles. He stops at the well, and prays to Yahweh, at the evening of the day (Rom. 13 .12, l Thess.5.4). His prayer is linked with the water of life (Jhn. 4). Here were living waters at a time the daughters came down to draw water. Would one of them be Isaac's bride, he prays, the one that gave him water and the camels too (10 of these!) *
15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.
Rebekah, a pure and fair virgin Bride (Rev. 14. 4, 2 Cor. 11. 2,3),
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
18 And she said, Drink, my Yahweh: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.
19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.
20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
So it was, his prayer was answered. She has compassion to a stranger and shows hospitality. She is of a generous and warm hearted spirit. She was a burden bearer (Rom.15.1.2, Ga1.,6.2) She made haste (v.20) and laboured mightily to draw gallons of water for the camels (20 galls; per camel). *
21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether Yahweh had made his journey prosperous or not.
22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;
Her ears and hands were adorned with gold by the gifts of Eliezer, speaking of the gold of a tried and perfected faith.through hearing and actions, which would be reflected in Rebekah's faithful life (Gen.25.22,Gen.27, Rom.10. 17, Pslm.24.4, 2 Pet 1:7)). *The gifts Eliezer gives to Rebekah reveal Abraham's wealth and help convince Rebekah's family to allow her to return with him.
23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?
24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor.
25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped Yahweh.
27 And he said, Blessed be Yahweh Elohim of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, Yahweh led me to the house of my master's brethren.
28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things.
29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well.
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of Yahweh; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.
32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him.
33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant.
36 And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
ARE you, in searching for a partner for life, looking for one whom God would approve-one who would serve a nobler part than the mere providing of a comfortable home, or animal existence? Then turn your eyes in the way of those only who love the Bible, and who show their love for it by a regular and faithful reading of its pages.
This is the counsel of the Oracles of God, and none can deny it. What if this counsel is mocked by outsiders, and emphasised by far too few of those who name the name of Christ? Wisdom is wisdom, and is indestructible, and happy are they who heed her voice.
Marriage with the alien is a sin, and marriage with those who are unfaithful to Bible teaching, is akin to it. Satisfactory partners-wise and good people (judging wisdom and goodness by the divine standard)-are not to be found away from Bible influence, and this influence exists alone where a constant and attentive place is given to scripture study.
In the matter of marriage, never be in a hurry. Avoid being led into an unwise arrangement by self-deception. A man or a woman is not in the truth (whatever their claims may be) who does not believe and obey it-who has no fondness for it, and fondness shows itself by a desire to read and talk about it.
We are wise if we aim at securing partners more spiritually-minded than ourselves, not less so. Marriage is a very serious matter-it means either help or hindrance in the fight for eternal life. God is concerned in the marriage of His children, for He is concerned in their salvation. Hear, therefore, His voice in the act of choosing. He has spoken plainly. Hesitate not to search and ponder His mind, and your marriage will be no failure.
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Nov 1905
38 But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said unto me, Yahweh, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house:
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Yahweh Elohim of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom Yahweh hath appointed out for my master's son.
45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
She made haste - the true bride sees the Truth as a matter of urgency (Rom. 13. 11, 12, I Thess. 5. 2-8). She brought forth the water of life and gave freely to others.*
*The Apocalyptic Messenger, July 2016
47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh Elohim of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son.
. All things have been perfectly natural. But he has confidence in the guidance of Abraham's God. He stands by the well outside the city. Other men besides Bethuel dwell in the place; and there are many daughters whose custom it is to come to the well in the evening to draw water.
Which of them all is it that suits his delicate errand? He asks God to give his errand good speed. He proposes an indication: let the first woman to whom he shall speak be the woman, if she offer to draw water for his camels as well as himself.
...Now here is a case of angelic arrangement beyond question. Yet no angels were seen. The man Eliezer went on from step to step in a natural way. He was not conscious of any interference. He seemed to follow his own volitions all the way. How is this reconcilable with angelic guidance? The case of Balaam illustrates it inversely. An Angel stood in the way to arrest his progress (Numb. 22:22-31). Balaam did not see any angel, but attributed the awkwardness of the animal he rode to a freak of temper. "The Lord opened his eyes" (verse 31) and then he became aware of the situation.
There was no need to open the eyes of Eliezer, Abraham's servant; the case did not call for it. But if his eyes had been opened, he would have seen that an angelic guide was directing his way, invisibly operating upon him to conceive impulses and think thoughts which to his consciousness were all his own.
The teaching of the case is plain.
"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about those that fear Him;"
And directs their way without any open or apparent interference with the natural order of things.
What is due to a man's own thoughts and what to angelic supervision, a man cannot by his own reasoning discriminate. He need not attempt it. His part is simply to fear God, do His commandments, commit his way to Him, in the full and cheerful confidence that-
"All things work together for good to them that love God and who are the called according to His purpose."
Ways of Providence
49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from Yahweh: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
ABRAHAM'S faith having been perfected by the severe trial to which it was subjected on the Mount of the Lord, the remainder of his sojourn among the living appears to have been no further illustrated by angelic visitations.
Sarah had died "at Kirjatharba, the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan," two years after his removal from Beer-sheba; where he continued to reside for the rest of his days, being a period of thirty-eight years.
During this time, "the Lord blessed him in all things;" and he became great in the midst of Canaan, though he possessed of it only the field and cave of Machpelah, which he had purchased for a burial place of the sons of Heth. The Lord had given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and camels, and asses (Gen. 24:35); and so gave him an influence and consideration among the surrounding tribes which riches are sure to create.
But in all his prosperity, he did not forget the promises. He had trained up Isaac in his own faith; and in order to preserve him from the evil and corrupting influence of faithless women, and to contribute to the future welfare of his descendants, he took an oath of his steward that he should not take a wife for his son of the daughters of the Canaanites among whom he dwelt, but from among his kindred in Mesopotamia, who appear to have also believed in God (Gen. 24:50, 11).
Elpis Israel 3.2.
51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as Yahweh hath spoken.
52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped Yahweh, bowing himself to the earth.
53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing Yahweh hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
No hesitation! As Abraham was willing to leave his country and family having been called our of Ur by Yahweh (Gen 12: 1-4), so Rebekah is willing to leave her kindred in full assurance of faith for a man she has not yet met. The marriage prospers.
"It was but a little that I passed from them, But I found him whom my soul loveth:
I held him, and would not let him go" [Song 3: 4]
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse [Deborah], and Abraham's servant, and his men.
But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Beth-el under an oak:
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. [22: 1`7]
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.
Beer Lahairoi [16: 14] The location of Hagar's visitation. The well of Lahairoi meaning " The well of him that liveth and seeth me". Hagar in affliction met with an angel and was informed she was pregnant. Her son would be called Ishmael (El shall hear) because Yahweh heard her affliction.
Ishmael would be "a wild man, his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him".
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
'My master' - Isaac was the heir to Abraham's immense wealth
" And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac" [Gen 25: 5]
66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.