Easton's Bible Dictionary
a noose, The daughter of Bethuel, and the wife of Isaac
22:23 ; 24:67
). The circumstances under which Abraham's "steward" found her at the "city of
Nahor," in Padan-aram, are narrated in Genesis
24 - 27.
"She can hardly be regarded as an amiable woman. When we first see her she is
ready to leave her father's house for ever at an hour's notice; and her future
life showed not only a full share of her brother Laban's duplicity, but the grave
fault of partiality in her relations to her children, and a strong will, which
soon controlled the gentler nature of her husband." The time and circumstances
of her death are not recorded, but it is said that she was buried in the cave
of Machpelah ( Genesis
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
fat; fattened; a quarrel appeased
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(ensnarer) Daughter of Bethuel, ( Genesis
22:23 ) and sister of Laban, married to Isaac. She is first presented to us
in ( Genesis
24:1 ) ... where the beautiful story of her marriage is related. (B.C. 1857.)
For nineteen years she was childless: then Esau and Jacob were born, the younger
being the mothers companion and favorite. ( Genesis
25:19 - 28
) Rebekah suggested the deceit that was practiced by Jacob on his blind father.
She directed and aided him in carrying it out, foresaw the probable consequence
of Esaus anger, and prevented it by moving Isaac to send Jacob away to Padan-aram,
27:1 ) ... to her own kindred. ( Genesis
29:12 ) Rebekahs beauty became at one time a source of danger to her husband.
26:7 ) It has been conjectured that she died during Jacobs sojourn in Padan-aram.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
re-bek'-a (ribhqah; Septuagint and New Testament Rhebekka,
whence the usual English spelling Rebecca):
Daughter of Bethuel and an unknown mother, grand-daughter of Nahor and Milcah,
sister of Laban, wife of Isaac, mother of Esau and Jacob.
Her name is usually explained from the Arabic, rabqat, "a tie-rope for animals,"
or, rather, "a noose" in such a rope; its application would then by figure suggest
the beauty (?) of her that bears it, by means of which men are snared or bound;
The root is found in Hebrew only in the noun meaning "hitching-place" or "stall,"
in the familiar phrase "fatted calf" or "calf of the stall," and in view of the
meaning of such names as Rachel and Eglah the name Rebekah might well mean (concrete
for abstract, like riqmah, chemdah, etc.) a "tied-up calf" (or "lamb"?), one therefore
peculiarly choice and fat.
Rebekah is first mentioned in the genealogy of the descendants of Nahor, brother
of Abraham (Genesis
22:20 - 24).
In fact, the family is there carried down just so far as is necessary in order
to introduce this woman, for whose subsequent appearance and role the genealogy
is obviously intended as a preparation. All this branch of the family of Terah
had remained in Aram when Abraham and Lot had migrated to Canaan, and it is at
Haran, "the city of Nahor," that we first meet Rebekah, when in Genesis
24 she is made known to Abraham's servant at the well before the gate.
That idyllic narrative of the finding of a bride for Isaac is too familiar to
need rehearsal and too simple to require comment. Besides, the substance both
of that story and of the whole of Rebekah's career is treated in connection with
the sketches of the other actors in the same scenes. Yet we note from the beginning
the maiden's decision of character, which appears in every line of the narrative,
and prepares the reader to find in subsequent chapters the positive, ambitious
and energetic woman that she there shows herself.
Though the object of her husband's love (Genesis
24:67), Rebekah bore him no children for 20 years (Genesis
25:20 , 25:26).
Like Sarah, she too was barren, and it was only after that score of years and
after the special intercession of Isaac that God at length granted her twin sons.
"The purpose of God according to election," as Paul expresses the matter in Romans
9:11, was the cause of that strange oracle to the wondering, inquiring parents,
"The elder shall serve the younger" (Genesis
Whether because of this oracle or for some other reason, it was that younger son,
Jacob, who became the object of his mother's special love (Genesis
25:28). She it was who led him into the deception practiced upon Isaac (Genesis
27:5 - 17),
and she it was who devised the plan for extricating Jacob from the dangerous situation
into which that deception had brought him (Genesis
27:42 - 46).
When the absence of Jacob from home became essential to his personal safety, Rebekah
proposed her own relations in Aram as the goal of his journey, and gave as motive
the desirability of Jacob's marrying from among her kindred. Probably she did
not realize that in sending her favorite son away on this journey she was sending
him away from her forever. Yet such seems to have been the case. Though younger
than Isaac, who was still living at an advanced age when Jacob returned to Canaan
a quarter of a century later, Rebekah seems to have died during that term. We
learn definitely only this, that she was buried in the cave of Machpelah near
Outside of Genesis, Rebekah is alluded to in Scripture only in the passage from
9:10 - 12)
already cited. Her significance there is simply that of the wife of Isaac and
the mother of two sons of such different character and destiny as Esau and Jacob.
And her significance in Genesis, apart from this, lies in her contribution to
the family of Abraham of a pure strain from the same eastern stock, thus transmitting
to the founders of Israel both an unmixed lineage and that tradition of separateness
from Canaanite and other non-Hebrew elements which has proved the greatest factor
in the ethnological marvel of the ages, the persistence of the Hebrew people.
J. Oscar Boyd
barren, bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, deceit, found by abraham's servant, led jacob to deceive isaac, mother of jacob and esau, rabqat, rebekah, rhebekka, ribhqah, well of water, wife of isaac