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Genesis 24:20-27 meaning

After Rebekah waters the camels, Abraham’s servant asks her who she is. She tells him she is the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor. Nahor was Abraham's brother. The servant praises God for guiding him to Rebekah. He gives her golden presents and asks for lodging.

Rebekah quickly emptied her jar into the trough for the camels to drink from, and ran back to the well to draw more water. We are told she drew for all his camels—ten camels (Genesis 24:10), large beasts of burden thirsty after the long journey from Canaan. This would have required a lot of time and energy from Rebekah. She's not merely pouring a few glasses of water. She's drawing water from a well and continually filling a trough—this is work. It would be plausible that she might have filled her jar fifty times or more to accomplish this. She was not only beautiful, she was also industrious and strong.

Meanwhile, the servant was gazing at her in silence. He watched her go back and forth from well to trough and pondered whether the Lord had made his journey successful or not. Although Rebekah's actions fulfilled the sign the servant prayed for, that she would give him and his camels water, he seemed not yet sure if she really was the woman he sought. Perhaps this was due to his doubt earlier, before he started the journey, when he asked Abraham what he should do if no woman would agree to marrying Isaac. Or perhaps he wondered about her family, as Abraham had asked him to find a bride for Isaac from among his relatives.

The servant waited silently while she watered the camels, and when the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold, and said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to lodge in your father's house?" If the girl wondered why the stranger didn't lend a hand to help, we are not told about it. But when she gets finished, she is rewarded with some amazing gifts of golden jewelry.

These were precious gifts, a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets weighing ten shekels in gold. The servant prepares to give her these as a reward for her service to him, and possibly to honor her as Isaac's potential bride-to-be, if she turns out to be from Abraham's family.

Rebekah answered the servant, I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor. First she identifies herself and her family. Bethuel, Rebekah's father, was Abraham's nephew. Therefore, Rebekah and Isaac were second cousins. Nahor was Abraham's brother, and the report of his offspring came to Abraham at the end of Genesis 22:20, ""Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor..." One of Milcah and Nahor's sons was Bethuel, father of Rebekah. This fulfills the other requirement for Isaac's bride, that she be from among Abraham's relatives (Genesis 24:4).

Rebekah tells the servant that they have ample room to house him and his camels, We have plenty of both straw and feed, and room to lodge in. The house of Bethuel is doing well for itself, to be able to lodge and feed ten camels, as well as Abraham's servant (and the other men who came with him).

Then the man, the servant, bowed low and worshiped the Lord. His first reaction is to praise God for answering his prayers. He speaks aloud, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His lovingkindness and His truth toward my master; as for me, the Lord has guided me in the way to the house of my master's brothers." We might wonder what Rachel was thinking at this point. She just got showered with gold, now this man is blessing God for answering his prayer.

God has answered the servant's prayer. The servant acknowledges that the God of his master Abraham, had not forsaken His lovingkindness or His truth toward Abraham. The servant clearly knew about the covenant between God and Abraham, and the importance of Abraham's line continuing. This is probably why the weight of this task was so heavy on him, and why he was worried about failing Abraham in v. 5. The servant thanks God for helping him, declaring that the LORD has guided him in the way to the house of his master's brothers.

The city where they live, Haran, is called "the city of Nahor"in v. 11. Nahor was Abraham's brother, and appears to no longer be alive, but his house would have been inherited by Bethuel, with Laban next in line, so the servant had indeed been guided to the house of Abraham's brothers and extended family.


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