Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 24

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-9


In this chapter we have a striking picture of the work of the triune God for obtaining a bride for the Son. The initiative comes from the Father (Genesis 24:1-1 Samuel :), the servant is a picture of the Holy Spirit (Genesis 24:10-2 Peter :), the bride is a picture of the church that is related with the Lord Jesus (Genesis 24:62-Tobit :).

Also practically there is much in this chapter that can help and encourage us in our lives with the Lord. As in the previous chapter, we do not hear a voice of God with a command. We don’t see any miracles either. We become partakers of considerations of believers who seek the way of the Lord and we see how the Lord leads.

The lesson is not that we get an answer to our prayers as quickly as the servant and then the answer we want. The lesson is that we may consider and in confidence ask the Lord for His guidance and that He gives it.

A Wife for Isaac

Abraham states that the wife for his son may not come from the nations, but from his own family. It must be someone who suits him. The application for today is that a believer may not enter into a relationship with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14). He may only marry ‘in the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 7:39), that is to say, someone who also belongs to the Lord Jesus.

The bride must be taken from the country where Abraham comes from. Isaac remains in the land of promise. Thus the Lord Jesus remains in heaven, while the Holy Spirit prepares the church to meet her Bridegroom.

Finding such a wife requires effort. There are many factors to take into account. If we look at these factors humanly, it is an impossible task. However, if we count on the guidance of the Lord, it is a path of faith that we can confidently follow to a good end.

Verses 10-14

The Prayer of the Servant

The servant sets out “with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand” (cf. Genesis 24:36). For all these good things ten camels are needed, so it is not small what he takes with him. In the same way, today the Holy Spirit wants to show all the glories of the Father and the Son to the church, to us, to persuade us to go with Him through the wilderness, on our way to the Lord Jesus. Those precious things are not few.

In everything the servant does, we see full dependence on God. This is an example for us to surrender our whole lives to His guidance (Proverbs 3:6). It is important – and we must pray for this – that God shows us His will and guidance and that we also have an eye for it (Psalms 32:8; Psalms 27:11).

The place where the servant prays is near a well of water. There he expects the answer to his prayer. Water is a picture of the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26). The Holy Spirit will never do anything without the Word of God. The servant asks the LORD if He will show him that the girl has characteristics which testify that she belongs to Abraham’s family, that is to say that he can see from her behavior the characteristics of Godly life, the characteristics of a believer. “A prudent wife is from the LORD” (Proverbs 19:14).

The servant asks the LORD to show him that the girl is doing more than he asks. He will ask her if she has water for him. If she consents and offers to draw water for the camels, it is the girl the LORD has destined for the son of his lord. The true believer is characterized by the fact that, without any request to that effect, he does more than is asked of him.

Verses 15-20

The Servant Meets Rebekah

The LORD heareth the prayer of the servant. He is done according to his faith. His prayer is answered quickly, even before he has finished speaking. The first one to come to draw water is the girl he prayed for. She responds to his prayer. That she also thinks of the camels, proves once again that she is a righteous one (Proverbs 12:10).

Rebekah is not only handsome and pure, she is also helpful and diligent. She shows her desire to refresh others when they ask for it. As said, she does more than she has been asked to do. The servant has asked for “a little water”, but she lets him drink until he has enough. After that she also draws for “your camels”. That is a huge job, because camels drink enormous amounts of water and it concerns ten camels (Genesis 24:10). She knows what she asks and does what she wants to do. This is how the Lord Jesus sees His church. How good is it, when we, as members of His church, are committed to what serves to refresh others.

Verses 21-25

Closer Acquaintance

Before he comes to the conclusion that she is the wife for whom he has prayed, he observes her silently. He does not rush, but seeks the confirmation of what he has asked the LORD (cf. Habakkuk 2:1). He doesn’t disturb her in her work, but also lets her take care of the camels. When the camels have drunk enough, he decorates Rebekah with the decorations he received from Abraham (Genesis 24:47).

Rebekah has shown her service. That is a decoration. Our practice as a Christian is an ornament of the teachings of Christ (Titus 2:10). In everything in which the believer makes the new life work, he is decorated, making his beauty even greater.

To convince himself that she is the woman for whom he has prayed the LORD, he asks who she is. At the same time he asks if he can spend the night in her father’s house. Rebekah tells that she is the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham (Genesis 11:26). She belongs to the family of Abraham and thus meets the necessary condition to be the wife of Isaac. The servant’s second question, about the possibility of spending the night, is answered by her with a hospitable offer.

Verses 26-27

The Servant Praises the LORD

After he has received the assurance that Rebekah is the woman who responds to his order, he praises the LORD for His great fidelity to Abraham and the guidance he himself has experienced. He has prayed for prosperity, and now that he has obtained it, he thanks God for it. What we receive as an answer to our prayer should as a first reaction of be answered by us with thanksgiving (Daniel 2:19).

Verses 28-31


Rebekah’s brother, Laban, is a man who is only interested in adoration. He is a picture of an earthly- and worldly-minded Christian. Outwardly such a Christian belongs to the family of God, but like Laban, it is only about monetary gain (cf. Acts 8:13-Jeremiah :).

Verses 32-49

The Report of the Servant and His Question

If food is set before the servant to eat, he will not eat until he has told his business. What occupies him internally – his lord’s command – is more important to him than the needs of his body (Genesis 24:32-Micah :). We see the same with the Lord Jesus in His life on earth (John 4:34).

The servant tells them in detail the wonderful confluence of circumstances, in which he clearly describes the guidance of God. First he introduces himself. He is the servant of Abraham. Then he tells about his sponsor and how he is blessed by the LORD, and that there is a son to whom Abraham has given all that he possesses (Genesis 24:34-Zephaniah :).

Next, he announces with which commission his lord sent him on his way, how he reacted to it and what Abraham said about it (Genesis 24:37-Mark :). He tells them how he prayed to ask for guidance through a sign (Genesis 24:42-Acts :). Then he recounts how God has answered his prayer – which he has spoken in his heart – to the smallest details (Genesis 24:45-2 Corinthians :). Finally, he reports how he bowed his knees before the LORD and worshipped Him for the goodness shown to him (Genesis 24:48).

The servant’s report contains a wealth of data on the greatness of his lord and his son. He also talks about what his lord’s plan is with regard to the bride. He also mentions the way he went.

In all this we can see a picture of the work of the Holy Spirit Who wants to tell us about the glory of the Lord Jesus and God’s plans with the church: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose [it] to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose [it] to you” (John 16:13-Ezra :).

When the servant has reported, he asks them for their reaction. Similarly, the Holy Spirit is waiting for a response from us when He has told us about the Father and the Son. Are we prepared to leave everything behind to be with the Bridegroom?

Verses 50-58

Reactions of Laban, Bethuel and Rebekah

Brother Laban and father Bethuel acknowledge that the LORD is at work. They cannot say anything “bad or good”, that is to say that they cannot add or take away anything. They can’t change anything about it (cf. Numbers 24:13). Therefore they give permission to the servant to take Rebekah with them. Their consent, by the way, seems to be more forced than warm-hearted. This also appears to be the case further on, when attempts are made to delay Rebekah’s departure. The servant accepts the consent from the hand of the LORD and honors Him for it.

The preparations for the journey from Rebekah to Isaac include a new series of gifts. For Rebekah he brings out silver and gold jewelry and clothing. Laban and her mother receive precious gifts. When all is ready, the servant and those who are with him can eat and drink and sleep peacefully.

The next day the servant wants to return to his Lord. There is no reason to stay any longer. He knows how Abraham and Isaac are looking forward to the outcome of his mission. Rebekah’s brother and mother, however, do not share that desire. They want Rebekah to stay with them for another ten days or so. The servant, however, does not allow himself to be detained. Then Rebekah is asked if she wants to go “with this man”. Her answer is short and powerful: “I will go.”

When we grew up in a Christian family and have heard a lot about all the treasures of the Father and the Son, the question comes to us as to whether, under the guidance of God’s Spirit, we want to consecrate ourselves to the Lord Jesus in our journey to Him. The answer will be clear from our lives.

Verses 59-61

Rebekah Goes with the Servant

If Rebekah has made her decision known without any reservation, she may go. Her family wishes her numerous offspring and the victory over her enemies. Then she prepares herself and follows the man, that is the servant, who takes her and leaves for his lord and the son of his lord.

Verses 62-67

Isaac and Rebekah

The actual trip is not mentioned. Rebekah’s heart is full of her groom. The heart of Isaac is full of his bride. Isaac is at the well Lahai-Roi, there he lives. When Rebekah hears who he is, she covers herself with a veil. That is not for not to be seen by other men, but to be alone for him. The woman’s long hair, called a veil (1 Corinthians 11:15), is a beautiful expression of the devotion of the church, the bride, to the Lord Jesus, the Bridegroom.

Then Isaac brings her into his mother Sara’s tent and marries her. Here, for the second time, there is talk of ‘love’ in the Bible. The first time it concerns the love between Abraham and Isaac, a picture of the Father and the Son (Genesis 22:2). This is the love between Isaac and Rebekah, a picture of the Lord Jesus and the church. Sarah is replaced by Rebekah; so the church has replaced Israel.

This is not about the rapture of church to be with the Lord Jesus. The place of association is here a tent. That speaks of being a stranger. The picture we have before us is the desire of the Father and the Holy Spirit to already work on earth for the church to find her all in the Son and to have fellowship with Him already, to the joy of His heart.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Genesis 24". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/genesis-24.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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