A Daily Genesis

Genesis 24:54-61a

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 24:54-55 . .Then he and the men with him ate and drank, and they spent the night. When they arose next morning, he said: Give me leave to go to my master. But her brother and her mother said: Let the maiden remain with us some ten days; then you may go.[/B]

Their request was reasonable. After all, this was all so sudden. They didn't even have a chance to announce the engagement nor organize a bridal shower. Becky's friends would all want to come over to the house and ooo and ahhh the jewelry and go nuts over the exotic fashions from Canaan. And they would all want to give her one last hug and wish blessings on her new life. What's so wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with that; but Abraham's wishes have to take priority in this matter. (cf. Luke 9:61-62)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 24:56-57a . . He said to them: Do not delay me, now that The Lord has made my errand successful. Give me leave that I may go to my master.
Abraham probably had a pretty good idea how long his servant should be gone; and if the return was delayed, Abraham might begin to become anxious and wonder what was going on up there in Haran what with no internet email, telephones, HAM radio, telegraph, nor even any way to send a post card back home.

Becky has now agreed to be Isaac's bride. She made that decision the moment she accepted clothing and jewelry that were offered to her in Isaac's name. The big question now is: how much longer does she wish to remain a maiden before becoming a married woman with a home of her own?

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 24:57b-58 . . And they said: Let us call the girl and ask for her reply. They called Rebecca and said to her: Will you go with this man? And she said: I will.[/B]

Exactly what so strongly motivated Becky to agree to leave home on such short notice is open to speculation. Some feel it was because, unknown to the writer of Genesis, she had been praying for The Lord's providence in this very matter of finding the right man. The events of the previous evening were enough to convince Becky that this was truly divine providence; and she wasn't about to procrastinate now and louse up her chances for God-given happiness and security. That man was leaving, and the soon-to-be Mrs. Isaac ben Abraham was not going to miss her ride; uh-uh, no way!

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†. [/COLOR]Gen 24:59a . . So they sent off their sister Rebecca[/B]

The word for "sister" is from [I]'achowth[/I] (aw-khoth') and isn't limited to siblings. It applies to all manner of female kin-- sisters, daughters, aunts, nieces; even to a lover, as in Song 4:9-12.

You can imagine the flurry that went on in that house getting Becky's bags packed on such short notice. You can bet there was no joy around there that morning. An air of sadness marked her departure. Everyone was no doubt well aware they would likely never see Becky ever again. In those days, when somebody moved 500 miles away, they might just as well have gone to Pluto.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 24:59b . . and her nurse along with Abraham's servant and his men.[/B]

The word for "nurse" is from [I]yanaq [/I](yaw-nak') and implies wet nursing. This may be an indication that, for reasons unspecified, Rebecca's mom was unable to breast feed her children. In Mesopotamia, wet nurses frequently had the additional duties of bringing up the child and acting as their guardian; viz: a nanny. The nurse (whose name is Deborah; Gen 35:8) was probably either Becky's first choice as personal assistant, or Deborah herself just couldn't part with her little Becky and volunteered to go along as a chaperon. It's not unusual for mentors, like Helen Keller's tutor Anne Sullivan, to become permanently bonded and dedicated to their charges.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 24:60 . . And they blessed Rebecca and said to her: O sister! May you grow into thousands of myriads; may your offspring seize the gates of their foes.[/B]

That prophetic bon voyage was undoubtedly an acknowledgement of the promises God made to Abraham following the Akedah (Gen 22:15-18). Abraham's steward spent the night in Becky's home; and while eating dinner and chatting, no doubt shared many wonderful events from Abraham's and Isaac's lives to which Becky's family must have listened just as spellbound as all of us who study Genesis in our own day and age.

The Akedah surely must have been to them almost beyond belief that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice the very son in whom all the promises would be fulfilled. No wonder Becky was so ready to go. She just had to get on down there and see this man in whom God had taken such a particular interest.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 24:61a . .Then Rebecca and her maids arose, mounted the camels, and followed the man.[/B]

The word for "maids" is from [I]na'arah [/I](nah-ar-aw') and means a young, underage girl. A Bible maid is just a lass, not really a grown up adult woman. She could be a pre teen or a late teen and any age in between. It wasn't unusual for a woman from a family of means to have a retinue of young girls in attendance. Becky's maids possibly were the children of her home's adult servants.

Then too, young girls were often indentured into maid service. Sometimes it was because of parental greed, but often it was because the family was in poverty and desperate. In the last decade alone, many families in Afghanistan were forced to sell their children just to survive the Taliban ruin of their country. Sometimes young girls were fortunes of war in Becky's day and could be bought and sold at market; for example the Jewish damsel in 2Kgs 5:1-3 who helped Naaman get his leprosy cured.

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