Isaac: 13. The Bride Called for Isaac

Genesis 24:34‑49  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Gen. 24:34-4934And he said, I am Abraham's servant. 35And the Lord hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36And 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. 37And 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: 38But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40And he said unto me, The Lord, 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: 41Then 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. 42And I came this day unto the well, and said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: 43Behold, 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; 44And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the Lord hath appointed out for my master's son. 45And 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. 46And 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. 47And 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. 48And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son. 49And 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. (Genesis 24:34‑49)
This portion is entirely devoted to his intervention whom the father sent to fetch a suited bride for the son and heir.
“And he said, I [am] Abraham's servant. And Jehovah hath blessed my master greatly, and he is become great; and he hath given him sheep and cattle, and silver and gold, and bondmen and bondwomen, and camels and asses. And Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master after she had grown old, and to him hath he given all that he hath. And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of a Canaanite, in whose land I am dwelling; but thou shalt by all means go to my father's house and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son. And I said to my master, Perhaps the woman will not follow me. And he said to me, Jehovah before whom I have walked will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way, that thou mayest take a wife for my son of my kindred and out of my father's house. Then shalt thou be quit of mine oath, when thou shalt be come to my kindred; and if they give thee not, thou shalt be quit of mine oath. And I came this day to the fountain, and said, Jehovah, God of my master Abraham, if now thou wilt prosper my way on which I go, behold, I stand by the fountain of water, and let it come to pass that the damsel who cometh forth to draw, and to whom I shall say, Give me I pray, a little water out of thy pitcher to drink, and she shall say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels—that she [shall] be the woman whom Jehovah hath appointed for my master's son. Before I ended speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder, and went down to the fountain, and drew; and I said to her, Give me, I pray thee to drink. And she hasted and let down her pitcher from her, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also. And I drank; and she gave the camels drink also. And I asked her and said, Whose daughter [art] thou? And she said, Bethuel's daughter (Nachor's son) whom Milcah bore to him. And I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands. And I bowed down and worshipped Jehovah, and blessed Jehovah, God of my master Abraham, who led me in a way of truth to take my master's brother's daughter for his son. And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me; and I will turn to the right hand or to the left” (vers. 34-49).
Is it not well to notice the immense place which scripture gives to him who was sent from the father and the son to make good the purpose of finding and bringing back the chosen bride? Various types present the bride in O.T. scriptures. In the last book of scripture (Rev. 19) the N.T. discloses her in her heavenly place before the millennium as the Lamb's wife and in the eternal state (Rev. 21:22And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)), no less than as the holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God in her millennial relation to the nations and the kings of the earth (ver. 9). We have the type of Eve with her admirable characteristics as Adam's counterpart at the beginning of this book, and at the end we have the wife Pharaoh gave to Joseph when exalted to administer the kingdom in his rejection by and separation from his brethren according to the flesh. So we see also in Moses (Ex. 2) before the time came for their deliverance from the king and land of Egypt. Jacob goes off himself and marries in a way wholly distinct in Haran, and through Laban's craft has another palmed on him before he received the Rachel of his heart, who in no way prefigures the church but Israel, Rachel weeping for her children, but with hope for her latter end. Sarah too not at all sets forth the calling of the bride, but the mother of the child of promise. Ruth again is a special figure, but not of the church any more than is the object of the king's love in the Song of songs, the Psalms, or the Prophets.
Here is the unique figure of a bride not only called from a distant land in marked contrast with any woman of Canaanitish race, but by the extraordinary mission of the father's servant, the eldest of his house who ruled over all that he had, and with a most solemn pledge and charge, quite unexampled in any other case. And we have already drawn attention to the place it fills, for which no other marriage in scripture could furnish such a type as this. For it follows the death and resurrection of the son in the “parable” of chap. 22 as well as the death of Sarah, the figure of the covenant of promise and liberty in contrast with her who is in bondage with her children. Yet even she, the free-woman, disappears to leave room for the bride who is here called.
Again, how striking is the fullness of interest which converges on the trusty servant, and his absorption in caring for the father and the son! We have the whole ground traversed again before the bride's family, and bringing out purpose in the father for the son as nowhere else in this book or anywhere else of old, and devotedness most marked and exclusive on the part of him who was sent to effectuate it! Where is there an approach in another type of God's word to that personal presence and action of the Holy Spirit which distinguishes the church? The time, the place, the action, the personal interest, the grace in giving, the prominence assigned to prayer and worship, the absolute carrying out of the word or charge, are all in perfect keeping with that which it pleased God to represent here, and here only in the same fullness. Is this all, is any part of it, casual?
Examine the entire range of types (and there are not a few which bring out the object of Christ's love for heaven); but where is one which so fully and distinctively presents her calling, as Rebecca does? Again, where save here have we, closely connected with the bride, the living representative of that other Advocate, Who identifies Himself with the honor and the interests of the Father and the Son, in effectively gaining the bride, then in guiding and guarding through the many trials and the imminent dangers of the desert, safely to join the Bridegroom? How admirably he pleads for those absent, whose envoy he was! As he lost not a moment in engaging the damsel's heart for his master's son, so he hears of no delay in telling his errand to those who might naturally detain, if they did not deny. No picture in other scriptures is comparable with this if divinely intended, as we assuredly believe, to set forth, not merely efficient operation, but personal presence and care in the highest degree. And in no part of the O.T. was this so requisite and significant as in the scene graphically put before us here.