Friday, April 16, 2010

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 24

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material.


Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 24. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

24:1 – In this chapter, Abraham is symbolic of God the Father, Isaac symbolizes Christ the Son, the servant symbolizes the Holy Spirit, and Rebekah represents the bride of Christ.

Isaac is almost 40. He is 37 in 23:1.

24:2 – chief servant – some scholars think this is Eliezer of Damascus. See Genesis 15:2. Eliezer means “comforter” which makes his symbolism of the Holy Spirit in this story even cooler.

“put your had under my thigh” – “In ancient times an oath taker rested his hand on the most vital part of a man’s body as a pledge of allegiance.” (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

24:3 – see Deuteronomy 7:1-4.

24:6 – “do not take my son back there” – Although Abraham didn’t want Isaac to have a Canaanite wife, this was the land promised to them by God, so Abraham wanted him to live here. But the wife must come for his family in the Haran area.

24:7-8 – “We are accountable for being faithful to God’s commands. God alone is responsible for bringing about the desired results according to His timing and His will.” (Explore the Bible, Winter 2007-2008, Genesis 1-27)

24:11 – The servant worked with God by putting himself in a place to encounter young, single women in the town. We must work with God, too.

24:14 – The servant was looking for a generous, compassionate, hard-working, honest wife for Isaac. As the bride of Christ, we should possess these qualities, too.

24:15 – Rebekah is symbolic of the bride of Christ.

24:16 – to fill the jar, Rebekah had to descend a flight of circling stone steps that could have gone as deep as 140 feet. This makes her offer to water the camels in 24:19 a truly benevolent gift.

“Inner beauty needs cultivating, too.” See Proverbs 11:22. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

24:19 – each camel could drink about 25 gallons. That’s 84 trips up and down the steps!

“Strength can be a good thing.” See Proverbs 31:25. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

24:21 – wasn’t her offer the sign the servant asked for? Maybe he wanted to observe her to see if she was worthy of Isaac. Or maybe he wanted to see if she would actually finish what she started. Apparently, she was moving so quickly she appeared to be a blur! (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

She said she would water the camels until they finished drinking. He watched to be sure she was honest and a woman of her word.

24:22 – “a beka for Rebekah” – the ring weighed a beka, about 1/5 ounce. (Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible – Higgs)

A laborer could earn up to 10 shekels a year. What a generous “thank you” gift for drawing the water. This jewelry was not a bridal gift. The servant had to discuss that with her parents.

24:25 – was her generosity stemming from her tendency to manipulate?

24:28 – Why “her mother’s household”? Her father was probably dead. Which is why her brother would speak to the visitor.

24:30 – Laban rushed to see the visitor because of the jewelry Rebekah was wearing.

24:31 – the ancient rule of hospitality meant extending a low-key greeting. Laban is not low-key. His greeting gives the impression that his hospitality is motivated by self-interest.

24:34 – Abraham seeking a wife for Isaac was working to ensure God’s promise for offspring. How do we know when to act in faith and when to allow God to act?

24:35 – The servant declares Abraham’s wealth so Rebekah’s family knows she will be well cared for.

24:36 – The servant qualifies that Sarah gave birth in her old age to assure Rebekah’s family that her future husband was not ancient!

24:40 – walking before the Lord – why wasn’t Abraham following? This actually means to walk with God or live a godly life.

24:42-48 – “Whenever we see life results that only God can bring about, we are to openly acknowledge His power and praise His name publicly!” (Explore the Bible, Winter 2007-2008, Genesis 1-27)

24:45 – “Rebekah” means loop, tie, ensnarer, captivating.

24:50 – the Bethuel mentioned here is not Laban’s father. If he was, he would have been mentioned before Laban. He could be another son or a reference to the family. The fact that Laban is negotiating his sister’s marriage terms could mean that their father was deceased.

24:53 – when Rebekah was given in marriage to Isaac, the servant gave her many gifts. When we agree to become the bride of Christ, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit.

24:58 – Rebekah had a bit of a choice. We must choose, too.

24:63 – Isaac looks up and sees camels.

24:64 – Rebekah looks up and sees Isaac. Legend says she was so smitten with Isaac that she fell off of her camel. Scholars believe that she preferred to dismount before entering his presence because there is no graceful way to do so.

What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

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