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Genesis 24:34-38; 42-49                                  


Marriage Arrangement – Like Jacob/Rachel in 29:1-14 and Moses/Zipporah in Exodus 2—this is a meeting between a man and woman at a well and results in marriage. [1]

The Next / Not Greatest Generation – This is a baton-passing narrative: the author shifts the focus from Abraham to a new "master" (v. 65). Abraham initiates the journey, the servant is reliable, Rebekah is willing, and a new future begins that carries the saga forward of God’s intention to bless the world through the divine entry point: Abraham.

Structure – The story is set up in a problem/solution movement with four scenes: (1) The problem (vs. 1-9) -- to find the proper wife for Isaac so that the promise may have a future. (2) The prayer and doxology (vs. 11-27) – the key word in the scene is "steadfast loyalty" (hesed) found twice in the prayer (vs. 12, 14) and in vs. 26-27). (3) Speech of Servant and Response (vs. 28-61) – the speech is bracketed by two statements of Laban with compacted theological content. (4) Arrangements and Ritual of Friendship (vs. 52-60) – notice the loyalty asked of God and the theme of blessing that is prominent.[2]


Has someone ever set you up on a blind date? What was the learning curve—positive and negative? [3]

What would be the hardest thing about leaving home?

What marriage arrangement / boy meets girl movies or videos does this story trigger?

What current title best describes this story—"Mission Impossible?" "Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match?" "Father Knows Best?" "A Bride for Frankenstein?"


The Providence of God’s Love—retell the story, but develop it such that we can overhear whimsically the story of God’s love for people. [4]

The Comfort of Human Love—Isaac’s mom has just died; maybe the death got Abraham to thinking about the future and the promise God had earlier made to him. It’s time, Abraham decides, to arrange a marriage for Isaac. What was Isaac doing in the fields as he awaited the arrival of his arranged wife? Meditating carries several nuances of meaning: lamenting and mourning are just a few. Isaac is wandering in the fields, thinking of his recent loss. In the tent where he first learned love, he is comforted by the love that can soothe a grieving heart. Have we found comfort in the love of our close ones and can we also provide. [5]

[1] New Interpreter’s Bible I (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994), page 509. Cf. also Jesus at the well in John 4, but with a different kind of transformation occurring.
[2] Walter Brueggemann in Interpretation Series: Genesis (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982), p. 197.
[3]Adapted from Serendipity Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), page 72.
[4] Adapted from Abingdon Preaching Annual 2002 Edition (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001), pp. 243.
[5] Ibid, page 244.