Rebekah – Wife of Isaac, Mother of Jacob & Esau

rebekah

Some people are initiators. They help get the ball rolling. Rebekah would easily stand out in this group. Her life is characterized by initiative. When she saw a need she took action, even though the action was not always right.

It was Rebekah’s initiative that first caught the attention of Eliezer, the servant of Abraham sent to find a wife for Isaac. It was common courtesy to give a drink to a stranger, but it took added character to also fetch water for ten thirsty camels. Later, after hearing the details of Eliezer’s mission, Rebekah was immediately willing to be Isaac’s bride.

Several later events help us see how the initiative can be misdirected. Rebekah was aware that God’s plan would be channeled through Jacob, not Esau (Genesis 25:23). So not only did Jacob become her favorite; she actually planned ways to ensure that he would overshadow his older twin. Meanwhile, Isaac preferred Esau. This created a conflict between the couple. She felt justified in deceiving her husband when the time came to bless the sons, and her ingenious plan was carried out to perfection.

Most of the time we try to justify the things we choose to do. Often we attempt to add God’s approval to our actions. While it is true that our actions will not spoil God’s plan, it is also true that we are responsible for what we do and must always be cautious about our motives. When thinking about a course of action, are you simply seeking God’s stamp of approval on something you’ve already decided to do? Or are you willing to set the plan aside if the principles and commands of God’s Word are against the action? Initiative and action are admirable and right when they are controlled by God’s wisdom.

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Strengths and Accomplishments

  • When confronted with a need, she took immediate action
  • She was accomplishment oriented

Weaknesses and Mistakes

  • Her initiative was not always balanced by wisdom
  • She favored one of her sons
  • She deceived her husband

Lessons From Her Life

  • Our actions must be guided by God’s Word
  • God makes use even of our mistakes in his plan
  • Parental favoritism hurts a family

Vital Statistics for Rebekah

  • Where: Haran, Canaan
  • Occupation: Wife, mother, household manager
  • Relatives: Grandparents: Nahor and Milcah, Father: Bethuel, Husband: Isaac, Brother: Laban, Twin Sons: Esau and Jacob

Key Verses for Rebekah

“Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her, and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death” (Genesis 24:67).

“Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:28)

Rebekah’s story is told in Genesis 24 – 49. She is also mentioned in Romans 9:10.

Recommended Bible Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

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The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible.

 



 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.

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