The younger Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. [10] Yoreh suggests a slightly different redaction here, namely that the entire genealogy here was added later, noting that the genealogy comes awkwardly after the verb. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her.. Then Isaac Married Rebekah and produced Esau and Jacob. The yoke her father had hewn by hand as a boy was charred, hanging on a blackened beam. Rebekah (Rebecca) was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. Rebecca's brother was Laban the Aramean, and she was the granddaughter of Milcah and Nahor, the brother of Abraham. In the MT, the word is plural “brothers” (אֲחֵי) and is likely meant to convey the vaguer concept “kinsmen,” since Rebekah is clearly not the daughter of Abraham’s “brothers” (in plural). Abraham was eager to have Isaac marry a woman of the character and stature of Sarah. 22:23 —Betuel being the father of Rebekah. Instead, according to the original tradition in J, even in Gen 24, Laban is Nahor’s son. For example, when the servant heads to Abraham’s home town, the text states that he was headed to “the city of Nahor” (v. 10), not the city of Betuel. Issac loved Rebekah. Isaac relied on his father to select a bride for him when he was 40 years old. (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) “Rebekah Ran to her “Mother’s Household”: Where Was her Father?”. Bethuel was also related to Abraham through his parents Nahor and Milcah. Thankfully, Isaac was a different man from his fabled father. [6] We do not know how Isaac found Rebekah according to this version, as it has no “finding of Rebekah” story. For example, Ramban (1194-1270), in his commentary (ad loc.) It is written, "For this was how the promise was stated: 'At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.' Yet it is Rebekah herself who is chosen as God’s instrument, ensuring that His protection and blessings are bestowed upon Jacob and the nation of Israel. This (and the second answer of Nachmanides) explains why Jacob was so affected by her passing. This very detailed lineage in Genesis 24 contrasts starkly with the description of Rebekah’s family in Genesis 25: In this text, Rebekah is merely the daughter Betuel the Aramean and the sister of Laban. According to biblical tradition, Rebecca's father was Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram, also called Aram-Naharaim. And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. More telling, is the servant’s reaction when he finds out who Rebekah is, and refers to her as the daughter of his master’s brother: In the LXX and SP, the word “brother” is in singular (אֲחִי); this fits a story where Rebekah is Nahor’s daughter, since Nahor is Abraham’s brother. It is only in the combined and redacted Pentateuch text that we find both traditions combined into one extensive and cumbersome genealogy in which Rebekah is both the daughter of Betuel, the granddaughter of Nahor and Milkah, and a cousin of Isaac. Isaac & Rebekah: The Fairytale Romance. Moreover, delaying the verb until after the genealogy would also have been awkward. Despite the awkward syntax, I am unconvinced that the entire genealogy was added here as it is important to the story. However, over time, she had the courage and strength from heaven to believe that "God in His great mercy decides what is best for each one." In addition to these eight sons from Milcah, English Standard Version. Academic Study of the Torah Is Essential, Not Just for Academics, Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship, By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use, https://thetorah.com/article/who-was-rebekahs-father, “I am the daughter of Betuel the son of Milkah, whom she bore to Nahor” (Gen 24:24) – Why the unusual and cumbersome genealogical description?[1]. But in both J and P, Rebekah’s father lives among the Arameans, or is himself an Aramean, implying they were already a people![9]. 20 (see v. 14), ‘Zechariah, son of Iddo,’ Ezr. Oops! Genesis 24:59 So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. Today we meet another figure with a prominent role in the history of God’s people. Although other suggestions have been floated with regard to J’s conception of Rebekah’s parentage, Gunkel and Skinner’s suggestion remains the most persuasive. Isaac and Rebekah maintained a monogamous relationship. script>, Joshua Circumcises Israel in Response to Egypt's Scorn, The Mitzvah to Love God: Shadal's Polemic against the Philosophical Interpretation, Torat Emet: The Intertwined Tree of Torah and Wisdom. script type="text/javascript"> TheTorah.com is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.We rely on the support of readers like you. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother. As the father of Leah and Rachel, the mothers of the twelve tribes of Israel, Laban has blood ties to the people of the Lord. Launched Shavuot 5773 / 2013 | Copyright © Project TABS, All Rights Reserved. (Both commentaries were published the same year.) Have you only one blessing, my father? [7] The genealogy here continues with four more sons born to Nahor from his concubine: [8] Tzemah Yoreh identifies this text as coming from what he calls the Bridger; a late redactional layer that smooths over rough spots in the text. (Genesis 27:34)” You can almost hear his despair, can’t you? “Birth of Jacob and Esau” by Benjamin West (1738-1820) Genesis 25: 2o-26 Mother of Esau and Jacob Rebekah’s birth story is unique because she is the first women we know of who sought out God and asked him for direct revelation concerning her pregnancy. Abraham had sent his trusted servant back to his home country to find a wife for Isaac among his relatives (Genesis 24:2–4). Some other verses in this story also suggest that Nahor is the father of Laban and Rebekah. notes: This answer is problematic. Why this unusual and cumbersome introduction? THE REBEKAHS. In this text, Betuel is not the son of Nahor or Isaac’s cousin.[6]. // Javascript URL redirection Betuel is mentioned again in a similar way when Isaac sends Jacob off to marry one of Laban’s daughters: Again, we hear that Betuel is Rebekah’s father, but nothing about his being the son of Nahor or Milkah or related in any way to Isaac and Abraham. Where else in the Bible do we hear such a cumbersome lineage? 5), and grandson of Nahor (xxii. Esau became the father of the Edomites, who warred against Israel for ages and were finally wiped out (Obadiah 1:1–21). See, Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (trans. Laban was also the father-in-law and uncle to Jacob through marriage to Leah and Rachel. Laban was the son of Bethuel and Milcah and brother to Rebecca. He told Esau that he wished to bestow his blessing upon him before he died. It was the custom in those days for the father of the groom to give things of value to the family of the bride, but this was much more than the ordinary, mainly because of the great wealth of Abraham. Thus, it seems likely that the MT’s pointing is an attempt to avoid the implication that Rebekah is Nahor’s daughter. The gifts to Rebekah, partly, were to make her appearance befitting someone of such stature in their area. But why include her grandmother? [9] The placement of Aram as Kemuel’s son also contradicts the genealogy of Gen 10:22-23 in which Aram is the son of Shem, which would make him many generations earlier than Nahor or Kemuel. This is clear from the fact that it references Aram—the eponymous ancestor of the Arameans—as the son of Kemuel and thus Nahor’s grandson and Betuel’s nepew. Deborah helped her stand strong and pious in the face of immorality and deprivation. Genesis 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. To Betuel in 24:50 is also consistent, she is from Abraham ’ childhood! To his home country to find a wife for Isaac: from Abraham and Sarah wiped... Isacc and Rebekah was born first, and the mother of Jacob and Esau narrative problem his! 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