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Monday, July 25 2011
Who Chose Rebekah?
It might seem very unusual for someone in the land of Israel today to prefer to marry someone from Syria or Iraq, but in the time of Abraham, even though Abraham was then living in the place that is today known by that name, Israel didn't exist yet. "Israel" was the name that the LORD gave to Abraham's grandson Jacob, long after Abraham first arrived "into the land of Canaan" from Syria and Iraq (see the Fact Finder question below).
"12:1 Now the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Although Abraham well-understood why the LORD had sent him to the new land, Abraham always felt like a foreigner there because Abraham lived there according to the prophecy that the LORD gave to him, not according to how it remained throughout all of Abraham's lifetime.
"11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed [see What Made Abraham Righteous?; also 'Raghead' Racism]; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10 KJV)
It is entirely understandable then that when it was time for Abraham's son Isaac to marry, Abraham preferred that Isaac marry someone of his own people from back in Iraq or Syria. In order to make that happen, Abraham sent his most-trusted servant on a journey to find a wife for Isaac.
"24:1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 24:2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 24:4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac." (Genesis 24:1-4 KJV)
"The man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not"
Many have wondered why Isaac didn't make the journey to find a wife for himself, but Abraham seemed to be concerned that Isaac might find life back in their ancestral homeland to be preferable to the foreign land in which they were then living, in the rough, out in tents ("he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob," quoted above). In order for Abraham to obey the LORD, he understood that there was to be no going home again.
"24:5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
So the servant departed, sure of his instruction, but unclear as to how he was going to accomplish it.
"24:10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master [see also Camel Trains], and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 24:11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water." (Genesis 24:10-11 KJV)
From what we read about what the servant then did makes it obvious why he was Abraham's most-trusted servant. He prayed to the LORD to accomplish what needed to be done.
"24:12 And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. 24:13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 24:14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master.
Abraham or Isaac didn't choose Rebekah. The servant didn't choose Rebekah either - the servant didn't even say anything, other than the prayer to the LORD. It was the LORD Who chose Rebekah. Without anything being spoken, Rebekah did exactly what the servant asked for as a sign in the prayer to the LORD.
"24:17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
Rebekah herself had the final say however. She was completely free to say yes or no. She agreed to the proposal.
"24:57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man?
Fact Finder: Did Rebekah later do the same as Abraham had done? Did she arrange for her son Jacob / Israel to marry someone from her own people back in Syria / Iraq? Did Jacob leave as Jacob, but arrive back from Syria as "Israel"? Were almost all of the Israelite patriarchs born in what is today Syria?
This Day In History, July 25
213: The first historic mention of the Alemanni, when the Romans attacked them (the Roman Empire was by then in decline). In later decades their pressure on the Roman provinces became severe. By the late fifth century they had expanded into Alsace and northern Switzerland, thus making those regions German-speaking. In 496 they were conquered by Clovis and incorporated into his Frankish dominions. The French and Spanish words for Germany are derived from their name. Eventually, they became the "Holy Roman Empire," of which the full official name was the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire).
306: Constantine I was proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
325: The Council of Nicea closed. Regarded as the first "ecumenical council," its 300 attending Church of Roman bishops (of which at the time the bishop of Rome was still just one of the boys; it was the Emperor Constantine who created the Papacy for his local bishop at Rome; listen to the Sermon about Constantine shown in the entry above) drafted the Nicene Creed and fixed the formula for observing Easter Sunday, the Satanic counterfeit of the true Biblical Passover (see Why Observe The True Sabbath? to understand what truly happened during that week of Passover).
1139: At the battle of Ourique, Alfonso Henriques defeated the Moors and became Alfonso I of Portugal.
1261: Constantinople was recaptured by Nicaean forces under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, thereby re-establishing the Byzantine Empire.
1394: Charles VI issued a decree for the general expulsion of Jews from France.
1554: Queen Mary I of England married Philip II of Spain at Winchester.
1564: Maximilian II, king of Hungary and Bohemia, became Holy Roman Emperor on the death of Ferdinand I.
1588: The third of 3 encounters of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada. After the severe mauling by the Royal Navy (with battle commanders such as Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Martin Frobisher, Richard Grenville and Lord Sheffield) what remained of the Pope's "invincible" armada that had been sent to invade Britain limped back home. Of the over 130 battle ships sent by the pope, 68 were on the bottom of the sea. The English lost not a single ship in battle.
1593: Henry IV of France converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism (not a difficult task because their antichrist doctrines are the same; see Antichristians and Is Your Religion Your Religion?).
1603: James VI of Scotland was crowned as James I of England, thereby unifying the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland (the King James Version of the Holy Bible is named after him).
1666: The English fought the Dutch in the second naval battle of the Foreland.
1689: King Louis XIV of France declared war on Britain.
1712: The Protestant cantons led by Berne defeated the Catholic cantons at the Battle of Villmergen, ending the religious wars in Switzerland.
1787: British explorer George Dixon named the Queen Charlotte Islands after the wife of George III.
1797: British naval commander Horatio Nelson's right arm was shattered by grapeshot during an assault on Tenerife. The injured arm was amputated later.
1799: The Battle of Aboukir. Napoleon's last victory during his occupation of Egypt, fought with his 7,700 Army of Egypt against an Ottoman Turkish force of 18,000 which were sent to drive out the French. Ottoman / Turkish (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) losses were 2,000 killed in battle, 10,000 killed or drowned trying to escape, and 3,000 captured; French casualties totalled 900.
1814: The Battle of Lundy's Lane, just west of Niagara Falls, the bloodiest battle of the War of 1812 (1812-1814). U.S. invasion forces pushing into Canada encountered British troops and Canadian Militia. After a 24 hour firefight, the invaders withdrew to Fort Erie. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on Canadian soil. It was the last invasion of Canada, by any country, to this day.
1909: Louis Bleriot made the first crossing of the English Channel by air, flying his monoplane from Les Baraques, near Calais, to Dover.
1925: The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was established.
1929: Pope Pius XI became the first pope to leave the Vatican since the fall of the Papal States in 1870 (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1934: Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated in Vienna by Nazis (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1943: Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was overthrown in a coup.
1956: The transatlantic liners Stockholm and Andrea Doria collided off the New England coast. A massive rescue mission managed to save all but 51 of the 1,668 passengers.
1978: The world's first "test-tube baby," Louise Joy Brown, was born at Oldham General Hospital, Lancashire, England.
2000: An Air France Concorde airliner crashed on takeoff in Paris, killing all 100 passengers, 9 crew, and 4 people on the ground. One of the Concorde's tires and a full fuel tank were punctured after hitting a piece of metal on the runway that had fallen off of another airliner that had just taken off. It was the first crash of one of the supersonic airliners, however investigations revealed design vulnerabilities that resulted in the Concordes being taken out of service permanently.