|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:29-53 The making up of the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah is told very particularly. We are to notice God's providence in the common events of human life, and in them to exercise prudence and other graces. Laban went to ask Abraham's servant in, but not till he saw the ear-ring, and bracelet upon his sister's hands. We know Laban's character, by his conduct afterwards, and may think that he would not have been so free to entertain him, if he had not hoped to be well rewarded for it. The servant was intent upon his business. Though he was come off a journey, and come to a good house, he would not eat till he had told his errand. The doing our work, and the fulfilling our trusts, either for God or man, should be preferred by us before our food: it was our Saviour's meat and drink, Joh 4:34. He tells them the charge his master had given him, with the reason of it. He relates what had happened at the well, to further the proposal, plainly showing the finger of God in it. Those events which to us seem the effect of choice, contrivance, or chance, are appointed out of God. This hinders not, but rather encourages the use of all proper means. They freely and cheerfully close with the proposal; and any matter is likely to be comfortable, when it proceeds from the Lord. Abraham's servant thankfully acknowledges the good success he had met with. He was a humble man, and humble men are not ashamed to own their situation in life, whatever it may be. All our temporal concerns are sweet if intermixed with godliness.
Verses 50-52. - Then Laban and Bethuel (vide on ver. 29) answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord: - Jehovah (vide on ver. 31) - we cannot speak unto thee bad or good - i.e. they could not demur to a proposal so clearly indicated by Divine providence; a proof of the underlying piety of those descendants of Nahor. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, - that the consent of the maiden is not asked was not owing to the fact that, according to ancient custom, Oriental women were at the absolute disposal, in respect of marriage, of their parents and elder brothers (Bush), but to the circumstance that already it had been tacitly given by her acceptance of the bridal presents (Kalisch), or, from her amiable and pious disposition, might be taken for granted, since she, no more than they, would resist the clearly-revealed will of Jehovah (Lange, Wordsworth) - and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken. Words which again kindled the flame of reverential piety in the old man's heart, so that he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth - literally, he prostrated himself to the earth to Jehovah (cf. ver. 26).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Laban and Bethuel answered,.... The order of the words in the original is, "then answered Laban and Bethuel"; the word for "answered" is in the singular number, from whence it may be concluded, that Laban gave the answer in the name of Bethuel, he consenting to it, who might be an old man, and left the management of his family affairs to his son, who, Aben Ezra thinks, excelled his father in wisdom and honour; but Jarchi represents him as a wicked and impudent man, who took upon him to speak before his father: but some have thought that this Bethuel was not old Bethuel, the father of Rebekah, but young Bethuel his son, the younger brother of Laban and Rebekah, their father Bethuel being dead, as Josephus says, before observed; and this seems to be countenanced by Genesis 24:59, where they are represented as blessing Rebekah, and calling her their sister:
and said, the thing proceedeth from the Lord: that Rebekah should be given to Isaac, as the Targum of Jonathan adds: this matter appears to be according to his will and pleasure, he seems to have appointed it in his decree, and to be bringing it about by his providence; for these men, though they were in part idolaters yet had some good notions of the true God, and of his government of the world, and of his ordering all things in it according to the counsel of his will:
we cannot speak unto thee good or bad; cannot deny the request; the thing was so plain that they had not anything to object to it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
50. Then Laban and Bethuel answered—The brothers conduct all the marriage negotiations, their father being probably dead, and without consulting their sister. Their language seems to indicate they were worshippers of the true God.
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