Genesis 24:15
And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
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Genesis 24:15. And before he had done speaking, behold, Rebekah came out — Who, in all respects, answered the characters he wished for in the woman that was to be his master’s wife; handsome and healthful, humble and industrious, courteous and obliging to a stranger. And Providence so ordered it, that she did that which exactly answered his sign. God, in his providence, doth sometimes wonderfully own the prayer of faith, and gratify the innocent desires of his praying people, even in little things, that he may show the extent of his care, and may encourage them at all times to seek him, and trust in him; yet we must take heed of being over bold in prescribing to God, lest the event should weaken our faith rather than strengthen it. And the concurrence of providences, and their minute circumstances, for the furtherance of our success in any business, ought to be particularly observed with wonder and thankfulness to the glory of God. We have been wanting to ourselves, both in duty and comfort, by neglecting to observe providence.

24:10-28 Abraham's servant devoutly acknowledged God. We have leave to be particular in recommending our affairs to the care of Divine providence. He proposes a sign, not that he intended to proceed no further, if not gratified in it; but it is a prayer that God would provide a good wife for his young master; and that was a good prayer. She should be simple, industrious, humble, cheerful, serviceable, and hospitable. Whatever may be the fashion, common sense, as well as piety, tells us, these are the proper qualifications for a wife and mother; for one who is to be a companion to her husband, the manager of domestic concerns, and trusted to form the minds of children. When the steward came to seek a wife for his master, he did not go to places of amusement and sinful pleasure, and pray that he might meet one there, but to the well of water, expecting to find one there employed aright. He prayed that God would please to make his way in this matter plain and clear before him. Our times are in God's hand; not only events themselves, but the times of them. We must take heed of being over-bold in urging what God should do, lest the event should weaken our faith, rather than strengthen it. But God owned him by making his way clear. Rebekah, in all respects, answered the characters he sought for in the woman that was to be his master's wife. When she came to the well, she went down and filled her pitcher, and came up to go home with it. She did not stand to gaze upon the strange man his camels, but minded her business, and would not have been diverted from it but by an opportunity of doing good. She did not curiously or confidently enter into discourse with him, but answered him modestly. Being satisfied that the Lord had heard his prayer, he gave the damsel some ornaments worn in eastern countries; asking at the same time respecting her kindred. On learning that she was of his master's relations, he bowed down his head and worshipped, blessing God. His words were addressed to the Lord, but being spoken in the hearing of Rebekah, she could perceive who he was, and whence he came.The answer is immediate and direct. "He had not yet done speaking," when the answer came. A damsel "very fair to look upon," satisfying the taste of the old man, appears. He thereupon prefers his request, with which she promptly complies. The old man waits in wonder and silence to see if the Lord's approval will follow.15-21. before he had done speaking … behold, Rebekah came out—As he anticipated, a young woman unveiled, as in pastoral regions, appeared with her pitcher on her shoulder. Her comely appearance, her affable manners, her obliging courtesy in going down the steps to fetch water not only to him but to pour it into the trough for his camels, afforded him the most agreeable surprise. She was the very person his imagination had pictured, and he proceeded to reward her civility. According to the manner of the first and purest ages of the world, wherein humility and diligence, not, as in this degeneration of the world, pomp and idleness, were the ornaments of that sex and age. See Genesis 18:6 29:9,18,20 Exo 2:16 Proverbs 31:27.

And it came to pass, before he had done speaking,.... In his heart, Genesis 24:45; for his prayer was mental; while the last words were dropping from him, that very moment, as the Targum of Jonathan; so soon were his prayers heard and answered, Isaiah 65:24,

that behold Rebekah came out; out of Haran, the city of Nahor:

who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother; a daughter of Bethuel, which Bethuel was the eighth and last son of Milcah, and who was the daughter of Haran and the wife of Nahor, both brothers to Abraham: this is the genealogy of Rebekah, and for the sake of her is the account of Nahor's family given, Genesis 22:20,

with her pitcher upon her shoulder; to fetch water from the well for the use of the family; which, though the daughter of a wealthy person, she did not disdain to do; an instance of diligence and humility this.

And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, {h} Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

(h) God gives success to all things that are done for the glory of his name and according to his word.

15. Rebekah] Here described as the daughter of Bethuel, as in Genesis 24:24; Genesis 24:47; cf. Genesis 22:20-24, Genesis 25:20, Genesis 28:2. The absence, however, of any mention of Bethuel except in Genesis 24:50, and the mention of Rebekah’s mother and her brother Laban as the representatives of the house (Genesis 24:28; Genesis 24:55), have led to the conjecture, that Bethuel was dead, and that his name in Genesis 24:50 is due to a gloss or a textual error.

her pitcher upon her shoulder] Cf. Genesis 21:14; Exodus 12:34; Joshua 4:5. Everything turned upon the girl having a pitcher: hence the mention of this detail.

Verse 15. - And it came to pass (not certainly by accident, but by Divine arrangement), before he had done speaking, that, - his prayer was answered (cf. Isaiah 65:24; Daniel 9:20, 21). From ver. 45 it appears that the servant's prayer was not articulately spoken, but offered "in his heart;" whence the LXX. add ἐν τῇ διανοίᾳ αὐτοῦ ( <ΒΤΤ·Ξομμενταρψ Ωορδ>behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother (vide Genesis 22:23), with her pitcher - the cad (cf. κάδος, cadus) was a pail for drawing water, which women were accustomed to carry on their shoulders; it was this sort of vessel Gideon's men employed (Judges 7:20) - upon her shoulder - in exact correspondence with Oriental custom hip (vide Thomson, 'Land and Book,' p. 592). Genesis 24:15The servant then went, with ten camels and things of every description belonging to his master, into Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor, i.e., Haran, where Nahor dwelt (Genesis 11:31, and Genesis 12:4). On his arrival there, he made the camels kneel down, or rest, without the city by the well, "at the time of evening, the time at which the women come out to draw water," and at which, now as then, women and girls are in the habit of fetching the water required for the house (vid., Robinson's Palestine ii. 368ff.). He then prayed to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, "Let there come to meet me to-day," sc., the person desired, the object of my mission. He then fixed upon a sign connected with the custom of the country, by the occurrence of which he might decide upon the maiden (הנּער puella, used in the Pentateuch for both sexes, except in Deuteronomy 22:19, where נערה occurs) whom Jehovah had indicated as the wife appointed for His servant Isaac. הוכיח (Genesis 24:14) to set right, then to point out as right; not merely to appoint. He had scarcely ended his prayer when his request was granted. Rebekah did just what he had fixed upon as a token, not only giving him to drink, but offering to water his camels, and with youthful vivacity carrying out her promise. Niebuhr met with similar kindness in those regions (see also Robinson, Pal. ii. 351, etc.). The servant did not give himself blindly up to first impressions, however, but tested the circumstances.
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