For she had said to the servant, What man is this that walks in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a veil, and covered herself.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)She took a vail, and·covered herself.—Brides are usually taken to the bridegroom enveloped in a vail, which covers the whole body, and is far larger than that ordinarily worn. At the present time the bride-vail is usually red, the ordinary vail blue or white. By wrapping herself in this vail Rebekah notified that she was the bride. After marriage it was seldom worn at this early period, and so both the Egyptians and Abimelech saw Sarah’s beauty.
She concludes at once that this must be he, and, alighting, asks if it be. On being informed by the servant that this is his young master, she puts on the veil, which covers the head, and hangs down gracefully both behind and before. The aged servant reports the success of his mission, and presents Rebekah. Isaac brings his cousin's daughter into the apartments formerly occupied by his mother, and accepts her as his wife. The formalities of the interview, and of her presentation to Abraham as his daughter-in-law, are all untold. "And he loved her." This is the first mention of the social affections. It comes in probably because Isaac had not before seen his bride, and now felt his heart drawn toward her, when she was presented to his view. All things were evidently done in the fear of God, as became those who were to be the progenitors of the seed of promise. We have here a description of the primeval marriage. It is a simple taking of a woman for a wife before all witnesses, and with suitable feelings and expression of reverence toward God, and of desire for his blessing. It is a pure and holy relation, reaching back into the realms of innocence, and fit to be the emblem of the humble, confiding, affectionate union between the Lord and his people.
- The Death of Abraham
1. קטוּרה qeṭûrâh, "Qeturah, incense."
2. זמרן zı̂mrān, "Zimran, celebrated in song." יקשׁן yāqshān, "Joqshan, fowler." מדן medān, "Medan, judge." מדין mı̂dyān, "Midian, one who measures." לאבק yı̂shbāq, "Jishbaq, he leaves." שׁוּח shûach, "Shuach, pit."
3. לטוּשׁם leṭûshı̂ym, "Letushim, hammered, sharpened." לאמים le'umı̂ym, "Leummim, peoples."
4. עיפה ‛êypâh, "'Ephah, darkness." עפר ‛êper, "'Epher, dust." אבידע 'ǎbı̂ydā‛, "Abida', father of knowledge." אלדעה 'eldā‛âh, "Elda'ah, knowing?"Genesis 20:16 1 Corinthians 11:10.
what man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? for by the course he steered, she perceived that he was coming towards them, and so concluded it must be one of the family, and probably the person she was to be married to; for otherwise, had he not by his look and motion discovered that he knew the servant, and was coming towards them, she would have took no notice of him
and the servant had said, it is my master: meaning not Abraham, but his son, who also was his master:
therefore she took a veil, and covered herself; both out of modesty, and as a token of subjection to him: for the veil was put on when the bride was introduced to the bridegroom, as among the Romans (x) in later times. The Arab women always have veils when they appear in public, so that their faces cannot be seen; and though in the summer months they walk abroad with less caution, yet then, upon the approach of a stranger, they put on their veils (y).For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)65. It is my master] Referring to Isaac. The expression favours the suggestion that, according to the original version of the story, Abraham’s death had been mentioned after Genesis 24:9 (see note); the servant’s master was no longer Abraham.
took her veil] According to Oriental custom the bride was brought veiled into the presence of the bridegroom: cf. Genesis 29:23; Genesis 29:25.Verse 65. - For she had said (literally, and she said; not before, but after alighting) unto the servant (of Abraham), What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? - Isaac having obviously hastened forward to give a welcome to his bride. On learning who it was she took a veil - "the cloak-like veil of Arabia" (Keil), which covers not merely the face, but, "like a kind of large wrapper, nearly the whole form, rendering it impossible to recognize the person" (Kalisch) - and covered herself. That married ladies did not always use the veil when traveling appears from the case of Sarah (Genesis 20:16); but that brides did not discover their faces to their intended husbands until after marriage may be inferred from the case of Leah (Genesis 29:23, 25). Thus modestly attired, she meekly yields herself to one whom she had never before seen, in the confident persuasion that so Jehovah willed. Genesis 35:8), with the parting wish that she might become the mother of an exceedingly numerous and victorious posterity. "Become thousands of myriads" is a hyperbolical expression for an innumerable host of children. The second portion of the blessing (Genesis 24:60) is almost verbatim the same as Genesis 22:17, but is hardly borrowed thence, as the thought does not contain anything specifically connected with the history of salvation.
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