The Truth About Rebekah In The Bible

Rebekah (or Rebecca) is the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. She is also one of the most relevant matriarchs in the Bible. When Sarah dies, Abraham decides it is time for their son Isaac, who is 37 years old, to marry. He asks his senior servant to go to Mesopotamia, his home country, and find a wife among his relatives. When the servant arrives in Mesopotamia, he prays, and a woman approaches a water wheel near him. He asks for some water, and the kind woman obliges and offers water to his camels (via Osprey Observer). This is Rebekah’s first appearance in the Bible.

The man takes out a gold nose ring and two bracelets and asks Rebekah who her father is. Her family welcomes him into her house, and he is sure she is the answer to his payers. Eventually, Bethuel, Rebekah’s father, allows the man to take his daughter to Canaan. When they arrive, Rebekah is welcomed by Isaac. “Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her, and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death,” per Genesis 24:67.

Rebekah and Isaac struggled to conceive

The Bible has many stories of couples who can’t conceive, and Rebekah is one-half of such a union. But after 20 years of marriage and many prayers from Isaac, she gets pregnant (via New World Encyclopedia). She was expecting twins, as in Genesis 25:23, God tells her that “two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” Rebekah ultimately gives birth to Esau and Jacob — the first loved to hunt, and the second preferred to stay at home.

Isaac, who is nearly blind in his old age, wanted to give his blessing to Esau before his death. When Jacob is older, he tells Esau to hunt an animal and prepare a tasty dish. Rebekah overhears the conversation and tells Jacob to hurry and bring two goats, which she would prepare and Jacob could take his father’s blessing. He doesn’t like the idea and says that if Isaac touches him, he will notice he is not Esau and curse him. “My son, let the curse fall on me,” his mother says, per Genesis 27:13. “Just do what I say; go and get them for me.” 

The pair deceive Isaac into blessing Jacob, making him the lord of Esau and his relatives. When Esau notices the plot, Rebekah fears for Jacob’s life and sends him away. When Jacob returns to Canaan 21 years later, his mother is dead.

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