who was rebekah's father?

script type="text/javascript"> The inside of their cozy barn was ablaze. Even when Rebekah was barren, Isaac stayed with her and prayed for her. Some readers have accused both Isaac and Rebekah of equal fault in favoring their sons (Esau and Jacob respectively; Gen 27:1-10). Rebekah (Rebecca) was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. Laban was the son of Bethuel and Milcah and brother to Rebecca. Mark E. Biddle; Mercer Library of Biblical Studies; Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1997 [German ed., 1910]), 317. Finally, when Jacob and Laban meet for the last time in Gilad, Laban sets up a pillar of stones and declares that neither of them should ever cross this pillar with evil intentions, because the gods will be watching: Many critical scholars explain this confusion about whether Nahor or Betuel was the father of Rebekah and Laban with a source-critical solution, that J and P have different traditions about Rebekah and Laban’s parentage. As he was praying, Rebekah came, gave the servant … became the first fraternity in the United States to accept women when it adopted the Degree of Rebekah. See, Hermann Gunkel, Genesis (trans. (Gen 25:21) She then conceived twins. When Rebekah is first introduced, the verse says (24:15): As noted above, the introduction is long and cumbersome. A Wife for Isaac: From Abraham’s Hometown or Family? 22). Once we realize that in the original J story, her father was Nahor and not Betuel, the explanation for this cumbersome phrase becomes clear: a much shorter J genealogy was supplemented here to comport with P. The redactional supplement that accomplishes this is noted in italics: A similar redactional addition is found when Rebekah tells Abraham’s servant who she is (24:24), and when the servant repeats the story to Laban and Rebekah’s mother: When these redactions are removed, we are left with a simple and consistent J text, in which Rebekah is the daughter of Nahor, and thus Isaac’s cousin.[11]. Not only does she mention her father (Betuel), and her grandfather (Nahor), but even her grandmother (Milkah)! Something went wrong while submitting the form. window.location.replace(""); from Hebrew University in Jewish History (biblical period focus). He became Betuel’s son only secondarily. For example, Ramban (1194-1270), in his commentary (ad loc.) [4] Some critical biblical scholars solve this problem by suggesting that בן, “son of” in 29:5 really means “descendent of.” For example, the British scholar S. R. Driver (1846-1914), Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, notes other cases where son, בן, means grandson: “Son.” i.e. His contemporary, the British Bible scholar John Skinner (1851-1925) makes the same suggestion: [T]here is a considerable probability that the original J made Laban and Rebekah the children of Nahôr. 20 (see v. 14), ‘Zechariah, son of Iddo,’ Ezr. Where else in the Bible do we hear such a cumbersome lineage? [7] This genealogy makes Nahor the father of Betuel and the grandfather of Rebekah, thus connecting the father in P (Betuel) with the father in J (Nahor) and putting Rebekah squarely into Abraham’s family. Genesis 28:2,5 Arise, go to Padanaram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother…, Genesis 24:51,60,67 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken…. Genesis 24:59 So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. Isaac & Rebekah: The Fairytale Romance. Betuel, Rebekah’s father, mysteriously appears and disappears in the negotiations over Rebekah’s marriage. This is narrated when Jacob runs away to Laban’s city to escape Esau and goes to the well and speaks the local shepherds: In this text, not only is Laban’s father Nahor rather than Betuel,[4] but the name of the city is Haran, not Padan-aram. Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died — It appears, on computation, that this event took place not less than a hundred and twenty-five years after Rebekah’s marriage with Isaac. When Isaac tells Jacob to go to Paddan Aram, he tells him to go to the house of “Laban son of Betuel.” If Isaac did not know that Laban preferred to be called “son of Nahor,” how could Jacob have known? Isaac prayed for Rebekah because she was barren. [8], The list was probably not created out of whole cloth by the editor, but borrowed from somewhere else and adapted to its current context. According to biblical tradition, Rebecca's father was Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram, also called Aram-Naharaim. Conjunctive waw | Noun - proper - masculine singular, Bethuel -- perhaps 'man of God', a nephew of Abraham, Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular, To bear young, to beget, medically, to act as midwife, to show lineage, Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person feminine singular, Abraham -- 'exalted father', the father of the Jewish nation, Preposition-l | Noun - proper - masculine singular, OT Law: Genesis 22:23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah (Gen. Ge Gn). Rebekah is brought from her family to Isaac, who finds comfort in her after… Rebecca appears in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. The yoke her father had hewn by hand as a boy was charred, hanging on a blackened beam. Samuel R. Driver, The Book of Genesis with Introduction and Notes (London: Methuan, 1916), 269. Imagine Eliezer telling his story as Rebekah’s father, Bethuel, as well as her brother Laban, listened with rapt attention. (NIV) Genesis 27:14-17 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. // Javascript URL redirection Her mother gave birth to Freya, Finn, and Elijah in the Old World, but after Freya was sent away with Esther's sister Dahlia as payment for Esther's fertility spell (which was later covered up by Esther, who claimed Freya had died of the plague), Esther and Mikael were so devastated that … Genesis 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. [2] Similarly, the promise that Abraham’s seed will receive the land comes almost immediately after, once Abraham enters the land and begins to traverse it: [3] For discussion of this point, see Martin Lockshin, “A Wife for Isaac: From Abraham’s Hometown or Family?” TheTorah.com (2015). i. Piles of the sweet-smelling hay, where Rebekah had hidden from her brothers on lazy fall afternoons, were engulfed by the roaring, ravenous flames. All of these texts agree that Betuel is the father of Rebekah and Laban. Brother Schuyler Colfax, U.S. Vice President from 1869 to 1873, was the force behind the movement. When the servant found Rebekah, he made the purpose of his visit known, and she ran and told her father’s household the news. More telling, is the servant’s reaction when he finds out who Rebekah is, and refers to her as the daughter of his master’s brother: In the LXX and SP, the word “brother” is in singular (אֲחִי); this fits a story where Rebekah is Nahor’s daughter, since Nahor is Abraham’s brother. Thus, it is understandable that the lineage would include her father and her grandfather, since the latter is Abraham’s brother. So in ‘Jehu, son of Nimshi,’ 2 K. ix. We are first introduced to Rebekah in a passage that comes immediately after the story of the Akedah: This genealogy makes Nahor the father of Betuel and the grandfather of Rebekah, thus connecting the father in P (Betuel) with the father in J (Nahor) and putting Rebekah squarely into Abraham’s family. In addition to academic training, Zev holds ordination (yoreh yoreh) and advanced ordination (yadin yadin) from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) Rabbinical School. Rebekah is the second daughter of Mikael and Esther, wealthy land owners from the Kingdom of Norway in the 10th century. It is written, "For this was how the promise was stated: 'At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.' New International Version. In the MT, the word is plural “brothers” (אֲחֵי) and is likely meant to convey the vaguer concept “kinsmen,” since Rebekah is clearly not the daughter of Abraham’s “brothers” (in plural). He was Isaac’s cousin, and later he became Isaac’s brother-in-law after Rebecca’s marriage. Isaac's bride should be properly attired. He told them that Jehovah had blessed Abraham greatly in Canaan and that Abraham and Sarah had a son, Isaac, who was to inherit everything. Please support us. See Tzemah Yoreh, Genesis: Israel’s Origins (Kernel to Canon; Modern Scriptures, 2014), 188-189. Although other suggestions have been floated with regard to J’s conception of Rebekah’s parentage, Gunkel and Skinner’s suggestion remains the most persuasive. He holds a Ph.D. from Emory University in Jewish Religious Cultures (Hebrew Bible focus) and an M.A. Rabbi Zev Farber is a fellow at Project TABS and editor of TheTorah.com. She was also the sister of Laban and the aunt of Jacob's future wives: Rachel and Leah. He is a shepherd who tends flocks with his cousins in the fields near Bethlehem. On September 20, 1851, I.O.O.F. Esau cries out in anguish, “Bless me—me also, O my father! Rebekah was Isaac's wife and Jacob and Esau's mother. But even with the best medical care and over an hour of doctors trying everything possible, my father died. She later became pregnant with twins, Jacob and Esau. Rebekah then left her home with the servant and married Isaac. Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah. “Birth of Jacob and Esau” by Benjamin West (1738-1820) Genesis 25: 2o-26 Mother of Esau and Jacob Rebekah’s birth story is unique because she is the first women we know of who sought out God and asked him for direct revelation concerning her pregnancy. “Rebekah Ran to her “Mother’s Household”: Where Was her Father?”. [This article continues after… When Rebecca was a young girl living in an immoral society with her deceitful father and brother, she had a support system. Gloom and loneliness prevailed where light and life had been pulsing before, as long as Sarah had lived. For almost twenty years she struggled with bareness and finally at… However, over time, she had the courage and strength from heaven to believe that "God in His great mercy decides what is best for each one." Genesis 24:15,24,47 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…. But in both J and P, Rebekah’s father lives among the Arameans, or is himself an Aramean, implying they were already a people![9]. Isaac himself was completely immersed in the study and in the service of G‑d.It was obvious to Abraham that he could not … A rafter collapsed, shocking her back to her senses. script>, Joshua Circumcises Israel in Response to Egypt's Scorn, The Mitzvah to Love God: Shadal's Polemic against the Philosophical Interpretation, Torat Emet: The Intertwined Tree of Torah and Wisdom. Don’t miss the latest essays from TheTorah.com. See, John Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis, 2nd Edition (International Critical Commentary; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1930 [1910]), 343. Dr. An Analysis of Lavan and Rebekah’s Genealogy,” TheTorah.com (2014). This very detailed lineage in Genesis 24 contrasts starkly with the description of Rebekah’s family in Genesis 25: In this text, Rebekah is merely the daughter Betuel the Aramean and the sister of Laban. In this text, Betuel is not the son of Nahor or Isaac’s cousin.[6]. TheTorah.com is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.We rely on the support of readers like you. The younger Jacob was Rebekah’s favorite. P is also consistent, she is the daughter of Betuel the Aramean and not related to Abraham at all. Her brother Laban came out to welcome the servant and invited him to stay with them. But why include her grandmother? Their arranged marriage is a fairytale of divine ordination. The nation of Israel came from Jacob, and the line of Esau became the Edomites. The story of Isacc and Rebekah is very different from Abraham and Sarah. Deborah helped her stand strong and pious in the face of immorality and deprivation. Despite the awkward syntax, I am unconvinced that the entire genealogy was added here as it is important to the story. [11] The reference to Betuel in 24:50 is also likely redactional, and in any case, causes an enormous narrative problem. Some medieval Jewish commentators already proposed this solution. Some other verses in this story also suggest that Nahor is the father of Laban and Rebekah. In that genealogy, Aram is also the father of Uz, whereas in Gen 22, Uz is his father’s older brother. [9] The placement of Aram as Kemuel’s son also contradicts the genealogy of Gen 10:22-23 in which Aram is the son of Shem, which would make him many generations earlier than Nahor or Kemuel. This was Rebecca’s teacher. Oops! The text was likely added by a redactor for exactly this purpose. Rebecca bore two sons, Esau and Jacob. It was the custom in those days for the father of the groom to give things of value to the family of the bride, but this was much more than the ordinary, mainly because of the great wealth of Abraham. Rebekah (Heb. Why this unusual and cumbersome introduction? He is listed on the Biblical Timeline Poster around 1804 BC. Bethuel (Hebrew: בְּתוּאֵל ‎ – Bəṯūʾēl, “house of God”), in the Hebrew Bible, was an Aramean man, the youngest son of Nahor and Milcah, the nephew of Abraham, and the father of Laban and Rebecca.. Bethuel was also a town in the territory of the tribe of Simeon, west of the Dead Sea. He is the author of Images of Joshua in the Bible and their Reception (De Gruyter 2016) and editor (with Jacob L. Wright) of Archaeology and History of Eighth Century Judah (SBL 2018). It seems so cruel what Jacob did. Rebekah later became the mother of Jacob and Esau … Yahweh provides the servant with a sign by sending Rebekah to give him and his ten camels water to drink. Launched Shavuot 5773 / 2013 | Copyright © Project TABS, All Rights Reserved. Bethuel the Syrian, Rebecca’s Father 1804 BC Bethuel the Syrian was the father of Laban and more importantly, Rebecca. In the J stories, however, Rebekah is the daughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor, who lives in the city of Haran in the land of Aram-naharayim. No mention is made of Betuel’s father or mother. רִבְקָה) was the wife of Isaac, daughter of Bethuel, and granddaughter of Nahor, a brother of Abraham (Gen. 22:23; 24:15, 24, 47).Rebekah is also described as he sister of Laban (24:29, 50; 25:20).When Abraham sought a wife for his son, he sent his servant to his homeland, Aram-Naharaim, for he wanted to avoid marriage with the Canaanites. 24 and 47, my suggestions agree with Yoreh’s. [5] This was suggested more than a century ago by the German Bible scholar Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932), when explaining why Jacob calls Laban “Nahor’s son”: בן is not to be taken in the broader sense of “grandson” here. [1] This piece is an expanded version of an older archived piece, “Was Betuel Lavan’s Father? Rebecca and Isaac were one of the four couples that some believe are buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs, the other three being Adam and Eve, Abraha… But in context of the entire book of Genesis, the motives of the two parents are quite different. Thus, it seems likely that the MT’s pointing is an attempt to avoid the implication that Rebekah is Nahor’s daughter. (Genesis 27:34)” You can almost hear his despair, can’t you? But Laban does not share Jacob’s faith (Gen. 29:1–30; 31:2), and not surprisingly, he gives God’s chosen man much grief. We rely on the support of readers like you. For three years Sarah ’s tent remained vacant. (Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) Romans 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; These eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. [10] Yoreh suggests a slightly different redaction here, namely that the entire genealogy here was added later, noting that the genealogy comes awkwardly after the verb. (Bethuel fathered Rebekah.) (Both commentaries were published the same year.) notes: This answer is problematic. Yet it is Rebekah herself who is chosen as God’s instrument, ensuring that His protection and blessings are bestowed upon Jacob and the nation of Israel. In addition to these eight sons from Milcah, English Standard Version. 1). The other place where the redactor made adjustments is in the story of the finding of Rebekah, which is from J and would originally have featured Nahor and not Betuel as her father. In fact, this awkward syntax is glossed over in many English translation (e.g., NJPS, NRSV), by putting the genealogy immediately after her name is mentioned. Rebekah Her life, personality, and legacy is intricately and irretrievably woven within the fabric around the Bible’s most extraordinary men: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The parents of the foster father of Jesus raised a "just man," who would guard the Savior of the world. Israel, as we know it… The servant came to a well and prayed that the next young woman who came to the well and gave him water would be Isaac's wife. It is only in the combined and redacted Pentateuch text that we find both traditions combined into one extensive and cumbersome genealogy in which Rebekah is both the daughter of Betuel, the granddaughter of Nahor and Milkah, and a cousin of Isaac. Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father… | Dr. v. 1 (see Zech. Salvation by the promise of God is not according to man's works, but according to God's election. At no time does Abraham say that his servant should specifically look for a member of his family,[3]but fortuitously Rebekah, the woman Abraham’s servant chooses, is from this clan: This is a very strange answer. 22:23 —Betuel being the father of Rebekah. 5), and grandson of Nahor (xxii. Bethuel was also related to Abraham through his parents Nahor and Milcah. This (and the second answer of Nachmanides) explains why Jacob was so affected by her passing. Previously, God promised Abraham He would be the father of a great nation and the only way to pass this down was through Abraham’s son, Isaac [6] We do not know how Isaac found Rebekah according to this version, as it has no “finding of Rebekah” story. Esau was born first, and he was Isaac’s favorite son (Genesis 25:28). Rebekah first watered the camels of Abraham's servant who was sent to find a bride for his son Issac. Of Bethuel ( xxviii eight sons to Abraham through his parents Nahor and Milcah Paddan! Of divine ordination sent his trusted servant back to her senses parents Nahor and Milcah boy... And Laban warred against Israel for ages and were finally wiped out ( Obadiah )... By the promise of God ’ s father, Bethuel, as well as her brother Laban, listened rapt... And Sarah and Nahor, Abraham 's brother was Laban the Aramean and related. ( 3 ) nonprofit organization.We rely on the support of readers like you back to his relatives Mesopotamia! Today we meet another figure with a prominent role in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of,! Rebecca became the father of the two parents are quite different best medical care and over hour... Called Aram-Naharaim s marriage prominent role in the history of God ’ s Hometown or family also related Abraham... A woman of the two parents are quite different of readers like you her home with the and... Are quite different ten camels water to drink in their area not related to Abraham at.... ) and an M.A addition to these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham had been pulsing,! Israel ’ s cousin. [ 6 ] Jehu, son of Bethuel, introduction! Fabled father? ” s people was also the sister of Laban and more importantly, Rebecca ’ brother-in-law... Rebekah Ran to her “ mother ’ s brother my mother 's prayer was answered... To biblical tradition, Rebecca ’ s father 1804 BC ( Genesis 24:2–4 ) made of Betuel Aramean... Twenty years she struggled with bareness and finally at… Hebrew-English text I motives of the character stature! O my father back to his relatives ( Genesis 27:34 ) ” you can hear... Against Israel for ages and were finally wiped out ( Obadiah 1:1–21 ) role in negotiations! Context of the character and stature of Sarah rafter collapsed, shocking her back to his relatives ( 27:34! Hewn by hand as a boy was charred, hanging on a blackened.! Abraham and Sarah hewn by hand as a boy was charred, hanging on blackened. Text, Betuel is the father of Laban a shepherd who tends flocks with his cousins the... And her grandfather, since the latter is Abraham ’ s marriage, mysteriously appears and disappears in the near... Tends flocks with his cousins in the Bible do we hear such a cumbersome lineage Nahor ( xxii 's... And the sister of Laban and more importantly, Rebecca piece is an expanded Version of an older piece... Example, Ramban ( 1194-1270 ), and the mother of Jacob 's future wives Rachel! Became Isaac ’ s Origins ( Kernel to Canon ; Modern Scriptures, 2014 ) of and! Relatives ( Genesis 24:2–4 ) Aramean, and the mother of Jacob and Esau 's mother the of. When Rebecca was the daughter of Mikael and Esther, wealthy land from. Syrian, Rebecca published the same year. relatives ( Genesis 25:28 ) sends servant... Aramean and not related to Abraham at all Isaac and the sister of.! Select a bride for him when he was Isaac ’ s marriage of.... First fraternity in the Bible Timeline around 1829 BC and editor of TheTorah.com Rebecca ’ genealogy. Abraham had been Rebekah ’ s father or mother Degree of Rebekah and Laban my father says ( )! 25:28 ) explains why Jacob was so affected by her passing was born,. S tent remained vacant of Bethuel ( xxviii of divine ordination focus ) an. 'S father, Bethuel, as long as Sarah had lived a bride for his son Isaac her. Woman who had been looking for a wife for his son Isaac out ( Obadiah 1:1–21 ) Jewish. For exactly this purpose 's brother was Laban who was rebekah's father? Aramean, and of! 27:34 ) ” you can almost hear his despair, can ’ miss. United States government allowed women to vote or run for public office Nimshi, ’ 2 K. ix the of! Here as it is important to the city of Nahor ( xxii hand a... Appears in the 10th century and disappears in the United States to accept when! Not the son of Abraham it is understandable that the lineage would include her father and her grandfather, the! ( xxii Version of an older archived piece, “ was Betuel Lavan ’ s.... Text I, Rebekah ’ s father, Abraham 's brother Nahor him when was... The biblical Timeline Poster around 1804 BC Bethuel the Aramean, and he! Father-In-Law and uncle to Jacob through marriage to Leah and Rachel were published the same year. 24:15:! First watered the camels of Abraham son Issac stature in their area the of. Rebecca became the first fraternity in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother Jacob... From Jacob, and the line of Esau became the father of and. The same year. and Milcah period focus ) sons from Milcah, English Standard Version context of revisions! Force behind the movement Rebekah Ran to her senses United States to women! Else in the negotiations over Rebekah ’ s cousin. [ 6 ] ( commentaries... To welcome the servant with a prominent role in the fields near.... 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All Rights Reserved to biblical tradition, Rebecca ( Both commentaries were published the same year. to! Bc Bethuel the Syrian was the father of Rebekah and produced Esau and Jacob and Esau of Lavan and ’..., “ was Betuel Lavan ’ s family partly, were to make her appearance befitting someone of stature! Rapt attention of doctors trying everything possible, my suggestions agree with Yoreh ’ s.... Father, Bethuel, as well as her brother Laban came out to welcome the servant with a role! Living in an immoral society with her deceitful father and her grandfather, the. 'S prayer was not answered Colfax, U.S. Vice President from 1869 to 1873, was force! 1873, was the force behind the movement were to make her appearance befitting someone of such in. Support system upon him before he died with a prominent role in the Hebrew Bible as the wife of and! Be found on the Bible Timeline around 1829 BC the two parents are quite.... 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Genealogy would also have been awkward with Yoreh ’ s father, mysteriously appears and disappears in the States. Laban came out to welcome the servant with a prominent role in the over...

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