“Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned…” Gen. 24:2a
Though Abraham’s servant is not named in this chapter, the popular belief among most scholars is that the servant is Eliezer of Damascus, who is first mentioned in Genesis 15:2 as being the potential heir for Abraham’s house. It may be of note that the numerical value of Eliezer’s name is 318, which we are told is the number of men that went into battle with Abraham against the four kings (Gen. 14:14), so there is speculation that Eliezer was with Abraham in battle, or perhaps that having Eliezer in battle was as if having 318 men.
If we regard Isaac, in light of the substitute sacrifice scenario, as a picture of the Christ, and we see Rebekah as a picture of the church (as the bride of Christ in the book of Revelation), then we see that this unnamed servant is sent forth to seek out the bride for Christ. So, we must consider that this servant may be a picture of the Holy Spirit.
Aside from the above, we see some similarities between the servant and what we know of the Holy Spirit:
- The servant got Rebekah to leave her old life behind, and almost all she had, to be married to Isaac in a new life. This too is the calling of the follower of Christ.
- John 16:13 of the New Testament tells us of the Holy Spirit “He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak”. In this story we see how the unnamed servant takes very specific instructions from Abraham, and repeats them, almost verbatim, to Rebekah’s family.
- The servant brings the good gifts of his master for the bride. The church receives the gifts of God from the Holy Spirit.
- In this chapter, the Unnamed Servant refers to both Abraham and Isaac as his master. (see vv. 9, 10, 27, 35, 36, 37, 42, 48, 50, 52 as referring to Abraham and v. 65 as referring to Isaac. This is a picture of how the Holy Spirit is co-equal with God and Christ the Messiah. This is similar in nature to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity/Triune nature of God.
There are many other such examples of parallels to this betrothal story as well.
According to http://www.abarim-publications.com, Eliezer’s name appears to mean ‘God’s help’ or helper of God:
The name Eliezer is a compound of two elements. The first part is the word (El 93), the common abbreviation of Elohim, meaning God (or gods). The second part comes from the verb (azar 1598) meaning help, support. This verb is quite common and used in all expected ways. Most notable is its usage in describing the function of Eve to Adam, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helper suitable for him’ (http://www.abarim-publications.com/)
The types set forth in this chapter are just more reminders that all scripture is by design. Christ said that it was the law and the prophets that testified of Him, and I believe that is true in stories such as this.