“So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. Meanwhile, the man was gazing at her in silence, to know whether the LORD had made his journey successful or not. When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels in gold, and said, “Whose daughter are you?” Gen. 24:20-23(a)
Rebekah finishes the monumental task of providing water to the ten camels, which probably took over a hundred trips between well and trough to complete (see my previous posting here). The task was simple enough yet physically arduous. Rebekah said she would do it ‘until [the camels] finished drinking’, she she did just that.
In the next verses (vv. 22-23) some translations are not as clear, and we will miss what happens next if we do not read carefully: The servant provides gifts to Rebekah – a golden nose ring and two golden bracelets – and then he asks Rebekah whose daughter she is – in that order.
Abraham’s servant was so certain that Rebekah was the woman he was looking for based upon her actions that her words were only secondary confirmation. Abraham was known for his hospitality and generosity (see Gen. 18, the three traveling strangers), and we see he passed this etiquette on to Lot (see Gen. 19:1-3, the two angels) and so there was an expectation that this character trait of hospitality would have been evident in the family. Through Abraham’s brother Nahor, this same hospitality was passed (that is, taught) through Bethuel to his son Laban (which we will soon see) and his daughter Rebekah.
It is almost as if ‘flesh and blood did not reveal this’ to the servant. The age-old adage that actions speak louder than words never rang more true.