“Now Isaac had come from going to Beer-lahai-roi; for he was living in the Negev. Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming. Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from the camel. She said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” Then she took her veil and covered herself. The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” Gen. 24:62-67
Because I believe that Isaac is a picture of the Christ, and Rebekah is a picture of the church, it is difficult not to attempt to draw parallels between this portion of the narrative and end-times happenings. Unfortunately to do so would probably raise more questions than it answered. For instance, there is repeated instruction from Abraham not to take Isaac back to the land where he was from, but we know the Christ ultimately returns at the second advent, so it is difficult to draw such a parallel.
What the scene is about otherwise is the meeting of Rebekah and Isaac, and the consummation of their relationship. There are a few items worth noting in these verses:
1 – Isaac was not living with Abraham, he was living in the Negev (v. 62). Some speculate that Isaac parted ways with Abraham after his near-sacrifice in Genesis 22; that perhaps Isaac was disturbed by this, possibly being at an age where he did not have as full an understanding of God as Abraham did. Also we note that it appears Isaac did not return with Abraham from Mount Moriah that fateful day (Gen. 22:19).
2 – The text notes where Isaac was coming from – Beer-lahai-roi – does this mean he was just arriving? If read that way it would appear to be divinely orchestrated; he would have had to leave his home at the right time to arrive while the caravan was arriving. Such was the case with the servant, who arrived right when Rebekah was going out to draw water.
3 – It is also worth noting that the Targum Onkelos (the official Babylonian translation of the Torah), as well as some common translations render the place name where Hagar saw the Angel of the Lord at the well in Gen 16:14 and Beer-lahai-roi as the same place. This was the place where Hagar fled to from Sarah after becoming pregnant with Ishmael. The Lord told Hagar to go back and submit to her mistress. It is believed by many Jewish scholars that this is in the text to allude to the fact that Isaac was actually looking for Hagar – to bring her back to Abraham now that Sarah has passed on – which I will discuss more in the next chapter’s postings.
4 – When Rebekah dismounts the camel (v. 64), according to Rashi she practically fell off. It would appear that if she didn’t know the man was Isaac yet, she was certainly hoping it was.
5 – The servant refers to Isaac as his masters (v. 65). Prior to this the servant referred several times to Abraham as his master. In this case the servant likely considers both men as his master, though it draws an interesting parallel to the servant being a picture of the Holy Spirit, Isaac being a picture of the Christ, and Abraham being a picture of God.
6 – I find it fascinating that although the long awaited bride of Isaac finally arrives, it appears she waits patiently, with veil over her head, for Isaac to finish his conversation with the servant. Before they enter the tent, the text tells us in verse 66 “The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.” The servant’s report to his master took precedence.