Rebekah in the Bible: 6 Lessons From Her Story

Rebekah in the Bible was the wife of Isaac and the great-niece of Abraham. She was one of the matriarchs of the Old Testament along with Sarah the wife of Abraham and Rachel the wife of Jacob. She was the mother of Jacob and Esau who were the first twins in Biblical text.  

She was a remarkable woman who was chosen as a suitable wife for Isaac by God’s guidance and answer to prayer. Her husband loved her, but life and marriage had challenges.

She had her strengths and weaknesses, and she made mistakes, but from her story, we can find rich and valuable lessons we can apply to our own lives. God has a purpose and plan for each of us. And we see that in her story. 

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Rebekah in the Bible riding a camel other people walking

Who Was Rebekah in the Bible?

The meaning of Rebekah means “to tie, bind”.  It comes from the Hebrew name Rivkah, meaning “noose.” We first meet Rebekah in the Book of Genesis chapter 24.  

After Sarah’s death, Abraham asked his oldest servant to go and look for a suitable wife for his son Isaac in his own country and among his people. 

Isaac’s father didn’t want him to marry the daughters of the Canaanites who didn’t serve or worship God. He made the servant make an oath that he would never take a wife from the Canaanites for Isaac. 

The servant was concerned that the woman he found might not be willing to come back with him but Abraham released him from the oath if that was the case. The servant then started the long journey to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor loaded with clothing, jewelry, and gifts for the bride and her family. 

Abraham’s servant then prayed and asked God for kindness and guidance. 

And he said O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.

Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:

And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

Genesis 24:12-14

Before he could finish praying, we are introduced to Rebekah in the Bible verses from Genesis 24:15-16. She approached the spring with a jug to get water for her family. She was a beautiful young woman who was also a virgin. 

The servant asked for a drink of water, and she gave it to him. Then she quickly offered and gave water to all his camels, and the servant knew his prayer had been answered. He asked for a place to rest, and she invited him to her family home. 

It turns out that Rebekah’s father Bethuel was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor. Rebekah was the sister of Laban. So she was the great-niece of Abraham. Her brother Laban came to meet the servant and invited him to their home and gave him a place to rest and food to eat. 

The servant told his entire story and then told the family that he’d like to take Rebekah to be the wife of his master’s son Isaac. The family agreed to this as they could see God’s work in leading the servant to them. The next morning, the servant was ready to go, but Rebekah’s family were a bit hesitant and wanted more time with her. 

When Rebekah was asked for her opinion, she said she was willing to leave. So, they blessed her, and she left with her maids and the servant. They went on their way, and as they were about to reach Abraham’s home, they saw Isaac in the field praying. When Rebekah was told who he was, she got off the camel and went to meet her future husband. 

The servant gave a report back of his long journey to Isaac. Then Isaac married her in his mother Sarah’s tent. The Bible tells us that having Rebekah for his wife was a comfort to Isaac after having lost his mother. 

What Is the Story of Rebekah in the Bible?

The Story of Rebekah in the Bible summary continues in Genesis 25:19-34 and Genesis 27. After twenty years of marriage, Isaac and Rebekah didn’t have a child. So Isaac prayed, and his wife became pregnant. Rebekah had a difficult pregnancy as the unborn children were fighting in her womb. 

Rebekah prayed to the Lord, and He told her that she had two nations in her womb, and that the older one would serve the younger. She gave birth to twin sons Esau and Jacob. When they came out, Jacob the younger son was grabbing Esau’s heel. 

As they grew, Isaac’s favorite son was Esau, who became a skillful hunter, while his wife, Rebekah, loved Jacob, the younger son, who preferred to stay home among the tents with his mother. 

When Isaac reached old age, he decided it was time to bless his son Esau, since in Jewish tradition the blessing went to the older son. Isaac asked for Esau to bring game meat and cook his favorite stew. But Rebekah heard this and came up with a plan to deceive her husband. 

Once Esau went out to hunt for the game she stayed and prepared the stew Isaac asked for, dressed her son Jacob in Esau’s clothing, and covered him with goatskins, so he could pretend to be a hairy man like his brother. The trick worked, and Jacob received God’s blessing from Isaac. 

When Esau came and realized he was deceived, he was angry and threatened to kill Jacob. So, Rebekah instructed Jacob to go to her brother Laban where he stayed for a long time. The twin boys only reconciled and forgave each other after twenty years apart. 

In the end, Jacob, the younger son, became the father of the nation of Israel, and Esau, the firstborn, became the father of the Edomites. Rebekah later died and was buried in the cave of Machpelah (Genesis 49:31) along with Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac. 

Characteristics of Rebekah in the Bible

Rebekah was a hard-working young woman, who carried out her duties and family responsibilities well. She would go and fetch water for her family and help around the house. When she met Abraham’s servant at the spring she gave him a drink and all his camels. This must have taken a lot of effort and work but she worked efficiently, effectively, and willingly too. 

Rebekah was kind. She not only gave Abraham’s servant water but the camels, as well. She showed initiative in this regard and patiently waited until the servant and animals had finished drinking, revealing a servant’s heart. 

She welcomed the servant to stay at her parent’s home showing her hospitality. She was able to share her resources with those in need. This servant and those with him were weary travelers who needed a place to rest and be comfortable, and she was willing to give that.

Rebekah had faith and courage to go to a strange land and marry a man she had never met. She was willing to leave her family and people and trust in God for her future. 

What Can We Learn From the Story of Rebekah?

Rebekah, the mother of Esau and Jacob, was a great woman, but not perfect. She was married to Isaac, the child of promise, and had a huge responsibility to continue the legacy of her husband’s parents. 

So, what are the lessons from Rebekah in the Bible? Here are six key lessons we can take from her life and apply to our own lives. 

1) The story of Rebekah in the Bible teaches us to have faith in God. 

Rebekah trusted God, which allowed her to go and marry a man she didn’t know. We may not know what tomorrow and the future holds, but God does. So, like Rebekah, we trust Him to lead us, show us the way, provide, and protect us.

2) Rebekah’s story teaches us about the power of prayer.

When Abraham’s servant went to seek a suitable wife for his master, he prayed for guidance from the Lord and was led to Rebekah. Isaac’s prayer led God to open the womb of his wife after she had been childless for twenty years. When she had a difficult pregnancy, Rebekah prayed. 

There is no issue too big or too small for the Lord. He invites us to pray when we are in need and know that He will help us. He is the all-powerful God. Nothing is impossible with Him. 

There is no issue too big or too small for the Lord. He invites us to pray when we are in need and know that He will help us. He is the all-powerful God. Nothing is impossible with Him. 

For more help growing in your walk with God, you’ll want to be sure to check out all these Practical Ways to Get Closer to God Today!

3) The story of Rebekah in the Bible shows us that God works all things together for good.

Romans 8:28 is a great scripture that refers to how the Lord uses our strengths, weaknesses, mistakes, sins, and even tragedies to fulfill His plans and purpose for our lives. 

This is true in the story of women like Jael, who killed a man to save the nation of Israel. Or, Tabitha, who was much loved by her community and yet died, but the power of God was shown in her resurrection.

In Rebekah’s life, her deceit resulted in God’s prophecy being fulfilled that the younger son, Jacob, would be greater than Esau, the elder brother. Even in our own lives, God will use all circumstances for our good. All we need to do is trust Him.  

 

4) Rebekah’s story teaches us that inner beauty is more important than physical beauty. 

When the Bible introduces us to beautiful Rebekah, it describes her physical features and attributes. But when we get to know her and her character, the focus is on her inner beauty. Her kindness, hospitality, faith, and courage are what become the main themes in her story. 

We should take care of ourselves physically as women. But according to the Holy Bible, God wants us to focus on and value our inner beauty. The development of a godly character should be our main focus. 

5) The story of Rebekah in the Bible teaches us to not show favoritism.

As parents and children of God, we should not show favoritism and prefer one child over another. Rebekah’s actions led her to lose her son, who had to flee from his angry brother. And the grudge lasted for years. 

Favoritism can bring harm and hurt families as it did in Rebekah’s family. God loves us all the same, and we should aim to love others similarly, as well. 

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

James 2:1

6) The story of Rebekah in the Bible shows us that delay is not denial.

Waiting on the Lord may not be easy, but it’s worth it. Rebekah had to wait twenty years to become pregnant. You may have spent months or years praying for your miracle, deliverance, or breakthrough. Continue to wait on the Lord, and He will surely answer when the time is right. His delay doesn’t mean He will deny you what’s best for you. 

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31
Rebekah in the Bible riding a camel other people walking

Why Is Rebekah Important in the Bible?

Rebekah, a significant figure in the Bible, holds importance for several reasons. First and foremost, she is the wife of Isaac, the son of Abraham, thereby connecting her lineage to the founding patriarchs of Israel. 

Rebekah plays a pivotal role in the story of Genesis, particularly in the story of her sons Jacob and Esau, as she orchestrates Jacob’s deception to secure his father’s blessing, shaping the course of Israelite history. Rebekah’s character serves as a reminder of God’s guidance in the lives of individuals and the unfolding of His larger plan for His chosen people.

Learn More About the Story of Rebekah in the Bible

If you’d like to dive deeper into her story, you’ll want to check out this story of Rebekah in the Bible study that comes with free resources! 

FREE! Character Bible Study on Rebekah

Download these Rebekah Bible Study Questions for FREE! Included are 10 study questions and 5 reflection questions, along with the specific Bible passages to read her story.

3 Rebekah Bible Study Questions worksheets watercolor branches background

Resources to Learn More about Inspiring Bible Women

If you’d like to study the story and lives of other inspiring women of the Bible, you’ll want to check out this 30-day Bible reading plan and journal >> Inspiring Women of the Bible Study Journal – Digital & Printable!

Be sure to read more from our Women of the Bible Series!



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Tinashe Jaricha is a child of God, saved by His amazing grace. Her passion is to encourage moms to grow in Biblical knowledge. She shares Christian living tips and resources at Our God Is With Us.


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