From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

REBEKAH (in   Romans 9:10 Rebecca ). The daughter of Bethnel, the son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, and his wife MilcahGenesis 22:23 ). She was also the sister of Laban and became the wife of Isaac . The well-known story of the facts leading up to the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah is told in   Genesis 24:1-67 , and gives valuable information as to early marriage customs. Isaac is not consulted. Abraham’s servant Eliezer (  Genesis 15:2 ) is sent to seek for a wife among his master’s kinsfolk. The servant proceeds to the ‘city of Nahor’ (Haran), and, arriving at the gate of the city, waits by the well till the women come out to draw water (  Genesis 15:11 ). He prays that God may prosper him and give him a sign by which he may recognize the woman Providence has set apart for Isaac. Rebekah comes out and offers to draw water for the stranger and his camels. The servant loads her with gifts, and her family, led by her brother Laban, being convinced of Abraham’s wealth, and recognizing the will of Heaven in the selection, agrees to the marriage. Rebekah returns with the servant and becomes Isaac’s wife (v. 67).

In  Genesis 25:21 we are told that Rebekah, like many other favourite wives of the OT ( e.g. Sarah, Rachel, Hannah), was at first barren, but in answer to Isaac’s prayer Jacob and Esau were born (  Genesis 25:24-26 ). Before their birth Rebekah received the oracle from Jehovah, that two nations were in her womb and that the elder should serve the younger. No doubt this story is a late Jewish legend, arising from the desire to find the history of the two peoples Israel and Edom foreshadowed in the lives of their progenitors.

Rebekah again comes before us during Isaac’s sojourn in Gerar ( Genesis 26:6-11 ). Fearing lest the beauty of his wife might excite the desire of the king of Gerar and so lead to his own death, Isaac passed her off as his sister a course of action which led him into difficulties with Abimelech (  Genesis 26:10 ).

The destiny of Jacob, her favourite son, was strongly influenced by his strong-minded mother. She was the author of the treacherous plan by which Jacob deprived Esau of his father’s blessing ( Genesis 27:1-46 ). She advised him to flee from his home to her brother Laban (  Genesis 27:43-45 ). In   Genesis 28:1 f., however, the motive of the journey is that he might take a wife from the family of his mother, in contrast to Esau, who had grieved his parents by taking a wife from among the Canaanites (  Genesis 26:34-35 ). Rebekah died before Jacob’s return from Haran, and her burial at Machpelah is mentioned in   Genesis 49:31 . The death and burial of Deborah, the nurse of Rebekah, who had followed her from Haran (  Genesis 24:59 ), are reported to have taken place after Jacob had returned to Canaan (  Genesis 35:8 ).

The character of Rebekah has a peculiar charm and fascination. Appearing first as a pure, unselfish, loving girl, she becomes a woman of great strength of mind and depth of character. She is clever, active, energetic. She can make plans and carry them out, give orders and expect them to be obeyed, but her masterful spirit cannot brook opposition or contradiction. Esau’s wives vex her beyond measure. When she loves, she loves with all her soul, and will spare no pains, consider no consequences, or grudge any sacrifice for those she loves. ‘Upon me be thy curse, my son’ ( Genesis 27:13 ), is her answer to Jacob when he fears that a curse will fall on his deception. Although that curse fell and her beloved son had to flee and she saw his face no more, yet we forget the scheming, plotting woman in the loving wife and self-sacrificing mother.

W. F. Boyd.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

 Romans 9:10. Arabic, "a rope with a noose," i.e. captivating. Bethuel's daughter, Laban's sister, Isaac's wife ( Genesis 22:23;  Genesis 22:24), Rebekah, the grand-daughter of Abraham's brother, marries Isaac, Abraham's son; it is an undesigned coincidence with probability that Isaac was the son of Abraham's and Sarah's old age ( Genesis 18:12), and so, though of a generation earlier than Rebekah, yet not so much her senior in years. (See Isaac .) A model marriage: God's direction was asked and given, the godly seed was equally yoked with the seed of the godly, the parents sanctioned it, Rebekah was one who had as a maiden discharged domestic duties diligently; her beauty, courtesy, willing consent, modesty, all made her deservedly attractive, and secured Isaac's love at once and permanently. Barren for 19 years, she at last received children by God's gift in answer to Isaac's prayers.

Before they were born she was told, in answer to her inquiry of the Lord because of her sensations, the elder shall serve the younger ( Genesis 25:21-23;  Romans 9:10-12), illustrating "the purpose of God, according to election, not of works but of Him that calleth," inasmuch as it was when "neither had done any good or evil." (See Jacob ; ESAU.) Jacob was her favorite because of his gentle domestic habits ( Genesis 25:28). This partiality led her to the deceit practiced on Isaac to gain his blessing for Jacob (Genesis 27). Esau's Hittite wives "were a grief to Isaac and Rebekah" ( Genesis 26:34-35.) Her beauty tempted Isaac when in Gerar, through fear of being killed for Rebekah's sake, to say she was his sister. All compromises of truth, through fear of man ( Proverbs 29:25), bring their own punishment. Isaac exposed her to the risk of defilement, which a straightforward course would have averted, and exposed himself to the rebuke of the worldly Abimelech. (See Abimelech .) (Genesis 26).

She saved Jacob from Esau's murderous fury by inducing Isaac to send him away to Padan Aram ( Genesis 28:1-5); thus she brought on herself by the one great sin the loss of her favorite's presence for the rest of her life, for she was not alive when he returned, Isaac alone survived ( Genesis 35:27). Faith in God's promise as to Jacob the younger, given before birth, prompted her to seek the blessing for him; unbelief and ignorance of God's holiness tempted her to do evil that good might come. Deborah her nurse died and was buried at Bethel on Jacob's return. (See Deborah .) She evidently had gone back to Padan Aram, and joined Jacob after her mistress' death. Rebekah was buried in the cave of Machpelah with Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was subsequently buried there ( Genesis 49:31).

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

As the wife of Isaac, Rebekah had an important part in God’s development of a people for himself according to the promise he gave to Abraham ( Genesis 22:15-18;  Genesis 24:3-4;  Genesis 24:67). Isaac and Rebekah were without children for twenty years, but then Rebekah gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob ( Genesis 25:20-26). Though God had told her that the covenant would be fulfilled through the younger son rather than the older ( Genesis 25:23;  Romans 9:10-13), she had no right to work out a scheme to deceive Isaac. She was determined that nothing would prevent Jacob from receiving the blessing ( Genesis 27:6-29).

When Esau plotted to kill Jacob, Rebekah thought out another scheme, this time to protect Jacob. She decided to send him north to her brother in Paddan-aram. Again she deceived Isaac, this time by persuading him that the reason Jacob should go north was to find a wife among her people ( Genesis 27:41-46;  Genesis 28:1-5).

There is no record that Rebekah ever saw her favourite son again. Upon her death, she was buried in the burial ground that Abraham had bought for his family ( Genesis 49:31).

People's Dictionary of the Bible [4]

Rebekah ( Re-Bĕk'Ah ), A Cord With A Noose, Enchaining. The daughter of Bethuel and sister of Laban. She was a woman of personal attractions and became the wife of Isaac, to whom late in life she bore Esau and Jacob.  Genesis 22:23;  Genesis 24:15-67;  Genesis 25:20-28. Of her sons, Jacob was Rebekah's favorite; and she persuaded him to obtain his father's blessing by fraud.  Genesis 26:7-8;  Genesis 26:35;  Genesis 27:1-46. In consequence Jacob had to flee from his brother's wrath; and it is probable that Rebekah saw her best-loved son no more.  Genesis 28:5;  Genesis 29:12;  Genesis 35:8;  Genesis 49:31. She died before Isaac.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Rebek'ah. (Ensnarer). Daughter of Bethuel,  Genesis 22:23, and sister of Laban, married to Isaac. She is first presented to us in  Genesis 24:1, where the beautiful story of her marriage is related. (B.C. 1857). For nineteen years, she was childless: then Esau and Jacob were born, the younger being the mother's companion and favorite.  Genesis 25:19-28.

Rebekah suggested the deceit, that was practiced by Jacob, on his blind father. She directed and aided him, in carrying it out, foresaw the probable consequence of Esau's anger, and prevented it by moving Isaac, to send Jacob away to Padan-aram,  Genesis 27:1, to her own kindred.  Genesis 29:12. Rebekah's beauty became, at one time, a source of danger to her husband.  Genesis 26:7. It has been conjectured that she died, during Jacob's sojourn in Padan-aram.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

A daughter of Bethuel, and sister of Laban in Mesopotamia, who became the wife of Isaac, and twenty years afterwards the mother of Jacob and Esau. The manner in which she was sought and obtained as the wife of Isaac, exhibits a striking picture of oriental manners and customs. Through her partiality for Jacob, she was tempted into the use of unjustifiable means to secure for him the inheritance, not having faith to leave to God the fulfilment of his own purposes,  Genesis 25:22,23 . Her deceit led to disastrous results: Jacob fled from home; and when he returned from Mesopotamia twenty years afterwards, his mother lay buried in the cave of Machpelah,  Genesis 24:1-28:22   49:31 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Genesis 24:15 Genesis 24:67 Genesis 25:25-26 Genesis 24:16 Genesis 24:19 Genesis 24:25 Genesis 24:58 Genesis 24:67 Genesis 25:22-23 Genesis 25:28 Genesis 27:5-17 Genesis 27:42-46

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [8]

Daughter of Bethuel, and the wife of Isaac. ( Genesis 24:1-67) Her history we have at large in Genesis. Her name, if from Rabah, means fat.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

 Genesis 22:23 24:67 Genesis 2427-27 Genesis 49:31

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [10]

the wife of Isaac. See Isaac .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

rḗ - bek´a ( רבקה , ribhḳāh  ; Septuagint and New Testament Ῥεβέκκα , Rhébekka , whence the usual English spelling Rebecca ): Daughter of Bethuel and an unknown mother, grand-daughter of Nahor and Milcah, sister of Laban, wife of Isaac, mother of Esau and Jacob.

Her name is usually explained from the Arabic, rabḳat , "a tie-rope for animals," or, rather, "a noose" in such a rope; its application would then by figure suggest the beauty (?) of her that bears it, by means of which men are snared or bound; The root is found in Hebrew only in the noun meaning "hitching-place" or "stall," in the familiar phrase "fatted calf" or "calf of the stall," and in view of the meaning of such names as Rachel and Eglah the name Rebekah might well mean (concrete for abstract, like רקמה , riḳmāh , חמדּה , ḥemdāh , etc.) a "tied-up calf" (or "lamb?"), one therefore peculiarly choice and fat.

Rebekah is first mentioned in the genealogy of the descendants of Nahor, brother of Abraham ( Genesis 22:20-24 ). In fact, the family is there carried down just so far as is necessary in order to introduce this woman, for whose subsequent appearance and role the genealogy is obviously intended as a preparation. All this branch of the family of Terah had remained in Aram when Abraham and Lot had migrated to Canaan, and it is at Haran, "the city of Nahor," that we first meet Rebekah, when in Genesis 24 she is made known to Abraham's servant at the well before the gate.

That idyllic narrative of the finding of a bride for Isaac is too familiar to need rehearsal and too simple to require comment. Besides, the substance both of that story and of the whole of Rebekah's career is treated in connection with the sketches of the other actors in the same scenes. Yet we note from the beginning the maiden's decision of character, which appears in every line of the narrative, and prepares the reader to find in subsequent chapters the positive, ambitious and energetic woman that she there shows herself.

Though the object of her husband's love ( Genesis 24:67 ), Rebekah bore him no children for 20 years ( Genesis 25:20 ,  Genesis 25:26 ). Like Sarah, she too was barren, and it was only after that score of years and after the special intercession of Isaac that God at length granted her twin sons. "The purpose of God according to election," as Paul expresses the matter in  Romans 9:11 , was the cause of that strange oracle to the wondering, inquiring parents, "The elder shall serve the younger" ( Genesis 25:23 ).

Whether because of this oracle or for some other reason, it was that younger son, Jacob, who became the object of his mother's special love ( Genesis 25:28 ). She it was who led him into the deception practiced upon Isaac ( Genesis 27:5-17 ), and she it was who devised the plan for extricating Jacob from the dangerous situation into which that deception had brought him ( Genesis 27:42-46 ). When the absence of Jacob from home became essential to his personal safety, Rebekah proposed her own relations in Aram as the goal of his journey, and gave as motive the desirability of Jacob's marrying from among her kindred. Probably she did not realize that in sending her favorite son away on this journey she was sending him away from her forever. Yet such seems to have been the case. Though younger than Isaac, who was still living at an advanced age when Jacob returned to Canaan a quarter of a century later, Rebekah seems to have died during that term. We learn definitely only this, that she was buried in the cave of Machpelah near Hebron ( Genesis 49:31 ).

Outside of Genesis, Rebekah is alluded to in Scripture only in the passage from Romans ( Romans 9:10-12 ) already cited. Her significance there is simply that of the wife of Isaac and the mother of two sons of such different character and destiny as Esau and Jacob. And her significance in Gen, apart from this, lies in her contribution to the family of Abraham of a pure strain from the same eastern stock, thus transmitting to the founders of Israel both an unmixed lineage and that tradition of separateness from Canaanite and other non-Hebrew elements which has proved the greatest factor in the ethnological marvel of the ages, the persistence of the Hebrew people.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

(Heb. Ribkah', רַבְקָה , A Noose, I.E. Ensnarer; Sept., New Test., and Josephus, ῾Ρεβέκκα ) , the daughter of Bethuel ( Genesis 22:23) and sister of Laban, married to Isaac, who stood in the relation of a first cousin to her father and to Lot. She is first presented to us in the account of the mission of Eliezer to Padanaram (ch. 24), in which his interview with Rebekah, her consent and marriage, are related. B.C. 2023. The elder branch of the family remained at Haran when Abraham removed to the land of Canaan, and it is there that we first meet with Laban, as taking the leading part in the betrothal of his sister Rebekah to her cousin Isaac (24:10, 29-60; 27:43; 29:4). Bethuel, his father, plays so insignificant a part in the whole transaction, being in fact only mentioned once, and that after his son (24:50), that various conjectures have been formed to explain it. Josephus asserts that Bethuel was (lead, and that Laban was the head of the house and his sister's natural guardian (Ant. i, 16, 2), in which case "Bethuel" must have crept into the text inadvertently, or be supposed, with some (Adam Clarke, ad loc.), to be the name of another brother of Rebekah. Le Clerc (in Pent.) mentions the conjecture that Bethuel was absent at first, but returned in time to give his consent to the marriage. The mode adopted by Prof. Blunt (Undesigned Coincidences, p. 35) to explain what he terms "the consistent insignificance of Bethutel," viz. that he was incapacitated from taking the management of his family by age or imbecility, is most ingenious; but the prominence of Laban may be sufficiently explained by the custom of the country, which then, as now (see Niebuhr, quoted by Rosenmuller, ad loc.), gave the brothers the main share in the arrangement of their sister's marriage and the defence of her honor (comp.  Genesis 34:13;  Judges 21:22  2 Samuel 13:20-29). (See Bethuel).

The whole chapter has been pointed out as uniting most of the circumstances of a pattern marriage the sanction of parents, the guidance of God, the domestic occupation of Rebekah, her beauty, courteous kindness, willing consent and modesty, and success in retaining her husband's love. For nineteen years she was childless; then, after the prayers of Isaac and her journey to inquire of the Lord, Esau and Jacob were born; and, while the younger was more particularly the companion and favorite of his mother ( Genesis 25:19-28), the elder became a grief of mind to her (26:35). When Isaac was driven by a famine into the lawless country of the Philistines, Rebekah's beauty became, as was apprehended, a source of danger to her husband. But Abimelech was restrained by a sense of justice such as the conduct of his predecessor (ch. 20) in the case of Sarah would not lead Isaac to expect. It was probably a considerable time afterwards when Rebekah suggested the deceit that was practiced by Jacob on his blind father. She directed and aided him in carrying it out, foresaw the probable consequence of Esau's anger, and prevented it by moving Isaac to send Jacob away to Padan-aram (ch. 27) to her own kindred ( Genesis 29:12). B.C. 1927. The Targum Pseudo-Jon. states ( Genesis 35:8) that the news of her death was brought to Jacob at Allon-bachuth. It has been conjectured that she died during his sojourn in Padan-aram; for her nurse appears to have left Isaac's dwelling and gone back to Padan-aram before that period (comp.  Genesis 24:59;  Genesis 25:8), and Rebekah is not mentioned when Jacob returns to his father, nor do we hear of her burial till it is incidentally mentioned by Jacob on his death-bed ( Genesis 49:31). Paul ( Romans 9:10) refers to her as being made acquainted with the purpose of God regarding her children before thev were born. For comments on the whole history of Rebekah, see Origen, Hom. in Genesis 10, 12; Chrysostom, Hom. in Genesis, p. 48- 54. Rebekah's inquiry of God, and the answer given to her, are discussed by Deyling, Obser. Sac. i, 12, p. 53 sq., and in an essay by J. A. Schmid in Nov. Thes. Theol. -philolog. i, 188; also by Ebersbach (Helmst. 1712). The agreement of the description of Rebekah in Genesis 22 with modern Eastern customs and scenes is well noticed by Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 403. (See Isaac); (See Jacob).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Rebek´ah (a noosed cord); daughter of Bethuel, and sister of Laban, who became the wife of Isaac, and the mother of Jacob and Esau. The particulars of her history and conduct, as given in Scripture, chiefly illustrate her preference of Jacob over Esau, and have been related in the article Jacob: see also Isaac.