The Servant’s Account

Genesis 24:28-49

When Rebecca arrives home ahead of her guest, she tells her brother Laban what has transpired. Laban welcomes the servant into their home, offering both man and beast provisions. The servant, however, refuses to eat until he has said his piece.


Noting his master’s great wealth and success, he relates to the family that he has been sent by Abraham to seek a wife for his son, Isaac, from among Abraham’s kin. He tells about his prayer, and the miraculously instant appearance of Rebecca. He says he asked her identity, and offered her the jewelry, ending with his prayer thanking God for His intercession.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

The Bible is known for not mincing words, yet here it includes a near-complete repetition of the events leading up to the meeting between the servant and Rebecca’s family! Why do you think that is?

Comments ( 11 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Shlomenu Muendo

    repetition means this case Moshe testifies to B'nei Yisrael how Rivka was miraculously found.Again Eleazar having first narrated it to Bethuel and Laban means he was saying part of Torah.[His words is among the portions making up Bereishit repetition means this case Moshe testifies to B'nei Yisrael how Rivka was miraculously found.Again Eleazar having first narrated it to Bethuel and Laban means he was saying part of Torah.[His words is among the portions making up Bereishit book]

  • When ever an incident is repeated in the bible I thin it has a special importance

  • In the retelling of the message there is the certainty that other people understand the purpose of coming ….and going.
    It is a kind of preparation of the departure of Rivka.

  • I believe that answer to your question of why Eliezer took the time to repeat his story is found in these verses:
    49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.’ מט וְעַתָּה אִם יֶשְׁכֶם עֹשִׂים חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת אֶת אֲדֹנִי הַגִּידוּ לִי וְאִם לֹא הַגִּידוּ לִי וְאֶפְנֶה עַל יָמִין אוֹ עַל שְׂמֹאל.
    50 Then Lavan and Bethuel answered and said: ‘The thing proceedeth from the LORD; we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. נ וַיַּעַן לָבָן וּבְתוּאֵל וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵיְהוָה יָצָא הַדָּבָר לֹא נוּכַל דַּבֵּר אֵלֶיךָ רַע אוֹ טוֹב.
    51 Behold, Rivka is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken.’
    נא הִנֵּה רִבְקָה לְפָנֶיךָ קַח וָלֵךְ וּתְהִי אִשָּׁה לְבֶן אֲדֹנֶיךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה.

    The decision was not in the hands of Rivka, but in the hands of Lavan and Bethuel. In order to get a full judgment on the matter, Eliezer takes care to see that they have a complete understanding of the events from beginning to end.
    Baruch Hashem.

  • It is an important thing to share a matter that God has put together. Things of particular importance are repeated in the text to help us see it better.

    • I perfectly agree with you Kara. Isaac was a child of promise, and this narration of events was to emphasize that; it meant that everything Isaac would get was through promise, Rebecca was part of that package. It is also a lesson to all of us who are children of promise, that Yahweh orchestrates and gives us everything through promise.

  • Herman

    The retelling of the message also shows that it doesn’t matter in which way and by whom the message is told, HaSheem is caring for the outcome, but everybody should make known the message G’d has given him/her to convey to others.

  • Often, the Torah will simply state that an individual “did as God commanded” or “told so-and-so what had happened”, without detailing their specific actions or words. Here, though, I think you have all hit the nail on the head by pointing out the servant’s emphasis on God’s role. It is interesting, also, to compare the two versions of events, seeing what details the servant altered in his retelling. For example, did you notice that the in the original incident the servant gave Rebecca the gifts from his master before ascertaining that she was Abraham’s relative, but in the retelling, he says he asked her identity before giving her the gifts?

  • Sheila

    Yes, agree with Jesse and Jayne. The servant now knew that Rebecca was the chosen bride but he also needed to ‘persuade’ her family that he was indeed fulfilling God’s purposes and mission. The servant would not eat until he relayed the nature of his mission as he needed to express what was in his heart and mind. Then v50 — Laban and Bethuel answered— this is from the Lord; we have no choice inthe matter.

  • Jayne

    As Jesse says repetition highlights something important. There are many instances of repetition throughout the Bible. One reason is that these accounts were told orally and repetition reminds the listener of what was said before.

  • Jesse

    I believe that the repetition, as is usual in scripture, highlights something that is extremely important. In this case, as this unnamed servant is relating this tale to his hosts, he makes it absolutely plain that it is the God of Abraham who has accomplished this miracle of bringing him directly to the family of his master, Abraham, and that it was this same God who heard his prayer in finding a woman of special character. This man made it so clear that the God of Abraham is not constrained by location or social status. In fact, so clear was this made, that Rebekah’s family admits that anything they say would make very little difference because this powerful God has established the success of this journey.

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