BSF Study of Genesis 24:1-14
Abraham commissions his servant to obtain a wife for Isaac.
3) Abraham was blessed but concerned about Isaac.
“. . . and the Lord blessed him in every way.” (Genesis 24:1)
- A good marriage with a beautiful wife.
- Son Isaac miraculously born to Sarah.
- Prosperity: Large herds, silver, and servants.
- Favor with God and men.
- Numerous encounters with the angel of the Lord.
- A friend of God.
His concerns about Isaac—
Abraham didn’t want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman. From a worldly perspective, marrying the daughter of a local ruler makes strategic sense. But Abraham had his eyes on his covenant with Yahweh.
Isaac must not go to the land God told him to leave. (Genesis 12:1)
Abraham never went back, nor did he allow his son Isaac to go back. He had burned his bridges behind him. He didn’t consider the country he had left behind (Hebrews 11:15).2
He decided to send his trusted servant to find a wife among his relatives. He made him swear a solemn and serious oath. (This might have been Abraham’s steward, Eliezer of Damascus, mentioned in Genesis 15:2)
Abraham said, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again. (v. 6)” And again in verse 8 he said, “you shall not bring my son there again.”
He didn’t want Isaac to be tempted to stay in or return to Ur of the Chaldeans.
I also believe Abraham knew the first trip would be a success, and he did not want to burden his servant with the worrisome thought of making a second journey.
The most common route from Canaan to Ur of the Chaldeans was about 900 miles (1450 kilometers).1
4a) Abraham’s responsibility
God specifically chose Abraham because He knew he would command his children and their families to do what is right and just, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he promised him. Genesis 18:19
Abraham knew the descendants God promised to bless would not be pagans like the Canaanites, so he must find a wife among his relatives. His relatives also had idols (Genesis 31:19), but believed in Jehovah/Yahweh (Genesis 24:31, 50). As we see from the example of Solomon’s life, wives and concubines can lead their husband astray (1 Kings 11:6-10; Exodus 34:11-16).
b) My husband and I help each other.
I consider him my Barnabas, whose name means son of encouragement. Not that I’m a Paul by any stretch, but my husband encourages me to fulfill my calls to write and minister to the Lord through worship music. Since our move to a small, one bedroom condo, he insists I have the study all to myself and whatever tools and resources I need.
I’d love to have a helper to provide technical advice and assistance. I could get to bed earlier and spend more time on the actual study and writing.
5a) Abraham’s servant knew how to pray.
The servant took to heart every word Abraham said. “He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.” (Genesis 24:7)
He led such “a large and impressive caravan that it could be said with poetic exaggeration ‘all his master’s goods were in his hand.'”1 (This was how Abraham insured success.)
Abraham’s servant asked the Lord to show him His choice of a bride through an offer to provide water for his ten camels. Guzik says he wisely didn’t ask for a supernatural sign like fire falling, although I think God would have done it. The sign he requested would reveal the woman’s heart to serve* and her sensitivity to receive a prompting from the Lord, even if she didn’t discern the source. (A Scottish minister I knew years ago often said, “We’re better led than we know.”)
*Considering that a camel may drink up to 20 gallons, watering ten camels meant at least an hour of hard work. It would take a remarkable woman to volunteer for this [strenuous] task.1
b) The servant set a good example for us to follow.
Ask the LORD for success and direction before each endeavor. Seek confirmation especially when the stakes are high.
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2 AWM Living Commentary
3 Spirit Filled Life Bible*
4 New Living Bible Translation*
5 ESV Bible Translation Journaling Bible*
6 Strong’s Concordance, public domain
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from ESV Bible translation.
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