HER JOURNEY TO MEET Isaac, the man she was betrothed to, was roughly five-hundred miles on the back of a camel—a journey likely spanning weeks, even if the roads and terrain were fair. While Rebecca concluded the final leg of her journey, Isaac went out to a field to meditate near evening-time, by way of the well Lahairoi. He was still mourning the death of his mother. Moses records that Rebekah lifted up her eyes from far off. When the woman saw the young gentleman she’d come for, she veiled herself, dismounted from the camel, and hastened into the field to meet him.
After Abraham’s steward explained to Isaac all that he had done in order to seek her out, Isaac brought her into his mother’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. Genesis 24.
Excuse my French—
but this has to be one of the sexiest stories in the whole of Scripture.
And dare I say, the union of Isaac and Rebekah is the perfect, most blameless illustration of what Yahushua meant when he said:
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Why must we obstinately define the act of marriage otherwise?
The church has unnecessarily ostracized countless couples and condemned them into lifestyles of sin simply because they decided to circumnavigate their authority and come together under one roof—by their own accord. On whose jurisdiction is any pastor, priest, or minister allowed to deny them that? Perhaps many couples are not rejecting marriage, as we were once taught, but the false paradigm which we were falsely raised to believe as true.
I think it’s time to flip the table and tell the world:
“Guess what, guys? You take a woman into your tipi—you’ve chosen your wife.”
Look, it is quite obvious that Abraham’s steward in fact did not steal Rebekah away from her mother and brother. No villages were burned. Nothing was looted. Nobody died. Rebekah was not the spoil of war. Her mother consented and she went freely and by her own accord.
Likewise, Isaac did not rape her.
The Law of Yahuah is quite forthcoming when it comes to sexual intercourse.
“And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.”
Sex is serious.
Under no circumstances are we ever to play house, have afternoon delight, put a cake in the oven, butter the biscuit or what have you, essentially engage in sexual intercourse, unless we can own up to the mysterious reality behind our love and lusts. Sex is two flesh becoming one.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Okay, but let’s say that Rebekah did enter Isaac’s tent without her families consent. Certainly this complicates the situation. Let’s say she snuck out one night in order to hang all twenty toes and her father found out about it.
Exodus 22:17 continues that thought. The Law reads:
“If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”
So, the young boy has deflowered his daughter and now he has to come up with several years wages just to pay off a very expensive night, and with no wife to show for it.
How about if the woman wants to become a man’s wife and her father does not consent?
Numbers 30 addresses this very issue in detail.
The context is a daughter still living in her father’s household, by reason of youth. This very much applies to Isaac and Rebekah because, according to Jasher, Rebekah was only ten-years old. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Here’s what Numbers 30 says. If the young woman should make a vow, “and her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand (Numbers 30:4).”
So yes, if her father hears her vow and disallows it, Yahuah will forgive the daughter’s canceling of her vow, yet not if he remains silent. If he remains silent, despite his disapproval, then he must honor her vow. But it really needs to be stressed here that a woman no longer living under her father’s roof need not apply to her father’s wishes. Numbers 30 makes a point of this.
I’ll give you an example.
When my wife and I decided to circumnavigate the local church and elope, we were both in college and she was living completely on her own. Her parents never paid a single cent for college, room, and board. She needed someone to take care of her, and since her parents were no longer willing, she was freed to make her own vows to Yahuah. Those debts—a burden which her parents never once cared to alleviate—fell upon me. We took sex very seriously. On the night we came together as husband and wife, we were both virgins. Before she entered my tipi, we consecrated our union to Yahuah.
We have never broken that vow to each other.
Though her parents strongly opposed our marriage, and twenty years later still do, the Law protected her vow to Yahuah. According to the Law, they had released her to make her own vows, and therefore had no further authority to dismiss them.
There is so much freedom in the Law! Blessed is the man who delights and meditates upon it day and night. Psalm 1. Man made traditions are confusing. Post-modern. Left to personal interpretation. And they muddy everything.
Isaac and Rebecca.
Notice here that no priest was present to officiate their union. There is no mention of anyone, by the authority vested in them through the local Canaanite or the Phoenician, Philistinian, Babylonian, or Egyptian government, to oversee their ceremony—nor did Abraham first invite all of his work-friends and distant relatives over to some lavish, overblown reception.
Rebekah’s mother and brother simply asked if she was willing to go off with Abraham’s steward.
She said: “I will go,” by her own accord.
And then, after lighting from her camel to meet the man, Isaac simply invited Rebekah into his tent.
And the two became one flesh.