Genesis 24:1 – This is a chapter that is so important in the unfolding plan of God. Abraham, knowing that the promised Seed would come from him, determines to select the right wife for his son Isaac.
From Genesis 25:20 we know that Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah, and Abraham was 140. Many see the action of Abraham in this chapter as a picture of what our heavenly Father did for us in sending His Holy Spirit to seek the bride for His Son, Jesus. C.I. Scofield wrote Abraham is a type of a certain king who would make a marriage for his son (Mathew 22:2); (2) the unnamed servant, a type of the Holy Spirit, who does not “speak on his own” but takes of the things of the Bridegroom with which to win the bride (John 16:13-14);
(3) the servant, a type of the Spirit as enriching the bride with the Bridegroom’s gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Galatians 5:22-23); (4) the servant, a type of the Spirit as bringing the bride to the meeting with the Bridegroom (Acts 13:4;16:6-7; Romans 8:11;1 Thessalonians 4:14-17); (5) Rebekah, a type of the Church (called out ones) the “called out” virgin bride of Christ (Genesis 24:16;2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25‑32); (6) Isaac, a type of the Bridegroom “not seen” as yet, whom the bride nevertheless loves through the testimony of the unnamed Servant (1 Peter 1:8); and
(7) Isaac, a type of the Bridegroom who goes out to meet and receive His bride (Genesis 24:63;1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). Isaac was content to wait for his father to choose a suitable wife for him; this is a remarkable characteristic of Isaac, patience and submission. The Canaanite women were unsuitable as far as Abraham was concerned. Abraham had learned about his family and his brother Nahor and that he had a young granddaughter named Rebekah (Genesis 22:20,23).
The servant is not named but in all likelihood is Eliezer who was heir of all that Abraham had (Genesis 15:2). He was his beloved servant whom he loved as a son. If this was in fact Eliezer it is a wonderful confidence that Abraham has in him. Eliezer is asked to find a wife for the heir that replaced him. There is no hint of jealousy or rivalry, just simple faithful obedience. Eliezer is described as one who had charge of all that he owned. The servant is asked by Abraham to make an oath or to swear regarding the charge he is about to receive. He is asked to place his hand under Abraham’s thigh. This is also translated loins, and refers to what was viewed as the seat of the pro-creative powers.
The action requested of the servant was one which affected all of Abraham’s posterity, and hence, the messianic line. The placing of the hand beneath the pro-creative area of the body was a symbol of the solemnity of the oath and its far‑reaching effects. It also identified the oath with the covenant of circumcision that God had made with Abraham and his servants.
Genesis 24:3-4 – The oath or promise Abraham wanted his servant to make was that he would not take a wife for Isaac from among the Canaanites. This is a further demonstration of Abraham’s faith. It would have been politically and socially far more strategic to find a Canaanite daughter for Isaac. Such a marriage would have given Abraham a foothold in obtaining the land for his posterity.
But Abraham instead desired to continue in faith the line of Shem rather than intermarry with the sons of Ham this relates to the promise in (Genesis 9:27). Abraham wanted a wife who would believe in the God he believed in. Two reasons were likely the reason that Abraham did not go himself; first he was advanced in years and the journey would be too much for him, and secondly matchmaking was always done through and intermediary.
This remained the tradition right up until the turn of the 20th century, when the custom changed with the onslaught of the Romantic era.
Genesis 24:5-9 – The servant understood that finding a woman willing to leave her family to travel to an unknown land would be a real problem. In such a situation should the servant promise the woman to bring Isaac to her? Abraham strongly opposes this idea probably because he has come to realize that God does not want Abraham or his offspring to ever return back to the land they came out of, or any other land.
Abraham would rather release the servant from any further obligation to find a wife for his son than have him bring Isaac back to Haran. Here again Abraham’s faith is seen in action. The servant then takes the oath that he will do as his master has ordered.
Genesis 24:10-14 – The servant begins the process of putting together the caravan needed for the journey. The caravan consisted of attendants and men for protection, as well as the necessary provisions for the journey. There would be enough of his master’s goods to compensate the family of the bride as well as gifts and clothing for the bride as well. They then headed for Nahor in Mesopotamia.
They came to the edge of the city and stopped at a well to refresh the animals and their party. The servant rested the camels and began to pray for guidance. The servant knew that the women would be coming to the well to draw water and thought that this would be an ideal place to wait for the bride that the Lord would provide for Isaac.
His prayer was quite specific and demonstrated confidence in God to answer his prayer. His prayer was also unselfish requesting the Lord for his master=s desire for the right bride for his son of promise. How would he know which one of the many maidens who would come, would be the right one?
He knew some of the qualities; she had to be related to Abraham’s family, godly, like Isaac’s mother Sarah, and it probably wouldn’t hurt if she was easy on the eyes. But what if a number of girls fit that description, how would he know which was the right one? Strength would be another important asset considering the length of the journey.
She would have to be a leader because she would be overseeing servants, and be hardy for the bearing of children. All of these characteristics and more would be demonstrated in the woman who answered Abraham’s servant’s prayer. This prayer was really great in its faith.
This woman would be unique since the job of watering camels who are noted for their ability to consume huge quantities of water would be a chore for five persons let alone one woman. This would definitely be a sign from the Lord if such an action was taken voluntarily by the woman.