Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.CHAPTER 24 The Bride Sought for Isaac
1. The commission to the servant (Genesis 24:1-9)
2. The obedience and prayer of the servant (Genesis 24:10-14)
3. The prayer answered (Genesis 24:15-21)
4. The gifts of the servant (Genesis 24:22-26)
5. The servant received (Genesis 24:27-33)
6. The servant’s message (Genesis 24:34-36)
7. The commission and answered prayer stated (Genesis 24:37-49)
8. The bride chosen (Genesis 24:50-60)
9. The journey to meet Isaac. (Genesis 24:61)
10. The meeting and the marriage (Genesis 24:62-67)
This is one of the longest chapters in the Bible. The connection with the previous chapters is obvious. All has a typical meaning. The promised son is the type of the Lord Jesus Christ. When he was upon the altar and taken from the altar we saw a prophetic picture of the death and resurrection of our Lord. In the preceding chapter the death of Sarah stands for the national death of Israel from whom Christ came according to the flesh; this national setting aside of Israel occurred after Christ was risen from the dead and had returned to the Father. And here in chapter 24 we behold Isaac, the son and heir, with the father and the father sending forth his servant to seek a bride for Isaac. Typically we see in this chapter the call and homebringing of her, who is the comfort of the Son, after Israel’s failure and national death, the church.
Abraham is now old (140 years). He was very rich in possessions, but his greatest treasure was the son of his love who was with him in Canaan. And Isaac is the father’s delight and the object of his love and thoughts. He is to have a wife to share his riches. In sending forth the servant (probably Eleazar) Abraham tells him twice, “Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.” The son is not to leave the father’s side; the bride is to be brought to him. And Abraham is assured of the success of the mission of the servant.
The application is easily made. Canaan, where the three dwell, Abraham, the father; Isaac, the son, and the servant, is the type of the heavens. Abraham typifies the Father and Isaac the Son. The Son who died, raised from the dead, seated as the Heir of all things at the right hand of God, is to have one destined from before the foundation of the world to share His riches and His glory. For her, the Church, He died and purchased her with His blood. For the pearl of great price He sold all He had.
And whom does the servant foreshadow? He is the oldest servant; he ruled over all Abraham had; he was with him from the beginning. Who is represented by the servant who went forth in obedience and whose sublime mission was crowned with such results? The servant is the type of the Holy Spirit. He was sent forth after Christ was glorified and with the day of Pentecost He began His blessed mission on earth. The testimony of the Holy Spirit and His work in calling out the church is blessedly foreshadowed in this chapter. He testified of the Father and the Son; how rich the father is and that Isaac is the heir of all the riches. And so the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself but of the Father and of the Son and makes known the eternal purposes of the Father, and as the Servant’s mission did not fail, so the mission of the Holy Spirit in the present age cannot fail.
And richer still, in typical meaning, is the story of the chosen one, Rebekah. We give a very few hints. She heard the message the servant brought. She believed all he said. She had never seen Isaac and she was attracted to him. The jewels of silver and of gold and the raiment the servant gave to Rebekah were the evidences of the riches of the unseen bridegroom and the tokens of his love. And when they asked her, “Wilt thou go with this man?” she answered, “I will go.” There was no delay.
All is very simple in its application. The sinner hears the testimony and is to believe the report. If the Word is received in faith and accepted then we receive “the earnest of our inheritance,” the Holy Spirit. The heart through grace becomes detached from the world and attached to Him, who loveth us and whom we love, though we have never seen Him.
“The servant took Rebekah and went his way.” He took charge of her. How long the journey lasted we do not know. Most likely she was ignorant of the journey and how soon she was to meet Isaac. But the bridegroom Isaac must have ever been in her heart and before her eyes. And so are God’s called out ones, who constitute the church, while on the journey, in charge and keeping of the Holy Spirit. We do not know how long the journey towards the meeting place may last.
From the well of Lahai-roi (the living and the seeing one) Isaac came. Isaac and Rebekah met. The servant presented her to Isaac and gave his report. As Isaac came forth from Lahai-roi, so our Lord will come forth from the place where He is now. He will come into the air to meet His own (1Thessalonians 4:15-18). No doubt Isaac waited for Rebekah and as Rebekah expected to meet him so are we to wait for His Son from heaven. We shall see Him as He is. Before the night came Isaac took her into his tent, and then the marriage (Rev. 19).