And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah…
Golden trinkets were abundantly used among most of the Asiatic nations from early times; and those which Abraham's servant offered to Rebekah (ver. 22) belong to the most common ornaments. The nose-ring, chiefly, though not exclusively, worn by men, and applied by American tribes also, is inserted in the cartilage of the nose, either in the middle or in one side; it is often of considerable size, reaches generally beneath the mouth, and not always contributes to enhance the beauty of the face. It is here stated as having the weight of a beka, which is half a shekel, or a Greek drachm. The nose-rings worn at present by the Oriental women are often of ivory, or of gold; they are hollow, to render them less inconveniently heavy, and sometimes set with jewels — mostly a ruby between two pearls. Bracelets are such favourite ornaments with Oriental ladies, that they are not only worn by them in an unusual quantity, but are promised by Mohammed among the rewards of piety. Sometimes the whole arm, from the wrist of the hand to the elbow, is covered with them; sometimes two or more are worn, one above the other; and they are not unfrequently so heavy that they almost appear to be a burden to the fair owners. Two of them are here stated to have weighed ten shekels of gold — certainly a liberal present. Men also liked to adorn their wrist or upper arm with bracelets. On the Assyrian sculptures scarcely any person of wealth or station, or even any deity, appears without them. They were generally worn on one arm, and sometimes on both. Those who were unable to purchase gold or silver bracelets, contented themselves with procuring them of copper, ivory, horn, or glass. They were not always made with great skill or taste; they had not in all cases a lock, and often consisted merely of a large broad ring, through which the wearer forced the hand. The Egyptian bracelets, however, are in many instances not without elegance; and those represented on the Assyrian monuments, or found in the excavations of Mesopotamia, are scarcely inferior to them either in taste or in costliness.
(M. M. Malisch, Ph. D.)
Blessed be the Lord God. —
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.