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REBEKAH

Daughter of Bethuel and sister of Laban. Abraham did not want his son Isaac to marry a Canaanite, so he sent a trusted servant to the land of his kinfolk to choose a suitable wife. The servant prayed to Yahweh for guidance, and Rebekah proved to be the maid who met Yahweh's specifications. Rebekah's family rejoiced at the selection and she willingly returned with the servant and married Isaac (Genesis 25:24-28). Jacob was her favorite. When the aged, blind Isaac prepared to give his blessing (which involved rights of inheritance) to Esau, Rebekah and Jacob conspired to deceive Isaac into blessing the son she favored (Genesis 27). Then, to frustrate Esaus' determination to kill his brother, Rebekah prevailed on Isaac to send Jacob off to her brother's homeland (Genesis 28:1-5). This strategy paved the way for Jacob's marriage to Leah and Rachel, Laban's daughters (Genesis 29). Rebekah and Isaace were buried in Canaan in the same filed with Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 49:29-31).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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