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Then the girl ran and told her mother’s house about these things. Bible

“things.” The Hebrew is “words,” dabar (#01697 דָּבָר), but often in Hebrew “word” or “words” are used of “things” or “matters” in the same way that is Greek logos (“word”) is. The semantic range of words used in the Bible is the reason translators cannot use the same English word to translate the same Hebrew or Greek word. The meaning of the Hebrew or Greek word must be understood in its context and then the proper English word can be chosen as a translation. In this case, Rebekah did not just tell her family about Abraham’s servants “words,” but about all that transpired.

“mother’s house.” This is most likely referring to the women’s part of Bethuel’s home, where the women lived with privacy from the men. Women had their own quarters even if the family lived in a tent. It has been suggested that young women of the time referred to where they lived as their mother’s house (JPS Torah Commentary), but the evidence for that seems to be very slim.

There are a number of reasons that Rebekah would have gone to her mother in the women’s quarters. As a young woman, she might have felt intimidated to go to the men in her family with such earthshaking news, and would have felt more comfortable going to her mother. Also, marriages were generally arranged by the parents, so it would have been natural for her as a woman to go to her mother.

Also, there were likely to be men around her father to whom she was not closely related. Her grandfather Nahor not only had Milcah as a wife, he had a concubine named Reumah who bore him four sons, who would have therefore been Rebekah’s half-uncles and who could easily have been with Bethuel or in the general vicinity because families often stayed quite close in those times. Under the circumstances we can see why Rebekah would have gone to her mother. Although her mother’s name is never given in the Bible, she was clearly alive (see commentary on Gen. 24:38).


Commentary for: Genesis 24:28