Genesis Chapter 24  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Genesis 24
Gen 24:1(top)
Gen 24:2

“his servant.” Despite the elevated status of this servant, he is not named. The importance of continuing the line of descendants from Abraham is thus magnified.

“the senior one.” The Hebrew text can refer to the oldest in age or the most senior in authority (or both).

“put your hand under my thigh.” This is a euphemism for “take hold of my genitals.” The word “thigh” was used in the biblical culture as a euphemism for the genital organs (cp. Gen. 24:2, 9; 46:26; 47:29; Exod. 1:5; Num. 5:21, 22, 27). The taking of solemn oaths in the ancient world took many forms. Perhaps the most common one we are aware of was raising a hand (Gen. 14:22; Deut. 32:40; Ezek. 20:5, 6, 15, 23, 28, 42; 36:7; 44:12; 47:14; Rev. 10:5). Also, another common form of oath was to hold a sacred object that was somehow related to the oath or to the god of the person who was making the oath. “Gestures accompanying oath-taking are universal in the ancient world. Most frequently, they involve the raising of a hand, as in Genesis 14:22, and/or the holding of a ritual object. In later times, a Torah scroll, phylacteries, or a Bible might be held for such a purpose.”a

Although a few scholars have asserted that Abraham asked his servant to take hold of his genitals as part of a curse that would be brought upon the servant if he did not follow through with his words, there is no evidence of that. Instead, parallels in ancient culture show us that it was a part of an oath that involved the descendants of Abraham, so grasping the genitals was deemed appropriate due to the seriousness and magnitude of the situation: after all, Isaac’s wife would be continuing the line to the Messiah.

In Genesis 47:29, Jacob requests that Joseph to hold his genitals and swear an oath to take Jacob’s body to the Promised Land and bury it. Although that certainly seems to have less to do with Jacob’s immediate descendants than in the case of Abraham’s oath, given the fact that God also promised Jacob the Promised Land (Gen. 28:13; 35:12; 48:4), and Jacob believed that he would have many descendants and then be resurrected and live among them, it makes sense that Jacob would also have Joseph swear on his genitals in that situation. Those are the only two occurrences of that practice in the Bible, and the purpose for it does not occur in ancient literature, so while swearing on the genitals was certainly not unknown, we believe it was not common, either.

The English word “testicle” is derived from the Latin testis, which ordinarily means “witness,” and does, rarely, refer to the testicles. Some people assert that the word testis, or “witness,” and its association with “testicle” comes from the practice of placing one’s hands on the genitals and swearing on the “little witnesses.” However, there are both lexical and anthropological reasons for denying that.

From a lexical basis, although we do not know why the Latin word testis means “witness,” that is the case for most words in every language: the words, or their ancient roots, came from the Tower of Babel—the vocabulary came from God to mankind and we don’t know why most words mean what they do. And how testis came to refer to both a witness and a testicle is unknown; assumptions may be thrown around, but the fact is that we do not know.

The study of ancient Roman customs is more definitive. We have literally hundreds of ancient Latin documents about or involving oaths, and none of them refer to making an oath while holding genitals; there is simply no evidence that was done in the Roman world, which is quite good evidence that the Latin word testis for witness did not come from the custom of swearing on a person’s genitals.

Nahum Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis.
Gen 24:3(top)
Gen 24:4(top)
Gen 24:5(top)
Gen 24:6(top)
Gen 24:7

“the land of my birth.” The Hebrew can also be translated as “the land of my relatives” (see “relatives” in Genesis 24:4).

“who has spoken to me, and who has sworn to me.” God was not just an idea or theology to Abraham. The Creator of the heavens and the earth had spoken to him about his descendants, and he had no doubt about God’s purposes and the success God would give him. The line to the Messiah was at stake.

“I will give this land to your seed.” In this case, Abraham makes the point that the land is to be given to his “seed,” Isaac, and that is why he does not want Isaac to go back north to the land of Abraham and his relatives.

Gen 24:8(top)
Gen 24:9

“under the thigh.” The servant took hold of Abraham’s genitals and swore to him. See commentary on Genesis 24:2.

“of Abraham his lord.” The Hebrew is literally, “his lords;” which is the grammatical plural, a plural of emphasis.

Gen 24:10

“lord’s...lord’s.” Both uses of “lord’s” are the grammatical plural, the plural of emphasis.

“ten camels.” This is one of the records where a lot of the details are left unsaid so that the central point of the record gets the attention. It would be unheard of for Abraham to send off his servant with so much wealth in livestock and material goods without an escort or armed men, and the Bible tells us that the servant had some of Abraham’s men with him in Genesis 24:59. Besides, if the journey was a success, Abraham would have wanted to ensure that the bride-to-be for Isaac would get back from the long journey safely. So we know that the servant had Abraham’s men with him, but just how many is not stated. We can well assume more than just a few. The camels, now empty of their load, became the transportation for Rebekah and her ladies (Gen. 24:61).

“with him.” The Hebrew text is idiomatic, literally, “in his hand,” i.e., under his authority.

“Aram-naharaim.” This name does not occur anywhere else in Genesis. Although some English translations have “Mesopotamia” (e.g., ASV; BBE; ESV; KJV; NASB; RSV), that is not correct. Nahum Sarna explains, “The Greek translation [the Septuagint] took the second element [naharaim] to be a dual form, ‘two rivers,’ and so arose ‘Mesopotamia,’ the land ‘between the two rivers.’ This term was misunderstood to refer to the entire territory between the Tigris and the Euphrates, or between the Euphrates and its tributary, the River Balikh. The Targums, however, with their ‘Aram which is on the Euphrates,’ have preserved a better tradition, for the name naharaim really means ‘the land along the river’ or ‘the land within the river.’ It is the territory bounded on three sides by the Great Bend of the Euphrates, within which lay the Kingdom of Mitanni.”a

Literally translated, “Aram of the Two Rivers.” This is the upper (northwest) Euphrates River. It is not technically “Mesopotamia,” which lies further to the southeast. The Tigris River, which is the second river of the two rivers that are the boundaries for “Mesopotamia,” does not extend nearly as far to the northwest as does the Euphrates River.

Nahum Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis, 163-164.
Gen 24:11

“camels kneel.” This is exactly according to custom. Camels are made to kneel down when they are stopped and resting, and people mount and dismount from that position.

“outside the city by the water well.” William Thompson who was a missionary for over 40 years in Syria and Palestine, and traveled extensively in the East in the 1800s and wrote about biblical customs, wrote:

“The place is said to have been by a well of water, and this well was outside the city. In the East, where wells are scarce, and water indispensable, the existence of a well or fountain [spring] determines the site of the city. The people build near it, but prefer to have it outside the town, to avoid the noise, dust, and confusion always occurring at it, and especially if the place is on the public highway. It is around the fountain that the thirsty traveler and the wearied caravan assemble; and if you have become separated from your own company before arriving at a town, you need only inquire for the fountain, and there you will find them or hear of them. It was perfectly natural, therefore, for Eliezer to halt at the well. The time was evening; but it is further stated that it was when the women go forth to draw water. True to life again. At that hour the peasant returns home from his labor, and the women are busy preparing the evening meal, which is to be ready at sunset. Cool fresh water is then demanded, and of course there is a great concourse around the well. But why limit it to the women? Simply because such is the fact. About great cities men often carry water, both on donkeys and on their own backs, but in the country, among the unsophisticated natives, women only go to the well or the fountain; and often, when traveling, I have seen long files of them going and returning with their pitchers, at “the time when women go out to draw water.”a (Thomson assumes Abraham’s servant is Eliezer, and that may be, but there is no way to be sure).

The Bible confirms Thomson’s observation that culturally it was the job of women, particularly young women, to draw water (cp. Gen. 24:11, 13, 43; 1 Sam. 9:11; John 4:7).

William Thomson, The Land and the Book, 260-61.
Gen 24:12

“O Yahweh, the God of my lord Abraham.” This is the first specific prayer in the Bible for personal guidance in which the prayer itself is recorded (or partially recorded—the servant’s actual prayer was likely much longer than Genesis records). Other people had prayed (cp. Gen. 20:17; cp. Gen. 12:8; 13:4; etc.), but what they actually said is not recorded in the Bible. We can learn a lot from this prayer. It was directed specifically to Yahweh. It gave credit to the man, Abraham, who had mentored this servant in the ways of Yahweh. The prayer was not a “formula” that was learned and repeated, the prayer was spontaneous, specific, and from the heart. Also, the servant asked for what he needed so that others, in this case especially Abraham and Isaac, could be blessed. The prayer of this servant is superb evidence that God looks on the heart when we speak and act, and He is not interested in “does the prayer use the right words and does it sound fancy.” Also, the servant’s prayer is wonderful evidence that “the prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect” (James 5:16). God heard the prayer and answered it. People should not think that the prayer of a priest or pastor is somehow more effective than their own prayer. A heartfelt prayer is a heartfelt prayer, and that gets God’s attention.

“deal faithfully with my lord Abraham.” The Hebrew word translated as “faithfully” is hesed (#02617 חֶסֶד), a word that cannot be easily translated into English. Hesed is rooted in relationship and the concept of covenant and relates itself to the faithfulness that God shows in keeping His covenants and His promises. Hesed wraps up in one Hebrew word many of the wonderful qualities of God: covenant faithfulness, lovingkindness, mercy, grace, and loyalty. Hesed is thus impossible to translate by the same word in all of its contexts; the translator/reader must understand the semantic range of hesed and use the meaning that best fits the context. However, since hesed is, on its most basic level, a relationship word, and when it comes to Israel and the Israelites it is a covenant word, it is good to try to use “covenant faithfulness” or something such as that when translating hesed if the context warrants it, which it often does when hesed is referring to the relationship actions between God and Israel.

Abraham’s servant was asking Yahweh to honor His covenant with Abraham and thus deal with Abraham in a faithful manner that befitted the covenant relationship that God and Abraham had between them.

[For more on hesed, see commentary on Ruth 2:20]

Gen 24:13(top)
Gen 24:14

“let down.” The young woman would have already filled the water jar and put it on her shoulder or on her head to return home, so to give this stranger a drink she would have had to take her water jug down.

“Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one.” This was an impressive “test” to find the woman who would be the wife of Isaac. Abraham’s servant knew he had ten camels, and if they were thirsty from the journey each camel could drink as much as 30 gallons of water. Assuming the jug a woman would carry on her shoulder would hold 2-3 gallons, it could mean the woman would make something like 100 trips back and forth to the well to get water for all the camels. We don’t know how much the jug that Rebekah was carrying held or how thirsty the camels were—and she didn’t know how thirsty they were either—but her willingness to help this stranger from out of town revealed her heart to help others. It is also noteworthy that what the servant was asking was too large a task for him to ask of a stranger. He could not politely say, “And could you also water my camels?” The woman would have to volunteer to do that, and Rebekah did.

“faithfulness.” See commentary on Genesis 24:12.

Gen 24:15(top)
Gen 24:16

“had known her.” The word “know” is the common idiomatic word used for sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse gives the most intimate and personal “knowledge” of the other, so “know” was used throughout the biblical world as an idiom for sexual intercourse (cp. Gen. 4:1, 17, 25; 24:16; Matt. 1:25), which even included rape (Gen. 19:5; Judg. 19:25).

Gen 24:17

“a sip, a little water.” The word translated “sip” is more literally “swallow,” (gama, #01572 גָּמָא, “to swallow; to drink), but was also used of taking a drink, nevertheless, it implied a little one, which Abraham’s servant makes clear in the last part of the verse: “a little water from your water jug.” Notice how what he says to the young woman is much more polite than the conversation he had with himself in his head, which is in Genesis 24:14. He was likely very thirsty, but he is asking a stranger for a favor, and it is polite and godly to be kind and understate the case, and it allows the woman room to be truly generous and not just give in to a demand. Kindness and respect are fundamental to a polite, fun, and godly society. His kindness and tact are likely part of the reason he was head over Abraham’s household. The young woman responds with equal kindness and says for him to “drink,” using a different Hebrew word (shatah, #08354 שָׁתָה, to drink), and implying he can drink freely (Gen. 24:18). Also, unstated but certainly true, was that the men who were accompanying Abraham’s servant would need water too (cp. Gen. 24:32). No man would travel alone all the way from southern Judah to the area of Haran, well over 400 miles, with camels and valuables without a hefty group of men who would act as helpers and bodyguards. This was so prevalent in the culture that it is unmentioned except for Genesis 24:32.

Gen 24:18(top)
Gen 24:19

“until they have finished drinking.” This is an amazing act of care and hospitality to a stranger. A thirsty camel can drink up to 30 gallons (about 115 liters) in about 15 minutes. Given that Abraham’s servant had ten camels with him, that would have required a lot of effort of pulling water up out of the well, not to mention the time it would have taken. This verse gives us a wonderful look into Rebekah’s character.

Gen 24:20(top)
Gen 24:21(top)
Gen 24:22

“shekel.” The exact weight of a biblical shekel is disputed, it seems to be roughly .4 ounces (11 or 11.5 grams). It is important to keep in mind, however, that in actual transactions, there was no effective way to make sure that the shekel that anyone used as a standard was exactly that—all the weights at the time were handmade, and most were of stone although some (but very rare) could have been made from metal.

“nose ring.” This “ring” was a nose ring (Gen. 24:47). Although some versions (cp. KJV) say “earring,” Genesis 24:47 makes it clear that the ring was a nose ring. Besides, if it was an earring, it would have been plural for two earrings but this is just one ring. It was not well known at the time that versions such as the King James Version (1611) were written that women in the biblical culture customarily wore nose rings, which explains the translation “earrings” in the early versions. It was the custom in biblical times for women to wear nose rings rather than earrings because the women not only had long hair but also often wore head coverings, and those things covered any earrings such that they could not be seen. So women customarily wore nose rings for personal decoration (Isa. 3:21; Ezek. 16:12; cp. Prov. 11:22).

Gen 24:23(top)
Gen 24:24(top)
Gen 24:25

“yes.” Everett Foxa translates the particle gam (#01571 גַּם), which can mean “also, moreover, yes” as “yes” in this context because Rebekah is answering the question that Abraham’s servant asked, and confirming that he is welcome to stay. She is not just making a statement about the provisions her family has, but is graciously and enthusiastically extending hospitality—which is clearly demonstrated by the triple “yes.”

Fox, The Schocken Bible: The Five Books of Moses.
Gen 24:26

“kneeled down and worshiped.” The kneeling preceded bowing down to the ground. The two actions, kneeling and then bowing to the ground blended into one act of homage or worship. The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth. Also, instead of “kneeled down and worshiped,” the text could be translated, “kneeled and bowed down,” with “kneeling” being understood as part of the process of bowing down, and “bowing down” was the act of worship. The same Hebrew verb, shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is translated as both “bow down” and “worship;” traditionally “worship” if God is involved and “bow down” if people are involved, but the verb and action are the same, the act of bowing down is the worship.

[For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:20.]

Gen 24:27

“relatives.” The Hebrew word is “brothers,” but “brothers” was used loosely in Hebrew for any relative, in the same way we call a good friend or fellow member of a group a “brother,” for example, in the army close friends are called “brothers.” If the English word “brother” was used here it might confuse many readers.

Gen 24:28

“things.” The Hebrew text is dabar (#01697 דָּבָר), which is the common word for “word,” but also, like the Greek word logos, it had a wide range of meanings, including “thing,” “matter.” Thus the translation might well read, “These matters,” or “These things.” 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 servant’s “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 is quite possible that in that society a woman would refer to where she lives as her mother’s house, as we see in Song of Solomon 3:4 and 8:2.a

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).

Nahum Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary, 166.
Gen 24:29

“Laban.” The Hebrew word means “white,” like the color white.

Gen 24:30

“nose ring.” This “ring” was a nose ring (Gen. 24:47). This is supported by the fact that Laban could see the ring. The nose ring was common in the biblical culture because the woman’s hair and/or head covering hid any earrings that she wore (cp. Isa. 3:21; Prov. 11:22).

Gen 24:31

“Come, O blessed of Yahweh!” Laban’s greeting, “O blessed of Yahweh,” shows that Abraham did the right thing in getting a wife for Isaac from among his relatives who believed in Yahweh. It might have been difficult on Isaac if Rebekah had been an idol worshipper. Esau married Hittite wives, and they caused grief to Isaac and Rebekah (Gen. 26:34-35).

Gen 24:32

“Laban.” The Hebrew text reads “he,” but that is very confusing in this verse, so Laban was put in for clarity.

“the men who were with him.” Here we learn that Abraham’s servant did not travel alone with all that wealth. No doubt he had a healthy accompaniment of able men to help safely transport the treasure north, and women south.

Gen 24:33(top)
Gen 24:34(top)
Gen 24:35(top)
Gen 24:36(top)
Gen 24:37(top)
Gen 24:38

“my father’s house.” Abraham had asked his servant to get a wife for Isaac from among his relatives, and Rebekah qualified. Terah fathered Haran, Nahor, and Abraham (Gen. 11:27). Nahor married his niece Milcah, Haran’s daughter (Gen. 11:29). Milcah bore eight sons, one of whom was Bethuel, so Bethuel was Abraham’s nephew through Nahor and his great-nephew through Milcah. Rebekah was both Abraham’s great-niece and great-great-niece through her father. Interestingly, Rebekah’s mother is never named and is unknown. That might possibly be because she was not related to Abraham in any way and would not have helped fulfill Abraham’s request about a wife. However, she was alive when Abraham’s servant arrived and asked to take Rebekah home with him, because she was given gifts (Gen. 24:53).

Gen 24:39(top)
Gen 24:40(top)
Gen 24:41

“oath.” The Hebrew word often refers to a curse, and in effect, an oath becomes a curse if it is broken. Breaking the oath results in a curse being upon the person who took the oath. In The Schocken Bible, Everett Fox translates the word as “oath-curse.”

Gen 24:42(top)
Gen 24:43(top)
Gen 24:44(top)
Gen 24:45(top)
Gen 24:46(top)
Gen 24:47

“I put.” It is not likely that Rebekah would let this stranger touch her, but rather he gave her the nose ring and bracelets and she put them on, but because they came as a gift from him, in conversation he said he put them on her.

“wrists.” The Hebrew text reads “hands,” and this is an example of how the Hebrew word “hand” often includes the wrist.

Gen 24:48

“kneeled down and worshiped.” The kneeling preceded bowing down to the ground. The two actions, kneeling and then bowing to the ground blended into one act of homage or worship. The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth. Also, instead of “kneeled down and worshiped,” the text could be translated, “kneeled and bowed down,” with “kneeling” being understood as part of the process of bowing down, and “bowing down” was the act of worship. The same Hebrew verb, shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is translated as both “bow down” and “worship;” traditionally “worship” if God is involved and “bow down” if people are involved, but the verb and action are the same, the act of bowing down is the worship.

[For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:20.]

“my lord’s brother’s daughter.” “My lord” refers to Abraham. Abraham’s brother is Nahor, and Nahor’s “daughter” (actually granddaughter—but there is no Hebrew word for granddaughter) was Rebekah. Rebekah is Abraham’s great-niece.

Gen 24:49(top)
Gen 24:50

“Then Laban and Bethuel answered.” The word order is somewhat confusing. Ordinarily, the father, Bethuel, would be first. But Laban seems to be making all the decisions, so it is assumed that Bethuel was weak, sick, or very elderly. Note that Bethuel is absent from many parts in the record (e.g., Gen. 24:29, 53, 55).

“We cannot speak to you bad or good.” In this context, “bad” and “good” are two polar opposites, and juxtaposing them when speaking is the figure of speech polarmerismos, where two opposite ends are put for the whole. So, for example, the phrase, “when you lie down and when you rise up” in Deuteronomy 11:19 is the figure polarmerismos where lying down at night and rising up in the morning are put for the whole of life. In the same manner, not being able to speak good or bad means that nothing at all can be said. The matter was from Yahweh and the only thing left to do was obey.

[For more on polarmerismos, see commentary on Joshua 14:11.]

Gen 24:51

“lord’s.” In the Hebrew text, “lord’s” is a grammatical plural, literally, “lords’”

Gen 24:52

“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth.

[For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:20.]

Gen 24:53(top)
Gen 24:54(top)
Gen 24:55(top)
Gen 24:56(top)
Gen 24:57(top)
Gen 24:58(top)
Gen 24:59

“the one who had nursed and raised her.” The Hebrew is simply “her nurse,” but that would be confusing today. The wet nurse not only nursed and cared for the baby, but also often played a large part in raising the child. We learn later that this nurse was called “Deborah,” and she was with Rebekah for her whole life (Gen. 35:8).

Gen 24:60

“may your seed possess the gate of those who hate him.” The word “seed” is singular but it can be a collective singular, but the word “him” is singular. This is very similar to the promise God made to Abraham (Gen. 22:17). The phrase “may your seed” is an imperfect verb, and could also be translated “your seed will” (cp. Gen. 22:17). But this is Rebekah’s family speaking, so their speech is more likely a “may” than a “will.”

Gen 24:61

“her young women.” Rebekah had her own young female slaves who attended to her, as well as Deborah, who had nursed and raised her, as an advisor.

Gen 24:62

“Beer-lahai-roi.” The Hebrew is, “the well of the Living One who sees me.” It was on the way to Egypt and was where Sarah’s slave Hagar met an angel (Gen. 16:14).

Gen 24:63

“stroll.” The Hebrew is uncertain and quite unique. It may also mean to relax, or to walk, and some translations have “meditate,” but due to the modern meaning of meditate, that seems like a poor translation in this case. It seems he was taking a stroll, relaxing, thinking, praying.

Gen 24:64

“So she got down from the camel.” A sign of respect. Achsah dismounted before Caleb (Josh. 15:18), as did Abigail in the presence of David (1 Sam. 25:23). This shows Rebekah’s humility and general respect for the custom of the time. She did not yet know the man was Isaac, her future husband.

Gen 24:65

“took her veil and covered herself.” The custom of women veiling their faces was not common in the biblical culture except in times of special modesty, such as when a young woman would meet her future husband, as is the case here. The custom of veiling became common in the Muslim world, but we must not read that custom back into the biblical period. The ancient Egyptian and Assyrian monuments do not show women veiled, and the Greek and Roman monuments, mosaics, and statues do not either.

Gen 24:66(top)
Gen 24:67

“the tent of Sarah his mother.” According to Eastern custom, this could refer to the “women’s quarters” in Abraham’s tent, but that seems less likely than Sarah having her own tent like Leah did (cp. Gen. 31:33).

“and took Rebekah.” Often there was no formal marriage ceremony in these early times. The marriage had been arranged and financial arrangements had been taken care of, so Isaac simply took Rebekah as his wife and consummated the marriage. It is often taught in books on customs of the Bible that a marriage ceremony looked a certain way and had certain specific elements. Although there were certainly similarities in many cases, there were also huge differences as well, and that is especially true given the different languages and cultures, the long span of years the Bible covers between Genesis and the New Testament, and even variations in taste and feelings of what was appropriate. Isaac was 40 years old at this time (Gen. 25:20).

“after his mother’s death.” The Hebrew text is simply “after his mother,” but many English versions add “death” for clarity.


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