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Rebekah or Rebekka or Ribqah

“And it came to pass when he had not yet finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came out, who was begotten of Bethuel the son of Milkah, the wife of Nachor the brother of Abraham, and her pitcher was on her shoulder!”

(Genesis 24:15)


God is good and he shows himself to be faithful all of the time when it comes to the needs of his people. Sometimes God calls us to wait on his fulfillment to teach us trust and patience; here it is covenant faithfulness that God is teaching to Eliezer, Abraham’s servant. Rebekah’s name in Hebrew is written hDqVbˆr (Ribqah) and means “Great Water Giver” which is providential in terms of what will take place here on this day. Our English Bibles use a combination of the Hebrew version of her name and the Greek transliteration, Rebekka (Rebekka), to construct the English transliteration that we have become used to seeing. As has been mentioned above, transliteration is not an exacting science and many have taken liberties through history (that we have inherited) in doing so.

What is also interesting about this event is the significance of the location. Wells and springs were important parts of the people’s lives in the near east — there was no such thing as indoor plumbing in those days and animals need a great deal of water to thrive. But more significantly than that, it was around a well that God revealed himself to Hagar (Genesis 21:19), it was around a well that God provided a place in the land for Abraham (Genesis 21:25-31), it was around a well that Isaac first encounters Rachael (Genesis 29:9), and it is even around a well that Moses would meet Zipporah (Exodus 2:16-22). God is establishing a pattern here by which we will better see and anticipate his hand at work — in this case around a well.

Here, then, God shows his faithfulness to Eliezer. How often God has also shown his faithfulness to us as well, though perhaps not next to a well wondering who will be the bride for our master’s son. Instead, God has provided for our needs, he has preserved us from harm, he has healed our wounds, and he has shown us his Son, Jesus, giving us new life in Him. How good it is to serve a king who never fails his people but draws them faithfully toward himself.