Rediscovering Rebekah (Genesis 24-27)

Monday, February 21, 2022


Big thank you to Natalia E. for all your work on creating this transcript!

Elise: [00:01:23] Welcome back everyone. In this week's episode, we're covering Genesis chapters 24 through 27 for the dates February 21st through the 27th. This week, Abraham is looking for a wife for Isaac, and he ends up sending his servant back to his family's hometown, where the servant meets Rebekah at a well. Rebekah and the servant return to her family's house, talk about marriage and they immediately leave to go meet Isaac. Isaac and Rebekah meet and they fall in love, and from what we can kind of gather from the text, it seems like they're happy? Question mark? And kind of fingers crossed. That's what we're hoping. 20 years pass before she ends up getting pregnant with twins and she gives birth to Esau and Jacob. They grow up and Isaac really loves Esau, whereas Rebekah really, really loves Jacob. This is also in these chapters where we see the story of Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of pottage. And in the final chapter, Jacob and Rebekah collude with each other to deceive Isaac, into giving Jacob the blessing. And then Rebekah tells Jacob that he has to leave in order to stay alive because Esau is super, super pissed.

Channing: [00:02:31]  Yes. So we have an exciting set of stories this week that happened all in one family. And we're excited to go through and look a lot closer at the story of Rebekah and Isaac and Jacob and Esau. But before we do so we just wanted to mention really quickly that there are actually three women that are mentioned in this week's texts, which is super exciting. We see Rebekah, she's definitely the most iconic and well-known character in this week's chapters as the matriarch of the Israelite lineage, but we also see two other women. 

[00:03:09]  First, we see Keturah. She is mentioned in Genesis 25 as Abraham’s other wife. The timing of her appearance in the texts suggests what Wil Gafney calls a late-in-life union. Of this Gafney writes, “Keturah and the peoples she mothers with Abraham are an enduring part of the Israelites story. They are the ancestors of nations with whom Israel will have complicated relationships.” Together Keturah and Abraham had six children. And from what we can tell in the text, their relationship also seems to be a happy one. Gafney writes, “the rabbis understand Abraham's union with Keturah to be his source of comfort in his bereavement of Sarah's death.” Gafney also says, “in my midrashic imagination, I see Keturah as the one woman who Abraham chose for himself.” It's really lovely to see Abraham and Keturah’s relationship in the text, even if it gets just the smallest of mentions. We can imagine that they lived a really happy life together.

[00:04:16] In this week's chapters, when we encounter Rebekah, we also encounter a woman named Deborah. Deborah is first mentioned in Genesis 24, verse 59 as Rebekah's nurse, but we don't end up getting her name until Genesis chapter 35. Deborah nursed Rebekah when she was a baby. Understandably, Rebekah and Deborah had a close relationship then, and it's really cool for us to see that this relationship deepens and lasts throughout their lives. Deborah travels with Rebekah when she marries, leaving behind everything she's known and loved to follow Rebekah wherever she went. In this way, she really reminds me of Ruth who said, “wherever you go, I’ll go.” From what we understand of Rebekah's family, which we'll cover later, they seem to honor autonomy. And I imagine that Deborah was able to choose for herself if she wanted to accompany Rebekah. I imagine that this was a relationship built on friendship and motherly love. Perhaps Deborah knew that marriage into a new family brought challenges and potential loneliness, and she wanted to support Rebekah in that.

[00:05:22] We hear about Deborah's death in Genesis chapter 35, verse eight, which reads, “but Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried beneath Beth-El under an oak: And the name of it was called Allon-bachuth” which means the oak tree of weeping. Where recorded deaths are a rarity for women in the text, we can imagine from the mention of Deborah's death and her burial place as a well-known weeping tree, signified how beloved she was not only by Rebekah, but by all of those who knew her.

[00:05:54] We wanted to mention these women, their names and their stories, because it's really important to us that we remember that there are women that appear in the text. Sometimes they are hiding between the lines. Sometimes their names are easily skipped over or passed over in favor of really well-known names like Sarah and Rebekah and Rachel and Leah who we'll see in the following weeks and chapters. But the women are there, if we're looking for them. And sometimes we can get our tunnel vision or our goggles on and choose to see only certain women, the women who we know really, really well. But if we broaden our scope and really pay attention to the names and people that show up in the text, we'll be able to realize that there are way more women mentioned in the text than we originally thought. So this was really cool. And we just wanted to highlight them today. 

Elise: [00:06:46]  Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you bringing them up, especially because one of the first things we want to talk about as we transition to Rebekah’s story, is we want to try and think about: how is the story of Rebekah different or remarkable in different ways from the stories of women we've seen in the past?

[00:07:02] And one of the things we've discussed is that really we see Rebekah as being connected to a lineage of women, like, explicitly. 

Channing: Mmmhmm.
Elise: So in contrast to other stories of women that we've seen this year, the story of Rebekah is one that is, like, explicitly connected and mentioned in relationship to other women, which is to say that women like mothers, daughters, sisters, nurses, like you talked about are mentioned in relationship to one another in this story. They talk together, they traveled together, they listen and respect each other and they celebrate with each other. 

For example, the Bible usually lists genealogies almost entirely through the father or the male of the household, whereas Rebekah is also connected to Milcah, her grandmother. And after meeting the servant at the well, Rebekah doesn't run to tell the news to her father's household as would have been expected. Instead, she runs to tell the story to her mother's household. The servant then gives gifts to Rebekah's mother and brother, although it would have been customary to give gifts to the father. In preparation for her journey, Rebekah leaves with her nurse, Deborah. And finally, as Rebekah departs from her household, she is given a blessing by her mother and sister. In chapter 24, verse 60 it says “thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.” I think this is significant because we see women in relationships in ways that we haven't quite seen yet this year. Until this point we've seen women relatively separate from one another, or when we see them together, they often act against each other, which is exactly what patriarchy wants.

Channing: [00:08:47] Yeah, we've seen that happen so much, not even just here in the Hebrew Bible, but in other texts as well. Patriarchy typically splits women from women across generational lines, household, and class. Rosemary Radford Ruether writes in her book, Women Church, “It has taught contempt for women, which women have internalized as self contempt and mistrust of each other. It has assumed that women do not like to be with each other or are competitive with each other and value anything a male does more than what a female does. Any place where women meet and talk together are marginal spaces with no real access to power or information, so women's talk in such place will be trivial.” [00:09:32] I really like this quote from Rosemary Radford Ruether because I think it speaks to something that I definitely see in my own lived experience. Something that was really transformative for me when I first was introduced to feminism was a reframing of what we understand to be gossip or, like, talking with each other. And what I found, I don't, I wish I remembered the source. I will try to see if I can go back and find it. But it talks about how gossip has traditionally been, or is, like, customarily seen as, like, this really, like, catty and, like, bad thing that women do to each other and do with each other. But a feminist re-interpretation of gossip actually says that women are better at relationships because they talk about the problems in the relationships and often men don't. And so patriarchy says that this talking about problems in relationships and figuring out where we fit in, in our communities and in our societies has always been women's work. Patriarchy has named that–it's almost like a superpower, right?--but has named that gossip and has kind of tried to say, like, “women don't talk to each other, don't figure out where you are in relationship to each other, like, just don't. Like, just assume that everyone is your enemy and everyone hates you. So don't gossip with each other.” And so I think Ruether really points to that here saying like, well, women's talk has always seemed, women's talk is always trivial, but in reality, women's talk is what has underpinned so much of where we understand our relationships to each other being. I think it can be really helpful to understand the way that we talk to and with other people is not always a bad thing.

Elise: [00:11:27] And I think, yeah, you're right. I think that even the story of Rebekah shows us that even within patriarchy, this idea that, like, women have to be competitive with each other or that they should be separate from each other and not talk about themselves or their relationships. That's never entirely true, right? Like there are spaces even within patriarchy where people, especially women, try and do that. I think in this story, we see glimpses where women have overcome the separation to bond as sisters. They've overcome patriarchal separation, where they're able to now share and celebrate in the same household. Where mother and daughters, those relationships show up with autonomy and trust instead of contempt, where women speak instead of keeping silent. There are spaces in the story where they have, where these women have say over what they want and how they want their life to unfold. And we can also imagine that this story along with the other stories before and after it have included spaces where women get together to also share their dissatisfaction with male power and protect each other from abuse.

[00:12:35] And like you've said, having these spaces where women gather together and speak about their lived experience is an important step of destabilizing patriarchy. I think that we even try to do a little bit of that on the podcast. Like we try to invite conversations between and among other women to share their experiences. Patriarchy wants to keep us silent because silence often means that we aren't questioning and we can't double check our experiences against others. But when we move from silence to speaking and sharing, we realize that we are not alone, that there are many, many wounds here and there is so much pain. To this Rosemary Radford Ruether writes, “Women assure each other that they really are not crazy; that they really have been defined and confined by systemic marginalization of their human capacities. They develop words and analysis for the different aspects of the system of marginalization, and they learn how to recognize and resist the constant messages from patriarchal culture that try to enforce their acquiescence and collaboration with it.” And I appreciate recognizing and seeing women in the story of Rebekah, like outside of Rebekah, we see her in speaking relationships and I like imagining that she comes from a community and a familial line that values women's voices and experiences.

Channing: [00:13:58]  Yeah. And values relationships too. Like we can see that she is beloved by her family and she loves Deborah, like Deborah goes with her and so I think it's really incredible in this story that we never see Rebekah alone. Like, she's always in relationship with her mother or her brother or Deborah or Isaac or her son and all through her life she has a connection with someone. And I think that's really incredible, especially because like you mentioned, and like Rosemary Redford Ruether mentioned, like, patriarchy tries to keep us separate, but being in connection and relationship with people is always one step further towards de-stabilizing patriarchy.

Elise: [00:14:45] Now that we have this imaginative understanding that's born from the text of Rebekah's background as a female, a woman, and within a feminine community–of course, not one devoid or separate from men–we've also been thinking about Rebekah as a healer. We imagine Rebekah, as someone who, having learned from her foremothers, knows the importance of healing the pain of generational trauma. Given her action voice relationship with God and decision-making power that's showcased in the story, we imagine Rebekah to be someone who is constantly working on her own wholeness and healing so that she can share it with others. This is particularly noteworthy to us when we read the line about her and Isaac getting together in chapter 24, verse 67, that says, “and he, Isaac loved her, Rebekah, and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.” This line reminds me that when Rebekah marries Isaac, she steps into a whole new family line and dynamic with its own trauma. Remember, Isaac grew up with a father who tried to sacrifice him and whose mother was not there to stop him. And now his mom has passed away and this line of scripture gives us a peek into this deep well of grief and trauma that Isaac is experiencing. So this line from the scripture is paired with a really powerful poem that we found by Rebecca Edwards, titled “Husband and Wife” helped further illuminate the grief and sadness that Isaac holds and the power that Rebekah has to show up and offer some healing guidance. 

Channing: [00:16:22] “Husband and Wife” by Rebecca Edwards.


They put my firstborn in my arms,

his eyes opened as milky as any other lamb’s.

And I remembered my father watching my face.

I prayed he would believe I was asleep. 

I tell you it was not the knife that was unforgivable, as he raised it above me, it was what he said. 

He loved me. 

So we survived that night.

For what?

He owned me like he owned sheep. 

I cannot even sing my son to sleep. 

The only lullabies I know I learned from my father.


As a child, I would slip out of my father's sleeping house and wait for the caress, my cheek, my mouth, my ear, trusting the tenderness. 

I talked back. 

God is conversation. Wild wind.

It's delight. I was ready. 

I traveled this desert territory to marry a man I did not know. They told me his name meant laughter. 

As a baby, Sarah said, when he dimpled in smiles, the whole world touched joy. I found him stuttering. 

His language destroyed in the name of God. 

He cannot sleep unless I keep watch. 

He is afraid to be left alone with sons.

He wrestles with an empty universe. Isaac. 

See how the night is inviting the dark, soft as my breasts, look at the moonlight on my empty hands.

Listen to me. 

It had nothing to do with God.” 

Elise: [00:18:05] I get so torn up inside when that last line hits, right. It had nothing to do with God, because I think of the pain and suffering that we all undergo–men included–under patriarchy that asks us to make sacrifices of ourselves and of our loved ones in order to abide by a system that claims to offer power and protection, but really only leaves us empty handed and harmed.

And this line- it had nothing to do with God- I feel like that's a line we need to tell ourselves. And also all of the people that show up in scripture because they go through and we go through awful, awful things in the name of God. But here I see the possibility of Rebekah offering comfort and healing to Isaac in this story.

And to be really clear, I don't believe that this is because she's a woman and a wife and a mother who has this, like, biological gene of nurturing and caring. No, I think perhaps Rebekah knows how to offer true love and healing because she came from a community where it was offered to her. Thus, she takes what she knows and she tries to share it with others.

Perhaps she understands the importance of healing generational trauma and ending harmful generational patterns because we also see this happen when she stops Jacob and Esau from killing each. She puts an end to the all-too-familiar pattern of brothers killing each other over power and blessings by saying in chapter 27, verses 42 through 45, “thy brother Esau is purposing to kill thee. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice and arise; flee unto Laban, my brother to Haran and tarry with him a few days until thy brother’s fury turn away, until thy brother’s anger turned away from me and he forget that which thou hast done to him: and I will send and fetch thee from thence.” So like we said before, perhaps it's because of the love and community support from Rebekah's family that she's able to now show up in a new family line to her husband and to her sons in a way that looks like wholeness and healing instead of pain and revenge and vengeance and distrust of God.

Channing: [00:20:15] I love that. And I think in a lot of ways, as we've already seen to this point, we get to see Rebekah as a really active participant in her own story. She's an agent of change and of healing, and she came from a really strong and loving, supportive community. Some moments that really stand out to us in these chapters are when, instead of her mother and brother deciding that Rebekah should leave with the servant and go marry Isaac, they recognize that this decision involves her in Genesis chapter 24, verse 57. They say, “we will call the damsel and inquire at her mouth.” And Rebekah on her own accord decides to go and marry a man she's never met and doesn't know. 

A lot of time passes in the texts like 20 years pass in one chapter and we see Rebekah becoming pregnant. And when this happens, she can feel her twins struggling in her womb, so much so that she asks, “if it be so, why am I thus?” So in this example, we see Rebekah not only struggling with the physical pains of pregnancy, but also with what sounds like to us, an emotional and existential dread. She really seems to ask if this is going to be such a struggle, what's the point?

[00:21:41] Or maybe she asks, why am I the way that I am? Why is my life constantly one struggle after the next? And instead of asking Isaac to ask God on her behalf, Rebekah, like Hagar of the past, decides to ask God herself. And this we see God speaks directly to her and tells of the two nations in her womb and that the elder shall serve the younger.

And we also see in this instant that Rebekah petitions God. The final line of the elder serving the younger prophecy seems to be an important piece of the rest of the story. What if this prophecy and commandment from God weighs heavy on Rebekah? I believe that it would, because it totally upends like the traditional understanding of, like, birthright and, like, father's blessings, especially in this context, what if she never told Isaac about it? What if she feels it is her responsibility to fulfill God's command that Esau served Jacob? Of this Anya Topolsky writes in their article titled “Reconsidering, Rebekah: struggles with faith and Jewish tradition, “In response to her challenge, God tells Rebekah that she is in fact struggling with the weight of responsibility of ensuring that the correct son is the heir to the covenant.

[00:23:07] How can a mother who loves both her sons, albeit in different ways, choose between them, even if, as the case seems, Rebekah prefers Jacob’s temperament. A mother will never wish ill upon any of her children. Rebekah has been chosen by God because of her ability to love all of God's creatures and for her good judgment.

[00:23:31] This is clear from the first moment her name is mentioned in the Torah. From this point, onward, Rebekah will exercise her leadership indirectly and from behind the scenes. Just as God led Abraham's servant to the right woman, so Rebekah will lead Isaac to Jacob, the right son and proper heir.”

I really appreciated this perspective in this reading of Rebekah in the text, because it really frames her as following her own personal revelation and her own relationship and understanding of what God means to do with her, with her sons and with her life. And I, yeah, I just think this is so fascinating to understand, like, Rebekah knew from day one from the birth of Jacob and Esau, what was going to happen years and years and years down the road. And it's really exciting to me to see a woman in the role of prophecy, of prophet. And I think that's super cool. 

One of the other ways that we wanted to look at or understand Rebekah’s story is through the lens of a trickster. And we briefly kind of talked about a trickster archetype in last week's episode, when we mentioned that there were some articles that wanted to look at Lot's daughters through that framework, but we understand the trickster as kind of this archetype or frequently appearing role that characters can play in stories and the trickster archetype is one that really upends traditional roles and changes things. Sometimes their approach can be a little bit chaotic or can be or can cause a lot of mess and cause a lot of problems or just otherwise be, like, very unexpected.

[00:25:26] But through whatever chaos appears to happen in the story at the end of the story, some good always comes of it. One of my favorite, like, if we kind of zoom out of the text and use another example, one of my favorite examples in mythology of the trickster archetype is Loki from the Norse Pantheon. We see Loki acting in a lot of ways where he uses his power and his abilities to upend what is, you know, his expected role and he’s supposed to fall in line and follow all the rules. And he never does but it always works out in the end. And so, coming back to the text, I don't necessarily think that Rebekah is Loki, for sure, but I think in a lot of ways we can see some of this trickster archetype kind of working to say, okay, I know at the end of the day, there's supposed to be a different outcome than what everyone else around me expects to happen.

[00:26:23] And so I need to use alternative means in order to get the required outcome or get the outcome that God has promised me is going to happen. And so we see Rebekah and Jacob kind of work together in this way to trick Isaac by putting skins or fur on Jacob's arms to make Isaac think that he's talking to Esau and that in this way, Jacob gets the blessing, gets Isaac's blessing. And so I like seeing Rebekah in this trickster role. I think that she's not necessarily powerless. I think a lot of times the trickster narrative, like, seems to make tricksters out to be powerless, but I think in a lot of ways, Rebekah is powerful and she uses her power in really unexpected ways in order to achieve the desired outcome.

[00:27:15] And so in this way, some of the questions that we wanted to ask about Rebekah, if we look at her story are: In what ways do I use my power to disrupt the status quo? In what ways are my decisions or choices or actions maybe non-traditional or unconventional, but are still working toward what I believe in my relationship with my God is good and for the goodness of all? So I really like seeing Rebekah in this kind of trickstery role, not in like blatant, like causing complete chaos, but kind of in this, like, I'm going to use my power here and I'm going to use it in a way that I think is good and we don't get to see that happen a whole lot in the text so I was excited to see her in that role. 

Elise: [00:28:07] Yeah, absolutely.  I'm glad that you brought up the, like, archetype of the trickster for Rebekah, because personally I kind of struggle with the story of Jacob and Esau and with Rebekah's role as, kind of, the behind-the-scenes mastermind of it. But what I think what I hear you saying is Rebekah-as-trickster is crucial to understanding the story in a way that feels wholesome and honors personal revelation, because we see Rebekah making a way out of no way. She wields her power and influence from behind the scenes. She's kind of crafting and weaving the present so that the future aligns with what God has asked of her, that the eldest son Esau served the younger son, Jacob. And it seems to me too, that Rebekah is aware of her role as trickster or maybe manipulator of the situation, which I would like to remove the negative connotation of manipulator, but simply understand it as one who understands the situation for what it is and has to manipulate or change things so that there's a different outcome. Because in chapter 27, verse 13, she says “upon me, be thy curse my son: only obey my voice.” And I think I can read this line in two ways.

 [00:29:18] First, perhaps this is Rebekah reaffirming that when the truth of the situation unfolds, there will be cursing and anger and she's willing to bear the brunt of it. I think that this might reveal not only her love and desire to protect Jacob, but also her confidence and surety to stand before God and account for her actions. I see this as a very kind of Esther moment. This, “if I perish, I perish,” like, I know full well what I'm doing and I'm not afraid to do it. Or another way to read this line is perhaps this is Rebekah, simply trying to comfort her very worried son, Jacob. For just a verse before this, we hear Jacob rehearsing all of his worries, doubts, and fears about their plan. He says like, “no, no, Dad's going to feel my arm. And then he's going to think that I'm a liar and then I'll be cursed and I'll never be blessed, ever”. And so maybe when hearing this, maybe Rebekah knows that all of these worries will really never come to pass because she knows within her own heart and her own relationship with God that she's truly fulfilling God's commandment.

[00:30:23] So when she says, “don't worry, I'll take on the curse,” perhaps she's really saying, “look, this is too big of a story for me to explain to you or for you to understand right now. So I hear you. And just know that if there is a curse, sure, I'll take it.” Although she knows full well that there will be no curse because she knows she's doing what God has asked of her.

[00:30:46] We hope that as we've kind of unpacked the story of Rebekah, we get to see her and give praise and credit to her in all of her forms: as a community member, as a healer, as an agent, and as a trickster. Topolsky writes, “thanks to her [Rebekah], Isaac is brought into proper relation to his sons, his father, and the covenant. Thanks to her. Jacob is compelled to recognize and obtain the blessings of his father. Thanks to her, fratricide [This is the murder of brothers]–for the time being–is averted. And thanks to her, Jacob has sent off to find a proper wife on a journey that will also tame his cleverness and bring him at last into a more proper relation to his brother and even more important to God.”

[00:31:32] For me, I love this praise of Rebekah, especially because I think that she's one of the more prominent matriarchs in the Hebrew Bible. But as we can see, if we slow down a little bit more, there's also so much more beneath the surface level story that gets told in Genesis. And I appreciate being able to celebrate her and all of her different forms.

Channing: [00:31:51] We really loved seeing Rebekah this way and kind of diving into her story, just like Elise said, because there's a lot of details and a lot of wealth of information that we can not only just imagine, but we can see coming straight from the text. One of the things that was really interesting to us as we began to prepare for this week's lesson was to look at the manual. The Come, Follow Me manual chooses, you know, typically three or four main points of this week's lesson that they want members to focus on.

[00:32:19] And it was really striking to me that the first lesson that they chose to take from Genesis chapter 24 is marriage is essential to God's eternal plan. And as soon as I read this, I couldn't stop myself from sending a text to Elise and saying, like, “every time! They never miss a chance to talk about eternal marriage.” While marriage is definitely kind of a central topic in Genesis chapter 24–there's literally, the entire chapter is finding a wife for Isaac and Rebekah agreeing to marry Isaac–it's also really interesting to see the way that this story is placed into a very particular and certain framework. The manual says you might consider why a family built on the marriage of a man and a woman supplies the best setting for God's plan to thrive.

And one of the things that was really interesting about this for me was that I think that there are a lot of qualities about Rebekah and Isaac's marriage that makes it, you know, the best setting for God's plan to thrive. I think we see Rebekah, like we've talked about, showing up to this marriage fully, as her full self, with her full relationship with God, her full relationship with Isaac and functioning in all of these different roles within that marriage.

I know too, that Isaac probably brought his full self. We saw that in some of the poems that we read, where he said, these are my fears, these are my worries. And they were happy together. And it was this relationship that they had and made together that probably did make it the best setting for God's plan to thrive, like the manual says. I think it has a lot less to do with being a heterosexual marriage than it does about the quality of relationship that they had between them. And so I thought it was really interesting and also a little bit unfortunate and sad to my little, like, bi girl heart that the manual continues to drive in the point of the heterosexual marriage, being the best setting for God's plan, when really the text itself shows that it again is the quality of the relationship between Rebekah and Isaac.

And finally another question that the manual asked was one that Elise and I have really enjoyed talking about this week. The manual doesn't ask this question once, but twice. It says, “what qualities do you find in Rebekah that you would like to emulate?” And I think Elise and I know, like, okay, what is the manual expecting us to answer about Rebekah, especially when this question is posed in context of chapter 24. I don't know. Elise, any thoughts on that? Like, what do you think they want us to say?

Elise: [00:35:07] I think that they want us to say like, “oh, if God, like, if a servant of God shows up, you just need to kind of, like, follow them and, like, do whatever God says.” So I'm sure that the manual is thinking things like “obey God” and “be faithful” and “be loyal” and “be loving” which is not to say that Rebekah's not those things. 

Channing: Right. 

Elise: But when we water Rebekah down to only those things we miss out on the complexity of Rebekah and the depth of relationship that she already has with God. 

Channing: [00:35:40]  Right. And especially when we only look at her section in chapter 24, we get still an even more limited scope of Rebekah's entire story. 

Elise: [00:35:50] Right? And so some of the things that we were kind of playing with to push back on this question is sure, yes, maybe Rebekah is faithful and loyal and she heeds the word of God, but! She also uses the power she has to disrupt systems in place. She acts unexpectedly. She petitions God, and she has an existential crisis of: “Why? Why is my life the way that it is?” And she's not afraid to ask God and push back. 

Channing: [00:36:16] We also see her in relationship. We also see her at the well being kind and welcoming and serving of strangers. But we also, when the servant gives her all of these gifts, she's like, “oh yes, thank you, I quite deserve that golden bracelet. I quite deserve, like, this necklace and this crown that you're giving me.” We see her as saying, “yes, I will marry.” But we also understand that that was in the context of her also being able to say, no, I will not. And we see her making her own choices about her life. We see her having her own voice and trusting her own voice. And we see her moving, acting, changing, speaking, and playing a role in her own life. She doesn't take a back seat. I mentioned that the manual asked this question twice and I really liked what it added to the second question. It says, “your family could look in these verses for attributes that made Rebekah a worthy eternal companion for Isaac. Encourage family members to pick one of these attributes that they feel they should develop.” And so I think that we can really take that quote from the manual and run with it. What qualities of Rebekah do you find that you want to emulate? Self-determination. Relationship with God. Intimacy, companionship, friendship, love. There's so many qualities of Rebekah that we could choose to apply to ourselves.

Elise: [00:37:54] Friends. Thank you so much for joining us today for another episode of the Faithful Feminist podcast. We know your time and space is sacred and we are so grateful to have spent ours with you. If you enjoyed this episode, we'd be so happy if you left us a loving rating on iTunes and Spotify, so other seekers can find us.

Channing: [00:38:13] Financial donations support the many hours of research work and devotion to each episode, as well as the everyday cost of creating and publishing the podcast. You can support us on Patreon or through a simple Venmo donation and help us create a world where creators, artists, activists, and beauty makers are valued and paid for their labor. Find us on those platforms and on Instagram as The Faithful Feminists. We're deeply grateful for your kindness and encouragement. We love you so much, and we hope to spend more time with you again soon. Bye friends!

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