God promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations. God kept his promise by giving Abraham a son named Isaac. After Sarah (Isaac's mother) died, he buried her in a cave among Canaanites (near the trees of Mamre, where the Lord appeared to him and promised Isaac). Abraham decided it was time for Isaac to marry. Abraham sent his chief servant to find a wife for Isaac among his own people because he did not want Isaac to marry a girl from among the Canaanites, where they were living.
Abraham's servant took ten camels and everything he needed for the long journey. When he arrived it was late in the day, the time when the women came to draw water from the well. He stopped at a well just outside the city. He prayed and asked God to show him which girl to choose. "I will speak to a young woman. I'll say, 'Please lower your jar so I can have a drink.' Suppose she says, 'Have a drink of water. And I'll get some for your camels too.' Then let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac." Genesis 24:14
Abraham's servant had not even finished praying when a beautiful young woman named Rebekah came to the well. The servant asked Rebekah for water, and after she gave him some to drink, she offered to fill the trough with water for his camels. Then the servant gave her a gold nose ring and two gold arm bracelets for her kindness and asked for a place to stay the night. You can show the children the jewelry you brought (see supplies) as an example of what Abraham's servant might have given Rebekah as a gift. It turns out Rebekah was Nahor's granddaughter. Nahor was Abraham's brother. Although that relationship is too close for comfort by today's standards, this was a sign of success for Abraham's servant. Abraham specifically wanted a wife for Isaac from his own relatives.
Rebekah ran home and told her family what had happened. Her brother Laban went back to the well and invited Abraham's servant home to meet her father Bethuel and to stay the night. They all sat down to eat and the servant told the entire story and how God had answered his prayer. Laban and Bethuel answered, "The Lord has done all of this. We can't say anything to you one way or the other.51 Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her become the wife of your master's son, just as the Lord has said." Genesis 24:50
It would be useful to explain to the children the tradition of arranged marriages. Families decide whom you will marry, and often the decision is made at a very young age. Arranged marriages are still common today in some cultures.
Back to the story: One evening Isaac went out to the field. He wanted to spend some time thinking. When he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel. She asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" "He's my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered her face. Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done. Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent that had belonged to his mother Sarah. And he married Rebekah. She became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother died. (Genesis 24:63-66)
Have you ever been to a wedding? Did you know that in the Bible, parents used to decide for their children who they were going to marry? What would you think if your parents had already picked out the person you were going to marry, even at your age?
Today we are going to learn about how Isaac became married to Rebekah.
Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.
For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself. You may need to fill in the details from the Story Summary above as necessary to communicate the full story to the children.
Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Genesis 24:61-67
First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?
Heads up! Do this outside if you want to add water to the buckets!
Scripture He stopped near the well outside the town. There he made the camels get down on their knees. It was almost evening. It was the time when women go out to get water. Genesis 24:11
Supplies empty baskets or buckets
Scripture Then Rebekah and her female servants got ready. They got on their camels to go with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left. Genesis 24:61
Supplies camel pattern (see resource sheets above), card stock or construction paper, sand, glue, popsicle stick for each student
Scripture By that time Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi. He was living in the Negev Desert. Genesis 24:62
Supplies sandpaper, plain white paper, crayons, with paper removed, camel pattern (see resource sheets above)
Heads up! Buy or make yummy cookies for each person in class
Scripture Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Genesis 2:18;
Supplies favorite cookie recipe, mixing bowl, spoon, apron, table, individual cookie ingredients
Scripture The camels finished drinking. Then the man took out a gold nose ring. It weighed a fifth of an ounce. He also took out two gold bracelets. They weighed four ounces. Genesis 24:22
Supplies paper towel rolls, cut into 2 inches, paper, jewels, stickers
Scripture "I will speak to a young woman. I'll say, 'Please lower your jar so I can have a drink.' Suppose she says, 'Have a drink of water. And I'll get some for your camels too.' Then let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. That's how I'll know you have been kind to my master." Genesis 24:14
Supplies camel pattern (see resource sheets above), staples, cotton or stuffing, 2 clothes pins for each student
Heads up! This activity is best done outside
Scripture I'm standing beside this spring. The daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out here to get water. Genesis 24:13
Supplies 2 large bucket and 1 drinking cup (per team), water
Heads up! This activity is best done outside
Scripture So she quickly emptied her jar into the stone tub. Then she ran back to the well to get more water. She got enough for all of his camels. Genesis 24:20
Supplies large bucket, water, several large drinking cups (enough for each team), a cup for each player