🔼The name Rebekah: Summary
- Tied Up, Secured
- From the verb רבק (rbq), to tie firmly.
🔼The name Rebekah in the Bible
Rebekah (in English sometimes spelled as Rebecca) is the wife of Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 22:23). She's the sister of Laban and daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham.
When Sarah dies, Abraham mourns for her but also realizes that losing Sarah must affect his son Isaac too. He decides Isaac needs a wife, but hates the idea of Isaac marrying one of the local women. He sends his trusted servant Eliezer north, to his family's country, to find Isaac a wife. A brief discussion between Abraham and Eliezer reveals that women in those weren't as powerless as some people now suggest. When Eliezer suggests that the woman might not want to come along with him, all Abraham says in reply is to not take Isaac up there (Genesis 24:6).
Eliezer departs and comes upon Rebekah. He hands gifts to her family and Rebekah comes with him. When she meets Isaac, he takes her into his mother's tent and loved her. "Thus Isaac was comforted after his mother's death" (Genesis 24:67).
The name Rebekah occurs only once in the Greek New Testament (spelled Ρεβεκκα, Rebekka). The apostle Paul refers to her in his paragraph on the difference between biological descent and descent through promise (Romans 9:10).
🔼Etymology of the name Rebekah
The name Rebekah comes from the unused verb רבק (rbq), meaning to tie firmly:
The unused verb רבק (rabaq) means to tie fast in other languages. Noun מרבק (marbeq), which does occur in the Bible, means stall.
🔼Meaning of the name Rebekah
BDB Theological Dictionary does not translate Rebekah. Both Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and the NOBSE Study Bible Name List render the name: A Rope With A Noose. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names quotes Gesenius who suggests that this name denotes a woman who ensnares a man with her beauty. But although the Biblical occurrence of this name has to do with much, not with the snaring of a man by beauty. The name denotes merely a tying up of cattle, both for their own protection, the establishment of their home and to keep them from wandering off. Within this name lies the notion that individuals are placed together by something higher or smarter than they.
The name Rebekah literally means Tied Up but more specific (and more friendly) is Secured.