When her beloved father dies and she is left in the care of her conniving brother Laban, Rebekah knows her life has changed forever. Though she should be married by now, it’s clear that Laban is dragging his feet, waiting for a higher bride-price to line his pockets. But then Rebekah is given a chance to leave her home to marry Isaac, a cousin she has never even seen, and her hope for the future is restored. Little does she know what a wondrous and heart-wrenching journey she is beginning.
As Rebekah experiences the joy of young love and the bitterness of misunderstanding and betrayal, her resolve is tested. When the rift between Isaac and her grows so wide it is surely too great to be mended, can she trust the God of Isaac’s father Abraham to bridge the gap?
Join bestselling author Jill Eileen Smith as she fills in the blanks around the life of the enigmatic Rebekah.
I’ve always had issues with the story of Rebekah. I felt she manipulated her son, Jacob, and deceived her husband, Isaac, and I had struggled to understand her actions. The second title in the Wives of the Patriarchs series, however, has given me new insight. The novel begins with Rebekah at her father’s deathbed where she witnesses him give his blessing to his second son, Laban. This is extrapolation on Smith’s part; there is no mention of Rebekah’s father in Genesis and Laban is portrayed as the head of the household. Still, it’s an important scene. The blessing was the equivalent of naming an heir, and it was usually given to the eldest son. This scene shows it wasn’t unheard of for the second son to receive that blessing. After her father’s death, Laban looks for a man wealthy enough for his sister to marry, although Rebekah isn’t interested in wealth. “I want a man who treats me well. A man I can trust,” she declares. Trust will play a pivotal role later on in the relationship between Rebekah and Isaac.
Smith’s interpretation of these ancient events has made these characters come alive. I’d never thought about how Sarah might have reacted to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, but we know she often doubted God’s word by the way she acted to give Abraham an heir. Nor had I pondered how the event might have affected Isaac’s relationship with his parents and his future relationship with Rebekah. This novel made me recognize the human frailties of these amazing people. I can now see that Rebekah was much like Sarah in that she was impatient and had difficulty in waiting for God’s promises to play out. And Isaac was definitely his father’s son in many respects, even if he didn’t have the faith of Abraham.
Although this is the second book of the Patriarchs series, it can be read as a standalone. I’ll admit to not having had the chance yet to read the first book, Sarai. The third and final book of the series will be called Rachel and will probably be published this time next year.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Publication Date: February 2013
Page Count: 320
Thank you to Donna Hausler and Revell for my free copy of Rebekah, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Jill Smith will be the featured guest on a Live interactive Video Chat Session sponsored by “Shindig” on Tuesday February 19th at 7:00 pm EST!! It’s free to attend, and you can meet Jill and ask any questions you have for her! Go here to RSVP and find out more details about this event.
Join best-selling author Jill Eileen Smith as she presents ten facts and/or possibilities you might not know about the Patriarch Isaac’s wife Rebekah. Do you have a question about the people in the Bible you’ve always wanted to ask? Jill will take questions about biblical characters, biblical fiction, and about any of her books in the Wives of the Patriarchs or Wives of King David series. So please, plan to join us!