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Old Testament Notes

Isaac, Eliezer, Rebecca


            Isaac is the second patriarch of Ancient Israel, son of Abraham and Sarah, step-brother of Ishmael (son of Abraham and his slave woman Hagar).
            When Isaac was in his teens, God, to test Abraham, ordered him to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22:7)  Abraham took Isaac to the Mount Moriah and prepared everything for the rite. But when he raised his hand with a sacrificial knife over Isaac, an Angel appeared and stopped Abraham.
See: Caravaggio The Sacrifice of Isaac, The Sacrifice of Isaac.
Rembrandt. The Angel Stopping Abraham from Sacrificing Isaac to God, Abraham and Isaac, Abraham's Sacrifice.
            When Isaac became of marriageable age, Abraham sent his trusted servant, Eliezer, to his ancestorsí land, to Mesopotamia, to find a suitable wife for Isaac. God prompted Eliezer to select Rebecca, the daughter of one of Abrahamís nephews. Eliezer was to choose the girl who would be the first to give him water from a spring and offer to draw some for his camels. Rebecca did exactly this.
See: Nicolas Poussin Eliezer and Rebecca, Eliezer Meets Rebecca.
Rembrandt. Isaac and Rebecca. (The Jewish Bride).

            Isaac married Rebecca when he was forty. She gave birth to two twins. The first to come out was reddish and covered with hairs like a cloak, and they named him Esau. Immediately afterwards his brother was born with his hand grasping Esau's heel, and he was given the name Jacob. As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, an outdoor man, while Jacob lived quietly close to their mother. Isaac favored Esau, but Rebecca favored Jacob. Rebecca taught Jacob how to steal the rights of the firstborn from Esau. They managed to deceive both Esau and Isaac, and Isaac blessed  Jacob as his firstborn.
See: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo Isaac Blessing Jacob.

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