Was Abraham’s Servant a “Noahide”, before there were “Noahides”?

View of the Mediterranean Sea from the old Inlet at Caesarea, Israel

In this weeks Torah portion portion “Chayei Sara”, (Gen 23:1 – 25:18) after Abraham lays his wife to rest, he decides to find a wife for his son, Isaac. What I find particularly interesting is the role Abraham’s servant plays in this event. Abraham only directed his servant to go back to where Abraham came from, to his kin and pick out a wife for Isaac (24:4).

His servant would have fulfilled his task or obligation to just pick out a virgin from Abraham’s kin. But instead he chose to stop before doing anything, and seek Hashem (24:12 – 14). His desire apparently was to be in the Almighty’s will. So he asked G-d to have the one for Isaac to provide water for him, and to provide water for all of his camel’s. The Tanach tells us that before he even finished praying Hashem was answering his prayer (24:15). After Abraham’s servant explained everything to Rebecca’s brother, and mother she went back with the caravan to meet her future husband. As G-d does things it appears that as they laid eyes on each other, it was love from the beginning.

We don’t know very much about Abraham’s servant, he was probably a Canaanite from Damascus whose name was Eliezer, who for some reason became a servant for Abraham. In any case he apparently was very trusted by Abraham, and lived a righteous life.

If he had just located Abraham’s kin, he may have picked Rebecca, but he may not have. The beauty of seeking the Almighty’s direction, is that it takes the guess work out of the equation. Also while talking with Rebecca’s mother and brother, he told them the story of how G-d had answered his prayer for selecting the bride. Their reply was that they cannot speak bad before the Lord, in other words, they cannot go against what the Lord has directed. (24:49 – 50) If he hadn’t prayed and asked G-d for the sign, than he wouldn’t have had G-d’s support in this discussion with them.

His humility stands out to me as well, and desire to please Abraham, and Isaac. When he blesses G-d he lays prostrate before Him, not just casually blessing Him, but with total sincerity.

May we learn from Abraham’s servant.

by, Jim Behnke

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