Was Rebekah a Good or Bad Character in the Bible?

Was Rebekah a good or bad character in the Bible, especially in light of her deceitfulness? In this video, Dr. Craig Keener explains that considering especially God’s revelation to her regarding Jacob’s assumption of the birthright, on the whole, Rebekah should be understood as a positive character.

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Craig Keener is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has authored over 17 books, four of which have won book awards in Christianity Today. His IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament has sold more than half a million copies. He and his wife, Dr. Medine Keener, reside in Wilmore, KY.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Rebecca was at best a wash. God would have accomplished His will without her lying. All excuse making not withstanding, there is no excuse for her lying and taking advantage of Isaac. There was no excuse for her defrauding Esau. God acted in spite of her sin, not because of it. All attempts to finesse the matter not withstanding, there is no reason to suppose that she had to act in such a evil manner for God’s will to be done. She could have trusted God to bring His will to pass. Instead, she was no different than Sara who insisted on a child by her slave Hagar rather than trusting God to keep his promise.

  2. Craig, thank you for your words on Rebekah. I wrote a blog post on her (found on the CBE Scroll) which also sees her in a favourable light. I discovered an interesting connection between her willingness to “take a curse” and the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 9 (the context being Jacob, Esau, and Rebekah) where Paul expresses willingness to “take a curse” that Israel/Jacob might be blessed: https://theologyconnect.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/rebekahs-responsibility-in-overseeing-the-blessing-of-israel/

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