Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 22- Rachel and Leah

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21


Read Genesis 29:1-30


Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review lesson 18 (link above). Compare the account of Abraham’s servant finding a wife (Rebekah) for Isaac to Jacob finding Rachel in today’s passage. What are some similarities? Differences? Compare both of these accounts to the story of Jesus meeting the woman at the well. How do Abraham (via his servant) and Jacob point ahead to Christ through these incidents? How do Rebekah and Rachel point ahead to the woman seeking the Living Water?

2. God doesn’t put extraneous information in Scripture; everything was written for a purpose. Why do you think God explains so much detail about shepherding practices in the first part of chapter 29?

3. Jacob has traveled several hundred miles to arrive at this destination. Compare verses 4-5 with Genesis 27:43-44. How is this the first confirmation of the fulfillment of the journey his parents had sent him on? Compare verses 6 and 10 with Genesis 28:2. Who had Isaac told Jacob to marry? How was this the second confirmation of the fulfillment of his journey? How were both of these meetings and the subsequent events part of God keeping his promises to Jacob? Do these confirmations of God’s leading and work in his life help shed some light on Jacob’s emotional reaction in 9-12?

4. Try to picture Jacob’s interaction with the shepherds in verses 4-8. What is Jacob’s immediate reaction (7) to seeing Rachel coming? Is it just me or is he trying to get those guys to vamoose so he can spend some time with Rachel? :0) Do they leave? (8)

5. What can we infer from verse 15 that Jacob had been doing for the month (14) he had been staying with Laban’s family?

6. Write character sketches of Rachel and of Leah based on the information in this passage. What were some temptations each of them may have faced? Knowing what you know about Rachel and Leah and their relationship, how might Leah have felt about Jacob asking for Rachel’s hand, offering to work seven years for her, and observing Jacob’s love for Rachel? (15-20)

7. Look closely at verse 21. Notice that the phrase is worded: “go in to her”, not “go into her.” The phrase “go in to her” means that the husband would enter the bed chamber where the wife was waiting for him (for consummation of the marriage). (Judges 15:1 makes this clearer.) I recently spoke with a young lady who had read this phrase as “go into her” all her life and thought the Bible was referring crassly to intercourse. Just wanted to bring a little clarity for anyone else who might have been stumped by that phrase.

8. Read 21-30 imagining you’re Leah. How do you react to your father’s attitude that the only way he’ll ever marry you off is to trick some poor guy who doesn’t want you? How would your new husband Jacob’s anger have made you feel, as well as the fact that once he married Rachel, he loved her more than you? Now imagine you’re Rachel. How do you react to your father giving your sister to the man you love and have waited seven years for? How did this wedding start out as Rachel’s big day and ended up as Leah’s big day?

9. One of the questions that always comes up about verses 21-30 is, “How did Jacob not know it was Leah?”. Let’s look at some of the factors at play:

a) How was the wedding celebrated? (22) What type of beverage is typically consumed freely at such events?

b) What time of day was the marriage consummated? (23) What impact would this have had on visibility? Remember, “he went in to her”. Leah was already in the (probably dark) bedchamber waiting for Jacob.

c) Think about the way women of that time period dressed. How might Leah’s clothing have hidden her identity?

d) Think about the structures people lived in and the proximity to others, since family tended to stay close together, and since many of the wedding guests may have been spending the night. Being quiet and whispering during marital relations might have been a normal way to protect a couple’s privacy from eavesdroppers, and thus, could have kept Jacob from recognizing Leah’s voice.

e) The Holy Spirit has been known to prevent people from seeing things He doesn’t want them to see.

Can you see how some or all these factors may have worked together to keep Jacob from recognizing Leah?

10. Make a list of all of the cultural and hospitality customs this passage teaches us.


God leading Jacob to men from Haran and then to Rachel was part of God keeping his promises to Jacob. God’s promises to Christians are written down in the New Testament. Think about some ways God has fulfilled His promises in your life. Write down the verse(s) that contain that promise along with the way God fulfilled that promise in your life. Take some time in prayer to thank Him for keeping His promises.

Suggested Memory Verse

So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
Genesis 29:20

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 21- Rebekah, Judith, Basemath, and Mahalath

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20


Read Genesis 26:34-35, 27:41-28:22


Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review lesson 20 (link above). What events led to the events of today’s passage?

2. Review question #2 from lesson 18 (link above), and compare Abraham’s instructions to his servant about finding Isaac a wife in 24:1-9 to Isaac’s and Rebekah’s concerns and instructions about Jacob’s and Esau’s wives in 26:34-35 and 27:46-28:9. What were some similarities between the two situations? The differences? Look especially at a) the people groups the parent(s) did and did not want the wives to come from and b) whether or not the parent(s) wanted the son to travel to the desired people group. What were the reasons neither Abraham nor Isaac and Rebekah wanted their sons to marry a Canaanite? Why did they want their sons to marry within their own family? Why did Abraham prohibit Isaac from traveling back to Haran, but Isaac and Rebekah pushed Jacob to go to Haran? What did the Abrahamic Covenant and physically inhabiting the Promised Land have to do with all of this?

3. Examine Rebekah’s words and actions in 27:41-28:5. What does it seem were Rebekah’s primary and secondary reasons for sending Jacob to Haran to find a wife?

4. In 28:2, Isaac refers to Bethuel as Rebekah’s father. Besides the fact that Bethuel was Isaac’s father-in-law, what was Isaac’s biological kinship with Bethuel? How did Isaac know whether or not Laban had any daughters for Jacob to marry?

5. What were the names of Esau’s wives, and what were their national or familial backgrounds? (26:34, 28:9) Considering the Abrahamic Covenant, why would a wife from Abraham’s brother’s line have been seen as preferable for Isaac and Jacob, but a wife from Abraham’s son’s line (28:9) was seen as less desirable for Esau? How was Esau’s split from the Covenant lineage and alignment with the non-Covenant lineage through his marriages a fulfillment of God’s word to Rebekah in 25:23: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided;”?

6. What nation/people did Jacob become? What nation/people did Esau become? From which of these nations and lineages did Christ eventually come, fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant?

7. Even though Judith, Basemath, and Mahalath were not in the Covenant lineage and likely weren’t worshipers of God, how might marrying into, and living in close proximity to, a family who worshiped the one true God have impacted their spiritual lives? Consider the idea behind 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 as you answer.

8. What was Rebekah’s attitude toward her daughters-in-law? (26:34-35, 27:46) Was her attitude focused on herself and how these women were affecting her, or was it focused on them and how she could help them, love them, and be a godly influence on them? How might Rebekah’s attitude have prevented her from introducing them to the one true God and discipling them in the spirit of Titus 2:3-5?

9. How was Jacob’s experience at Bethel (28:10-22) a turning point or a fresh start in his relationship with God? What did God promise Jacob? (28:12-15) What did Jacob promise God? (28:20-22) How would God’s promises to Jacob and Jacob’s promises to God have set the foundation and tone for Jacob’s relationship with his soon to be family and his relationship with his family of origin (when he later returned to them)? How could Jacob’s vow to God be seen as the earliest “mission statement”, if you will, of the future nation of Israel?


Do you have a Judith, Basemath, or Mahalath in your life- a woman who’s a hard-to-love unbeliever? What is your attitude toward her? Is it focused on yourself and how she affects you, or is it focused on her and how you could help her, love her, and share the gospel with her? Write down three practical ways you could be a godly influence on her this week.

Suggested Memory Verse

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God,
Genesis 28:20-21

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 20- Rebekah

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19


Read Genesis 26-27


Questions to Consider

1. In 26:3-4, what promise is God reiterating to Isaac? Why did God repeat the Abrahamic Covenant so many times?

2. Examine 26:2-5. Did Isaac have a legitimate reason to fear for his life? (26:7) Consider Who made these promises to Isaac and what the promises were. Was Isaac acting out of trust in God or fear of man when he lied?

3. In lesson 19 (link above) we looked at four commonalities between Sarah’s life and Rebekah’s life. What were those four commonalities? In today’s lesson, we’ve got another déjà vu moment. Compare 26:1-11 with Genesis 12:10-20, 20:1-18. List the similarities and differences between Sarah’s experiences and Rebekah’s. What were some ways Rebekah would have had to trust and obey God? How might Rebekah’s relationship with God have grown through this experience?

4. Who was Abimelech? In what way did Abimelech (26:9-11) demonstrate more belief in God’s Word than Isaac (26:7) did?

5. What was the significance of all the well digging (26:12-33), and the fact that Isaac gave the wells the same names Abraham had given them (26:18)? Consider this establishment of claim to the land by Isaac in light of God’s promise about the land in 26:3-4.

6. Summarize Rebekah’s role in the story of the stolen blessing in chapter 27. Did Rebekah do anything that was sinful? Did she do anything that was righteous? What were the consequences of her actions? How do her words and actions in this chapter set a good or bad example for Christian women today? How did God use her actions as part of His overall plan?

7. Briefly review lessons 18 and 19 (links above), examining Rebekah’s character and personality, and especially Genesis 25:23,27. Chapter 27 tells us what Rebekah did, but doesn’t really explain why she did it. Knowing what you know about Rebekah from previous passages about her, what are some possible motives – good or bad – that may have led her to act the way she did? Is it always possible to determine someone’s motives merely by observing her outward behavior?

8. Think about the effect Rebekah’s actions had on Isaac, Esau, and Jacob respectively. How might her behavior have impacted her relationship with her husband and each of her sons? Think about your own behavior. How does it impact your relationship with your husband, children, family members, co-workers, or fellow church members?


How often do you consider your motives for saying or doing various things? Do you act out of selfish ambition and conceit or humility? Do you look out for number one or act in the best interests of others? Are your actions motivated by trust in God or fear of man, as Isaac was? Over the course of the next week, take some time at the end of each day to think back over your words and actions. Evaluate your motives. Were they godly or ungodly? Repent where you need to repent and ask God to make your motives more godly.

Suggested Memory Verse

May God give you of the dew of heaven
    and of the fatness of the earth
    and plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
    and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
    and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
    and blessed be everyone who blesses you!
Genesis 27:28-29

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 19- Keturah, Hagar, Sarah, Rebekah

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18


Read Genesis 25


Questions to Consider

1. Who are the three women named in verses 1-18? What was the relationship of each to Abraham? To the Abrahamic Covenant? Based on your answers to these questions, why don’t we hear anything else about the sons of Keturah and Hagar after Genesis 25? Why does the Bible follow the story of Abraham’s lineage through Sarah (Isaac) instead?

2. Why, in terms of inheritance and the Abrahamic Covenant, would Abraham have sent the sons of Keturah and Hagar away from Isaac? (6)

3. Briefly describe Sarah’s, Keturah’s, and Hagar’s “callings” in life. Did Hagar and Keturah have less intrinsic value as people in God’s eyes than Sarah did simply because their roles in Old Testament history were different from hers? Does the fact that God calls different people to different roles in life mean that He values or loves people with “important” roles more? Who places or allows people to be in the roles or life circumstances they’re in? Does God view our status in life the same way people do?

4. Do you see some similarities between Sarah and Rebekah in this chapter?

🍼 What is the first similarity we see in verse 21 (compare with 11:29-30)?

🍼🍼 Compare Isaac’s age when he married Rebekah (20) to his age when Jacob and Esau were born (26). How long did Isaac and Rebekah wait for God to open her womb? How long did Abraham and Sarah wait (compare 12:1-4 with 21:5)?

🍼🍼🍼 After opening their wombs, how many sons of the Covenant did Sarah have? How sons of the Covenant did Rebekah (24) have?

🍼🍼🍼🍼 How did Rebekah (23) and Sarah (17:19) find out about these Covenant sons?

5. Consider Rebekah’s possible concerns and emotional state at being barren for so long, and then bearing only two sons, when God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be “as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore”. How might God have used these circumstances in her life to teach her to trust Him? (22-23)

6. How do the motifs of barrenness, miraculous conception, and the one, promised, long-awaited son of the Covenant foreshadow the birth of Christ?

7. How does the story of Esau despising his birthright and Jacob redeeming it further confirm what God told Rebekah in verse 23 – that Jacob would be the son of the Abrahamic Covenant?


Think about the roles and statuses God has placed you in. Are you famous? Unknown? Do you wield a lot of power and influence, or very little? Are you wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?

Read the Parable of the Talents. “Talents” were units of money the master entrusted to his servants to invest. What kinds of blessings, influence, resources, and abilities has God entrusted to you? Your marriage? Your singleness? Your home? The position you serve in at church? Money? Your children? Your job? Your relationships with friends?

What matters to God – how many of these things He has blessed you with, or how you steward them for His glory (see verses 21 &23)? List three ways you can faithfully make the most of the roles and statuses God has called you to for His glory.

Suggested Memory Verse

And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:23

Women of Genesis Bible Study

The Women of Genesis: Lesson 18- Rebekah

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17


Read Genesis 24


Questions to Consider

1. Review lesson 17 (link above) and briefly set the scene for chapter 24. Who are the main characters? What events have recently transpired? Approximately how old is Isaac in chapter 24? (v.67)

2. Why didn’t Abraham want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman? (3) Why did Abraham tell the servant not (6,8) to take Isaac back to his native land? (7) Think in terms of the Abrahamic Covenant and Abraham’s concept of possessing the land. What might the future ramifications of possessing the Promised Land (Canaan) have been if Isaac had intermarried with a Canaanite and had descendants who were partially Canaanite? What might have happened if Isaac had gone back to Abraham’s native land and stayed there- would Abraham’s lineage still have had a physical presence (possession) in the Promised Land after he died?

3. What impact would all of the issues in #2 have had on Rebekah when she married into this family?

4. What can we learn about marriage and betrothal customs of the time from this chapter? What else can we learn about Mesopotamian culture, such as hospitality, gender roles, authority and submission, etc.?

5. How do Abraham, Isaac, the servant, Rebekah’s family, and Rebekah each demonstrate their trust in God in this chapter? How does God demonstrate His trustworthiness in each of their situations?

6. Examine Rebekah’s words and actions in this chapter and write a brief character sketch of her. What are some ways she sets a good (or bad?) example for you as a Christian woman today?

7. How does this chapter showcase God’s sovereignty over our personal lives as well as over history?


Examine the decision-making process, and list the steps the servant took, to determine whether or not Rebekah was the right choice. (12-14) Does this serve as an instruction to Christians today on how to make godly decisions? Are we to pray for a sign or for wisdom to make godly decisions? Are we to expect God to verbally tell us what to do, or depend on His fully sufficient written Word for guidance? Do you have an upcoming decision to make? My article Basic Training: 8 Steps to Finding God’s Will for Your Life may be helpful.

Suggested Memory Verse

And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you become
thousands of ten thousands,
and may your offspring possess
the gate of those who hate him!”
Genesis 24:60