The Type of the Holy Spirit

Genesis 24

In the story of Genesis 24, a type of the Holy Spirit is present actively leading the principal characters involved: Abraham, Eliezer, Rebekah, and Isaac. We know from Jesus’ ministry and the New Testament that the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father. John reports Jesus’ teaching on the Holy Spirit in John 14:26: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” In this story in Genesis 24, it seems that Eliezer’s mission is to procure a bride for Isaac, although in this chapter of Genesis his character, the “servant,” remains nameless. (See Genesis 15:2 and 24:2-4)


In Genesis 24:15, we are introduced to Rebekah. Abraham’s head servant of his household, who we presume to be Eliezer, has been sent on this mission and meets Rebekah after he has just finished praying for the Lord’s provision of a wife for Isaac. (See Genesis 24:14 and 24:17) His prayer of verse 14 has clearly been answered and provided by the Holy Spirit. We then see Eliezer displaying the riches of his master Abraham by giving Rebekah precious gifts of gold. (See Genesis 24:22) In Genesis 24:29-31, we are introduced to the character of Laban, Rebekah’s brother, who clearly understands the situation that has presented itself to their family. This is further evidence that the Holy Spirit is leading in their understanding and knowledge of what Eliezer had come for. In John 16:13, Jesus teaches us that “…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” It is evident that in this set of circumstances in Genesis 24, the Holy Spirit is indeed guiding each of the characters into understanding the truth of what is happening and what decisions they should make. Next, we see that Eliezer declares his mission and identifies his master Abraham, exalting and honoring him in his speech. (See Genesis 24:32-35) This demonstration is also a type for the Holy Spirit who never speaks of Himself, but honors the Father and gives glory to Him only. Here Eliezer is modeling the very same relationship by honoring his own master and not speaking of himself or his errand as his own.


Next, the story recalls Eliezer reporting Abraham’s desire for a bride for Isaac. (See Genesis 24:38 and Genesis 2) Here, we do not see Eliezer wavering on his decision for the right person for Isaac, rather, he is absolutely certain that Rebekah was God’s choice after being led by the Holy Spirit. (See Genesis 24:43-49) Eliezer persuades Rebekah’s family that she should go with him back to his household. (See Genesis 24:50-51) When the decision is made and the result is final, Eliezer worships God again to thank Him for the Spirit’s provision and guidance. We actually see Eliezer worshipping God three times in this story, thanking God each time He has provided Eliezer an answer for his prayer and provided all he asks through the Holy Spirit. (See Genesis 24:26, 24:48, and 24:52) At this point, he brings forth jewels of silver and gold and raiment for Rebekah, also giving precious things to the family. In doing this, he is displaying the glory of his master Abraham and honoring the God of Abraham as well.


We also know that the Holy Spirit guides Rebekah’s decisions in this story. In Genesis 24:58, her family asks her, “Will you go with this man?” and she responds in faith, “I will go.” Rebekah simply arises and follows her call to go with the servant Eliezer to a strange and unknown household, away from her family and the familiar. Then, the first time we see Isaac after his experience on Mount Moriah is when he goes out to meet his new wife, Rebekah. (See Genesis 24:63-65) We meet him while he is “meditating in the field in the evening,” no doubt praying for his new wife. We see in the final words of this chapter that the two are married and the union is indeed blessed. (See Genesis 24:67) In looking at these characters and the progress of these events, the Holy Spirit clearly orchestrates, brings to fulfillment, and guides the details and inner workings so that the Lord’s purposes are accomplished. In much the same way that Isaac rushes to his new bride arriving on the camels in Genesis 24, we shall see our Savior returning to claim His chosen bride, the church. This will be the first time believers see Him after His dreadful experience of Calvary. While Adam’s bride was formed from one of his ribs, Christ’s bride whom He secured through the shedding of His blood, came from Christ’s wounded side. Let us remember that we are His true bride, as Rebekah was Isaac’s true bride, and bring all the glory to Him who works through the power of the Holy Spirit in this story and in our own particular stories as well.