Genesis 24:33-67 and Early Church Writings [Polycarp to Philippians] 3-5

Genesis 24:33-67 - They show the servant of Abraham great hospitality; he tells them the whole story about Abraham – his success in making the move he did and the prosperity he came into with God’s help. He explains why his master sent him and how he came to believe that Rebekah was the intended bride for Isaac.

 

After hearing all the details, Laban and Bethuel [Rebekah’s brother] agree to the marriage; they only ask that she remain with them for ten days. Abraham’s servant wants to start back right away. Rebekah is willing, so they leave with a “nurse” who has been with Rebekah since childhood.

 

Meanwhile, back at home, Issac had returned from a trip to Beer-lahai-roi. One evening as he was out meditating in his fields, he looks up and sees camels in the distance. Out with the camels, Rebekah sees him and asks who he is. When she learns he is the man she has been brought to marry, she covers her face with a veil. Rebekah is brought into “Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. [Isaac] loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother” (24:67).

 

 

The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians [c. mid-2nd century)

Chapter 3 – He says he writes not because he knows everything they need to learn but because they have asked him for his advice. “For I am as far as anyone else of my sort from having the wisdom of our blessed and glorious Paul. During his [Paul’s] residence with you he gave the men of those days clear and sound instruction in the word of truth, while he was there in person among them; and even after his departure he still sent letters which, if you study them attentively, will enable you to make progress in the faith which was delivered to you. Faith is the mother of us all; with Hope following in her train, and Love of God and Christ and neighbor leading the way” (120).

 

Chapter 4 – “[T]roubles of every kind stem from the love of money. Therefore, since we know that we brought nothing into this world, and we can carry nothing out, we must gird on the armor in integrity, and the first step must be to school our own selves into conformity with the Divine commandments” (120).

 

Then we can teach these things to our wives, children and others in the community, for “they are an altar of God, who scrutinizes every offering laid on it, and from whom none of their thoughts or intentions . . . can be hidden” (120).

 

Chapter 5 – We want to make sure we are walking in a way worthy of God’s glory. Our “deacons [should] be blameless before the face of his righteousness”; they must not be “slanderers, double-tongued, or lovers of money, but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord.” (Ethereal version).

 

“If we please Him in this present world, we shall receive also the future world, according as He has promised to us that He will raise us again from the dead, and that if we live worthily of Him, ‘we shall also reign together with Him, provided only we believe.”

 

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