2.14 Isaac's Wife

After numerous less than friendly encounters with his close neighors, it is no wonder that Abraham sought a wife for Isaac among his family in Mesopotamia.  He made his servant swear

        "that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am    living....Make sure that you do not take my son back there" (Gen 24:3Gen 24:6).

This is an awkward state of in-betweenness.  Abraham had irreversibly left home and would never go back.  However, although he lived among the Canaanites, he was intentionally not going to be a part of them, not joining them or intermingling.  And the only stock good enough for marrying his son was drawn from his own family back home.  The servant returned with Rebekah, who was a cousin of Isaac.   

This is analogous to establishing a colony in a foreign land.  The difference is,  whereas a colony is oriented to the past and tied to the homeland, Abraham was focused on the future, on the promise of God to his descendants.  He was the curator of that promise and its associated covenant.  Although he drew on Mesopotamia for a wife for his son, he set up a wall against any reverse movement.  The forward-moving promise of God did not permit going back to the culture and religion that were left behind.  God was doing a new thing in Canaan, which involved breaking away from the original family.

This same solution was later adopted by Isaac for his son Jacob, sending him back east to obtain a wife, rather than marrying a Canaanite woman as Esau did (Gen 28:1-2).  For three generations of Mesopotamian women, Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel and Leah, marriage meant a one-way trip away from home and exile to a foreign land.