November 18, 2006
Towards the end of our readings, Isaac takes Rebekah as his wife. (Gen. 24:62-67) The episode plays out as follows: Isaac sees Rebekah, the servant relates who she is and why he has brought her, Isaac takes Rebekah into his (deceased) mother's tent, and marries her. It seems, therefore, that there was no priest and no ceremony beyond the consummation itself. Of course, it is possible that the ceremony lurks behind the text and out of sight of the reader. But a literal reading of the text suggests that marriage was not the elaborate ritual it became in later years.