Abraham sent Eliezer on his mission to find a wife for Isaac, but we never read of Eliezer reporting to his master. In fact, we never read of Abraham or Eliezer again, other than the former’s death. It’s as if the great patriarch disappeared from the scene once he sent Eliezer on his way.
Eliezer reported to Bituel and Laban that Abraham had given all his property to Isaac.
The son was now the patriarch.
Isaac was aware of Eliezer’s mission, and while the servant was searching for a wife for the new patriarch, Isaac went on a mission of his own.
The man, who was inconsolable after Sarah’s death, went to Ba’eir Lachai Ro’ee to bring Hagar, chased away decades earlier by Sarah, back into Abraham’s home and life.
The new patriarch allowed Eliezer to choose a wife for him, but he was the one to travel to bring Hagar back. An agent could be trusted to choose a wife, but the patriarch had to be the one to fetch Hagar!
Why now? Why did Isaac not bring Hagar until now, 23 years after Sarah’s death? Did it take that long for Abraham to become lonely? Why was this the first mission of the new patriarch?
It was this mission that convinced Rebecca that Isaac was truly a great man. When she saw him returning with Hagar she dismissed Eliezer and entered her new life.
Isaac would never have brought Hagar back to Abraham while he had the status of a patriarch. However, once Eliezer was on his way to find a wife for Isaac, and Abraham handed over leadership of the family to his son, Abraham could once again live with Hagar. Isaac was secure and Yishmael was no longer a threat.
When Rebecca saw how Isaac had transitioned into his new role, she understood that he was the man with whom she would build the nation of Israel.
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