Simple Lessons About Marriage in Genesis

by Joshua Welch

The book of Genesis contains several examples of marriage especially as we come across the accounts of the patriarchs. There is food for thought in each of these examples if we will take the time to think. Consider a few simple lessons…

Not everybody marries young. We tend to think people back in “the old days” all married young. However, in the case of Isaac, this is untrue. Isaac’s mother, Sarah, died at the age of 127 (Genesis 23:1). Isaac was born when Sarah was ninety years old (see Genesis 17:17). So, Isaac would have been around 37 years old at the time of his mother’s death (Genesis 24:67). This also would have been Isaac’s approximate age when he was married to Rebekah. Sometimes marriage comes later than the time we or others expect! In His time…

Marrying a religious enemy is a burden. Isaac’s son, Esau, “was forty years old” when “he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite” (Genesis 26:34). This marriage choice seems a surprise for two reasons. First of all, Esau did not learn from the mistakes of his grandfather, Abraham, who contracted children with both Hagar and Sarah which led to major rivalry between the two women. Secondly, the marriages are a surprise because he marries two women who come from enemy tribes, the Hittites. Remember when God had made the promise to Abraham he told him his “descendants” would one day possess the land of the tribes living within the promised land. One of those tribes included “the Hittites” (Genesis 15:20). For this reason, the text says of Esau’s wives, “they were a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah” (Genesis 26:35). Marrying someone you will be in religious or moral conflict with throughout life has the tendency to become a burden and not a blessing.

Avoid marrying out of spite. Isaac advises Jacob to “not take a wife from the daughters of the Canaan” when it is his time to marry (Genesis 28:1). Esau, Jacob’s twin, sees this as an insult. So, what does he do? “So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son…to be his wife in addition to the wives he had” (28:9). Some marry just to try and prove someone wrong or to spite someone who has questioned the relationship. This just is not really a great plan for a loving, long-term relationship. We must learn from these mistakes…

Posted in


Articles Menu

Sermons Menu


Sunday Morning Bible Study

Sunday Morning Worship

Tuesday Evening Bible Study