How Old Was Rebekah?

Was Rebekah three years old when she married Isaac?

According to Muslims: Yes she was. This is the claim that Muslims make as a counter-argument and to justify the fact that Muhammad married Aisha when she was six years old.

First, let’s examine the Bible verse that tells us Rebekah was three years old when she married Isaac. Surprise! There is no such verse!

Then where do Muslims get the idea that she was three? Their argument goes like this:

1. Sarah gave birth to Isaac at the age of 90.
This is true. The Bible records this. (Genesis 17:17, 21:2)

2. Sarah died at the age of 127 years, when Isaac was 37 years old.
This is true. The Bible records this. (Genesis 23:1)

3. Isaac got married at the age of 40.
This is true. The Bible records this. (Genesis 25:20)

4. Rebekah was born the same year that Sarah died. And so, that makes her only three years old when she married Isaac.

Now this is where the argument fails. The Bible DOES NOT say that Rebekah was BORN THE SAME YEAR Sarah died. This assumption is made to force Rebekah to be three when she married Isaac.

What does the Bible say?

Genesis 22 ends this way:
Some time later, Abraham was told, “Milcah has also borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.”
And Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham’s brother Nahor. Moreover, Nahor’s concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

The ending of Genesis 22 was simply tracing the descendants of Abraham’s brother Nahor, i.e. the names of his eight sons, including Bethuel, the father of Rebekah. It doesn’t say when Rebekah or any of them were born!

Then, the next chapter Genesis 23 begins this way:
Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.

Genesis 23 is simply a narrative of Sarah’s death. It doesn’t necessarily follow Genesis 22 chronologically.

It would be dishonest to say that Rebekah was born the same year Sarah died when the text does not say that. All it says is that Abraham received news about his brother Nahor’s, children. That’s it. Using the same faulty logic, why not conclude that all of Nahor’s eight sons (Uz, Buz, Kemuel, Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel) were born at the same time too, and his youngest son, Bethuel, became the father of Rebekah. And all of this happened in the same year Sarah died. Do you see how poor this argument is?

Rebekah is always described as a “young woman”, not a “little girl.” See Genesis 24: 11, 14, 16, 28. Not once is she referred to as a little girl.

“The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her.” Genesis 24:16
Does this describe a little three year old girl? Does one really need to explain that no man had ever slept with a three year old?

In Mark 5:41, Jesus raised a 12 year old girl from the dead and he addressed her as “little girl.”He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). (Mark 5:41)

A 12-year old is called a LITTLE GIRL. But an alleged 3-year old is called a YOUNG WOMAN?

If you read the whole of Genesis 24, you would see that Rebekah was an adult, doing chores that only adult could do. She went to the well “toward evening, the time the WOMEN go out to draw water.” (Genesis 24:11). She carried a large jar on her shoulder to draw water and bring it back for the whole family. Apparently, this is what the women of the time did. It was not the responsibility of the toddlers of the household.

Read on. Rebekah speaks like an adult when she engages with Eliezer, the servant of Abraham. (Genesis 24:18-254).
She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.” (Genesis 24:24-25). Do three year olds speak like this?

She draws water for him to drink. Not only that.
After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. (Genesis 24:19-20)

Do you know how much water a camel can drink? And she repeatedly drew enough water for all his camels! Does this sound like a three year old? That’s hundreds of gallons of water!

For the sake of argument, let’s side with Muslims and assume that Rebekah was three years old when she married Isaac. EVEN if this was true, it does not help the Muslim case. Isaac is not given as a role model in the Bible for us to emulate. In fact, all the prophets and patriachs of the Bible had their flaws and none of them were sinless. For example, Moses committed murder. Just because he was one of the greatest prophet does not mean we should emulate his behaviour and commit murder. The only person who was sinless is Jesus. He is the perfect model of good behaviour in the Bible. Even the Quran does not record any sins of Jesus but repeatedly tells Muhammad to ask forgiveness for his sins.

How did Jesus treat little children?

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them…And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13, 16)

How do you treat little children? Would you follow Jesus or Muhammad?

Now here is the point. Muhammad is portrayed as an excellent role model for Muslims. Muslims have to imitate Muhammad. (See Quran 33:21). So, if Muhammad himself was sexually attracted to a six-year old girl, that makes it perfectly legitimate and desirable for all Muslims for all generations to embrace pedophilia.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:
“The Messenger of Allah married me when I was six, and consummated the marriage with me when I was nine, and I used to play with dolls.”
(Sunan an-Nasa’i 3378).

Muhammad had sex with a little girl, who was only nine. She was still playing with dolls and had not even reached puberty yet. (see Sahih al-Bukhari 6130)

Be honest Muslims. This deeply troubles your conscience. That is why you have to find some way to defend Muhammad’s despicable behaviour with a little girl, that he could have treated as his grand daughter. Instead, the 54 year old prophet of Allah and Islam jumped into bed with this little girl and had sex with her! To justify his disgusting act, Muslims are forced to find some way to defend Muhammad. They thought that by running to the story of Isaac they could help Muhammad out.

Unfortunately for Muhammad and Muslims, as we have seen, Rebekah was not 3 years old. She was a young woman and she was an adult. Muhammad was a sinner and even the Quran repeatedly acknowledges that.

Look to Jesus. Not Muhammad. Jesus is the only one who can offer you salvation and eternal life.

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:28

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