Pentecost +8 – Year A
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
Chapter 1 – female and male created together
Chapter 2 – Eve created from side of Adam
Chapter 12 – Sari and Abram were already together
Chapter 24 – Rebekah comes from a distant well to be by Isaac's side
There is a rhythm of togetherness and separateness that keeps running through the scriptures and our lives. This seems to be part of the nature of creation stories – rhythm.
In the separateness narratives it seems the female is much more interesting as a character. She is described with a better script and at the juncture of plot thickening and development. In light of the Gospel text, the women carry the burdens and release new possibilities as the guys muddle along. Patriarchy may be a compensation for the lesser role. It certainly raises the stakes and makes the female roles all the more significant for the resistance they have to deal with.
Patriarchs are famous for saying "Dance" and "Don't Dance" at the same time. These instructions may stand behind another categorization of females – Harlot and Virgin.
Note how little Isaac has to do with bride selection compared with decisions Rebekah faces and makes.