(buh thoo' uhl) HEBREW: BETUEL
"dweller in God"

The son of Abraham's brother Nahor, Bethuel remained near Haran when the patriarch left for the Promised Land. In his old age, Abraham feared that his son Isaac might marry a Canaanite woman, so he sent a servant - possibly Eliezer - bearing gifts to find Isaac a wife among his kindred in Mesopotamia. Bethuel's daughter Rebekah appeared at the well of the city of Nahor, where the servant was waiting for a sign from the Lord. After she identified herself and was rewarded with gifts, Rebekah ran home to announce the stranger's arrival.

Brought to Bethuel's house for food and shelter, the servant told of his search. Hearing the story, Bethuel and his son Laban said, "Rebekah is before you, take her and go" (Gen. 24:51). Rebekah's relatives proved useful later, when Jacob went to "the house of Bethuel" (Gen. 28:2) to escape his brother Esau's rage and also to find a wife.

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

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