New Video – “Islam Critiqued” Refuted – How old was Rebekah?

As-salaam alaikum! The last video of the series attempts to answer the important question: how old was Rebekah? What follows is a linguistic analysis of key Hebrew words using lexicons and commentaries, as well as historical evidence of Mesopotamian culture. The evidence, when taken together, shows that Rebekah was not a 3-year old at the time of her marriage, but neither was she a girl in her late teens or early 20s. By modern standards, she was still a child, i.e., a “minor”. Turn your volume down towards the end. You’ve been warned! 😉

6 thoughts on “New Video – “Islam Critiqued” Refuted – How old was Rebekah?

  1. Rava infers from this baraita that it is a girl three years and one day old who is disqualified via intercourse, and consequently she is also disqualified via the wedding canopy. However, a girl who is less than three years and one day old, who is not disqualified via intercourse, is also not disqualified via the wedding canopy. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, learn from this that it is so. (Talmud Yevamot Daf 57b)

    The above quotation uses the Hebrew word “Naarah נַ֗עַר for girl. Now if “Naarah” did not mean child, why then did the rabbi use it when addressing a 3 year old? Why did they not use the word Yaldah (ילדה), instead Naarah was used. This very word Naarah was used for Rebecca.

    whats Collin’s take on Maimonides ?

    The intercourse of a [girl] less than three years old is not intercourse, is a ‘law of Moshe from Sinai.’ (Rambam Introduction to the Mishnah 8:32)

    classical, medieval rabbis have already confirmed Rebacca was 3 years old if not slightly older. we are only using what the rabbis are stating. Collin can’t refer to modern day “scholars” to prove his point when the Jews disagree.

    When giants like Rashi, Rambam, Ibn Ezra, Jacob Neusner, Rav Chisda, Chizkiah ben Manoach etc all say Rebecca was 3 years old then the case is closed

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    1. But the text uses naarah, betulah, and almah to describe Rebekah. Yaldah is very similar to naarah in meaning. When taken together, an age of 3 seems improbable.

      It is also historically unlikely that a 3 year old would have been married off. Of course, you could say that the Bible is not historical.

      We don’t need to get stuck on the 3 year argument at all. If Rebekah was 12, that would still be considered “child marriage” in modern times. What makes it worse is that Isaac was 40.

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    1. Naarah can mean a 12 year old. Yes, linguistically, it can also cover a younger child and it was only later that it was applied to someone older than 12, but when combined with betulah and almah, both of which mean someone entering puberty, it is improbable that Rebekah was as young as 3.

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      1. Mohamad Jumaa

        However, we see yaldah and naarah used to describe Dinah in Genesis 34 so it would be the practical equivalent and we know that Dinah would’ve been I say at maximum probably 10 years old when Shechem raped her. So we would expect Rebekah to be roughly the same age. And the word ‘yanaq’ is used to describe Rebekah’s nurse meaning ‘to suck’. Other meanings include ‘nursing an infant’ or ‘milking’. And if we combine this with ‘naarah’ and ‘betulah’ then maybe Rebekah reached puberty slightly earlier at approximately the age of 6-10.

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  2. Vaqas Rehman

    I think the 3 years old marker has merit as an argument only for criticizing what would be the bibles poor internal chronology. It’s not like it would be the only example. Take the famous issue of Ishmael’s(a.s.) age when he and his mother were sent away.

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