Bethuel, Son of Nahor and Milcah, nephew of Abraham, and father of Laban and Rebekah (Gen. 22:22–23; 24:15, 24, 47, 50; 25:20; 28:2, 5).

Genesis Summary

The man Bethuel appears nine times in nine verses in the Hebrew Bible, all in Genesis.

Bethuel lived in Padan-aram, and is described as "Aramaean", although his Chaldean background is also indicated, as a descendant of Terah. Bethuel's uncle Abraham sent his senior servant to Padan-aram to find a wife for his son Isaac. By the well outside the city of Nahor, in Aram-naharaim, the servant met Bethuel’s daughter Rebekah. The servant told Rebekah’s household his good fortune in meeting Bethuel’s daughter, Abraham’s relative. Laban and Bethuel answered, “The matter was decreed by the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good. Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”

After meeting Abraham’s servant, Rebekah “ran and told all this to her mother’s household”, that Rebekah’s “brother and her mother said, ‘Let the maiden remain with us some ten days’”, and that “they sent off their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, ‘O sister! May you grow into thousands of myriads.” Some scholars thus hypothesize that mention of Bethuel in Gen. 24:50 was a late addition to the preexisting story. Other scholars argue that these texts indicate that Bethuel was somehow incapacitated. Other scholars attribute the emphasis on the mother's role to a matrilineal family structure. Despite the obvious importance of Rebekah's mother in the narrative of this bible passage, scholars have yet to reveal the name of Rebekah's mother. Some sources indicate that the name of Rebekah's mother is not revealed because she was not of the same tribe.

A generation later, Isaac sent Jacob back to Padan-aram to take a wife from among Bethuel’s granddaughters, rather than from among the Canaanites.


Offspring of Nahor and Milcah, daughter of Haran
Name Birth Death Joined with
Uz ben Nahor
Buz ben Nahor
Kemuel ben Nahor
Kesed ben Nahor
Hazo ben Nahor
Pildash ben Nahor
Jidlaph ben Nahor
Bethuel ben Nahor 9999 City of Ur, Mesopotamia 9999 Padan-aram, Chaldea

Offspring of Nahor and Reumah (?-?)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Tebah ben Nahor
Geham ben Nahor
Tahash ben Nahor
Maacah ben Nahor


Offspring of Bethuel and unknown parent
Name Birth Death Joined with
Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel 9999 Mesopotamia 9999 Hebron, Land of Canaan Isaac ben Abraham

Laban ben Bethuel 9999 Mesopotamia 9999 Land of Canaan


  • Book of Genesis 22-25
  • Bethuel - LDS Bible Dictionary
  • Abraham - Wikipedia


Footnotes (including sources)

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