Genesis 25:21Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORD answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. 22But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked.

Isaac prayed for a specific request. Rebecca went somewhere to ask a why question. Where did she go? Who told her the answer?

23And the LORD told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.”

  • One assumes she prayed. And received an answer in prayer.She went to her usual secret place of praying.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 6 '20 at 21:56
  • Compare Judges 6:8 biblehub.com/text/judges/6-8.htm, we are not told who the prophet was, he's completely anonymous. There are many more examples in the bible. Rebecca went to an anonymous prophet of Yahweh to ask him her queries. Even then there must have already been a cult of Yahweh with a number of prophets associated with it.
    – Bach
    Sep 7 '20 at 18:32

The short answer to the question of "where" Rebecca went is, We are not told. However, that is not necessary.

The Hebrew word used here is הָלַךְ (halak), and in this case the verb is Qal, Consecutive imperfect. This verb is extremely common as it occurs more than 1500 times in the OT and simply means: to go, or to come or to walk.

Significantly, in this case הָלַךְ (halak) is immediately followed by לִדְרֹ֥שׁ (liḏ·rōš), which is a Preposition + Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct. Thus the phrase means that Rebecca, "went to inquire" of the LORD. This is quintessential Hebrew idiom. No specific geographical or physical location is implied, it is just Hebrew idiom.

Thus, the meaning is that Rebecca went to God in prayer. In more modern idiom we might simply say, "Rebecca prayed". However, it is quite possible that she did go to a person, or went to the family altar, or went to her private quarters (eg bedroom), etc, in order to do the praying/inquiring (eg, 2 Kings 22:13, 2 Chron 34:21) but that is not essential to the semantics and grammar here.

The same construction is used in 1 Sam 9:9, "went to inquire" but in that instance, the location was the seer (Samuel). According to BDB, the verb, הָלַךְ (halak), followed by another infinitive verb is used in the following places:

a. followed by Infinitive of purpose (with לְ) Genesis 25:22; Genesis 31:19; Genesis 37:25 (all J E) Numbers 14:38 (P) Numbers 24:1 (JE), Judges 8:1; Judges 9:8,9,11,13 + often; especially לִקְרַאת ׳הּ go to meet Joshua 9:11 (JE), 2 Samuel 19:16; 1 Kings 18:16 (twice in verse) +; sometimes with hostile sense 1 Samuel 23:28; 1 Kings 20:27; 2 Kings 23:29; also לָּשּׁובּ ׳הּ go to return, Exodus 4:21 (RV go back), compare also שּׁובּ לָּלֶּכֶּתּ return again Ecclesiastes 1:7; Ecclesiastes 5:14; לָּבּוֺֿ ׳הּ go to come (enter etc.) Jeremiah 41:17 compare 2 Chronicles 26:8.


According to Jewish tradition, she went to the "beit medrash"/studyhouse of Shem, the son of Noah. He was considered to be the leading sage and primary prophet of the day. He was the bearer of the original tradition about G-d, which had been taught to Adam and passed down through to Noah and then to Shem. (This is in contrast to Abraham, who discovered G-d on his own rather than continuing on from Shem.)

Thus Shem revealed the prophecy to Rivka/Rebecca.

Sources: Rashi's comment on the verse, based on Medrash Rabbah

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