Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am going to piece together a variety of bits of information, so please bear with me.

  1. Eliezer was in charge of Avraham's house already before Avraham had his name changed (Bereishit 15:2)
  2. Eliezer was an "eved" of Avraham (Bereishit 24 - there seems to be agreement that the eved not named refers to Eliezer).
  3. Avraham circumcised all the males of his household, including non Jewish slaves (17:13, 23) which would include Eliezer.
  4. A non-Jewish slave even not in Avraham's time is subject to some form of conversion during his servitude and must commit to the process within 12 months after being purchased or must be sold (from here)
  5. Eliezer's conversion was completed - he remained with Avraham for more than 12 months(Radak to 15:2 who states that Avraham actually gave the servant "Damesek" the new Ivri name of "Eliezer" which would point to a completed conversion, and would point to the idea that the avot followed the torah)

If these are the case, by the time Avraham sends Eliezer to find a wife for his son, he should not have resisted the possibility that Yitzchak could marry Eliezer's daughter. At that point, though Eliezer might once have been included in the curse on K'na'an (as discussed here), as a convert, Eliezer should have been viewed as a complete Jew and not called out in his status as convert (as discussed here). So why does Avraham reject him and remind him of his ancestry as a K'na'ani?

share|improve this question
2  
I don't follow the last point. An Amoni who converts still can't marry a Jewess. Why do you think Eliezer's conversion would have allowed his daughter to marry Isaac? –  Double AA Oct 27 '13 at 0:45
1  
What about the mother? And if she converted, was it before the daughter was born? –  Monica Cellio Oct 27 '13 at 0:59
    
I don't understand the question, an Eved Knani could only marry a Shifcha and any children from that marriage are Avodim Kenanim whom a Jew can't marry unless they are sent free - so why does Avraham Avini have to entertain the thought of ever freeing Eliezer's daughter? Secondly, exactly because Eliezer is still an Eved that means that the curse to Kenan that his children would be Avodim is being fulfilled! –  Meir Zirkind Oct 27 '13 at 6:22
    
@MonicaCellio I can't find any info about Eliezer's wife and daughter so I can't pinpoint the timing but I would think that since the child of an eved k'na'ani is still an eved, she too would have gone through the conversion process and double AA this would make her marriagable as she would no longer be from bnot hak'na'ani either because her father is no longer a k'na'ani or she is no longer one. In fact, one could say that her mother's status is immaterial because she falls under "bnot ha'k'na'ani" and not "bnot hak'na'aniah" (as in moavi vlo moavia) –  Danno Oct 27 '13 at 7:52
    
@MeirZirkind if there was no hope because of the eved status then avraham would not need to justify his decision via the k'na'an curse. If the k'na'an curse was the primary problem then the conversion should have obviated that (and even if it hadn't eliminated it, the conversion status should not have been brought up). –  Danno Oct 27 '13 at 7:54
show 8 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.