According to Rashi Yitzchak was 37 at the time of the akeida. If that is the case why did Avraham have to arrange for Eliezer to find a wife for Yitzchak? Why couldn't Yitzchak find a wife himself?

  • Because that was the custom of the time.
    – Scimonster
    Nov 9, 2014 at 15:34
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    @Scimonster really? why didn't yitzchak or yaakov do that? Also, Avraham doesn't seem to be one for conforming to local customs for no reason. Nov 9, 2014 at 15:36
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    I'll see if I can find a source, but there's something about Yitzchak being sanctified as an offering, and subsequently not being able to leave the land of Israel; finding a wife in Canaan doesn't help him, because they are all ineligible.
    – MTL
    Nov 9, 2014 at 17:56
  • @rikitikitembo I don't see why you think that. He is certainly comfortable breaking from local customs for good reason, but we have no evidence that I'm aware regarding neutral customs. What evidence do you have that Yitzchak or Yaakov didn't help with their children's marriage?
    – Double AA
    Nov 9, 2014 at 17:56
  • Chassidic and Kabbalistic sources see this as an expression of Yitzchak's personality as the man of yirah/gevurah, who is afraid to do anything on his own (the only source for this I can think of now is the Mei Hashiloach but I know it's found in other Chassidic sources as well) Nov 9, 2014 at 20:56

4 Answers 4


This is my own idea here.

Avraham didn't want his son to marry one of the accursed Canaanite girls. As seen later, Yitzchak didn't want Yaakov to marry one of them either, so he presumably agreed.

Rashi to Bereishit 26:2 says that Hashem told Yitzchak not to go to Egypt because he had been prepared as a korban, and so חוץ לארץ - outside of the Land - was not good enough for him.

Perhaps Avraham also saw this, and so he didn't want Yitzchak to leave the Land and go to Charan himself, and so he sent Eliezer to find him a wife.

Alternately, as i mentioned in a comment, the custom of the time (and for a long time after) was that parents arranged their childrens' marriage.

  • 1st answer: why couldn't Yitzchak appoint a someone instead of Avraham doing it? 2nd answer: then why didn't Yitzchak find or someone to find wives for either of his two children? Nov 10, 2014 at 0:15

Following though on @rikitikitembo comment on the answer 0f @scimonster asking why Avraham did this but Yitzchak did not.

Avraham was the leader of his clan and as such it was his responsibility to follow through with Yitzchak. Just as he followed Hashem's command to bring Yitzchak to the Akeidah, he realized that, just as Yitzchak had been placed in his hands for be raised to the level of kedushah (which also prevented him from leaving Eretz Yisrael), so too was he responsible now for following through on providing the wife that would be worthy of the bracha and inheritence. Note Avrohom lived until Yaakov and Eisev were 15 (another 35 years after the marriage of Yitzchak). He actually raised Rivkah (especially according to the commentary that she was three years old at the time).

Yitzchak could not go himself and (apparently) did not have an Eliezer to send. Note that he sent Yaakov specifically to Lavan to marry into the family. Also note the meforshin on Leah having "tender" eyes. It had already been arranged that Eisav was supposed to marry Leah and Yaakov was supposed to marry Rachel. In fact, this arrangement may have been set up by Avraham as well.

Had Esav fulfilled his father's expectationsa that is being Yaakov's partner, like Yissachar and Zevulun, that would ha been the course of events. Because Eisav had "turned bad", Yaakov obtained both parts of the the inheritence, the physical (Leah) and the spiritual (Rachel).


According to this shiur this was done to show that marrying into the Avrahamic family was like marrying into royalty. A royal family wouldn't send the prince to find his own wife. Furthermore, it is argued in the shiur, that doing so provides some 'space' such that if the girl would turn down the offer Yitzchak wouldn't be embarrassed.


Possibly because it is a father's duty to find a wife for his son:

Kiddushin 29a

האב חייב בבנו למולו ולפדותו וללמדו תורה ולהשיאו אשה וללמדו אומנות

The father is bound in respect of his son, to circumcise, redeem, teach him Torah, take a wife for him, and teach him a craft. (Soncino translation)

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