Considering that Sarah was *one-hundred-and-twenty-seven* when she died, and that Abraham, her husband, was ten years older than she, Abraham was then one-hundred-and-thirty-seven, an age which almost none today expect to live, even those who eat only food from health food stores, and go bike-riding on Sunday mornings while wearing a helmet.
It might have been expected, then, that Abraham, overcome with grief and being so old, would have died soon after Sarah did. However, not only did Abraham continue to live on for many years, he also took himself another wife, Keturah, who bore him many sons. Abraham’s taking himself another wife should not be surprising, given that even today when a man’s wife dies, he almost always takes another woman to wife, and usually within two years.
Given that Sarah *was ninety* when she gave birth to Isaac, and was one-hundred-and twenty-seven when she died, Isaac was therefore thirty-seven when his mother died. Abraham, anxious to begin having the grandchildren through Isaac which God had promised, felt it was now time for his thirty-seven year-old son to cease playing the field with the local Canaanite girls, and to find a nice Hebrew girl to take to wife. The trouble was, how to find a Hebrew girl, since there were well-nigh none in the Canaan where Isaac lived.
Abraham summoned one of his faithful servants, Eliezer, and said, “I want you to find a suitable girl for Isaac to take to wife.”
“I’m surprised you’d ask me this, Master” said Eliezer, “for Isaac doesn’t seem lacking in girlfriends. Besides he’s thirty-seven, and should be mature enough to choose from among the many girlfriends he has, the right girl to take to wife.”
“Ordinarily I’d agree with you” said Abraham. “The thing is, I want the girl whom Isaac will take to wife, to be a Hebrew girl, but there are hardly any around here. So the girl whom Isaac takes to wife, will have to be found where all the Hebrew girls are, which is in Mesopotamia”
“Couldn’t Isaac go there by himself and make his own choice?”
“Theoretically he could. However, disinterested third parties can, more often than not, see desirable non-physical qualities in young women which hot-blooded young men overlook. So I want you to go to the country I came from, Mesopotamia, which is where all the Hebrew girls are, and select a suitable girl for Isaac to take to wife, who you should bring back with you.”
“What if she won’t come back with me? Should I then force her to?”
“No. If she won’t voluntarily return with you, I’ll release you from your obligation to me to bring her back.”
“What specific qualities, Master, are you looking for in a wife for Isaac?”
“She should be as beautiful as possible, but not without the domestic wifely qualities which all we men recognise, and which therefore I shouldn’t need to spell out. But, to help you, God’s unseen spirit will be near you for you to consult through prayer if you need advice as to a suitable Hebrew girl for Isaac to take to wife.”
Source: Genesis 24, 1 – 9