“And Abraham was old… and the Lord had blessed Abraham in everything” (Gen. 24:1).
What a strange thing to say about a man whose wife has just died!
When a person’s life has been turned inside out, they are hardly likely to feel blessed. Yet here comes the text with a calm assertion about how fortunate Abraham was!
Many commentators understand bakkol, “in everything”, in the sense of material prosperity.
Rashi, however, takes a different approach, explaining bakkol as ben, “a son”. Despite Sarah’s death, Abraham still had Isaac, the son who brought such joy to his parents.
A parent with a good child is truly blessed, and through Isaac the family traditions would continue… provided Isaac found the right wife. Hence the sacred task now undertaken by Abraham’s servant Eliezer who, knowing his master so well, could be trusted to choose a wife to partner Isaac and restore Sarah’s spirit to the family dwelling.
The whole of Jewish history is a tribute to the sound judgment which Eliezer brought to his task, and in due course Abraham could himself pass away “old and satisfied” (Gen. 25:8).