Why camel’s? Well, camels bear the weight of passage for a traveller through arid land, just as Jesus bears the weight of a believer’s journey before heaven.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
This comparison of Messiah with ‘camels’ may seem disrespectful, however these 10 camels (only mentioned in Genesis 24) appear in a vitally important and typologically rich passage of scripture. These camels are embedded in the beautiful story of how Abraham’s servant was sent with gifts to search out a bride for Abraham’s son. Abraham had demonstrated extraordinary faithfulness by being prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and now Abraham’s servant was searching out a bride for Isaac. This pictured the future time when God the Father would sacrifice His only son and send the Holy Spirit (also with gifts) to seek out a bride for God’s Son, Jesus.
It was on this purposed journey that Abraham’s unnamed servant discovered Rebekah, Isaac’s wife to be, and this is where the camels appear in the text. Clearly Rebekah is a wonderful type of the Bride of Christ and pictures the life-journey of the church before meeting Messiah, her Bridegroom, at the Rapture. It is on this journey of Rebekah to meet Isaac, when she is carried by the camels of Genesis 24.
These ten camels (see Genesis 24:10) which carried the betrothed Rebekah to her bridegroom Isaac are mentioned exactly 17 times in Genesis 24. The following table details each occurrence of the Hebrew word ‘camels’ (without the vowel markings) in Genesis 24 together with the numerical values (gematrias). As you can see, there is quite a variation of Hebrew letters because Hebrew grammar may add a prefix or a suffix to a word. As such, the same Hebrew word may have a different numerical value because of these extra Hebrew letters.
These 17 mentions of the camels are important because the biblical meaning of the number ‘17’ is the flesh of Jesus (as explained in audio study 004) and this agrees with the ‘easy yoke’ of Messiah who bears the burden of the Bride of Christ on her journey towards meeting the Bridegroom at the Rapture.
It must be understood that Rebekah pictures the Bride of Christ in this typological narrative of Abraham and Isaac. The New Testament only mentions Rebekah once, and the Greek rendering of her name has the numerical value of 153. See Romans 9:10 where the letters of the Greek word ‘Rebecca’ (Ρεβεκκα), Rho (100) + Epsilon (5) + Beta (2) + Epsilon (5) + Kappa (20) + Kappa (20) + Alpha (1) add up to 153. The number ‘153’ is also found in the typological ‘Rapture’ passage of John’s Gospel chapter 21 where 153 fish (verse 11) are raised up out of the Gentile sea. Peter was a ‘fisher’ of men (Matthew 4:19) and these 153 fish represent the completed church (the Bride of Christ) when the Bride of Christ meets Messiah at the Rapture
What we have in Genesis 24, therefore, is a correlation of biblical numbers with the surface text. The numbers ‘17’ (‘flesh of Jesus’ or Messiah) and ‘153’ (the Bride of Christ) align typologically with the journey of the Bride of Christ (Rebekah) towards Messiah or God’s Son (Isaac). This symbolism is so important because these two numbers ('17' and '153') also perfectly fit with the first two stages of the prime-fulfilment pattern for the church. This prime-fulfilment pattern is used by the Bible to mathematically map the church from birth to fulfilment at the Rapture. (The prime-fulfilment pattern is explained in detail in audio studies 002, 003 and 004)
In our modern day, the Body (Bride) of Christ is on the final approach to this meeting with Messiah. Every believer in Jesus should take careful note! Indeed, the last occurrence of the word ‘camel’ in Genesis 24 is in verse 64 when Rebekah dismounts the ‘camel’ having seen Isaac – a poignant representation of the Rapture!
Genesis 24:64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
What really seals this biblical truth is that the eighth mention of ‘camels’, in Genesis 24, has a numerical value of 153. The number ‘eight’ has the biblical meaning of ‘resurrection’ (because there are eight historical personal resurrections recorded in scripture excluding the resurrection of Jesus) and the number ‘153’ represents the resurrection of the completed church when meeting Messiah. This eighth occurrence of ‘camels’ is contextually in their ‘prepared place’:
Genesis 24:31 And he said, “Come in, O blessed of the LORD! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.”
Remember the Father’s house, described by Jesus, in which there are many mansions? Jesus says in John 14:2-3, that He goes to ‘prepare a place’ and that He will come again to receive His bride to this prepared place – a strong reference to the Rapture!
John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Next, it is noticed that the number ‘153’ occurs twice – it is the gematria of both the eighth and the 10th occurrence of the Hebrew word ‘camels’. The number 'eight' represents ‘resurrection’ and the number ‘10’ speaks biblically of ‘numerical completeness’, in other words the completed resurrection (for the church at the Rapture). It is also noticed that ‘eight’ times ‘10’ is ‘80’ (8 x 10 = 80) which is the numerical value of the Hebrew letter ‘Pey’ (‘פ’ – Standard Gematria) which is the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and links back to the 17 occurrences of ‘camels’ and the flesh of Jesus.
Finally, there is symmetry with the eighth and 10th occurrence of the number ‘153’ in the 17 occurrences of ‘camels’ in Genesis 24. There are seven occurrences of the Hebrew word ‘camels’ before the eighth occurrence and seven occurrences of the Hebrew word ‘camels’ after the 10th occurrence (see above diagram). This emphasises the number ‘seven’ as related to the number ‘17’ and points the reader to prime numbers because the seventh prime is the number ‘17’. Messiah was and is a prime of ‘life’ or first fruits of the harvest or resurrection. The number 'seven' is also the theme number for the prime-fulfilment pattern for the Body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
In conclusion, Genesis 24 is all about Messiah and His meeting with His Bride, the Body of Christ at the Rapture. How wonderful that this biblical truth is mathematically embedded with the seventh prime (the number ‘17’) which represents 'the flesh of Jesus' who was the first fruits of the resurrection and the Bridegroom of the Bride of Christ. Furthermore, the 10 camels of Genesis 24 (who are mentioned precisely 17 times in the original Hebrew text) endorse the prime-fulfilment pattern for the church – the biblical mathematical pattern which is themed on the number ‘seven’, primed with the number ‘17’ and staged with the number ‘153’. The conclusion of this pattern and this matter is the Rapture. Maranatha!