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Genesis 24

24
Abraham’s Servant Finds a Wife for Isaac
1By that time Abraham was very old. The Lord had blessed Abraham in every way. 2The best servant in his house was in charge of everything Abraham had. Abraham said to him, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3The Lord is the God of heaven and the God of earth. I want you to make a promise to me in his name. I’m living among the people of Canaan. But I want you to promise me that you won’t get a wife for my son from their daughters. 4Instead, promise me that you will go to my country and to my own relatives. Get a wife for my son Isaac from there.”
5The servant asked Abraham, “What if the woman doesn’t want to come back with me to this land? Then should I take your son back to the country you came from?”
6“Make sure you don’t take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7“The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from my father’s family. He brought me out of my own land. He made me a promise. He said, ‘I will give this land to your family after you.’ The Lord will send his angel ahead of you. So you will be able to get a wife for my son from there. 8The woman may not want to come back with you. If she doesn’t, you will be free from your promise. But don’t take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under Abraham’s thigh. He promised to do what his master wanted.
10The servant chose ten of his master’s camels and left. He loaded the camels with all kinds of good things from his master. He started out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11He stopped near the well outside the town. There he made the camels get down on their knees. It was almost evening, the time when women go out to get water.
12Then he prayed, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Make me successful today. Be kind to my master Abraham. 13I’m standing beside this spring. The daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out here to get water. 14I will speak to a young woman. I’ll say to her, ‘Please lower your jar so I can have a drink.’ Suppose she says, ‘Have a drink of water, and I’ll get some for your camels too.’ Then let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. That’s how I’ll know you have been kind to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out. She was carrying a jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Milkah’s son Bethuel. Milkah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16The young woman was very beautiful. No man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring. She filled her jar and came up again.
17The servant hurried to meet her. He said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18“Have a drink, sir,” she said. She quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll get water for your camels too. I’ll keep doing it until they have had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the stone tub. Then she ran back to the well to get more water. She got enough for all his camels. 21The man didn’t say a word. He watched her closely. He wanted to learn whether the Lord had given him success on the journey he had made.
22The camels finished drinking. Then the man took out a gold nose ring. It weighed about a fifth of an ounce. He also took out two gold bracelets. They weighed about four ounces. 23Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? And please tell me something else. Is there room in your father’s house for us? Can we spend the night there?”
24She answered, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel. He’s the son Milkah had by Nahor.” 25She continued, “We have plenty of straw and feed for your camels. We also have room for you to spend the night.”
26Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “I praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord hasn’t stopped being kind and faithful to my master. The Lord has led me on this journey. He has brought me to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The young woman ran home. She told her mother’s family what had happened. 29Rebekah had a brother named Laban. He hurried out to the spring to meet the man. 30Laban had seen the nose ring. He had seen the bracelets on his sister’s arms. And he had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said to her. So Laban went out to the man. He found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31“The Lord has given you his blessing,” he said. “So come with me. Why are you standing out here? I’ve prepared my house for you. I also have a place for the camels.”
32So the man went to the house. The camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were brought for the camels. And water was brought for him and his men to wash their feet. 33Then food was placed in front of him. But he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve told you what I have to say.”
“Then tell us,” Laban said.
34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become rich. The Lord has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold. He has also given him male and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36My master’s wife Sarah had a son by him when she was old. He has given that son everything he owns. 37My master made me promise him. He said, ‘I’m living in the land of the people of Canaan. But promise me that you won’t get a wife for my son from their daughters. 38Instead, go to my father’s family and to my own relatives. Get a wife for my son there.’
39“Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’
40“He replied, ‘I have walked faithfully with the Lord. He will send his angel with you. He will give you success on your journey. So you will be able to get a wife for my son. She will be from my own relatives and from my father’s family. 41When you go to my relatives, suppose they refuse to give her to you. Then you will be free from the promise you made to me.’
42“Today I came to the spring. I said, ‘Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please make me successful on this journey I’ve made. 43I’m standing beside this spring. A young woman will come out to get water. I’ll say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 44Suppose she says, “Have a drink of water, and I’ll get some for your camels too.” Then let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out. She was carrying a jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and got water. I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46“She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder. She said, ‘Have a drink, and I’ll get water for your camels too.’ So I drank. She also got water for the camels.
47“I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel. He’s the son Milkah had by Nahor.’
“Then I put the ring in her nose. I put the bracelets on her arms. 48And I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. He had led me on the right road. He had led me to get for my master’s son the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49Now will you be kind and faithful to my master? If you will, tell me. And if you won’t, tell me. Then I’ll know which way to turn.”
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The Lord has done all of this. We can’t say anything to you one way or the other. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her become the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has said.”
52Abraham’s servant heard what they said. So he bowed down to the Lord with his face to the ground. 53He brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing. He gave all of them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother. 54Then Abraham’s servant and the men who were with him ate and drank. They spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman stay with us ten days or so. Then you can go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t make me wait. The Lord has given me success on my journey. Send me on my way so I can go to my master.”
57Then they said, “Let’s get Rebekah and ask her about it.” 58So they sent for her and asked, “Will you go with this man?”
“Yes, I’ll go,” she said.
59So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way with Abraham’s servant and his men. They also sent Rebekah’s servant with her. 60And they gave Rebekah their blessing. They said to her,
“Dear sister, may your family grow
by thousands and thousands.
May they take over
the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her female servants got ready. They got on their camels to go back with the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and left.
62By that time Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi. He was living in the Negev Desert. 63One evening he went out to the field. He wanted to spend some time thinking. When he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He’s my master,” the servant answered. So she covered her face with her veil.
66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done. 67Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent that had belonged to his mother Sarah. And he married Rebekah. She became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother died.
24
A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. 3Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 4Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
5The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?”
6“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. 7For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants.#24:7 Hebrew seed; also in 24:60. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. 8If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.”
9So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. 10Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. 11He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.
12“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
18“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.
21The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the Lord had given him success in his mission. 22Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets#24:22 Hebrew a gold nose-ring weighing a beka [0.2 ounces or 6 grams] and two gold bracelets weighing 10 [shekels] [4 ounces or 114 grams]. for her wrists.
23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?”
24“I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. 25Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.”
26The man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. 27“Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”
28The young woman ran home to tell her family everything that had happened. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to meet the man at the spring. 30He had seen the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said. So he rushed out to the spring, where the man was still standing beside his camels. 31Laban said to him, “Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the Lord! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels?”
32So the man went home with Laban, and Laban unloaded the camels, gave him straw for their bedding, fed them, and provided water for the man and the camel drivers to wash their feet. 33Then food was served. But Abraham’s servant said, “I don’t want to eat until I have told you why I have come.”
“All right,” Laban said, “tell us.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he explained. 35“And the Lord has greatly blessed my master; he has become a wealthy man. The Lord has given him flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, a fortune in silver and gold, and many male and female servants and camels and donkeys.
36“When Sarah, my master’s wife, was very old, she gave birth to my master’s son, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37And my master made me take an oath. He said, ‘Do not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 38Go instead to my father’s house, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son.’
39“But I said to my master, ‘What if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to go back with me?’ 40He responded, ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have lived, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful. Yes, you must find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41Then you will have fulfilled your obligation. But if you go to my relatives and they refuse to let her go with you, you will be free from my oath.’
42“So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O Lord, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. 43See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 44If she says, “Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,” let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished praying in my heart, I saw Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’ So I drank, and then she watered the camels.
47“Then I asked, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, and my grandparents are Nahor and Milcah.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists.
48“Then I bowed low and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife. 49So tell me—will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The Lord has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. 51Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed down to the ground and worshiped the Lord. 53Then he brought out silver and gold jewelry and clothing and presented them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and mother. 54Then they ate their meal, and the servant and the men with him stayed there overnight.
But early the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.”
55“But we want Rebekah to stay with us at least ten days,” her brother and mother said. “Then she can go.”
56But he said, “Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.”
57“Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” 58So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her.
And she replied, “Yes, I will go.”
59So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her. 60They gave her this blessing as she parted:
“Our sister, may you become
the mother of many millions!
May your descendants be strong
and conquer the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her servant girls mounted the camels and followed the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
62Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahai-roi. 63One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming. 64When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel. 65“Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?” she asked the servant.
And he replied, “It is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil. 66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.