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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
Rebekah, a wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man. The LORD had made him rich, and he was successful in everything he did. 2One day, Abraham called in his most trusted servant and said to him, “Solemnly promise me 3in the name of the LORD, who rules heaven and earth, that you won't choose a wife for my son Isaac from the people here in the land of Canaan. 4Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for him from among my relatives.”
5But the servant asked, “What if the young woman I choose refuses to leave home and come here with me? Should I send Isaac there to look for a wife?”
6“No!” Abraham answered. “Don't ever do that, no matter what. 7The LORD who rules heaven brought me here from the land where I was born and promised that he would give this land to my descendants for ever. When you go back there, the LORD will send his angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for my son. 8If the woman refuses to come along, you don't have to keep this promise. But don't ever take my son back there.” 9So the servant gave Abraham his word that he would do everything he had been told to do.
10Soon after that, the servant loaded ten of Abraham's camels with valuable gifts. Then he set out for the city in northern Syria,#24.10 northern Syria: The Hebrew text has “Aram-Naharaim”, probably referring to the land around the city of Haran (see also “Paddan-Aram” in 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15; and “Paddan” in 48.7). where Abraham's brother Nahor lived.
11When he got there, he let the camels rest near the well outside the city. It was late afternoon, the time when the women came out for water. 12The servant prayed:
You, LORD, are the God my master Abraham worships. Please keep your promise to him and let me find a wife for Isaac today. 13The young women of the city will soon come to this well for water, 14and I'll ask one of them for a drink. If she gives me a drink and then offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen and that you have kept your promise to my master.
15-16While he was still praying, a beautiful unmarried young woman came by with a water jar on her shoulder. She was Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife Milcah. Rebekah walked past Abraham's servant, then went over to the well, and filled her water jar. When she started back, 17Abraham's servant ran to her and said, “Please let me have a drink of water.”
18“I'll be glad to,” she answered. Then she quickly took the jar from her shoulder and held it while he drank. 19-20After he had finished, she said, “Now I'll give your camels all the water they want.” She quickly poured out water for them, and she kept going back for more, until his camels had drunk all they wanted. 21Abraham's servant did not say a word, but he watched everything Rebekah did, because he wanted to know for certain if this was the woman the LORD had chosen.
22The servant had brought along an expensive gold ring and two large gold bracelets. When Rebekah had finished bringing the water, he gave her the ring for her nose#24.22 ring for her nose: Nose-rings were popular jewellery items, as were earrings. and the bracelets for her arms. 23Then he said, “Please tell me who your father is. Does he have room in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24She answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Nahor and Milcah. 25We have a place where you and your men can stay, and we also have enough straw and feed for your camels.”
26Then the servant bowed his head and prayed, 27“I thank you, LORD God of my master Abraham! You have led me to his relatives and kept your promise to him.”
28Rebekah ran straight home and told her family everything. 29-30Her brother Laban heard her tell what the servant had said, and he saw the ring and the bracelets she was wearing. So Laban ran out to Abraham's servant, who was standing by his camels at the well. 31Then Laban said, “The LORD has brought you safely here. Come home with me. There's no need for you to keep on standing outside. I have a room ready for you in our house, and there's also a place for your camels.”
32Abraham's servant went home with Laban, where Laban's servants unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then they brought water into the house, so Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33After that, they brought in food. But the servant said, “Before I eat, I must tell you why I have come.”
“Go ahead and tell us,” Laban answered.
34The servant explained:
I am Abraham's servant. 35The LORD has been good to my master and has made him very rich. He has given him many sheep, goats, cattle, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of silver and gold, and many slaves. 36Sarah, my master's wife, didn't have any children until she was very old. Then she had a son, and my master has given him everything. 37I solemnly promised my master that I would do what he said. And he told me, “Don't choose a wife for my son from the women in this land of Canaan. 38Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for my son from among my relatives.”
39I asked my master, “What if the young woman refuses to come with me?”
40My master answered, “I have always obeyed the LORD, and he will send his angel to help you find my son a wife from among my own relatives. 41But if they refuse to let her come back with you, then you are freed from your promise.”
42When I came to the well today, I silently prayed, “You, LORD, are the God my master Abraham worships, so please lead me to a wife for his son 43while I am here at the well. When a young woman comes out to get water, I'll ask her to give me a drink. 44If she gives me a drink and offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen.”
45Even before I had finished praying, Rebekah came by with a water jar on her shoulder. When she had filled the jar, I asked her for a drink. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and said, “Have a drink. Then I'll get water for your camels.” So I drank, and after that she got some water for my camels. 47I asked her who her father was, and she answered, “My father is Bethuel the son of Nahor and Milcah.” Straight away I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and gave thanks to the God my master Abraham worships. The LORD had led me straight to my master's relatives, and I had found a wife for his son.
49Now please tell me if you are willing to do the right thing for my master. Will you treat him fairly, or do I have to look for another young woman?
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The LORD has done this. We have no choice in the matter. 51Take Rebekah with you; she can marry your master's son, just as the LORD has said.” 52Abraham's servant bowed down and thanked the LORD. 53Then he gave clothing, as well as silver and gold jewellery, to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother.
54Abraham's servant and the men with him ate and drank, then spent the night there. The next morning they got up, and the servant told Rebekah's mother and brother, “I would like to go back to my master now.”
55“Let Rebekah stay with us for a week or ten days,” they answered. “Then she may go.”
56But he said, “Don't make me stay any longer. The LORD has already helped me find a wife for my master's son. Now let us return.”
57They answered, “Let's ask Rebekah what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked, “Are you willing to leave with this man at once?”
“Yes,” she answered.
59So they agreed to let Rebekah and an old family servant woman#24.59 old family servant woman: Probably Deborah, who had taken care of Rebekah from the time she was born (see 35.8). leave immediately with Abraham's servant and his men. 60They gave Rebekah their blessing and said, “We pray that God will give you many children and grandchildren and that he will help them defeat their enemies.” 61Afterwards, Rebekah and the young women who were to travel with her prepared to leave. Then they got on camels and left with Abraham's servant and his men.
62At that time Isaac was living in the southern part of Canaan near a place called “The Well of the Living One who Sees Me”.#24.62 who Sees Me: Or “I Have Seen”. 63-65One evening he was walking out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started towards them. Rebekah saw him coming; she got down from her camel, and asked, “Who is that man?”
“He is my master Isaac,” the servant answered. Then Rebekah covered her face with her veil.#24.63-65 covered…veil: Since the veiling of a bride was part of the wedding ceremony, this probably means that she was willing to become the wife of Isaac.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent#24.67 took…tent: This shows that Rebekah is now the wife of Isaac and the successor of Sarah as the leading woman in the tribe. where his mother had lived before she died, and Rebekah became his wife. He loved her and was comforted over the loss of his mother.