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Genesis 24

24
Isaac and Rebekah
1#Ge 13:2; 12:2Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2#Ge 47:29; 39:4–6So Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who was in charge over all that he had, “Please, place your hand under my thigh, 3#Ge 26:34–35; 14:22and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live. 4#Ge 28:2But you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5Then the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7#Ge 13:15; 15:18The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s family and from the land of my relatives, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He shall send His angel before you and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8#Jos 2:17–20If the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from my oath. Only do not take my son back there.” 9#Ge 24:2So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
10#Ge 11:31; Dt 23:4Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all the goods of his master were in his hand. And he arose and went to the city of Nahor in Aram Naharaim. 11#1Sa 9:11; Ex 2:16He made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water in the evening when the women came out to draw water.
12#Ge 24:27; 26:24Then he said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please let me have success this day and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13#Ge 24:43See, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14#Jdg 6:17; 6:37Let it be that the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please lower your pitcher, that I may drink,’ and she shall say, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels water also’—let her be the one that You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. Then I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
15#Ge 11:29; 24:45Before he had finished speaking, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milkah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with a pitcher on her shoulder. 16#Ge 26:7The young woman was very beautiful to look at, a virgin, and no man had ever been with her. She went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up.
17#Jn 4:7Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”
18So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let down her pitcher to her hand and gave him a drink.
19#Ge 24:14When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough and ran to the well to draw water and drew for all his camels. 21#Ge 24:12The man, gazing at her, remained silent, trying to discern whether the Lord had made his journey a success or not.
22#Ex 32:2–3When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose ring of half a shekel weight#About 1/5 ounce, or 5.7 grams. and two bracelets for her wrists of ten shekels weight#About 4 ounces, or 115 grams. in gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
24#Ge 24:15; 22:23She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milkah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25Again she said to him, “We have both straw and provision enough, and room in which to lodge.”
26#Ge 24:48; 24:52Then the man bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord. 27#Ge 24:48; 24:12; 32:10And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household of these things. 29#Ge 29:5Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the well. 30When he saw the nose ring and bracelets on his sister’s hands and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man who stood by the camels at the well. 31#Ge 26:29; Ru 3:10And he said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
32#Ge 43:24; Jdg 19:21So the man came to the house. Then he unloaded his camels and gave straw and provision to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33He then set food before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.”
And he said, “Speak on.”
34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35#Ge 13:2; 24:1The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy. He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36#Ge 25:5; 21:1–7Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old, and he has given to him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live. 38#Ge 24:4But you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’
39“So I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’
40#Ge 17:1; 24:7“Then he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house. 41#Ge 24:8You will be free from my oath, when you come to my family, if they will not give her to you; then you will be released from my oath.’
42#Ne 1:11“So today I came to the well and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if You will now give me success in my task; 43#Ge 24:13–14I am standing by the well of water, and let it be that when the virgin comes forth to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44#Ge 24:14and she says to me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,” let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. Then I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
46“She then quickly let down her pitcher from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also.
47“Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milkah bore for him.’
“So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48#Ge 24:26–27; 24:52And I bowed down my head and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49#Ge 47:29; Jos 2:14And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
50#Ge 31:24; 31:29Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “This thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51#Ge 24:15Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52#Ge 24:26; 24:48When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. 53#Ex 3:22; 11:2Then the servant brought out jewels of silver and gold, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. 54#Ge 24:56; 24:59Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night.
The next morning they arose, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.”
56So he said to them, “Do not delay me, seeing the Lord has given me success. Let me go that I may go to my master.”
57They said, “We will call the girl and ask her.” 58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
And she said, “I will go.”
59#Ge 35:8So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60#Ge 17:16; 22:17They blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister, become the mother
of thousands of ten thousands;
and may your descendants possess
the gate of those who hate them.”
61Then Rebekah and her maids arose and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
62#Ge 16:14; 25:11Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the Negev. 63#Ps 1:2; 119:15Isaac went out in the evening to meditate in the field; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and surely the camels were coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from her camel 65and said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.” Therefore she took a veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant told Isaac all the things he had done. 67#Ge 37:35; 38:12So Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
24
1Abraham by now was old, really old, and the Lord had blessed him in every possible way. 2At that time Abraham told his oldest servant who was in charge of his whole household, “Put your hand under my thigh,#24:2. A customary action of the time when swearing an oath. 3and swear an oath by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you won't arrange for my son to marry any daughter of the these Canaanite people that I'm living among. 4Instead, go to my homeland where my relatives live, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
5“What if the woman refuses to come back with me to this country?” the servant asked. “Should I take your son back to the country you came from?”
6“No, you mustn't take my son back there,” Abraham replied. 7“The Lord, the God of heaven, took me from my family home and my own country. He spoke to me and swore an oath to me in which he promised, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ He is the one who will send his angel ahead of you so that you can find a wife there for my son. 8However, if the woman refuses to return here with you, then you are released from this oath. But make sure you don't take my son back there.”
9The servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to do as he had been told. 10Then the servant arranged for ten of his master's camels to carry all kinds of valuable gifts from Abraham and left for the town of Nahor in Aram-naharaim.#24:10. “Aram-naharaim”: or “Mesopotamia.” 11Arriving in the evening, he had the camels kneel down by the spring that was outside the town. This was the time when women went out to fetch water.
12He prayed, “Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please let me be successful today, and please show your faithfulness#24:12. “Faithfulness”: this word, often translated “trustworthy love,” in this setting is really to do with “loyalty,” “commitment,” even “kindness.” to my master Abraham. 13Look, I'm standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming to get water. 14May it happen like this. The young woman that I ask, ‘Please hold your water jar so I can have a drink,’ and she replies, ‘Please drink, and I'll give your camels water too’ —may she be the one you've chosen as a wife for your servant Isaac. This way I'll know that you've shown your faithfulness to my master.”
15He hadn't even finished praying when he saw Rebekah coming to get water, carrying her water jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milkah. Milkah was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor. 16She was very beautiful, a virgin—no one had slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came back up. 17The servant ran over to meet her and asked, “Please let me drink a few sips of water from your jar.”
18“Please drink, my lord,” she replied. She quickly lifted the jar down from her shoulder and held it for him to drink. 19After she finished giving him a drink, she said, “Let me get water for your camels too until they've had enough.”
20She quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran back to the spring to get more water. She brought enough for all his camels.
21The man observed her in silence to see if the Lord had made his journey successful or not. 22Once the camels had finished drinking, he gave her a gold nose-ring and two heavy gold bracelets for her wrists.#24:22. The weights are given as a half-shekel for the nose-ring, and ten shekels for the bracelets. Since the price of gold at the time is not known, it is impossible to estimate their value. However, they were significant gifts.
23Then he asked her, “Whose daughter are you? Also could you tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?”
24She replied, “I'm the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” Then she added, “We have plenty of straw and food for the camels, 25and yes, we have room for you to spend the night.”
26The man kneeled down and bowed in worship to the Lord. 27“Thank you Lord, the God of my master Abraham,” he prayed. “You have not forgotten your commitment and faithfulness to my master. And Lord, you have led me directly to the home of my master's relatives!”
28She ran to her mother's house and told her family what had happened. 29Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he ran out to meet the man who had remained at the spring. 30He'd noticed the nose-ring and the bracelets she was wearing, and he'd heard his sister Rebekah explaining, “This is what the man told me.” When he arrived the man was still there, standing with his camels beside the spring.
31“Please come home with me, you who are blessed by the Lord,” said Laban. “What are you standing out here for? I've got a room at home ready for you, and a place for the camels to stay.”
32So the man went home with him. Laban unloaded the camels and gave them straw and food to eat. He also provided water for the man to wash his feet, as well as for the men who were with him. 33Then Laban had food brought in.
But the man told him, “I'm not going to eat until I've explained why I'm here.”
“Please explain,” Laban replied.
34“I'm Abraham's servant,” the man began. 35“The Lord has blessed my master so much, and now he is a wealthy and powerful man. The Lord has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36His wife Sarah has had a son for my master even in her old age, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37My master made me swear an oath, saying, ‘You must not arrange for my son to marry any daughter of the Canaanite people in whose land I'm living. 38Instead, go to my family home where my relatives live, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.’
39I said to my master, ‘What if the woman refuses to come back with me?’
40He told me, ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have lived my life, will send his angel with you, and he will make your journey successful—you will find a wife for my son from my relatives, from my father's family. 41You will be released from the oath you swear to me if, when you go to my family, they refuse to let her return with you.’
42Today when I arrived at the spring, I prayed, Lord, God of my master Abraham, please let the journey I have taken be successful. 43Look, I'm standing here beside this spring. May it happen like this. If a young woman comes to get water, and I say, ‘Please give me a few sips of water to drink,’ 44and she says to me, ‘Please drink, and I'll get water for your camels too’ —may she be the one you've chosen as a wife for your servant Isaac.”
45“I hadn't even finished praying silently when I saw Rebekah coming to get water, carrying her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring to get water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lifted the jar down from her shoulder and she said, ‘Please drink, and I'll get water for your camels too.’ So I drank, and she got water for the camels.
47I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I'm the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ So I put the ring in her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists.
48Then I kneeled down and bowed in worship to the Lord. I thanked the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, for he led me directly to find my master's niece for his son. 49So please tell me now, will you show commitment and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no so I can decide what to do next.”
50Laban and Bethuel replied, “Clearly all this is from the Lord, so we can't argue one way or the other. 51Rebekah's here, you can take her and leave. She can become the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has decided.”
52As soon as Abraham's servant heard their decision, he bowed down in worship to the Lord. 53Then he unpacked silver and gold jewelry and expensive clothes and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable presents to her brother and her mother. 54He and the men with him ate and drank, and spent the night there. When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now and go home to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother said, “Let her stay with us for another ten days or so. She can leave after that.”
56“Please don't delay me,” he told them. “The Lord has made my journey successful, so let me leave and go back to my master.”
57“Let's call Rebekah and find out what she wants to do,” they suggested.
58They called Rebekah in and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
“Yes, I'll go,” she replied.
59So they let Laban's sister Rebekah leave with Abraham's servant and his men, together with the woman who had nursed her as a child. 60They asked a blessing on her, saying, “Our dear sister, may you become the mother to thousands and thousands of descendants, and may they conquer their enemies.” 61Then Rebekah and her servant girls got on the camels. They followed Abraham's servant and left.
62Meanwhile Isaac, who was living in the Negev, had just come back from Beer-lahai-roi. 63He went out into the fields one evening to think things over.#24:63. “Think things over”: often translated “meditate,” the word's meaning is uncertain. However, Isaac must have known that possibly his bride-to-be would soon be arriving, an event of considerable importance in his life. He looked into the distance and saw camels coming.
64Rebekah was also keeping a look out. When she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is this walking through the fields to meet us?”
“He's my master, Isaac,”#24:65. Isaac is not specifically identified in the text here, however the servant simply says, “He's my master,” which would normally mean Abraham. he replied. So she put on her veil to cover herself.
66The servant told Isaac everything he'd done. 67Isaac took Rebekah into his mother Sarah's tent, and he married her. He loved her, and she brought him comfort after his grief over his mother's death.