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Genesis 24

24
1Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. The Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. 3I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, amongst whom I live. 4But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”
6Abraham said to him, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again. 7The Lord, the God of heaven—who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your offspring—he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”
9The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. 12He said, “Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ then she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin. No man had known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17The servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.”
18She said, “Drink, my lord.” She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will also draw for your camels, until they have finished drinking.” 20She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
21The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not. 22As the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel#24:22 A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces. weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay?”
24She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She said moreover to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in.”
26The man bowed his head, and worshipped the Lord. 27He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth towards my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The young lady ran, and told her mother’s house about these words. 29Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. 30When he saw the ring, and the 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 came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31He said, “Come in, you blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”
32The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”
Laban said, “Speak on.”
34He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. The Lord has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ 39I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ 40He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father’s house. 41Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don’t give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.’ 42I came today to the spring, and said, ‘The Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go— 43behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44then she tells 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.’ 45Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink. 47I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands. 48I bowed my head, and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son. 49Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The thing proceeds from the Lord. We can’t speak to you bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to the Lord. 53The servant brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. 54They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
55Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go.”
56He said to them, “Don’t hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”
57They said, “We will call the young lady, and ask her.” 58They called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She said, “I will go.”
59They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them.”
61Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South. 63Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes and looked. Behold, there were camels coming. 64Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she got off the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.”
She took her veil, and covered herself. 66The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
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Isaac and Rebekah
1Abraham was now an old man. God had blessed Abraham in every way.
2-4Abraham spoke to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh and swear by God—God of Heaven, God of Earth—that you will not get a wife for my son from among the young women of the Canaanites here, but will go to the land of my birth and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant answered, “But what if the woman refuses to leave home and come with me? Do I then take your son back to your home country?”
6-8Abraham said, “Oh no. Never. By no means are you to take my son back there. God, the God of Heaven, took me from the home of my father and from the country of my birth and spoke to me in solemn promise, ‘I’m giving this land to your descendants.’ This God will send his angel ahead of you to get a wife for my son. And if the woman won’t come, you are free from this oath you’ve sworn to me. But under no circumstances are you to take my son back there.”
9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn oath.
10-14The servant took ten of his master’s camels and, loaded with gifts from his master, traveled to Aram Naharaim and the city of Nahor. Outside the city, he made the camels kneel at a well. It was evening, the time when the women came to draw water. He prayed, “O God, God of my master Abraham, make things go smoothly this day; treat my master Abraham well! As I stand here by the spring while the young women of the town come out to get water, let the girl to whom I say, ‘Lower your jug and give me a drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and let me also water your camels’—let her be the woman you have picked out for your servant Isaac. Then I’ll know that you’re working graciously behind the scenes for my master.”
15-17It so happened that the words were barely out of his mouth when Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel whose mother was Milcah the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with a water jug on her shoulder. The girl was stunningly beautiful, a pure virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. The servant ran to meet her and said, “Please, can I have a sip of water from your jug?”
18-21She said, “Certainly, drink!” And she held the jug so that he could drink. When he had satisfied his thirst she said, “I’ll get water for your camels, too, until they’ve drunk their fill.” She promptly emptied her jug into the trough and ran back to the well to fill it, and she kept at it until she had watered all the camels.
The man watched, silent. Was this God’s answer? Had God made his trip a success or not?
22-23When the camels had finished drinking, the man brought out gifts, a gold nose ring weighing a little over a quarter of an ounce and two arm bracelets weighing about four ounces, and gave them to her. He asked her, “Tell me about your family? Whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay the night?”
24-25She said, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor. And there’s plenty of room in our house for you to stay—and lots of straw and feed besides.”
26-27At this the man bowed in worship before God and prayed, “Blessed be God, God of my master Abraham: How generous and true you’ve been to my master; you’ve held nothing back. You led me right to the door of my master’s brother!”
28And the girl was off and running, telling everyone in her mother’s house what had happened.
29-31Rebekah had a brother named Laban. Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. He had seen the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister and had heard her say, “The man said this and this and this to me.” So he went to the man and there he was, still standing with his camels at the spring. Laban welcomed him: “Come on in, blessed of God! Why are you standing out here? I’ve got the house ready for you; and there’s also a place for your camels.”
32-33So the man went into the house. The camels were unloaded and given straw and feed. Water was brought to bathe the feet of the man and the men with him. Then Laban brought out food. But the man said, “I won’t eat until I tell my story.”
Laban said, “Go ahead; tell us.”
34-41The servant said, “I’m the servant of Abraham. God has blessed my master—he’s a great man; God has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, servants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. And then to top it off, Sarah, my master’s wife, gave him a son in her old age and he has passed everything on to his son. My master made me promise, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live. No, go to my father’s home, back to my family, and get a wife for my son there.’ I said to my master, ‘But what if the woman won’t come with me?’ He said, ‘God before whom I’ve walked faithfully will send his angel with you and he’ll make things work out so that you’ll bring back a wife for my son from my family, from the house of my father. Then you’ll be free from the oath. If you go to my family and they won’t give her to you, you will also be free from the oath.’
42-44“Well, when I came this very day to the spring, I prayed, ‘God, God of my master Abraham, make things turn out well in this task I’ve been given. I’m standing at this well. When a young woman comes here to draw water and I say to her, Please, give me a sip of water from your jug, and she says, Not only will I give you a drink, I’ll also water your camels—let that woman be the wife God has picked out for my master’s son.’
45-48“I had barely finished offering this prayer, when Rebekah arrived, her jug on her shoulder. She went to the spring and drew water and I said, ‘Please, can I have a drink?’ She didn’t hesitate. She held out her jug and said, ‘Drink; and when you’re finished I’ll also water your camels.’ I drank, and she watered the camels. I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel whose parents were Nahor and Milcah.’ I gave her a ring for her nose, bracelets for her arms, and bowed in worship to God. I praised God, the God of my master Abraham who had led me straight to the door of my master’s family to get a wife for his son.
49“Now, tell me what you are going to do. If you plan to respond with a generous yes, tell me. But if not, tell me plainly so I can figure out what to do next.”
50-51Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is totally from God. We have no say in the matter, either yes or no. Rebekah is yours: Take her and go; let her be the wife of your master’s son, as God has made plain.”
52-54When Abraham’s servant heard their decision, he bowed in worship before God. Then he brought out gifts of silver and gold and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and mother. He and his men had supper and spent the night. But first thing in the morning they were up. He said, “Send me back to my master.”
55Her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay a while, say another ten days, and then go.”
56He said, “Oh, don’t make me wait! God has worked everything out so well—send me off to my master.”
57They said, “We’ll call the girl; we’ll ask her.”
They called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man?”
58She said, “I’m ready to go.”
59-60So they sent them off, their sister Rebekah with her nurse, and Abraham’s servant with his men. And they blessed Rebekah saying,
You’re our sister—live bountifully!
And your children, triumphantly!
61Rebekah and her young maids mounted the camels and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah and set off for home.
62-65Isaac was living in the Negev. He had just come back from a visit to Beer Lahai Roi. In the evening he went out into the field; while meditating he looked up and saw camels coming. When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man out in the field coming toward us?”
“That is my master.”
She took her veil and covered herself.
66-67After the servant told Isaac the whole story of the trip, Isaac took Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah. He married Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death.