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B'resheet (Gen) 24

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1By now Avraham was old, advanced in years; and Adonai had blessed Avraham in everything. 2Avraham said to the servant who had served him the longest, who was in charge of all he owned, “Put your hand under my thigh; 3because I want you to swear by Adonai, God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from among the women of the Kena‘ani, among whom I am living; 4but that you will go to my homeland, to my kinsmen, to choose a wife for my son Yitz’chak.” 5The servant replied, “Suppose the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land. Must I then bring your son back to the land from which you came?” 6Avraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t bring my son back there. 7Adonai, the God of heaven — who took me away from my father’s house and away from the land I was born in, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants’ — he will send his angel ahead of you; and you are to bring a wife for my son from there. 8But if the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are released from your obligation under my oath. Just don’t bring my son back there.” 9The servant put his hand under the thigh of Avraham his master and swore to him concerning the matter.
(iii) 10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and all kinds of gifts from his master, got up and went to Aram-Naharayim, to Nachor’s city. 11Toward evening, when the women go out to draw water, he had the camels kneel down outside the city by the well. 12He said, “Adonai, God of my master Avraham, please let me succeed today; and show your grace to my master Avraham. 13Here I am, standing by the spring, as the daughters of the townsfolk come out to draw water. 14I will say to one of the girls, ‘Please lower your jug, so that I can drink.’ If she answers, ‘Yes, drink; and I will water your camels as well,’ then let her be the one you intend for your servant Yitz’chak. This is how I will know that you have shown grace to my master.”
15Before he had finished speaking, Rivkah the daughter of B’tu’el son of Milkah the wife of Nachor Avraham’s brother, came out with her jug on her shoulder. 16The girl was very beautiful, a virgin, never having had sexual relations with any man. She went down to the spring, filled her jug and came up. 17The servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug to drink.” 18“Drink, my lord,” she replied, and immediately lowered her jug onto her arm and let him drink. 19When she was through letting him drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels until they have drunk their fill.” 20She quickly emptied her jug into the trough, then ran again to the well to draw water, and kept on drawing water for all his camels. 21The man gazed at her in silence, waiting to find out whether Adonai had made his trip successful or not.
22When the camels were done drinking, the man took a gold nose-ring weighing one-fifth of an ounce and two gold bracelets weighing four ounces 23and asked, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24She answered, “I am the daughter of B’tu’el the son Milkah bore to Nachor,” 25adding, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, and room for staying overnight.” 26The man bowed his head and prostrated himself before Adonai. (iv) 27Then he said, “Blessed be Adonai, God of my master Avraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love for my master; because Adonai has guided me to the house of my master’s kinsmen.” 28The girl ran off and told her mother’s household what had happened.
29-30Rivkah had a brother named Lavan. When he saw the nose-ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists besides, and when he heard his sister Rivkah’s report of what the man had said to her, he ran out to the spring and found the man standing there by the camels. 31“Come on in,” he said, “you whom Adonai has blessed! Why are you standing outside when I have made room in the house and prepared a place for the camels?” 32So the man went inside, and while the camels were being unloaded and provided straw and fodder, water was brought for him to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.
33But when a meal was set before him, he said, “I won’t eat until I say what I have to say.” Lavan said, “Speak.” 34He said, “I am Avraham’s servant. 35Adonai has greatly blessed my master, so that he has grown wealthy. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36Sarah my master’s wife bore my master a son when she was old, and he has given him everything he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You are not to choose a wife for my son from among the women of the Kena‘ani, among whom I am living; 38rather, you are to go to my father’s house, to my kinsmen, to choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman isn’t willing to follow me.’ 40Avraham answered me, ‘Adonai, in whose presence I live, will send his angel with you to make your trip successful; and you are to pick a wife for my son from my kinsmen in my father’s house; 41this will release you from your obligation under my oath. But if, when you come to my kinsmen, they refuse to give her to you, this too will release you from my oath.’
42“So today, I came to the spring and said, ‘Adonai, God of my master Avraham, if you are causing my trip to succeed in its purpose, 43then, here I am, standing by the spring. I will say to one of the girls coming out to draw water, “Let me have a sip of water from your jug.” 44If she answers, “Yes, drink; and I will water your camels as well,” then let her be the woman you intend for my master’s son.’ 45And even before I had finished speaking to my heart, there came Rivkah, going out with her jug on her shoulder; she went down to the spring and drew water. When I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink,’ 46she immediately lowered the jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels as well.’ So I drank, and she had the camels drink too.
47“I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ and she answered, ‘The daughter of B’tu’el son of Nachor, whom Milkah bore to him.’ Then I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists, 48bowed my head, prostrated myself before Adonai and blessed Adonai, God of my master Avraham, for having led me in the right way to obtain my master’s brother’s [grand]daughter for his son.
49“So now if you people intend to show grace and truth to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me, so that I can turn elsewhere.”
50Lavan and B’tu’el replied, “Since this comes from Adonai, we can’t say anything to you either bad or good. 51Rivkah is here in front of you; take her and go. Let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Adonai has said.” 52When Avraham’s servant heard what they said, he prostrated himself on the ground to Adonai. (v) 53Then the servant brought out silver and gold jewelry, together with clothing, and gave them to Rivkah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and mother. 54He and his men then ate and drank and stayed the night.
In the morning they got up; and he said, “Send me off to my master.” 55Her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that, she will go.” 56He answered them, “Don’t delay me, since Adonai has made my trip successful, but let me go back to my master.” 57They said, “We will call the girl and see what she says.” 58They called Rivkah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?” and she replied, “I will.”
59So they sent their sister Rivkah away, with her nurse, Avraham’s servant and his men. 60They blessed Rivkah with these words: “Our sister, may you be the mother of millions, and may your descendants possess the cities of those who hate them.” 61Then Rivkah and her maids mounted the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rivkah and went on his way.
62Meanwhile, Yitz’chak, one evening after coming along the road from Be’er-Lachai-Ro’i — he was living in the Negev — 63went out walking in the field; and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64Rivkah too looked up; and when she saw Yitz’chak, she quickly dismounted the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?” When the servant replied, “It’s my master,” she took her veil and covered herself.
66The servant told Yitz’chak everything he had done. 67Then Yitz’chak brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent and took Rivkah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. Thus was Yitz’chak comforted for the loss of his mother.

Genesis 24

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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.