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Genesis 24

24
A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now very old. The Lord had blessed him in every way. 2Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything Abraham owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.# This showed that a person would keep the promise. 3Make a promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Don’t get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here. 4Instead, go back to my country, to the land of my relatives. Get a wife for my son Isaac from there.”
5The servant said to him, “What if this woman does not want to return with me to this land? Then, should I take your son with me back to your homeland?”
6Abraham said to him, “No! Don’t take my son back there. 7The Lord is the God of heaven. He brought me from the home of my father and the land of my relatives. But the Lord promised me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ The Lord will send his angel before you. The angel will help you get a wife for my son there. 8But if the girl won’t come back with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg. He made a promise to Abraham about this.
10The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left. He carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Northwest Mesopotamia to Nahor’s city. 11He made the camels kneel down at the well outside the city. It was in the evening when the women come out to get water.
12The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Allow me to find a wife for his son today. Please show this kindness to my master Abraham. 13Here I am, standing by the spring of water. The girls from the city are coming out to get water. 14I will say to one of the girls, ‘Please put your jar down so I can drink.’ Then let her say, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels.’ If that happens, I will know she is the right one for your servant Isaac. And I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15Before the servant had finished praying, Rebekah came out of the city. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah was carrying her water jar on her shoulder. 16She was very pretty. She was a virgin; she had never had physical relations with a man. She went down to the spring and filled her jar. Then she came back up. 17The servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18Rebekah said, “Drink, sir.” She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19After he finished drinking, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20So she quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she kept running to the well until she had given all the camels enough to drink.
21The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure the Lord had made his trip successful. 22After the camels had finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring weighing one-fifth of an ounce. He also gave her two gold arm bracelets weighing about four ounces each. 23The servant asked, “Who is your father? Is there a place in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel. He is the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25Then she said, “And, yes, we have straw for your camels. We have a place for you to spend the night.”
26The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and truthful to him. He has led me to my master’s relatives.”
28Then Rebekah ran and told her mother’s family about all these things. 29She had a brother named Laban. He ran out to Abraham’s servant, who was still at the spring. 30Laban had heard what she had said. And he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms. So he ran out to the well. And there was the man standing by the camels at the spring. 31Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in. You don’t have to stand outside. I have prepared the house for you and also a place for your camels.”
32So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded the camels and gave them straw and food. Then Laban gave water to Abraham’s servant so he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33Then Laban gave the servant food. But the servant said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”
So Laban said, “Then tell us.”
34He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a rich man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has given Abraham silver and gold, male and female servants, camels and horses. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son when she was old. My master has given everything he owns to that son. 37My master had me make a promise to him. He said, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here. 38Instead you must go to my father’s people and to my family. There you must get a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’ 40But he said, ‘I serve the Lord. He will send his angel with you and will help you. You will get a wife for my son from my family and my father’s people. 41Then you will be free from the promise. Or if they will not give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’
42“Today I came to this spring. I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43Look, I am standing by this spring of water. I will wait for a young woman to come out to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44Then let her say, “Drink this water. I will also get water for your camels.” By this I will know the Lord has chosen her for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished my silent prayer, Rebekah came out of the city. She had her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and got water. I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder. She said, ‘Drink this. I will also get water for your camels.’ So I drank, and she gave water to my camels also. 47Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48At that time I bowed my head and thanked the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him because he led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now, tell me, will you be kind and truthful to my master? And if not, tell me so. Then I will know what I should do.”
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is clearly from the Lord. We cannot change what must happen. 51Rebekah is yours. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son as the Lord has commanded.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard these words, he bowed facedown on the ground before the Lord. 53Then the servant gave Rebekah gold and silver jewelry and clothes. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and mother. 54The servant and the men with him ate and drank. And they spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, the servant said, “Now let me go back to my master.”
55Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us at least ten days. After that she may go.”
56But the servant said to them, “Do not make me wait. The Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.”
57Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
She said, “Yes, I do.”
59So they allowed Rebekah and her nurse to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60They blessed Rebekah and said,
“Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of people.
And may your descendants capture the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her servant girls got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62At this time Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi. He was living in southern Canaan. 63One evening he went out to the field to think. As he looked up, he saw camels coming. 64Rebekah looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant answered, “That is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Then Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent of Sarah, his mother. And she became his wife. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.
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.