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Genesis 24

24
A Bride for Isaac
1Now Abraham was old, [well] advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2Abraham said to his servant [Eliezer of Damascus], the oldest of his household, who had charge over all that Abraham owned, “Please, put your hand under my thigh [as is customary for affirming a solemn oath], 3and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, 4but you will [instead] go to my [former] country (Mesopotamia) and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac [the heir of the covenant promise].” 5The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman will not be willing to follow me back to this country; should I take your son back to the country from which you came?” 6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there! 7The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, from the land of my family and my birth, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you [to guide you], and you will take a wife from there for my son [and bring her here]. 8If the woman is not willing to follow you [to this land], then you will be free from this my oath and blameless; only you must never take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels, and set out, taking some of his master’s good things with him; so he got up and journeyed to #Heb Aram Naharaim, “Aram of the two rivers.”Mesopotamia [between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers], to the city of Nahor [the home of Abraham’s brother]. 11He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water. 12And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I stand here at the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14now let it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please, let down your jar so that I may [have a] drink,’ and she replies, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels water to drink’—may she be the one whom You have selected [as a wife] for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master.”
Rebekah Is Chosen
15Before Eliezer had finished speaking (praying), Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel the #See 22:20-24.son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16The girl was very beautiful, a virgin and unmarried; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 18And she said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19When she had given Eliezer a drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels until they have finished drinking.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran again to the well and drew water for all his camels. 21Meanwhile, the man stood gazing at Rebekah in [reverent] silence, [waiting] to know if the Lord had made his trip successful or not.
22When the camels had finished drinking, Eliezer took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her hands weighing ten shekels in gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?” 24And she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to [her husband] Nahor.” 25Again she said to him, “We have plenty of both straw and feed, and also room to lodge.” 26The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not denied His lovingkindness and His truth to my master. As for me, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household what had happened. 29Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man at the well. 30When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he heard Rebekah his sister, saying, “The man said this to me,” he went to Eliezer and found him standing by the camels at the spring. 31And Laban said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside since I have made the house ready and have prepared a place for the camels?” 32So the man came into the house, and Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed, and [he gave] water to [Eliezer to] wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33But when food was set before him, he said, “I will not eat until I have stated my business.” And Laban said, “Speak on.” 34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great (wealthy, powerful); He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. 36Now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was in her old age, and he has given everything that he has to him. 37My master made me swear [an oath], saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall [instead] go to my father’s house and to my family and take a wife for my son [Isaac].’ 39Then I said to my master, ‘But suppose the woman will not follow me [back to this land].’ 40He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk [habitually and obediently], will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house; 41then you will be free of my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will [also] be free of my oath.’
42“I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; 43please look, I am standing by the spring of water; now let it be that when the maiden [whom You have chosen for Isaac] comes out to draw [water], and to whom I say, “Please, give me a little water to drink from your jar”; 44and if she says to me, “You drink, and I will also draw [water] for your camels”; let that woman be the one whom the Lord has selected and chosen [as a wife] for my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished praying in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please, let me have a drink.’ 46And she quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels’; so I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him’; and I #This was a customary act of admiration and respect; otherwise, Rebekah would not have accepted it.put the ring in her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother to his son [as a wife]. 49So now if you are going to show kindness and truth to my master [being faithful to him], tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right or to the left [and go on my way].”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The matter has come from the Lord; so we dare not speak bad or good [to you about it—we cannot interfere]. 51Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground [in worship] before the Lord. 53Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and articles of clothing, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. 54Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night [there]. In the morning when they got up, he said, “Now send me back to my master.” 55But Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go.” 56But Eliezer said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away, so that I may go back to my master.” 57And they said, “We will call the girl and ask her #Lit mouth.what she prefers.” 58So they called Rebekah and said, “Will you go with this man?” And she answered, “I will go.” 59So they sent off their sister Rebekah and her nurse [Deborah, as her attendant] and Abraham’s servant [Eliezer] and his men. 60They blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister,
Become [the mother of] thousands of ten thousands,
And may your descendants possess (conquer)
The [city] gate of those who hate them.”
61Then Rebekah and her attendants #The Hebrew verb “to stand” or “arise” is often used as an instruction to prepare to fulfill a command, somewhat similar to the military command “attention.”stood, and they mounted camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
62Now Isaac had returned from going to Beer-lahai-roi (Well of the Living One Who Sees Me), for he was living in the #The South country, south and west of the Dead Sea.Negev. 63Isaac went out to bow down [in prayer] in the field in the [early] evening; he raised his eyes and looked, and camels were coming. 64Rebekah also raised her eyes and looked, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from her camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that man there walking across the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master [Isaac].” So she took a veil and covered herself [as was customary]. 66The servant told Isaac everything that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah [in marriage], and she became his wife, and he loved her; therefore Isaac 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.