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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. The Lord had made him rich, and he was successful in everything he did. 2One day, Abraham called in his most trusted servant and said to him, “Solemnly promise me 3in the name of the Lord, who rules heaven and earth, that you won't choose a wife for my son Isaac from the people here in the land of Canaan. 4Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for him from among my relatives.”
5But the servant asked, “What if the young woman I choose refuses to leave home and come here with me? Should I send Isaac there to look for a wife?”
6“No!” Abraham answered. “Don't ever do that, no matter what. 7The Lord who rules heaven brought me here from the land where I was born and promised that he would give this land to my descendants forever. When you go back there, the Lord will send his angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for my son. 8If the woman refuses to come along, you don't have to keep this promise. But don't ever take my son back there.” 9So the servant gave Abraham his word that he would do everything he had been told to do.
10Soon after that, the servant loaded ten of Abraham's camels with valuable gifts. Then he set out for the city in northern Syria,#24.10 northern Syria: The Hebrew text has “Aram-Naharaim,” probably referring to the land around the city of Haran (see also 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15 where CEV translates “Paddan-Aram” as “northern Syria”; and 48.7 where CEV translates “Paddan” as “northern Syria”). where Abraham's brother Nahor lived.
11When he got there, he let the camels rest near the well outside the city. It was late afternoon, the time when the women came out for water. 12The servant prayed:
You, Lord, are the God my master Abraham worships. Please keep your promise to him and let me find a wife for Isaac today. 13The young women of the city will soon come to this well for water, 14and I'll ask one of them for a drink. If she gives me a drink and then offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen and that you have kept your promise to my master.
15-16While he was still praying, a beautiful unmarried young woman came by with a water jar on her shoulder. She was Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife Milcah. Rebekah walked past Abraham's servant, then went over to the well, and filled her water jar. When she started back, 17Abraham's servant ran to her and said, “Please let me have a drink of water.”
18“I'll be glad to,” she answered. Then she quickly took the jar from her shoulder and held it while he drank. 19-20After he had finished, she said, “Now I'll give your camels all the water they want.” She quickly poured out water for them, and she kept going back for more, until his camels had drunk all they wanted. 21Abraham's servant did not say a word, but he watched everything Rebekah did, because he wanted to know for certain if this was the woman the Lord had chosen.
22The servant had brought along an expensive gold ring and two large gold bracelets. When Rebekah had finished bringing the water, he gave her the ring for her nose#24.22 ring for her nose: Nose-rings were popular jewelry items, as were earrings. and the bracelets for her arms. 23Then he said, “Please tell me who your father is. Does he have room in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24She answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Nahor and Milcah. 25We have a place where you and your men can stay, and we also have enough straw and feed for your camels.”
26Then the servant bowed his head and prayed, 27“I thank you, Lord God of my master Abraham! You have led me to his relatives and kept your promise to him.”
28Rebekah ran straight home and told her family everything. 29-30Her brother Laban heard her tell what the servant had said, and he saw the ring and the bracelets she was wearing. So Laban ran out to Abraham's servant, who was standing by his camels at the well. 31Then Laban said, “The Lord has brought you safely here. Come home with me. There's no need for you to keep on standing outside. I have a room ready for you in our house, and there's also a place for your camels.”
32Abraham's servant went home with Laban, where Laban's servants unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then they brought water into the house, so Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33After that, they brought in food. But the servant said, “Before I eat, I must tell you why I have come.”
“Go ahead and tell us,” Laban answered.
34The servant explained:
I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has been good to my master and has made him very rich. He has given him many sheep, goats, cattle, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of silver and gold, and many slaves. 36Sarah, my master's wife, didn't have any children until she was very old. Then she had a son, and my master has given him everything. 37I solemnly promised my master that I would do what he said. And he told me, “Don't choose a wife for my son from the women in this land of Canaan. 38Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for my son from among my relatives.”
39I asked my master, “What if the young woman refuses to come with me?”
40My master answered, “I have always obeyed the Lord, and he will send his angel to help you find my son a wife from among my own relatives. 41But if they refuse to let her come back with you, then you are freed from your promise.”
42When I came to the well today, I silently prayed, “You, Lord, are the God my master Abraham worships, so please lead me to a wife for his son 43while I am here at the well. When a young woman comes out to get water, I'll ask her to give me a drink. 44If she gives me a drink and offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen.”
45Even before I had finished praying, Rebekah came by with a water jar on her shoulder. When she had filled the jar, I asked her for a drink. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and said, “Have a drink. Then I'll get water for your camels.” So I drank, and after that she got some water for my camels. 47I asked her who her father was, and she answered, “My father is Bethuel the son of Nahor and Milcah.” At once I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and gave thanks to the God my master Abraham worships. The Lord had led me straight to my master's relatives, and I had found a wife for his son.
49Now please tell me if you are willing to do the right thing for my master. Will you treat him fairly, or do I have to look for another young woman?
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The Lord has done this. We have no choice in the matter. 51Take Rebekah with you; she can marry your master's son, just as the Lord has said.” 52Abraham's servant bowed down and thanked the Lord. 53Then he gave clothing, as well as silver and gold jewelry, to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother.
54Abraham's servant and the men with him ate and drank, then spent the night there. The next morning they got up, and the servant told Rebekah's mother and brother, “I would like to go back to my master now.”
55“Let Rebekah stay with us for a week or ten days,” they answered. “Then she may go.”
56But he said, “Don't make me stay any longer. The Lord has already helped me find a wife for my master's son. Now let us return.”
57They answered, “Let's ask Rebekah what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked, “Are you willing to leave with this man at once?”
“Yes,” she answered.
59So they agreed to let Rebekah and an old family servant woman#24.59 old family servant woman: Probably Deborah, who had taken care of Rebekah from the time she was born (see 35.8). leave immediately with Abraham's servant and his men. 60They gave Rebekah their blessing and said, “We pray that God will give you many children and grandchildren and that he will help them defeat their enemies.” 61Afterwards, Rebekah and the young women who were to travel with her prepared to leave. Then they got on camels and left with Abraham's servant and his men.
62At that time Isaac was living in the southern part of Canaan near a place called “The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.”#24.62 Who Sees Me: Or “I Have Seen.” 63-65One evening he was walking#24.63-65 walking: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started toward them. Rebekah saw him coming; she got down from her camel, and asked, “Who is that man?”
“He is my master Isaac,” the servant answered. Then Rebekah covered her face with her veil.#24.63-65 covered … veil: Since the veiling of a bride was part of the wedding ceremony, this probably means that she was willing to become the wife of Isaac.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent#24.67 took … tent: This shows that Rebekah is now the wife of Isaac and the successor of Sarah as the leading woman in the tribe. where his mother had lived before she died, and Rebekah became his wife. He loved her and was comforted over the loss of his mother.