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Genesis 24

24
A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now old, getting on in years,#24:1 Lit days#Gn 18:11; Jos 13:1; 23:1–2; 1Kg 1:1 and the Lord had blessed him in everything. 2Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh,#Gn 47:29; Ex 1:5 3and I will have you swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,#Gn 26:34,35; 27:46; Dt 7:3; 2Co 6:14 4but will go to my land and my family to take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I have your son go back to the land you came from?”
6Abraham answered him, “Make sure that you don’t take my son back there. 7The Lord, the God of heaven,#2Ch 36:23; Ezr 1:2 who took me from my father’s house and from my native land,#Gn 12:1 who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’#24:7 Lit seed#Gn 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; Ex 32:13  — he will send his angel before you,#Gn 16:7; 21:17; 22:11; Ex 23:20,23 and you can take a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me,#Jos 2:17–20 but don’t let my son go back there.” 9So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and with all kinds of his master’s goods in hand, he went to Aram-naharaim, to Nahor’s town. 11At evening, the time when women went out to draw water, he made the camels kneel beside a well outside the town.
12Lord, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “make this happen for me today,#Gn 27:20 and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13I am standing here#Gn 24:43–44 at the spring where the daughters of the men of the town are coming out to draw water. 14Let the girl to whom I say, ‘Please lower your water jug so that I may drink,’ and who responds, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also’ — 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, there was Rebekah — daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah,#Gn 11:29; 22:23 the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor — coming with a jug on her shoulder. 16Now the girl was very beautiful,#Gn 12:11; 26:7; 29:17 a virgin — no man had been intimate with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up. 17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jug.”
18She replied, “Drink, my lord.” She quickly lowered her jug to her hand and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they have had enough to drink.”#24:19 Lit they are finished drinking 20She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels 21while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success.
22As the camels finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing ten shekels of gold. 23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She also said to him, “We have plenty of straw and feed and a place to spend the night.”
26Then the man knelt low, worshiped the Lord,#Ex 4:31 27and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld his kindness and faithfulness from my master.#Ru 2:20; Ezr 9:9; Neh 9:17 As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban,#Gn 25:20; 28:2; 29:5 and Laban ran out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah’s words — “The man said this to me!” — he went to the man. He was standing there by the camels at the spring.
31Laban said, “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord.#Gn 26:29; Jdg 17:2; Ru 3:10 Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded.#Gn 43:24; Jdg 19:21 Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was brought to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.
33A meal was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.”
So Laban said, “Please speak.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said. 35“The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her#24:36 Sam, LXX read his old age,#Gn 21:2 and he has given him everything he owns.#Gn 25:5 37My master put me under this oath: ‘You will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live 38but will go to my father’s family and to my clan to take a wife for my son.’ 39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman will not come back with me?’ 40He said to me, ‘The Lord before whom I have walked#Gn 17:1; 1Sm 2:30; 1Kg 2:4; 8:23; 2Kg 20:3; Ps 116:9 will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, and you will take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s family. 41Then you will be free from my oath if you go to my family and they do not give her to you — you will be free from my oath.’
42“Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: Lord, God of my master Abraham, if only you will make my journey successful! 43I am standing here at a spring. Let the young woman#24:43 Or the virgin who comes out to draw water, and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jug,’ 44and who responds to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels also’ — let her be the woman the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.
45“Before I had finished praying silently,#1Sm 1:13 there was Rebekah coming with her jug on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you? ’ She responded, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose#Ezk 16:11–12 and the bracelets on her wrists. 48Then I knelt low, worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the right way to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now, if you are going to show kindness and faithfulness to my master,#Gn 47:29; Jos 2:14 tell me; if not, tell me, and I will go elsewhere.”#24:49 Lit go to the right or to the left
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.#24:50 Lit we cannot say to you anything bad or good#Gn 31:24,29; 2Sm 13:22 51Rebekah is here in front of you. Take her and go, and let her be a wife for your master’s son, just as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.
When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me to my master.”
55But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us for about ten days. Then she#24:55 Or you can go.”
56But he responded to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master.”
57So they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.”#24:57 Lit mouth
58They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She replied, “I will go.” 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah with the one who had nursed and raised her,#24:59 Lit with her wet nurse; Gn 35:8#Gn 35:8 and Abraham’s servant and his men.
60They blessed Rebekah, saying to her:
Our sister, may you become
thousands upon ten thousands.#Gn 17:16
May your offspring possess
the city gates of their#24:60 Lit his enemies.#Gn 22:17
61Then Rebekah and her female servants got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi,#24:62 = A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me#Gn 16:14; 25:11 for he was living in the Negev region. 63In the early evening Isaac went out to walk#24:63 Or pray, or meditate; Hb obscure in the field, and looking up he saw camels coming. 64Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel 65and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
The servant answered, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah to be his wife. Isaac loved her, and he was comforted after his mother’s death.#Gn 23:1–2
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.