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Genesis 24

24
Chapter 24
A wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man. The Lord had blessed him in every way. 2Abraham had an important servant in his house. He had authority over everything that belonged to Abraham. Abraham said to him, ‘Come here and make a promise to me. Put your hand between my legs to show that I can trust you. #24:2 In those times, people did this to show that they were making a serious promise to someone. 3You must make a serious promise to me in front of the Lord. He is the God who rules both heaven and earth. I am living among the Canaanite people, but you must promise this to me: You must not get a Canaanite woman to be a wife for my son. 4Instead, you must go to my own country. Go to my family there to find a wife for my son Isaac.’
5The servant asked Abraham, ‘What should I do if the woman will not agree? Maybe she will not come back with me to this land? Must I then take your son to the country that you came from?’
6Abraham replied, ‘No! You must never take my son back there. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from there. He took me out of my father's house. He took me away from the land where my family lives. God made a serious promise to me. He said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” Because God has promised this, he will send his angel to go in front of you. When you arrive there, you will find a woman to marry my son. 8But perhaps the woman will not agree to come back here with you. If that happens, you do not have to keep this promise. But do not take my son back to that land.’ 9So, the servant put his hand between Abraham's legs. The servant promised that he would do everything that Abraham had told him.
10After that, Abraham's servant left to go on his journey. He took with him 10 of his master's camels. He also took many different kinds of valuable gifts that Abraham had given to him. #24:10 The servant took gifts from his master so that he could give them to the family of the woman who agreed to marry Isaac. He travelled towards Aram Naharaim. He arrived in the town of Nahor. #24:10 This was the place where Abraham's brother Nahor had lived. It was in Mesopotamia.
11Abraham's servant stopped outside the town. He made the camels go down on their knees near a well. It was the evening time, when women came to the well to get water. 12The servant prayed to God. He prayed, ‘Lord, God of Abraham, my master, please be my guide today. Be kind to my master Abraham, as you have promised him. 13See, I am standing here near this well. The daughters of the people who live in the town will come to get water from the well. 14I will say to one of the young women, “Please let me have a drink of water from your pot.” If she is the right woman for your servant Isaac to marry, please may she say, “Yes, drink. Then I will give water to your camels also”. If that happens, then I will know that you have kept your promise to my master.’
15The servant was still praying when Rebekah came to the well. She had her pot on her shoulder. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Milcah. Milcah was the wife of Abraham's brother, Nahor. 16The young woman was very beautiful. She had not had sex with any man. She went down to the well. She filled her pot with water and she came back up again. 17Abraham's servant hurried to meet her. He said, ‘Please give me a little water to drink from your pot.’ 18She replied, ‘Yes sir, please drink.’ She quickly took the pot down from her shoulders. She held the pot with her hands and gave him a drink. 19After she had done that, she said, ‘Now I will get some water for your camels too. I will do this until they have drunk as much water as they want.’ 20So Rebekah quickly poured the water from her pot into the place where the animals drank. She ran back to the well to get more water. She did this until the camels had drunk enough. 21Abraham's servant watched the girl, but he did not say anything. He wanted to know if the Lord had helped him to find a wife for Isaac.
22The camels finished drinking. Then Abraham's servant took out a valuable gold nose ring. It weighed one half shekel. He also took out two large gold rings for Rebekah's arms. They weighed 10 shekels each.
23The servant gave them to Rebekah and he asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father's house for me and my men to sleep there tonight?’
24Rebekah replied ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel. Nahor is his father, and Milcah is his mother. 25We have plenty of grass and food for the camels. And there is room for you to stay with us for the night.’
26Then the man turned his face towards the ground. He worshipped the Lord. 27He said, ‘I praise the Lord who is the God of my master, Abraham. He has been very kind to my master. He has done what he promised to do for him. The Lord has been kind to me too. He has led me here to the house of my master's family.’
28Rebekah quickly ran back home. She told her mother and her family about what had happened.
29Rebekah had a brother. His name was Laban. 30Laban saw the nose ring and the arm rings that Rebekah was wearing. Rebekah told him what the man had said to her. So Laban went out quickly to the well to meet the servant. He found him standing near the well, together with his camels. 31Laban said to him, ‘The Lord has blessed you! You should not continue to stand out here. Come with me. I have prepared a room for you in my house. There is also a place for your camels.’
32So Abraham's servant went with Laban to the house. They took the luggage off the camels. Someone brought grass and food for the camels. They also brought water so that Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33They prepared food for the servant but he said, ‘I will not eat yet. First I must tell you why I have come here.’ Laban said, ‘Please tell us.’
34So the servant said, ‘I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master very much, so that he has become very rich. The Lord has given him sheep and cows, and silver and gold. He has also given him male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36Sarah is my master's wife. She has given birth to a son for him, even when she was very old. My master has given his son everything that belongs to him. 37My master told me to make a serious promise to him. He said, “I live as a stranger among the Canaanite people. But you must not get a Canaanite woman to be a wife for my son. 38Instead, go to the land where my father lived and find a wife for my son from among my family there.”
39So I asked my master, “What should I do if the woman will not return with me?” 40My master said “I have lived to please the Lord. He will send his angel to go with you. You will find a wife for my son, because the Lord will help you. You will find a wife for him from among my own family. 41Go to the place where my family group live. If they refuse to let you take her, you will no longer have to keep your promise to me.” 
42I arrived at the town well today. I prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, please help me to find a wife for my master's son. This is why I have travelled here. 43See, I am standing here near this well. If a young woman comes to get water, I will say to her, ‘Please let me drink some water from your pot.’ 44If she is the woman that the Lord has chosen to marry my master's son, please may she say to me, ‘Yes, drink. Then I will also get some water for your camels to drink.’ ”
45While I was still praying quietly, Rebekah came to the well. She carried her pot on her shoulder. She went down to the well, and got some water. Then I said to her “Please give me some water to drink.” 46She quickly took her pot down from her shoulder. She said, “Drink. Then I will get water for your camels too.” So I drank. And she also gave water to the camels.
47I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “I am the daughter of Bethuel. Nahor is his father and Milcah is his mother.” When I heard that, I put the ring in her nose. I put the rings on her arms. 48I turned my face towards the ground and I worshipped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham. The Lord led me to the right place so that I met the granddaughter of my master's brother. The Lord has led me to her, for my master's son. 49So, tell me what you will say. If you will show true love to my master, then please say, “Yes.” But if not, then tell me. Then I will know what to do.’
50Laban and Bethuel replied, ‘We know that the Lord has caused all this to happen. So what we ourselves say is not important. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her with you to become the wife of your master's son. That is what the Lord has shown to be right.’
52When Abraham's servant heard their answer, he turned his face towards the ground to thank the Lord. 53He brought his master's gifts to give them to Rebekah. They were valuable things made from gold and silver, as well as beautiful clothes. He also gave valuable things to her brother and to her mother.
54After that, the servant ate a meal. The men who were with him also ate and drank. They stayed there for the night.
When they woke up the next morning, the servant said, ‘Let me leave now so that I can go back to my master.’ 55Rebekah's brother and her mother replied, ‘Please let Rebekah stay with us for a few more days. After 10 days or so, she can go with you.’ 56But the servant said, ‘Do not make me stay longer. The Lord has given me what I came here for. Let me leave now so that I can go back to my master.’ 57Rebekah's brother and mother said, ‘Let us call the girl. We can ask her what she wants to do.’ 58So they called Rebekah to come. They asked her, ‘Will you go with this man now?’ Rebekah said, ‘Yes, I will go.’
59So they agreed to let their sister Rebekah go. Her nurse went with her. They left there with Abraham's servant, and his men. 60As Rebekah was leaving, her brother and mother blessed her. They said,
‘Our sister, may you become the mother of millions of descendant.
May your descendants win against their enemies,
and may they enter their enemies' cities.’ #24:60 Rebekah's mother and her brother are asking God that he will bless Rebekah. They want her to have many children.
61Then Rebekah and her female servants left there, together with Abraham's servant. They took camels to ride on. That was how the servant took Rebekah and left.
62At this time Isaac had returned from Beer Lahai Roi. #24:62 Beer Lahai Roi is a well. See Genesis 16:14. He was now living in the Negev.
63It was evening time. Isaac went out to walk in the fields. He looked up and he saw some camels. They were coming towards him.
64Rebekah also looked up and she saw Isaac. She got down from her camel. 65She asked Abraham's servant, ‘I see a man in the field who is coming towards us. Who is he?’ The servant replied, ‘He is my master’. Rebekah covered her face with a piece of cloth. #24:65 She covered her face because she was not a married woman.
66Then the servant told Isaac everything that happened. 67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent that his mother Sarah had lived in. Rebekah became Isaac's wife. And Isaac loved Rebekah. So, Isaac was happy again, after the death of his mother.
24
Isaac and Rebekah
1Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, ‘Put your hand under my thigh. 3I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’
5The servant asked him, ‘What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?’
6‘Make sure that you do not take my son back there,’ Abraham said. 7‘The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, “To your offspring#24:7 Or seed I will give this land” – he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.’ 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim#24:10 That is, North-west Mesopotamia and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11He made the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was towards evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
12Then he prayed, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14May it be that when I say to a young woman, “Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,” and she says, “Drink, and I’ll water your camels too” – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.’
15Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
17The servant hurried to meet her and said, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar.’
18‘Drink, my lord,’ she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19After 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 jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka#24:22 That is, about 5.7 grams and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.#24:22 That is, about 115 grams 23Then he asked, ‘Whose daughter are you? 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, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.’ 25And she added, ‘We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.’
26Then the man bowed down and worshipped the Lord, 27saying, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.’
28The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31‘Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,’ he said. ‘Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.’
32So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33Then food was set before him, but he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.’
‘Then tell us,’ Laban said.
34So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37And my master made me swear an oath, and said, “You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.”
39‘Then I asked my master, “What if the woman will not come back with me?”
40‘He replied, “The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family. 41You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you – then you will be released from my oath.”
42‘When I came to the spring today, I said, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jar,’ 44and if she says to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,’ let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.”
45‘Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, “Please give me a drink.”
46‘She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, “Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.” So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
47‘I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?”
‘She said, “The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.”
‘Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48and I bowed down and worshipped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.’
50Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.’
52When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewellery and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, he said, ‘Send me on my way to my master.’
55But her brother and her mother replied, ‘Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you#24:55 Or she may go.’
56But he said to them, ‘Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.’
57Then they said, ‘Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.’ 58So they called Rebekah and asked her, ‘Will you go with this man?’
‘I will go,’ she said.
59So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
‘Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the cities of their enemies.’
61Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63He went out to the field one evening to meditate,#24:63 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65and asked the servant, ‘Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?’
‘He is my master,’ the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.