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Genesis 24

24
A Bride for Isaac
1Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in every way. 2Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household who was in charge of all that he owned, “Please place your hand under my thigh, 3and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live; 4but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?” 6Then Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there! 7The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘To your #Lit seeddescendants I will give this land’—He will send His angel ahead of you, and you will take a wife for my son from there. 8But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free of this oath of mine; only do not take my son back there.” 9So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and went out with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand; so he set out and went to #Heb Aram-naharaim, Aram of the two riversMesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water #Lit at time of eveningwhen it was evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12And he said, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, please #Lit cause to occur for megrant me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the #Lit fountain of waterspring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14now may it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and #Lit she will saywho answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
Rebekah Is Chosen
15And it came about, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, came out with her jar on her shoulder. 16The young woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had #Lit known herhad relations with her. She went down to the spring, 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”; then she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19Now when she had finished giving him 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 back to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. 21Meanwhile, the man was taking a close look at her #Lit keeping silentin silence, to find out whether the Lord had made his journey successful or not.
22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a #A shekel was about 0.5 oz. or 14 gmhalf-shekel, and two bracelets for her #Lit handswrists weighing ten shekels in gold, 23and he said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room for us to stay overnight at your father’s house?” 24She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25Again she said to him, “We have plenty of both straw and feed, and room to stay overnight.” 26Then the man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. 27And he said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned His kindness and His trustworthiness toward my master; as for me, the Lord has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. 30When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s #Lit handswrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, “#Lit Thus the manThis is what the man said to me,” he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31And he said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside, since I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels?” 32So the man entered the house. Then #Lit heLaban unloaded the camels, and he gave straw and feed to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33But when food was set before him to eat, he said, “I will not eat until I have stated my business.” And he said, “Speak on.” 34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become #Lit greatrich; and He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and slave women, and camels and donkeys. 36Now my master’s wife Sarah bore a son to my master #Lit after she was oldin her old age, and he has given him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall go to my father’s house and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ 39Then I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman does not follow me.’ 40And he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, 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 from my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’
42“So I came today to the spring, and said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I have been going successful; 43behold, I am standing by the #Lit fountain of waterspring, and may it be that the #Or virginyoung unmarried woman who comes out to draw water, and to whom I say, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar”; 44and she says to me, “You drink, and I will draw for your camels also”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’; so I drank, and she watered the camels also. 47Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him’; and I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her #Lit handswrists. 48And I bowed low and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had guided me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49So now if you are going to #Lit show kindness and truth todeal kindly and truthfully with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me now, so that I may turn to the right or the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The matter has come from the Lord; so we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51Here is Rebekah 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 #Lit tobefore the Lord. 53And the servant brought out articles of silver and articles of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. 54Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, say ten; afterward she may go.” 56However, he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away so that I may go to my master.” 57And they said, “We will call the young woman and #Lit ask her mouthask her.” 58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister,
Become thousands of ten thousands,
And may your #Lit seeddescendants possess
The gate of those who hate them.”
61Then Rebekah got up with her female attendants, and they mounted the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
62Now Isaac had come back from #Lit coming toa journey to Beer-lahai-roi; for he was living in the #I.e., South countryNegev. 63Isaac went out to #Or stroll; meaning uncertainmeditate in the field toward evening; and he raised his eyes and looked, and behold, camels were coming. 64Rebekah raised her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master.” Then she took her #Or shawlveil and covered herself. 66The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her; so Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Genesis 24

24
1Abraham by now was old, really old, and the Lord had blessed him in every possible way. 2At that time Abraham told his oldest servant who was in charge of his whole household, “Put your hand under my thigh,#24:2. A customary action of the time when swearing an oath. 3and swear an oath by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you won't arrange for my son to marry any daughter of the these Canaanite people that I'm living among. 4Instead, go to my homeland where my relatives live, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
5“What if the woman refuses to come back with me to this country?” the servant asked. “Should I take your son back to the country you came from?”
6“No, you mustn't take my son back there,” Abraham replied. 7“The Lord, the God of heaven, took me from my family home and my own country. He spoke to me and swore an oath to me in which he promised, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ He is the one who will send his angel ahead of you so that you can find a wife there for my son. 8However, if the woman refuses to return here with you, then you are released from this oath. But make sure you don't take my son back there.”
9The servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to do as he had been told. 10Then the servant arranged for ten of his master's camels to carry all kinds of valuable gifts from Abraham and left for the town of Nahor in Aram-naharaim.#24:10. “Aram-naharaim”: or “Mesopotamia.” 11Arriving in the evening, he had the camels kneel down by the spring that was outside the town. This was the time when women went out to fetch water.
12He prayed, “Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please let me be successful today, and please show your faithfulness#24:12. “Faithfulness”: this word, often translated “trustworthy love,” in this setting is really to do with “loyalty,” “commitment,” even “kindness.” to my master Abraham. 13Look, I'm standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming to get water. 14May it happen like this. The young woman that I ask, ‘Please hold your water jar so I can have a drink,’ and she replies, ‘Please drink, and I'll give your camels water too’ —may she be the one you've chosen as a wife for your servant Isaac. This way I'll know that you've shown your faithfulness to my master.”
15He hadn't even finished praying when he saw Rebekah coming to get water, carrying her water jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milkah. Milkah was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor. 16She was very beautiful, a virgin—no one had slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came back up. 17The servant ran over to meet her and asked, “Please let me drink a few sips of water from your jar.”
18“Please drink, my lord,” she replied. She quickly lifted the jar down from her shoulder and held it for him to drink. 19After she finished giving him a drink, she said, “Let me get water for your camels too until they've had enough.”
20She quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran back to the spring to get more water. She brought enough for all his camels.
21The man observed her in silence to see if the Lord had made his journey successful or not. 22Once the camels had finished drinking, he gave her a gold nose-ring and two heavy gold bracelets for her wrists.#24:22. The weights are given as a half-shekel for the nose-ring, and ten shekels for the bracelets. Since the price of gold at the time is not known, it is impossible to estimate their value. However, they were significant gifts.
23Then he asked her, “Whose daughter are you? Also could you tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?”
24She replied, “I'm the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” Then she added, “We have plenty of straw and food for the camels, 25and yes, we have room for you to spend the night.”
26The man kneeled down and bowed in worship to the Lord. 27“Thank you Lord, the God of my master Abraham,” he prayed. “You have not forgotten your commitment and faithfulness to my master. And Lord, you have led me directly to the home of my master's relatives!”
28She ran to her mother's house and told her family what had happened. 29Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he ran out to meet the man who had remained at the spring. 30He'd noticed the nose-ring and the bracelets she was wearing, and he'd heard his sister Rebekah explaining, “This is what the man told me.” When he arrived the man was still there, standing with his camels beside the spring.
31“Please come home with me, you who are blessed by the Lord,” said Laban. “What are you standing out here for? I've got a room at home ready for you, and a place for the camels to stay.”
32So the man went home with him. Laban unloaded the camels and gave them straw and food to eat. He also provided water for the man to wash his feet, as well as for the men who were with him. 33Then Laban had food brought in.
But the man told him, “I'm not going to eat until I've explained why I'm here.”
“Please explain,” Laban replied.
34“I'm Abraham's servant,” the man began. 35“The Lord has blessed my master so much, and now he is a wealthy and powerful man. The Lord has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36His wife Sarah has had a son for my master even in her old age, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37My master made me swear an oath, saying, ‘You must not arrange for my son to marry any daughter of the Canaanite people in whose land I'm living. 38Instead, go to my family home where my relatives live, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.’
39I said to my master, ‘What if the woman refuses to come back with me?’
40He told me, ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have lived my life, will send his angel with you, and he will make your journey successful—you will find a wife for my son from my relatives, from my father's family. 41You will be released from the oath you swear to me if, when you go to my family, they refuse to let her return with you.’
42Today when I arrived at the spring, I prayed, Lord, God of my master Abraham, please let the journey I have taken be successful. 43Look, I'm standing here beside this spring. May it happen like this. If a young woman comes to get water, and I say, ‘Please give me a few sips of water to drink,’ 44and she says to me, ‘Please drink, and I'll get water for your camels too’ —may she be the one you've chosen as a wife for your servant Isaac.”
45“I hadn't even finished praying silently when I saw Rebekah coming to get water, carrying her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring to get water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lifted the jar down from her shoulder and she said, ‘Please drink, and I'll get water for your camels too.’ So I drank, and she got water for the camels.
47I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I'm the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ So I put the ring in her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists.
48Then I kneeled down and bowed in worship to the Lord. I thanked the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, for he led me directly to find my master's niece for his son. 49So please tell me now, will you show commitment and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no so I can decide what to do next.”
50Laban and Bethuel replied, “Clearly all this is from the Lord, so we can't argue one way or the other. 51Rebekah's here, you can take her and leave. She can become the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has decided.”
52As soon as Abraham's servant heard their decision, he bowed down in worship to the Lord. 53Then he unpacked silver and gold jewelry and expensive clothes and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable presents to her brother and her mother. 54He and the men with him ate and drank, and spent the night there. When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now and go home to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother said, “Let her stay with us for another ten days or so. She can leave after that.”
56“Please don't delay me,” he told them. “The Lord has made my journey successful, so let me leave and go back to my master.”
57“Let's call Rebekah and find out what she wants to do,” they suggested.
58They called Rebekah in and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
“Yes, I'll go,” she replied.
59So they let Laban's sister Rebekah leave with Abraham's servant and his men, together with the woman who had nursed her as a child. 60They asked a blessing on her, saying, “Our dear sister, may you become the mother to thousands and thousands of descendants, and may they conquer their enemies.” 61Then Rebekah and her servant girls got on the camels. They followed Abraham's servant and left.
62Meanwhile Isaac, who was living in the Negev, had just come back from Beer-lahai-roi. 63He went out into the fields one evening to think things over.#24:63. “Think things over”: often translated “meditate,” the word's meaning is uncertain. However, Isaac must have known that possibly his bride-to-be would soon be arriving, an event of considerable importance in his life. He looked into the distance and saw camels coming.
64Rebekah was also keeping a look out. When she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is this walking through the fields to meet us?”
“He's my master, Isaac,”#24:65. Isaac is not specifically identified in the text here, however the servant simply says, “He's my master,” which would normally mean Abraham. he replied. So she put on her veil to cover herself.
66The servant told Isaac everything he'd done. 67Isaac took Rebekah into his mother Sarah's tent, and he married her. He loved her, and she brought him comfort after his grief over his mother's death.