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Genesis 24

Rebekah, 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 for ever. 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 “Paddan-Aram” in 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15; and “Paddan” in 48.7). 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 jewellery 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.” Straight away 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 jewellery, 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 out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started towards 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.
A Bride for Isaac
1Now Abraham #Gen. 18:11; 21:5was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord #Gen. 12:2; 13:2; 24:35; Ps. 112:3; Prov. 10:22; (Gal. 3:9)had blessed Abraham in all things. 2So Abraham said #Gen. 15:2to the oldest servant of his house, who #Gen. 24:10; 39:4–6ruled over all that he had, “Please, #Gen. 47:29; 1 Chr. 29:24put your hand under my thigh, 3and I will make you #Gen. 14:19, 22swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that #Gen. 26:35; 28:2; Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3; 2 Cor. 6:14–17you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; 4#Gen. 28:2but you shall go #Gen. 12:1; Heb. 11:15to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. 7The Lord God of heaven, who #Gen. 12:1; 24:3took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, #Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; Ex. 32:13; Deut. 1:8; 34:4; Acts 7:5‘To your descendants I give this land,’ #Gen. 16:7; 21:17; 22:11; Ex. 23:20, 23; 33:2; Heb. 1:4, 14He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then #Josh. 2:17–20you will be released from this oath; only do not 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 departed, #Gen. 24:2, 22for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to #Gen. 11:31, 32; 22:20; 27:43; 29:5the city of Nahor. 11And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time #Ex. 2:16; 1 Sam. 9:11when women go out to draw water. 12Then he #Gen. 24:27, 42, 48; 26:24; 32:9; Ex. 3:6, 15said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please #Gen. 27:20; Neh. 1:11; Ps. 37:5give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13Behold, here #Gen. 24:43I stand by the well of water, and #Ex. 2:16the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And #Judg. 6:17, 37; 1 Sam. 14:10; 16:7; 20:7; 2 Kin. 20:9; Prov. 16:33; Acts 1:26by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
15And it happened, #Is. 65:24before he had finished speaking, that behold, #Gen. 24:45; 25:20Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of #Gen. 22:20, 23Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16Now the young woman #Gen. 12:11; 26:7; 29:17was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”
18#Gen. 24:14, 46; (1 Pet. 3:8, 9)So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether #Gen. 24:12–14, 27, 52the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.
22So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden #Gen. 24:47; Ex. 32:2, 3; Is. 3:19–21nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
24So she said to him, #Gen. 22:23; 24:15“I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.”
26Then the man #Gen. 24:48, 52; Ex. 4:31bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. 27And he said, #Gen. 24:12, 42, 48; Ex. 18:10; Ruth 4:14; 1 Sam. 25:32, 39; 2 Sam. 18:28; Luke 1:68“Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken #Gen. 32:10; Ps. 98:3His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord #Gen. 24:21, 48led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” 28So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household these things.
29Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was #Gen. 29:5, 13Laban, and Laban ran out to the man by the well. 30So it came to pass, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Rebekah, saying, “Thus the man spoke to me,” that he went to the man. And there he stood by the camels at the well. 31And he said, “Come in, #Gen. 26:29; Judg. 17:2; Ruth 3:10; Ps. 115:15O blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.”
32Then the man came to the house. And he unloaded the camels, and #Gen. 43:24; Judg. 19:21provided straw and feed for the camels, and water to #Gen. 19:2; John 13:5, 13–15wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33Food was set before him to eat, but he said, #Job 23:12; John 4:34; Eph. 6:5–7“I will not eat until I have told about my errand.”
And he said, “Speak on.”
34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord #Gen. 13:2; 24:1has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36And Sarah my master’s wife #Gen. 21:1–7bore a son to my master when she was old; and #Gen. 21:10; 25:5to him he has given all that he has. 37Now my master #Gen. 24:2–4made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell; 38#Gen. 24:4but you shall go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’ 39#Gen. 24:5And I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’ 40#Gen. 24:7But he said to me, ‘The Lord, #Gen. 5:22, 24; 17:1; 1 Kin. 8:23before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house. 41#Gen. 24:8You will be clear from this oath when you arrive among my family; for if they will not give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’
42“And this day I came to the well and said, #Gen. 24:12‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go, 43#Gen. 24:13behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44and she says to me, “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#Gen. 24:15“But before I had finished #1 Sam. 1:13speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink 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.’ So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48#Gen. 24:26, 52And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to #Gen. 22:23; 24:27; Ps. 32:8; 48:14; Is. 48:17take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now if you will #Gen. 47:29; Josh. 2:14deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, #Ps. 118:23; Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:11“The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot #Gen. 31:24, 29speak to you either bad or good. 51#Gen. 20:15Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”
52And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that #Gen. 24:26, 48he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. 53Then the servant brought out #Gen. 24:10, 22; Ex. 3:22; 11:2; 12:35jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave #2 Chr. 21:3; Ezra 1:6precious things to her brother and to her mother.
54And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and stayed all night. Then they arose in the morning, and he said, #Gen. 24:56, 59; 30:25“Send me away to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.”
56And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.”
57So they said, “We will call the young woman and ask her personally.” 58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
And she said, “I will go.”
59So they sent away Rebekah their sister #Gen. 35:8and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her:
“Our sister, may you become
#Gen. 17:16The mother of thousands of ten thousands;
#Gen. 22:17; 28:14 And may your descendants possess
The gates of those who hate them.”
61Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
62Now Isaac came from the way of #Gen. 16:14; 25:11Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63And Isaac went out #Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1:2; 77:12; 119:15, 27, 48; 143:5; 145:5to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when #Josh. 15:18she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; 65for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself.
66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he #Gen. 25:20; 29:20; Prov. 18:22took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac #Gen. 23:1, 2; 38:12was comforted after his mother’s death.