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Genesis 24

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.
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.