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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.

Berĕshith (Genesis) 24

24
1And Aḇraham was old, advanced in years. And יהוה had blessed Aḇraham in every way.
2And Aḇraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh,
3so that I make you swear by יהוה, the Elohim of the heavens and the Elohim of the earth, that you do not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kena‛anites, among whom I dwell,
4but to go to my land and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Yitsḥaq.”
5And the servant said to him, “What if the woman refuses to follow me to this land? Do I then take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6And Aḇraham said to him, “Beware lest you take my son back there!
7“יהוה, Elohim of the heavens, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my relatives, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your seed I give this land,’ He sends His messenger before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
8“And if the woman refuses to follow you, then you shall be released from this oath; only, do not take my son back there.”
9Then the servant put his hand under the thigh of Aḇraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10And the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left, for all his master’s good gifts were in his hand. And he arose and went to Aram Naharayim, to the city of Naḥor.
11And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a fountain of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water.
12And he said, “יהוה, Elohim of my master Aḇraham, please cause her to meet before me this day, and show loving-commitment to my master Aḇraham.
13“See, I am standing here by the fountain of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
14“Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar to let me drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and let me water your camels too,’ let her be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Yitsḥaq. And let me know by this that You have shown loving-commitment to my master.”
15And it came to be, before he had ended speaking, that see, Riḇqah, who was born to Bethu’ĕl, son of Milkah, the wife of Naḥor, Aḇraham’s brother, came out with her jar on her shoulder.
16And the young woman was very good-looking, a maiden, no man having known her. And she went down to the fountain, filled her jar, and came up.
17And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.”
18And she said, “Drink, my master.” And she hurried and let her jar down to her hand, and gave him a drink.
19And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “Let me draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking.”
20And she hurried and emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the fountain to draw water, and drew for all his camels.
21And watching her, the man remained silent in order to know whether יהוה had prospered his way or not.
22And it came to be, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a sheqel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten sheqels of gold,
23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please inform me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24And she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethu’ĕl, Milkah’s son, whom she bore to Naḥor.”
25And she said to him, “We have both straw and fodder enough, and room to spend the night.”
26And the man bowed down his head and worshipped יהוה.
27And he said, “Blessed be יהוה Elohim of my master Aḇraham, who has not forsaken His loving-commitment and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, יהוה led me to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the young woman ran and informed those of her mother’s house these matters.
29And Riḇqah had a brother whose name was Laḇan, and Laḇan ran out to the man, to the fountain.
30And it came to be, when he saw the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of his sister Riḇqah, saying, “Thus the man spoke to me,” that he went to the man and saw him standing by the camels at the fountain.
31And he said, “Come in, O blessed of יהוה! Why do you stand outside? I myself have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.”
32So the man came into the house, while he unloaded the camels and provided straw and fodder for the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him,
33and set food before him to eat. But he said, “Let me not eat until I have spoken my word.” And he said, “Speak on.”
34And he said, “I am Aḇraham’s servant.
35“And יהוה has blessed my master exceedingly, and he has become great. And He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
36“And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old. And he has given to him all that he has.
37“And my master made me swear, saying, ‘Do not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kena‛anites, in whose land I dwell,
38but go to my father’s house and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’
39And I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not follow me?’ ”
40“But he said to me, ‘יהוה, before whom I walk, sends His messenger with you and shall prosper your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house.
41Then, when you go to my relatives, you are to be released from this oath. And if they do not give her to you, then you are released from my oath.’
42And this day I came to the fountain and said, ‘יהוה, Elohim of my master Aḇraham, please, if You are prospering the way in which I am going,”
43see, I am standing by the fountain of water, and when the young woman#See Explanatory Notes "Maiden". comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,”
44and she says to me, “Drink, and let me draw for your camels too,” let her be the woman whom יהוה has appointed for my master’s son.’
45“I had not yet ended speaking in my heart, then see, Riḇqah was coming out with her jar on her shoulder. And she went down to the fountain and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
46“And she hurried and let her jar down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and let me water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels too.
47“And I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethu’ĕl, Naḥor’s son, whom Milkah bore to him.’ Then I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists.
48And I bowed my head and worshipped יהוה, and blessed יהוה, Elohim of my master Aḇraham, who had led me in the true way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.”
49And now, if you are going to show loving-commitment and truth to my master, let me know, and if not, let me know, so that I turn to the right or to the left.
50And Laḇan answered – Bethu’ĕl too – and said, “The matter comes from יהוה, we are not able to speak to you either evil or good.
51See, Riḇqah is before you. Take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as יהוה has spoken.
52And it came to be, when Aḇraham’s servant heard their words, that he bowed himself towards the earth before יהוה.
53And the servant brought out ornaments of silver, and ornaments of gold, and garments, and gave them to Riḇqah. He also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
54And he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they arose in the morning he said, “Let me go to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days, at least ten, then you go.”
56And he said to them, “Do not delay me, since יהוה has prospered my way. Let me go so that I go to my master.”
57And they said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.”
58So they called Riḇqah and said to her, “Are you going with this man?” And she said, “I shall go.”
59So they let go Riḇqah their sister and her nurse, and Aḇraham’s servant and his men.
60And they blessed Riḇqah and said to her, “Let our sister become the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your seed possess the gates of those who hate them.”
61And Riḇqah and her young women arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Riḇqah and left.
62And Yitsḥaq came from the way of Be’ĕr Laḥai Ro’i, for he dwelt in the South.
63And Yitsḥaq went out to meditate in the field in the evening. And he lifted his eyes and looked and saw the camels coming.
64And Riḇqah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Yitsḥaq she dismounted from her camel,
65and she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself.
66And the servant told Yitsḥaq all the matters he had done.
67And Yitsḥaq brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. And he took Riḇqah and she became his wife, and he loved her. Thus Yitsḥaq was comforted after his mother’s death.