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Genesis 24

24
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 forever. 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 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15 where CEV translates “Paddan-Aram” as “northern Syria”; and 48.7 where CEV translates “Paddan” as “northern Syria”). 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 jewelry 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.” At once 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 jewelry, 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#24.63-65 walking: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started toward 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.

Genesis 24

24
Abraham Instructs His Servant
1By now Abraham was old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2So Abraham said to the senior servant of his household who was in charge of all that he owned, “Take a solemn oath. 3I want you to swear by the Lord God of heaven and earth that you will not get my son a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I’m living. 4Instead, you will go to the land of my relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant asked him, “What if the woman doesn’t want to come back to this land with me? Should I take your son all the way back to the land you came from?”
6“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said to him. 7“The Lord God of heaven took me from my father’s home and the land of my family. He spoke to me and swore this oath: ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’
“God will send his angel ahead of you, and you will get my son a wife from there. 8If the woman doesn’t want to come back with you, then you’ll be free from this oath that you swear to me. But don’t take my son back there.” 9So the servant did as his master Abraham commanded and swore the oath to him concerning this.
10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left, taking with him all of his master’s best things. He traveled to Aram Naharaim, Nahor’s city.
Abraham’s Servant Finds a Wife for Isaac
11The servant had the camels kneel down outside the city by the well. It was evening, when the women would go out to draw water. 12Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today. Show your kindness to Abraham. 13Here I am standing by the spring, and the girls of the city are coming out to draw water. 14I will ask a girl, ‘May I please have a drink from your jar?’ If she answers, ‘Have a drink, and I’ll also water your camels,’ let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. This way I’ll know that you’ve shown your kindness to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16The girl was a very attractive virgin. No man had ever had sexual intercourse with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came back.
17The servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a drink of water.”
18“Drink, sir,” she said. She quickly lowered her jar to her hand and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also keep drawing water for your camels until they’ve had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the water trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21The man was silently watching her to see whether or not the Lord had made his trip successful.
22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a fifth of an ounce and two gold bracelets weighing four ounces. 23He asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me whether there is room in your father’s house for us to spend the night.”
24She answered him, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah and Nahor. 25We have plenty of straw and feed ⌞for your camels⌟ and room for you to spend the night.”
26The man knelt, bowing to the Lord with his face touching the ground. 27He said, “Praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord hasn’t failed to be kind and faithful to my master. The Lord has led me on this trip to the home of my master’s relatives.”
28The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. 30He saw the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and heard her tell what the man had said to her. Immediately, Laban ran out to the man by the spring.#24:30 The last part of verse 29 (in Hebrew) has been placed in verse 30 to express the complex Hebrew sentence structure more clearly in English. He came to the man, who was standing with the camels by the spring. 31He said, “Come in, you whom the Lord has blessed. Why are you standing out here? I have straightened up the house and made a place for the camels.”
32So the man went into the house. The camels were unloaded and given straw and feed. Then water was brought for him and his men to wash their feet. 33When the food was put in front of him, he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve said what I have to say.”
“Speak up,” Laban said.
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said. 35“The Lord has blessed my master, and he has become wealthy. The Lord has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. 36My master’s wife Sarah gave him a son in her old age, and my master has given that son everything he has. 37My master made me swear this oath: ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I’m living. 38Instead, go to my father’s home and to my relatives, and get my son a wife.’
39“I asked my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’
40“He answered me, ‘I have been living the way the Lord wants me to. The Lord will send his angel with you to make your trip successful. You will get my son a wife from my relatives and from my father’s family. 41Then you will be free from your oath to me. You will also be free of your oath to me if my relatives are not willing to do this when you go to them.’
42“When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘Lord God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43I’m standing by the spring. I’ll say to the young woman who comes out to draw water, “Please give me a drink of water.” 44If she says to me, “Not only may you have a drink, but I will also draw water for your camels,” let her be the woman the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished praying, Rebekah came with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water.
“So I asked her, ‘May I have a drink?’ 46She quickly lowered her jar and said, ‘Have a drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
47“Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“She answered, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor and Milcah.’
“I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48I knelt, bowing down to the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord led me in the right direction to get the daughter of my master’s relative for his son. 49Tell me whether or not you’re going to show my master true kindness so that I will know what to do.”
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord. We can’t say anything to you one way or another. 51Here’s Rebekah! Take her and go! She will become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has said.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed down to the Lord. 53The servant took out gold and silver jewelry and clothes and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and 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, “Let me go back to my master.”
55Her brother and mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us ten days or so. After that she may go.”
56He said to them, “Don’t delay me now that the Lord has made my trip successful. Let me go back to my master.”
57So they said, “We’ll call the girl and ask her.”
58They called for Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
She said, “Yes, I’ll go.”
59So they let their sister Rebekah and her nurse go with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60They gave Rebekah a blessing:
“May you, our sister, become the mother of many thousands of children.
May your descendants take possession of their enemies’ cities.”
61Then Rebekah and her maids left. Riding on camels, they followed the man. The servant took Rebekah and left.
Isaac and Rebekah Are Married
62Isaac had just come back from Beer Lahai Roi, since he was living in the Negev. 63Toward evening Isaac went out into the field to meditate. When he looked up, he saw camels coming. 64When Rebekah saw Isaac, she got down from her camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is that man over there coming through the field to meet us?”
“That is my master,” the servant answered. Then she took her veil and covered herself. 66The servant reported to Isaac everything he had done. 67Isaac took her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He married Rebekah. She became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.