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Genesis 24

24
Courting of Rebekah
1Now Abraham was old, advanced in years, and Adonai blessed Abraham in everything.
2Then Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household who managed everything that belonged to him, “Now put your hand under my thigh,
3so that I may make you take an oath by Adonai, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am dwelling.
4On the contrary, to my land and to my relatives you must go and get a wife for my son Isaac.
5But the servant said to him, “Suppose the woman were unwilling to follow after me to this land? Should I then have your son go back to the land you came from?
6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t return my son there.
7Adonai, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land and who spoke to me and made a pledge to me saying, ‘To your seed I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there.
8If the woman is not willing to follow after you, then you will be free from this oath of mine. Nevertheless, you must not return my son there.”
9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he made a pledge to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left with all the best of his master’s things in his hand. Then he arose and went to Aram-Naharaim, to Nahor’s city.
11Then he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time for the going out to draw water.
12Adonai, the God of Abraham my master,” he said, “please make something happen before me today, and show loyalty to Abraham my master.
13Look, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are going out to draw water.
14Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please tip your jar so that I may drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink—and I’ll also water your camels’—let her be the one You have appointed for your servant Isaac. So by this I’ll know that You have shown graciousness to my master.”
15Now before he had finished speaking, behold there was Rebekah (who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother) going out with her jar on her shoulder.
16Now the young woman was very good looking, a girl of marriageable age, and she was a virgin. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up.
17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me sip a little water from your jar.”
18So she said, “Drink, my lord,” and she quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and gave him a drink.
19Now when she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they’ve finished drinking.”
20So she quickly poured out her jug into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew water for all his camels,
21while the man continued to pay close attention to her, keeping silent in order to know whether or not Adonai had made his way successful.
22Now after the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a nose ring of gold weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets on her hands weighing ten shekels of gold.
23“Whose daughter are you?” he said. “Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She said to him, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”
25She also said to him, “There’s both straw and plenty of feed with us, as well as room to spend the night.”
26Then the man bowed down and worshipped Adonai,
27and he said, “Blessed be Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loyalty and His truth toward my master. As for me, Adonai has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s house these things.
29Now Rebekah had a brother and his name was Laban, and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring.
30As soon as he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister saying, “Thus the man said to me,” he went to the man. There he was, standing by the camels at the spring.
31So he said, “Come in, blessed of Adonai. Why are you standing outside when I’ve tidied up the house and there is room for the camels?”
32So the man came to the house and he unloaded the camels. Straw and feed were given to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
33Food was placed before him to eat, but he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve stated my business.” So he said, “Speak.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said.
35Adonai has blessed my master very much so that he has become great, and He has given to him flocks of sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male slaves and female slaves, camels and donkeys.
36Now Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son for my master after she was old, and He gave him everything he owns.
37Then my master made me take an oath, saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I’m dwelling.’
38Instead you must go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’
39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman won’t come back with me?’
40So he said to me, ‘Adonai, before whom I’ve walked continually, will send His angel with you, and He will make your way successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s household.
41Then you’ll be free from my oath—if you come to my family and if they don’t give her to you—then you’ll be free from my oath.’
42So I came today to the spring and I said, ‘Adonai, the God of Abraham my master, if You are really going to make my way upon which I am walking successful,
43look, I’m standing by the spring of water. So let it be that the unmarried girl who is going out to draw water, to whom I’ll say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jug,”
44and she’ll say to me, “You drink, and I’ll also draw water for your camels”—let her be the woman whom Adonai appoints for my master’s son!’
45I had not yet finished speaking to my heart, and behold there was Rebekah going out—her jug was on her shoulder and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46And she quickly lowered her jug off of her and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ Then I placed the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her hands.
48I bowed down and worshipped Adonai and blessed Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the true way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49So now, if you’re really going to show loyalty and truth to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me and I’ll turn to the right or to the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, and they said, “The matter proceeds from Adonai. We cannot speak to you bad or good.
51Rebekah is before you. Take her and go, and let her become a wife for our master’s son, just as Adonai has spoken.”
52Now when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground to Adonai.
53Then the servant brought out articles of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brothers and to her mother.
54Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me off to my master.”
55But her brother with her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days—or ten. Afterwards she may go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t delay me, since Adonai has made my way successful. Send me off so that I can go to my master.”
57So they said, “We’ll call the young woman and let’s ask her opinion.”
58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”
59So they sent Rebekah their sister off with her nanny, and Abraham’s servant and his men,
60and they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your seed possess the gate of those who hate him.”
61Then Rebekah got up, with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed after the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
62Now Isaac had come from visiting Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the land of the Negev.
63Isaac went out to meditate strolling in the field at dusk. Then he lifted up his eyes and saw, behold, camels were coming.
64Rebekah also lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. Then she fell off her camel.
65Then she said to the servant, “Who is that man there who is walking in the field—to meet us?” The servant said, “He is my master.” So she took the veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
67Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, took Rebekah and she became his wife—and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after the loss of his mother.

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.