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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.
24
A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. 3Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 4Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
5The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?”
6“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. 7For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants.#24:7 Hebrew seed; also in 24:60. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. 8If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.”
9So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. 10Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. 11He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.
12“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
18“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.
21The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the Lord had given him success in his mission. 22Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets#24:22 Hebrew a gold nose-ring weighing a beka [0.2 ounces or 6 grams] and two gold bracelets weighing 10 [shekels] [4 ounces or 114 grams]. for her wrists.
23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?”
24“I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. 25Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.”
26The man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. 27“Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”
28The young woman ran home to tell her family everything that had happened. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to meet the man at the spring. 30He had seen the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said. So he rushed out to the spring, where the man was still standing beside his camels. 31Laban said to him, “Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the Lord! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels?”
32So the man went home with Laban, and Laban unloaded the camels, gave him straw for their bedding, fed them, and provided water for the man and the camel drivers to wash their feet. 33Then food was served. But Abraham’s servant said, “I don’t want to eat until I have told you why I have come.”
“All right,” Laban said, “tell us.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he explained. 35“And the Lord has greatly blessed my master; he has become a wealthy man. The Lord has given him flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, a fortune in silver and gold, and many male and female servants and camels and donkeys.
36“When Sarah, my master’s wife, was very old, she gave birth to my master’s son, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37And my master made me take an oath. He said, ‘Do not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 38Go instead to my father’s house, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son.’
39“But I said to my master, ‘What if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to go back with me?’ 40He responded, ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have lived, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful. Yes, you must find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41Then you will have fulfilled your obligation. But if you go to my relatives and they refuse to let her go with you, you will be free from my oath.’
42“So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O Lord, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. 43See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 44If she says, “Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,” let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished praying in my heart, I saw Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’ So I drank, and then she watered the camels.
47“Then I asked, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, and my grandparents are Nahor and Milcah.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists.
48“Then I bowed low and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife. 49So tell me—will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The Lord has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. 51Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed down to the ground and worshiped the Lord. 53Then he brought out silver and gold jewelry and clothing and presented them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and mother. 54Then they ate their meal, and the servant and the men with him stayed there overnight.
But early the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.”
55“But we want Rebekah to stay with us at least ten days,” her brother and mother said. “Then she can go.”
56But he said, “Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.”
57“Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” 58So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her.
And she replied, “Yes, I will go.”
59So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her. 60They gave her this blessing as she parted:
“Our sister, may you become
the mother of many millions!
May your descendants be strong
and conquer the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her servant girls mounted the camels and followed the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
62Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahai-roi. 63One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming. 64When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel. 65“Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?” she asked the servant.
And he replied, “It is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil. 66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.