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Genesis 24

24
Isaac marries Rebekah
1As the days went by and Abraham became older, the LORD blessed Abraham in every way. 2Abraham said to the oldest servant of his household, who was in charge of everything he owned, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3By the LORD, God of heaven and earth, give me your word that you won’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I live. 4Go to my land and my family and find a wife for my son Isaac there.”
5The servant said to him, “What if the woman doesn’t agree to come back with me to this land? Shouldn’t I take your son back to the land you left?”
6Abraham said to him, “Be sure you don’t take my son back there. 7The LORD, God of heaven—who took me from my father’s household and from my family’s land, who spoke with me and who gave me his word, saying, ‘I will give this land to your descendants’—he will send his messenger in front of you, and you will find a wife for my son there. 8If the woman won’t agree to come back with you, you will be free from this obligation to me. Only don’t take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and gave him his word about this mission.
10The servant took ten of his master’s camels and all of his master’s best provisions, set out, and traveled to Nahor’s city in Aram-naharaim. 11He had the camels kneel down outside the city at the well in the evening, when women come out to draw water. 12He said, “LORD, God of my master Abraham, make something good happen for me today and be loyal to my master Abraham. 13I will stand here by the spring while the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. 14When I say to a young woman, ‘Hand me your water jar so I can drink,’ and she says to me, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels water too,’ may she be the one you’ve selected for your servant Isaac. In this way I will know that you’ve been loyal to my master.” 15Even before he finished speaking, Rebekah—daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother—was coming out with a water jar on her shoulder. 16The young woman was very beautiful, old enough to be married, and hadn’t known a man intimately. She went down to the spring, filled her water jar, and came back up.
17The servant ran to meet her and said, “Give me a little sip of water from your jar.”
18She said, “Drink, sir.” Then she quickly lowered the water jar with her hands and gave him some water to drink. 19When she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw some water for your camels too, till they’ve had enough to drink.” 20She emptied her water jar quickly into the watering trough, ran to the well again to draw water, and drew water for all of the camels. 21The man stood gazing at her, wondering silently if the LORD had made his trip successful or not.
22As soon as the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold ring, weighing a half shekel,#24.22 Heb beqa and two gold bracelets for her arms, weighing ten shekels. 23He said, “Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She responded, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, who is the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25She continued, “We have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and a place to spend the night.”
26The man bowed down and praised the LORD: 27“Bless the LORD, God of my master Abraham, who hasn’t given up his loyalty and his faithfulness to my master. The LORD has shown me the way to the household of my master’s brother.”
28The young woman ran and told her mother’s household everything that had happened. 29Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran to the man outside by the spring. 30When he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah say, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man, who was still standing by the spring with his camels. 31Laban said, “Come in, favored one of the LORD! Why are you standing outside? I’ve prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32So the man entered the house. Then Laban unbridled the camels, provided straw and feed for them and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him, 33and set out a meal for him.
But the man said, “I won’t eat until I’ve said something.”
Laban replied, “Say it.”
34The man said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The LORD has richly blessed my master, has made him a great man, and has given him flocks, cattle, silver, gold, men servants, women servants, camels, and donkeys. 36My master’s wife Sarah gave birth to a son for my master in her old age, and he’s given him everything he owns. 37My master made me give him my word: ‘Don’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women, in whose land I’m living. 38No, instead, go to my father’s household and to my relatives and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’ 40He said to me, ‘The LORD, whom I’ve traveled with everywhere, will send his messenger with you and make your trip successful; and you will choose a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s household. 41If you go to my relatives, you will be free from your obligation to me. Even if they provide no one for you, you will be free from your obligation to me.’
42“Today I arrived at the spring, and I said, ‘LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you wish to make the trip I’m taking successful, 43when I’m standing by the spring and the young woman who comes out to draw water and to whom I say, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jar,” 44and she responds to me, “Drink, and I will draw water for your camels too,” may she be the woman the LORD has selected for my master’s son.’ 45Before I finished saying this to myself, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder and went down to the spring to draw water. And I said to her, ‘Please give me something to drink.’ 46She immediately lowered her water jar and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels something to drink too.’ So I drank and she also gave water to the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son whom Milcah bore him.’ I put a ring in her nose and bracelets on her arms. 48I bowed and worshipped the LORD and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who led me in the right direction to choose the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now if you’re loyal and faithful to my master, tell me. If not, tell me so I will know where I stand either way.”
50Laban and Bethuel both responded, “This is all the LORD’s doing. We have nothing to say about it. 51Here is Rebekah, right in front of you. Take her and go. She will be the wife of your master’s son, just as the LORD said.” 52When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed low before the LORD. 53The servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. To her brother and to her mother he gave the finest gifts. 54He and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.
When they got up in the morning, the servant said, “See me off to my master.”
55Her brother and mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us not more than ten days, and after that she may go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t delay me. The LORD has made my trip successful. See me off so that I can go to my master.”
57They said, “Summon the young woman, and let’s ask her opinion.” 58They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She said, “I will go.”
59So they sent off their sister Rebekah, her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah, saying to her,
“May you, our sister, become
thousands of ten thousand;
may your children possess
their enemies’ cities.”
61Rebekah and her young women got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac had come from the region of#24.62 Heb uncertain; LXX through the desert of Beer-lahai-roi and had settled in the arid southern plain. 63One evening, Isaac went out to inspect the pasture,#24.63 Heb uncertain; possibly to walk around in the pasture or to meditate in the pasture and while staring he saw camels approaching. 64Rebekah stared at Isaac. She got down from the camel 65and said to the servant, “Who is this man walking through the pasture to meet us?”
The servant said, “He’s my master.” So she took her headscarf and covered herself. 66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent. He received Rebekah as his wife and loved her. So Isaac found comfort 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.