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Genesis 24

24
A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham lived to be a very old man. The Lord blessed him and everything he did. 2Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything he owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.#24:2 Put your hand under my leg This was a sign of a very important promise that Abraham trusted his servant to keep. 3Now I want you to make a promise to me. Promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but don’t let him marry a Canaanite girl. 4Go back to my country, to my own people, to find a wife for my son Isaac. Bring her here to him.”
5The servant said to him, “Maybe this woman will not want to come back with me to this land. If that happens, should I take your son with me to your homeland?”
6Abraham said to him, “No, don’t take my son to that place. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from my homeland to this place. That place was the home of my father and the home of my family, but he promised that this new land would belong to my family. May he send his angel before you so that you can choose a wife for my son. 8If the girl refuses to come with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back to that place.”
9So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.
The Search Begins
10The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left that place. The servant carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Mesopotamia, to Nahor’s city. 11In the evening, when the women come out to get water, he went to the water well outside the city. He made the camels kneel down at the well.
12The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please show your kindness to my master by helping me find a wife for his son Isaac. 13Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. 14I will say to one of them, ‘Please put your jar down so that I can drink.’ Let her answer show whether she is the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. If she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels,’ I will know that she is the right one. It will be proof that you have shown kindness to my master.”
A Wife Is Found
15Before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. 16She was very pretty. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. She went down to the well and filled her jar. 17Then the servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.”
18Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. She said, “Drink this, sir.” 19As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20So Rebekah quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she ran to the well to get more water, and she gave water to all the camels.
21The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure that the Lord had given him an answer and had made his trip successful. 22After the camels finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring that weighed 1/4 ounce.#24:22 1/4 ounce Literally, “1 beka” (5.75 g). He also gave her two gold arm bracelets that weighed 2 ounces#24:22 2 ounces Literally, “5 measures” (57.5 g). each. 23The servant asked, “Who is your father? And is there a place in your father’s house for me and my men to sleep?”
24Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25Then she said, “Yes, we have straw and other food for your camels and a place for you to sleep.”
26The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and loyal to him by leading me to his own people.”
28Then Rebekah ran and told her family about all these things. 29-30She had a brother named Laban. She told him what the man had said to her. Laban was listening to her. And when he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, he ran out to the well. There the man was, standing by the camels at the well. 31Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in!#24:31 Sir, you are welcome to come in Literally, “Come in, blessed of the Lord!” You don’t have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in and a place for your camels.”
32So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then he gave Abraham’s servant water so that he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33Laban then gave him food to eat, but the servant refused to eat. He said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”
So Laban said, “Then tell us.”
Bargaining for Rebekah
34The servant said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a great man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has much silver and gold and many servants. He has many camels and donkeys. 36Sarah was my master’s wife. When she was very old, she gave birth to a son, and my master has given everything he owns to that son. 37My master forced me to make a promise to him. He said to me, ‘You must not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but I don’t want him to marry one of the Canaanite girls. 38So you must promise to go to my father’s country. Go to my family and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘Maybe the woman will not come back to this place with me.’ 40But my master said to me, ‘I serve the Lord, and he will send his angel with you and help you. You will find a wife for my son among my people there. 41But if you go to my father’s country, and they refuse to give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’
42“Today I came to this well and said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43I will stand by this well and wait for a young woman to come to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44The right woman will answer in a special way. She will say, “Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels.” That way I will know that she is the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished praying, Rebekah came out to the well to get water. She had her water jar on her shoulder as she went to get water from the well. I asked her to give me some water. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and poured me some water. Then she said, ‘Drink this, and I’ll get some water for your camels.’ So I drank the water, and she gave water to my camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I gave her the ring and bracelets for her arms. 48I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him for leading me straight to the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49Now, tell me, will you be kind and loyal to my master and give him your daughter? Or will you refuse to give her to him? Tell me so that I will know what I should do.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “We see that this is from the Lord, so there is nothing we can say to change it. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son. This is what the Lord wants.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he brought. He gave her beautiful clothes and gold and silver jewelry. He also gave expensive gifts to her mother and brother. 54Then he and his men had something to eat and drink, and they spent the night there. Early the next morning they got up and the servant said, “Now we must go back to my master.”
55Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us for a short time. Let her stay with us ten days. After that she can go.”
56But the servant said to them, “Don’t make me wait. The Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.”
57Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
Rebekah said, “Yes, I will go.”
59So they allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. Her nurse also went with them. 60While Rebekah was leaving they said to her,
“Our sister, may you be
the mother of millions of people,
and may your descendants defeat
their enemies and take their cities.”
61Then Rebekah and her nurse got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was now living in the Negev. 63One evening he went out to the field to think.#24:63 think Or “to go for a walk.” He looked up and saw the camels coming from far away.
64Rebekah also looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that young man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “That is my master’s son.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Then Isaac brought the girl into his mother’s tent. Rebekah became his wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.
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.