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Genesis 24

24
1 Now Abraham was old and of many days. And the Lord had blessed him in all things.
2 And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was in charge of all that he had: "Place your hand under my thigh,
3 so that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.
4 But that you will proceed to my land and kindred, and from there take a wife for my son Isaac."
5 The servant responded, "If the woman is not willing to come with me into this land, must I lead your son back to the place from which you departed?"
6 And Abraham said: "Beware that you never lead my son back to that place.
7 The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my nativity, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' himself will send his Angel before you, and you will take from there a wife for my son.
8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, you will not be held by the oath. Only do not lead my son back to that place."
9 Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and he swore to him on his word.
10 And he took ten camels from his lord's herd, and he went forth, carrying with him things from all of his goods. And he set out, and continued on, to the city of Nahor, in Mesopotamia.
11 And when he had made the camels lie down outside of the town, near a well of water, in the evening, at the time when women are accustomed to go out to draw water, he said:
12 "O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, meet with me today, I beg you, and show mercy to my lord Abraham.
13 Behold, I stand near the fountain of water, and the daughters of the inhabitants of this city will go forth to draw water.
14 Therefore, the girl to whom I will say, 'Tip your pitcher, so that I may drink,' and she will respond, 'Drink. In fact, I will give your camels a drink also,' the same one is she whom you have prepared for your servant Isaac. And by this, I will understand that you have shown mercy to my lord."
15 But he had not yet completed these words within himself, when, behold, Rebekah went out, the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, having a pitcher on her shoulder.
16 She was an exceedingly elegant girl, and a most beautiful virgin, and unknown by man. And she descended to the spring, and she filled her pitcher, and then was returning.
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and he said, "Provide me with a little water to drink from your pitcher."
18 And she responded, "Drink, my lord." And she quickly brought down the pitcher on her arm, and she gave him a drink.
19 And after he drank, she added, "In fact, I will draw water for your camels also, until they all drink."
20 And pouring out the pitcher into the troughs, she ran back to the well to draw water; and having drawn, she gave it to all the camels.
21 But he was contemplating her silently, wanting to know whether the Lord had caused his journey to prosper or not
22 Then, after the camels drank, the man took out gold earrings, weighing two shekels, and the same number of bracelets, ten shekels in weight.
23 And he said to her: "Whose daughter are you? Tell me, is there any place in your father's house to lodge?"
24 She responded, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, to whom she gave birth for Nahor."
25 And she continued, saying, "There is very much straw and hay with us, and a spacious place to stay."
26 The man bowed himself down, and he adored the Lord,
27 saying, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has not taken away his mercy and truth from my lord, and who has led me on a direct journey to the house of the brother of my lord."
28 And so the girl ran, and she reported all that she had heard in the house of her mother.
29 Now Rebekah had a brother, named Laban, who went out quickly to the man, where the spring was.
30 And when he had seen the earrings and bracelets in his sister's hands, and he had heard all the words being repeated, "This is what the man spoke to me," he came to the man who stood by the camels and near the spring of water,
31 and he said to him: "Enter, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels."
32 And he brought him into his guest quarters. And he unharnessed the camels, and he distributed straw and hay, and water to wash his feet and that of the men who arrived with him.
33 And bread was set out in his sight. But he said, "I will not eat, until I have spoken my words." He answered him, "Speak."
34 Then he said: "I am the servant of Abraham.
35 And the Lord has blessed my lord greatly, and he has become great. And he has given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, men servants and women servants, camels and donkeys.
36 And Sarah, the wife of my lord, has given birth to a son for my lord in her old age, and he has given him all that he had.
37 And my lord made me swear, saying: 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell.
38 But you shall travel to my father's house, and you shall take a wife of my own kindred for my son.'
39 But truly, I answered my lord, 'What if the woman is not willing to come with me?'
40 'The Lord,' he said, 'in whose sight I walk, will send his Angel with you, and he will direct your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my own kindred and from my father's house.
41 But you will be innocent of my curse, if, when you will arrive at my close relatives, they will not grant this to you.'
42 And so, today I arrived at the well of water, and I said: 'O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, if you have directed my way, in which I now walk,
43 behold, I stand next to the well of water, and the virgin, who will go forth to draw water, will hear from me, "Give me a little water to drink from your pitcher."
44 And she will say to me, "You drink, and I will also draw for your camels." Let the same be the woman, whom the Lord has prepared for the son of my lord.'
45 And while I thought over these things silently within myself, Rebekah appeared, arriving with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder. And she descended to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, 'Give me a little to drink.'
46 And she quickly let down the pitcher from her arm, and said to me, 'You drink, and to your camels I will also distribute drinking water.' I drank, and she watered the camels.
47 And I questioned her, saying, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she responded, 'I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' And so, I hung the earrings on her, to adorn her face, and I put the bracelets on her hands.
48 And falling prostrate, I adored the Lord, blessing the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has led me along the straight path so as to take the daughter of my lord's brother to his son.
49 For this reason, if you would act according to mercy and truth with my lord, tell me so. But if it pleases you otherwise, say that to me also, so that I may go either to the right, or to the left."
50 And Laban and Bethuel responded: "A word has proceeded from the Lord. We are not able to speak anything else to you, beyond what pleases him.
51 Lo, Rebekah is in your sight. Take her and continue on, and let her be the wife of the son of your lord, just as the Lord has spoken."
52 When Abraham's servant had heard this, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.
53 And bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, as well as garments, he gave them to Rebekah as a tribute. Likewise, he offered gifts to her brothers and her mother.
54 And a banquet began, and they feasted and drank together, and they lodged there. And rising up in the morning, the servant said, "Release me, so that I may go to my lord."
55 And her brothers and mother responded, "Let the girl remain for at least ten days with us, and after that, she will continue on."
56 "Do not be willing," he said, "to delay me, for the Lord has directed my way. Release me, so that I may journey to my lord."
57 And they said, "Let us call the girl, and ask her will."
58 And when, having been called, she arrived, they wanted to know, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
59 Therefore, they released her and her nurse, and the servant of Abraham and his companions,
60 wishing prosperity for their sister, by saying: "You are our sister. May you increase to thousands of thousands. And may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."
61 And so, Rebekah and her maids, riding upon camels, followed the man, who quickly returned to his lord.
62 Then, at the same time, Isaac was walking along the way that leads to the well, whose name is: 'of the One who lives and who sees.' For he dwelt in the southern land.
63 And he had gone out to meditate in the field, as daylight was now declining. And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw camels advancing from afar.
64 Likewise, Rebekah, having seen Isaac, descended from the camel.
65 And she said to the servant, "Who is that man who advances to meet us through the field?" And he said to her, "That is my lord." And so, quickly taking up her cloak, she covered herself.
66 Then the servant explained to Isaac all that he had done.
67 And he led her into the tent of Sarah his mother, and he accepted her as wife. And he loved her so very much, that it tempered the sorrow which befell him at his mother's death.
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.