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Genesis 24

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.
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.