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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
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.