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Genesis 24

24
1 NOW ABRAHAM was old, well advanced in years, and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said to the eldest servant of his house [Eliezer of Damascus], who ruled over all that he had, I beg of you, put your hand under my thigh; [Gen. 15:2.]
3 And you shall 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 have settled,
4 But you shall go to my country and to my relatives and take a wife for my son Isaac.
5 The servant said to him, But perhaps the woman will not be willing to come along after me to this country. Must I take your son to the country from which you came?
6 Abraham said to him, See to it that you do not take my son back there.
7 The Lord, the God of heaven, Who took me from my father's house, from the land of my family and my birth, Who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, To your offspring I will give this land–He will send His Angel before you, and you will take a wife from there for my son.
8 And if the woman should not be willing to go along after you, then you will be clear from this oath; only you must not take my son back there.
9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 And the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking some of all his master's treasures with him; thus he journeyed to Mesopotamia [between the Tigris and the Euphrates], to the city of Nahor [Abraham's brother].
11 And he made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water.
12 And he said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, I pray You, cause me to meet with good success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
13 See, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming to draw water.
14 And let it so be that the girl to whom I say, I pray you, let down your jar that I may drink, and she replies, Drink, and I will give your camels drink also–let her be the one whom You have selected and appointed and indicated for Your servant Isaac [to be a wife to him]; and by it I shall know that You have shown kindness and faithfulness to my master.
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, out came Rebekah, who was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Nahor the brother of Abraham, with her water jar on her shoulder.
16 And the girl was very beautiful and attractive, chaste and modest, and unmarried. And she went down to the well, filled her water jar, and came up.
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, I pray you, let me drink a little water from your water jar.
18 And she said, Drink, my lord; and she quickly let down her jar onto her hand and gave him a drink.
19 When she had given him a drink, she said, I will draw water for your camels also, until they finish drinking.
20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well and drew water for all his camels.
21 The man stood gazing at her in silence, waiting to know if the Lord had made his trip prosperous.
22 And when the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold earring or nose ring of half a shekel in weight, and for her hands two bracelets of ten shekels in weight in gold,
23 And said, Whose daughter are you? I pray you, tell me: Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge there?
24 And she said to him, I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah and [her husband] Nahor.
25 She said also to him, We have both straw and provender (fodder) enough, and also room in which to lodge.
26 The man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord
27 And said, Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, Who has not left my master bereft and destitute of His loving-kindness and steadfastness. As for me, going on the way [of obedience and faith] the Lord led me to the house of my master's kinsmen.
28 The girl related to her mother's household what had happened.
29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the well.
30 For when he saw the earring or nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and when he heard Rebekah his sister saying, The man said this to me, he went to the man and found him standing by the camels at the well.
31 He cried, Come in, you blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside? For I have made the house ready and have prepared a place for the camels.
32 So the man came into the house; and [Laban] ungirded his camels and gave straw and provender for the camels and water to bathe his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
33 A meal was set before him, but he said, I will not eat until I have told of my errand. And [Laban] said, Speak on.
34 And he said, I am Abraham's servant.
35 And the Lord has blessed my master mightily, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks, herds, silver, gold, menservants, maidservants, camels, and asses.
36 And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old, and to him he has given all that he has.
37 And my master made me swear, saying, You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell,
38 But you shall go to my father's house and to my family and take a wife for my son.
39 And I said to my master, But suppose the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said to me, The Lord, in Whose presence I walk [habitually], will send His Angel with you and prosper your way, and you will take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father's house.
41 Then you shall be clear from my oath, when you come to my kindred; and if they do not give her to you, you shall be free and innocent of my oath.
42 I came today to the well and said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if You are now causing me to go on my way prosperously–
43 See, I am standing by the well of water; now let it be that when the maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, I pray you, give me a little water from your [water] jar to drink,
44 And if she says to me, You drink, and I will draw water for your camels also, let that same woman be the one whom the Lord has selected and indicated for my master's son.
45 And before I had finished praying in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, I pray you, let me have a drink.
46 And she quickly let down her [water] jar from her shoulder and said, Drink, and I will water your camels also. So I drank, and she gave the camels drink also.
47 I asked her, Whose daughter are you? She said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him. And I put the earring or nose ring on her face and the bracelets on her arms.
48 And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, Who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter to his son.
49 And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master [showing faithfulness to him], tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right or to the left.
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, The thing comes forth from the Lord; we cannot speak bad or good to you.
51 Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has said.
52 And when Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground before the Lord.
53 And the servant brought out jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and garments and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and her mother.
54 Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed there all night. And in the morning they arose, and he said. Send me away to my master.
55 But [Rebekah's] brother and mother said, Let the girl stay with us a few days–at least ten; then she may go.
56 But [the servant] said to them, Do not hinder and delay me, seeing that the Lord has caused me to go prosperously on my way. Send me away, that I may go to my master.
57 And they said, We will call the girl and ask her [what is] her desire.
58 So they called Rebekah and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse [Deborah] and Abraham's servant and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, You are our sister; may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your posterity possess the gate of their enemies.
61 And Rebekah and her maids arose and followed the man upon their camels. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
62 Now Isaac had returned from going to the well Beer-lahai-roi [A well to the Living One Who sees me], for he [now] dwelt in the South country (the Negeb).
63 And Isaac went out to meditate and bow down [in prayer] in the open country in the evening; and he looked up and saw that, behold, the camels were coming.
64 And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel.
65 For she [had] said to the servant, Who is that man walking across the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, He is my master. So she took a veil and concealed herself with it.
66 And the servant told Isaac everything that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus 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.