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Genesis 24

24
1And Abraham [is] old, he hath entered into days, and Jehovah hath blessed Abraham in all [things];
2and Abraham saith unto his servant, the eldest of his house, who is ruling over all that he hath, ‘Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh,
3and I cause thee to swear by Jehovah, God of the heavens, and God of the earth, that thou dost not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanite, in the midst of whom I am dwelling;
4but unto my land and unto my kindred dost thou go, and hast taken a wife for my son, for Isaac.’
5And the servant saith unto him, ‘It may be the woman is not willing to come after me unto this land; do I at all cause thy son to turn back unto the land from whence thou camest out?’
6And Abraham saith unto him, ‘Take heed to thyself, lest thou cause my son to turn back thither;
7 Jehovah, God of the heavens, who hath taken me from the house of my father, and from the land of my birth, and who hath spoken to me, and who hath sworn to me, saying, To thy seed I give this land, He doth send His messenger before thee, and thou hast taken a wife for my son from thence;
8and if the woman be not willing to come after thee, then thou hast been acquitted from this mine oath: only my son thou dost not cause to turn back thither.’
9And the servant putteth his hand under the thigh of Abraham his lord, and sweareth to him concerning this matter.
10And the servant taketh ten camels of the camels of his lord and goeth, also of all the goods of his lord in his hand, and he riseth, and goeth unto Aram-Naharaim, unto the city of Nahor;
11and he causeth the camels to kneel at the outside of the city, at the well of water, at even-time, at the time of the coming out of the women who draw water.
12And he saith, ‘Jehovah, God of my lord Abraham, cause to meet, I pray Thee, before me this day — (and do kindness with my lord Abraham;
13lo, I am standing by the fountain of water, and daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water;
14and it hath been, the young person unto whom I say, Incline, I pray thee, thy pitcher, and I drink, and she hath said, Drink, and I water also thy camels) — her Thou hast decided for Thy servant, for Isaac; and by it I know that Thou hast done kindness with my lord.’
15And it cometh to pass, before he hath finished speaking, that lo, Rebekah (who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, wife of Nahor, brother of Abraham) is coming out, and her pitcher on her shoulder,
16and the young person [is] of very good appearance, a virgin, and a man hath not known her; and she goeth down to the fountain, and filleth her pitcher, and cometh up.
17And the servant runneth to meet her, and saith, ‘Let me swallow, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher;’
18and she saith, ‘Drink, my lord;’ and she hasteth, and letteth down her pitcher upon her hand, and giveth him drink.
19And she finisheth giving him drink, and saith, ‘Also for thy camels I draw till they have finished drinking;’
20and she hasteth, and emptieth her pitcher into the drinking-trough, and runneth again unto the well to draw, and draweth for all his camels.
21And the man, wondering at her, remaineth silent, to know whether Jehovah hath made his way prosperous or not.
22And it cometh to pass when the camels have finished drinking, that the man taketh a golden ring (whose weight [is] a bekah), and two bracelets for her hands (whose weight [is] ten [bekahs] of gold),
23and saith, ‘Whose daughter [art] thou? declare to me, I pray thee, is the house of thy father a place for us to lodge in?’
24And she saith unto him, ‘I [am] daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she hath borne to Nahor.’
25She saith also unto him, ‘Both straw and provender [are] abundant with us, also a place to lodge in.’
26And the man boweth, and doth obeisance to Jehovah,
27and saith, ‘Blessed [is] Jehovah, God of my lord Abraham, who hath not left off His kindness and His truth with my lord; — I [being] in the way, Jehovah hath led me to the house of my lord's brethren.’
28And the young person runneth, and declareth to the house of her mother according to these words.
29And Rebekah hath a brother, and his name [is] Laban, and Laban runneth unto the man who [is] without, unto the fountain;
30yea, it cometh to pass, when he seeth the ring, and the bracelets on the hands of his sister, and when he heareth the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, ‘Thus hath the man spoken unto me,’ that he cometh in unto the man, and lo, he is standing by the camels by the fountain.
31And he saith, ‘Come in, O blessed one of Jehovah, why standest thou without, and I — I have prepared the house and place for the camels!’
32And he bringeth in the man into the house, and looseth the camels, and giveth straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the feet of the men who [are] with him:
33and setteth before him to eat; but he saith, ‘I do not eat till I have spoken my word;’ and he saith, ‘Speak.’
34And he saith, ‘I [am] Abraham's servant;
35and Jehovah hath blessed my lord exceedingly, and he is great; and He giveth to him flock, and herd, and silver, and gold, and men-servants, and maid-servants, and camels, and asses;
36and Sarah, my lord's wife, beareth a son to my lord, after she hath been aged, and he giveth to him all that he hath.
37‘And my lord causeth me to swear, saying, Thou dost not take a wife to my son from the daughters of the Canaanite, in whose land I am dwelling.
38If not — unto the house of my father thou dost go, and unto my family, and thou hast taken a wife for my son.
39‘And I say unto my lord, It may be the woman doth not come after me;
40and he saith unto me, Jehovah, before whom I have walked habitually, doth send His messenger with thee, and hath prospered thy way, and thou hast taken a wife for my son from my family, and from the house of my father;
41then art thou acquitted from my oath, when thou comest unto my family, and if they give not [one] to thee; then thou hast been acquitted from my oath.
42‘And I come to-day unto the fountain, and I say, Jehovah, God of my lord Abraham, if Thou art, I pray Thee, making prosperous my way in which I am going —
43(lo, I am standing by the fountain of water), then the virgin who is coming out to draw, and I have said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher,
44and she hath said unto me, Both drink thou, and also for thy camels I draw — she is the woman whom Jehovah hath decided for my lord's son.
45‘Before I finish speaking unto my heart, then lo, Rebekah is coming out, and her pitcher on her shoulder, and she goeth down to the fountain, and draweth; and I say unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee,
46and she hasteth and letteth down her pitcher from off her and saith, Drink, and thy camels also I water; and I drink, and the camels also she hath watered.
47‘And I ask her, and say, Whose daughter [art] thou? and she saith, Daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, whom Milcah hath borne to him, and I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands,
48and I bow, and do obeisance before Jehovah, and I bless Jehovah, God of my lord Abraham, who hath led me in the true way to receive the daughter of my lord's brother for his son.
49‘And now, if ye are dealing kindly and truly with my lord, declare to me; and if not, declare to me; and I turn unto the right or unto the left.’
50And Laban answereth — Bethuel also — and they say, ‘The thing hath gone out from Jehovah; we are not able to speak unto thee bad or good;
51lo, Rebekah [is] before thee, take and go, and she is a wife to thy lord's son, as Jehovah hath spoken.’
52And it cometh to pass, when the servant of Abraham hath heard their words, that he boweth himself towards the earth before Jehovah;
53and the servant taketh out vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and giveth to Rebekah; precious things also he hath given to her brother and to her mother.
54And they eat and drink, he and the men who [are] with him, and lodge all night; and they rise in the morning, and he saith, ‘Send me to my lord;’
55and her brother saith — her mother also — ‘Let the young person abide with us a week or ten days, afterwards doth she go.’
56And he saith unto them, ‘Do not delay me, seeing Jehovah hath prospered my way; send me away, and I go to my lord;’
57and they say, ‘Let us call for the young person, and ask at her mouth;’
58and they call for Rebekah, and say unto her, ‘Dost thou go with this man?’ and she saith, ‘I go.’
59And they send away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men;
60and they bless Rebekah, and say to her, ‘Thou [art] our sister; become thou thousands of myriads, and thy seed doth possess the gate of those hating it.’
61And Rebekah and her young women arise, and ride on the camels, and go after the man; and the servant taketh Rebekah and goeth.
62And Isaac hath come in from the entrance of the Well of the Living One, my Beholder; and he is dwelling in the land of the south,
63and Isaac goeth out to meditate in the field, at the turning of the evening, and he lifteth up his eyes, and looketh, and lo, camels are coming.
64And Rebekah lifteth up her eyes, and seeth Isaac, and alighteth from off the camel;
65and she saith unto the servant, ‘Who [is] this man who is walking in the field to meet us?’ and the servant saith, ‘It [is] my lord;’ and she taketh the veil, and covereth herself.
66And the servant recounteth to Isaac all the things that he hath done,
67and Isaac bringeth her in unto the tent of Sarah his mother, and he taketh Rebekah, and she becometh his wife, and he loveth her, and Isaac is comforted after [the death of] his mother.
24
A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man. The Lord had made him rich, and he was successful in everything he did. 2One day, Abraham called in his most trusted servant and said to him, “Solemnly promise me 3in the name of the Lord, who rules heaven and earth, that you won't choose a wife for my son Isaac from the people here in the land of Canaan. 4Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for him from among my relatives.”
5But the servant asked, “What if the young woman I choose refuses to leave home and come here with me? Should I send Isaac there to look for a wife?”
6“No!” Abraham answered. “Don't ever do that, no matter what. 7The Lord who rules heaven brought me here from the land where I was born and promised that he would give this land to my descendants forever. When you go back there, the Lord will send his angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for my son. 8If the woman refuses to come along, you don't have to keep this promise. But don't ever take my son back there.” 9So the servant gave Abraham his word that he would do everything he had been told to do.
10Soon after that, the servant loaded ten of Abraham's camels with valuable gifts. Then he set out for the city in northern Syria,#24.10 northern Syria: The Hebrew text has “Aram-Naharaim,” probably referring to the land around the city of Haran (see also 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15 where CEV translates “Paddan-Aram” as “northern Syria”; and 48.7 where CEV translates “Paddan” as “northern Syria”). where Abraham's brother Nahor lived.
11When he got there, he let the camels rest near the well outside the city. It was late afternoon, the time when the women came out for water. 12The servant prayed:
You, Lord, are the God my master Abraham worships. Please keep your promise to him and let me find a wife for Isaac today. 13The young women of the city will soon come to this well for water, 14and I'll ask one of them for a drink. If she gives me a drink and then offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen and that you have kept your promise to my master.
15-16While he was still praying, a beautiful unmarried young woman came by with a water jar on her shoulder. She was Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife Milcah. Rebekah walked past Abraham's servant, then went over to the well, and filled her water jar. When she started back, 17Abraham's servant ran to her and said, “Please let me have a drink of water.”
18“I'll be glad to,” she answered. Then she quickly took the jar from her shoulder and held it while he drank. 19-20After he had finished, she said, “Now I'll give your camels all the water they want.” She quickly poured out water for them, and she kept going back for more, until his camels had drunk all they wanted. 21Abraham's servant did not say a word, but he watched everything Rebekah did, because he wanted to know for certain if this was the woman the Lord had chosen.
22The servant had brought along an expensive gold ring and two large gold bracelets. When Rebekah had finished bringing the water, he gave her the ring for her nose#24.22 ring for her nose: Nose-rings were popular jewelry items, as were earrings. and the bracelets for her arms. 23Then he said, “Please tell me who your father is. Does he have room in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24She answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Nahor and Milcah. 25We have a place where you and your men can stay, and we also have enough straw and feed for your camels.”
26Then the servant bowed his head and prayed, 27“I thank you, Lord God of my master Abraham! You have led me to his relatives and kept your promise to him.”
28Rebekah ran straight home and told her family everything. 29-30Her brother Laban heard her tell what the servant had said, and he saw the ring and the bracelets she was wearing. So Laban ran out to Abraham's servant, who was standing by his camels at the well. 31Then Laban said, “The Lord has brought you safely here. Come home with me. There's no need for you to keep on standing outside. I have a room ready for you in our house, and there's also a place for your camels.”
32Abraham's servant went home with Laban, where Laban's servants unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then they brought water into the house, so Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33After that, they brought in food. But the servant said, “Before I eat, I must tell you why I have come.”
“Go ahead and tell us,” Laban answered.
34The servant explained:
I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has been good to my master and has made him very rich. He has given him many sheep, goats, cattle, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of silver and gold, and many slaves. 36Sarah, my master's wife, didn't have any children until she was very old. Then she had a son, and my master has given him everything. 37I solemnly promised my master that I would do what he said. And he told me, “Don't choose a wife for my son from the women in this land of Canaan. 38Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for my son from among my relatives.”
39I asked my master, “What if the young woman refuses to come with me?”
40My master answered, “I have always obeyed the Lord, and he will send his angel to help you find my son a wife from among my own relatives. 41But if they refuse to let her come back with you, then you are freed from your promise.”
42When I came to the well today, I silently prayed, “You, Lord, are the God my master Abraham worships, so please lead me to a wife for his son 43while I am here at the well. When a young woman comes out to get water, I'll ask her to give me a drink. 44If she gives me a drink and offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen.”
45Even before I had finished praying, Rebekah came by with a water jar on her shoulder. When she had filled the jar, I asked her for a drink. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and said, “Have a drink. Then I'll get water for your camels.” So I drank, and after that she got some water for my camels. 47I asked her who her father was, and she answered, “My father is Bethuel the son of Nahor and Milcah.” At once I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and gave thanks to the God my master Abraham worships. The Lord had led me straight to my master's relatives, and I had found a wife for his son.
49Now please tell me if you are willing to do the right thing for my master. Will you treat him fairly, or do I have to look for another young woman?
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The Lord has done this. We have no choice in the matter. 51Take Rebekah with you; she can marry your master's son, just as the Lord has said.” 52Abraham's servant bowed down and thanked the Lord. 53Then he gave clothing, as well as silver and gold jewelry, to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother.
54Abraham's servant and the men with him ate and drank, then spent the night there. The next morning they got up, and the servant told Rebekah's mother and brother, “I would like to go back to my master now.”
55“Let Rebekah stay with us for a week or ten days,” they answered. “Then she may go.”
56But he said, “Don't make me stay any longer. The Lord has already helped me find a wife for my master's son. Now let us return.”
57They answered, “Let's ask Rebekah what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked, “Are you willing to leave with this man at once?”
“Yes,” she answered.
59So they agreed to let Rebekah and an old family servant woman#24.59 old family servant woman: Probably Deborah, who had taken care of Rebekah from the time she was born (see 35.8). leave immediately with Abraham's servant and his men. 60They gave Rebekah their blessing and said, “We pray that God will give you many children and grandchildren and that he will help them defeat their enemies.” 61Afterwards, Rebekah and the young women who were to travel with her prepared to leave. Then they got on camels and left with Abraham's servant and his men.
62At that time Isaac was living in the southern part of Canaan near a place called “The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.”#24.62 Who Sees Me: Or “I Have Seen.” 63-65One evening he was walking#24.63-65 walking: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started toward them. Rebekah saw him coming; she got down from her camel, and asked, “Who is that man?”
“He is my master Isaac,” the servant answered. Then Rebekah covered her face with her veil.#24.63-65 covered … veil: Since the veiling of a bride was part of the wedding ceremony, this probably means that she was willing to become the wife of Isaac.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent#24.67 took … tent: This shows that Rebekah is now the wife of Isaac and the successor of Sarah as the leading woman in the tribe. where his mother had lived before she died, and Rebekah became his wife. He loved her and was comforted over the loss of his mother.