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Genesis 24

24
Isaac and Rebekah
1Now Abraham was old, advanced in age,#Literally “going in the days” and Yahweh had blessed Abraham in everything. 2And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh 3that I may make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose midst I am dwelling, 4but that you will go to my land and to my family, and take a wife for my son, for Isaac.” 5And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow#Literally “to go after” me to this land—must I then return your son to the land from whence you came?” 6Abraham said to him, “You must take care#Literally “let it be careful to you” that you do not return my son there. 7Yahweh, the God of heaven who took me from the house of my father and from the land of my family, and 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 shall take a wife for my son from there. 8And if the woman is not willing to follow#Literally “to go after” you, then you shall be released from this oath of mine—only you must not return my son there.” 9Then the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he swore to him concerning this matter. 10And the servant took ten camels from his master’s camels, and he went with all kinds of his master’s good things in his hand. And he arose and went to Aram-Naharaim, to the city of Nahor. 11And he made the camels kneel outside the city at the well of water, at the time of evening, toward the time the women went out to draw water.12And he said, “O Yahweh, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show loyal love to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are going out to draw water. 14And let it be that the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please, offer your jar that I may drink’ and who says, ‘Drink—and I will also water your camels,’ she is the one you have chosen for your servant, for Isaac. By her I will know that you have shown loyal love to my master.” 15And it happened that before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah—who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham—came out, and her jar was on her shoulder. 16Now the girl was very pleasing in appearance. She was a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the spring, filled her jar, and came up. 17And the servant ran to meet her. And he said, “Please, let me drink a little of the water from your jar.” 18And she said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly lowered her jar in her hand and gave him a drink. 19When#Or “And” she finished giving him a drink she said, “I will also draw water for your camels until they finish drinking.” 20And she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water. And she drew water for all his camels. 21And the man was gazing at her silently to know if Yahweh had made his journey successful or not. 22And it happened that as the camels finished drinking the man took a gold ring of a half shekel in weight and two bracelets for her arms, ten shekels in weight, 23and said, “Please tell me, whose daughter are you? Is there a place at the house of your father for us to spend the night?” 24And she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25Then she said to him, “We have both straw and fodder in abundance, as well as a place to spend the night.” 26And the man knelt down and worshiped Yahweh. 27And he said, “Blessed be Yahweh, God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld#Or “abandoned” his loyal love and his faithfulness from my master. I was on the way and Yahweh led me to the house of my master’s brother.” 28Then the girl ran and reported these things to the household of her mother.
29Now Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. And Laban ran out to the man toward the spring. 30And when he saw the ring and the bracelets on the arms of his sister and heard the words of Rebekah his sister, who said, “Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man. And behold, he was standing with the camels at the spring. 31And he said, “Come, O blessed one of Yahweh. Why do you stand outside? Now I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32And the man came to the house and unloaded the camels. And he gave straw and fodder to the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33And food was placed before him#Literally “And it was placed before him” to eat. And he said, “I will not eat until I have told my errand.”#Literally “I have spoken my word” And he said, “Speak.” 34And he said, “I am the servant of Abraham. 35Now Yahweh has blessed my master exceedingly, and he has become great. He has given to him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male slaves and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36And Sarah, the wife of my master, has borne a son to my master after her old age. And he#That is, Abraham has given to him all that he has. 37And my master made me swear, saying, ‘Do not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I am living. 38But you shall go to the house of my father, and to my family, and you shall take a wife for my son.’ 39And I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow#Literally “go after” me.’ 40And he said to me, ‘Yahweh, before whom I have walked, shall send his angel with you and will make your journey successful. And you shall take a wife for my son from my family, and from the house of my father. 41Then you shall be released from my oath, when you come to my family. And if they will not give a woman to you, then you will be released from my oath.’ 42Then today I came to the spring, and I said, ‘O Yahweh, God of my master Abraham, if you would please make my journey successful,#Literally “if there is you making successful my journey” upon which I am going. 43Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. Let it be that the young woman who comes out to draw water and to whom I say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar,” 44let her say to me, “Drink; I will also draw water for your camels,” she is the woman whom Yahweh has appointed for the son of my master.’ 45I had not yet finished speaking to myself#Or “to my heart” when, behold, Rebekah was coming out with#Or “and” her jar on her shoulder. And she went down to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46And she hastened and let down her jar from her shoulder#Literally “from upon her” and said, ‘Drink, and I will give a drink to your camels also.’ Then I drank and she gave a drink to the camels also. 47Then I asked her and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ And I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48And I knelt down and worshiped Yahweh, and I praised Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who led me on the right way, to take the daughter of the brother of my master for his son. 49So now, if you are going to deal loyally and truly#Literally “if there is you doing loyal love and faithfulness” with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, so that I may turn to the right or to the left.”#An idiom for “so that I might know what to do” 50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, and they said, “The matter has gone out from Yahweh; we are not able to speak bad or good to you. 51Here is Rebekah before you. Take her and go; let her be a wife for the son of your master as Yahweh has spoken.” 52And it happened that when the servant of Abraham heard their words he bowed down to the ground to Yahweh. 53And the servant brought out silver jewelry and gold jewelry, and garments, and he gave them to Rebekah. And he gave precious gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night. And they got up in the morning, and he said, “Let me go to my master.” 55And her brother and her mother said, “Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; after that she may go.” 56And he said to them, “Do not delay me. Now, Yahweh has made my journey successful. Let me go. I must go to my master.” 57And they said, “Let us call the girl and ask her opinion.”#Literally “her mouth” 58And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” 59So they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and the servant of Abraham and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “You are our sister; may you become countless thousands; and may your offspring take possession of the gate of his enemies.” 61And Rebekah and her maidservants arose, and they mounted the camels and followed#Literally “went after” the man. And the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac was coming from the direction of Beer-Lahai-Roi. And he was living in the land of the Negev. 63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field early in the evening,#Literally “at the turning of evening” and he lifted up his eyes and saw—behold, camels were coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. And she got down from the camel. 65And she said to the servant, “Who is this man walking around in the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “That is my master.” And she took her#Or “the” veil and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67And Isaac brought her to the tent of Sarah his mother. And he took Rebekah, and she became his wife. And Isaac loved her and was 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.