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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, 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.