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Genesis 24

24
Isaac and Rebekah
1Abraham was now an old man. God had blessed Abraham in every way.
2-4Abraham spoke to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh and swear by God—God of Heaven, God of Earth—that you will not get a wife for my son from among the young women of the Canaanites here, but will go to the land of my birth and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant answered, “But what if the woman refuses to leave home and come with me? Do I then take your son back to your home country?”
6-8Abraham said, “Oh no. Never. By no means are you to take my son back there. God, the God of Heaven, took me from the home of my father and from the country of my birth and spoke to me in solemn promise, ‘I’m giving this land to your descendants.’ This God will send his angel ahead of you to get a wife for my son. And if the woman won’t come, you are free from this oath you’ve sworn to me. But under no circumstances are you to take my son back there.”
9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn oath.
10-14The servant took ten of his master’s camels and, loaded with gifts from his master, traveled to Aram Naharaim and the city of Nahor. Outside the city, he made the camels kneel at a well. It was evening, the time when the women came to draw water. He prayed, “O God, God of my master Abraham, make things go smoothly this day; treat my master Abraham well! As I stand here by the spring while the young women of the town come out to get water, let the girl to whom I say, ‘Lower your jug and give me a drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and let me also water your camels’—let her be the woman you have picked out for your servant Isaac. Then I’ll know that you’re working graciously behind the scenes for my master.”
15-17It so happened that the words were barely out of his mouth when Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel whose mother was Milcah the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with a water jug on her shoulder. The girl was stunningly beautiful, a pure virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. The servant ran to meet her and said, “Please, can I have a sip of water from your jug?”
18-21She said, “Certainly, drink!” And she held the jug so that he could drink. When he had satisfied his thirst she said, “I’ll get water for your camels, too, until they’ve drunk their fill.” She promptly emptied her jug into the trough and ran back to the well to fill it, and she kept at it until she had watered all the camels.
The man watched, silent. Was this God’s answer? Had God made his trip a success or not?
22-23When the camels had finished drinking, the man brought out gifts, a gold nose ring weighing a little over a quarter of an ounce and two arm bracelets weighing about four ounces, and gave them to her. He asked her, “Tell me about your family? Whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay the night?”
24-25She said, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor. And there’s plenty of room in our house for you to stay—and lots of straw and feed besides.”
26-27At this the man bowed in worship before God and prayed, “Blessed be God, God of my master Abraham: How generous and true you’ve been to my master; you’ve held nothing back. You led me right to the door of my master’s brother!”
28And the girl was off and running, telling everyone in her mother’s house what had happened.
29-31Rebekah had a brother named Laban. Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. He had seen the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister and had heard her say, “The man said this and this and this to me.” So he went to the man and there he was, still standing with his camels at the spring. Laban welcomed him: “Come on in, blessed of God! Why are you standing out here? I’ve got the house ready for you; and there’s also a place for your camels.”
32-33So the man went into the house. The camels were unloaded and given straw and feed. Water was brought to bathe the feet of the man and the men with him. Then Laban brought out food. But the man said, “I won’t eat until I tell my story.”
Laban said, “Go ahead; tell us.”
34-41The servant said, “I’m the servant of Abraham. God has blessed my master—he’s a great man; God has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, servants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. And then to top it off, Sarah, my master’s wife, gave him a son in her old age and he has passed everything on to his son. My master made me promise, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live. No, go to my father’s home, back to my family, and get a wife for my son there.’ I said to my master, ‘But what if the woman won’t come with me?’ He said, ‘God before whom I’ve walked faithfully will send his angel with you and he’ll make things work out so that you’ll bring back a wife for my son from my family, from the house of my father. Then you’ll be free from the oath. If you go to my family and they won’t give her to you, you will also be free from the oath.’
42-44“Well, when I came this very day to the spring, I prayed, ‘God, God of my master Abraham, make things turn out well in this task I’ve been given. I’m standing at this well. When a young woman comes here to draw water and I say to her, Please, give me a sip of water from your jug, and she says, Not only will I give you a drink, I’ll also water your camels—let that woman be the wife God has picked out for my master’s son.’
45-48“I had barely finished offering this prayer, when Rebekah arrived, her jug on her shoulder. She went to the spring and drew water and I said, ‘Please, can I have a drink?’ She didn’t hesitate. She held out her jug and said, ‘Drink; and when you’re finished I’ll also water your camels.’ I drank, and she watered the camels. I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel whose parents were Nahor and Milcah.’ I gave her a ring for her nose, bracelets for her arms, and bowed in worship to God. I praised God, the God of my master Abraham who had led me straight to the door of my master’s family to get a wife for his son.
49“Now, tell me what you are going to do. If you plan to respond with a generous yes, tell me. But if not, tell me plainly so I can figure out what to do next.”
50-51Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is totally from God. We have no say in the matter, either yes or no. Rebekah is yours: Take her and go; let her be the wife of your master’s son, as God has made plain.”
52-54When Abraham’s servant heard their decision, he bowed in worship before God. Then he brought out gifts of silver and gold and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and mother. He and his men had supper and spent the night. But first thing in the morning they were up. He said, “Send me back to my master.”
55Her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay a while, say another ten days, and then go.”
56He said, “Oh, don’t make me wait! God has worked everything out so well—send me off to my master.”
57They said, “We’ll call the girl; we’ll ask her.”
They called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man?”
58She said, “I’m ready to go.”
59-60So they sent them off, their sister Rebekah with her nurse, and Abraham’s servant with his men. And they blessed Rebekah saying,
You’re our sister—live bountifully!
And your children, triumphantly!
61Rebekah and her young maids mounted the camels and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah and set off for home.
62-65Isaac was living in the Negev. He had just come back from a visit to Beer Lahai Roi. In the evening he went out into the field; while meditating he looked up and saw camels coming. When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she got down from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man out in the field coming toward us?”
“That is my master.”
She took her veil and covered herself.
66-67After the servant told Isaac the whole story of the trip, Isaac took Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah. He married Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death.
24
Abraham’s Servant Finds a Wife for Isaac
1By that time Abraham was very old. The Lord had blessed Abraham in every way. 2The best servant in his house was in charge of everything Abraham had. Abraham said to him, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3The Lord is the God of heaven and the God of earth. I want you to make a promise to me in his name. I’m living among the people of Canaan. But I want you to promise me that you won’t get a wife for my son from their daughters. 4Instead, promise me that you will go to my country and to my own relatives. Get a wife for my son Isaac from there.”
5The servant asked Abraham, “What if the woman doesn’t want to come back with me to this land? Then should I take your son back to the country you came from?”
6“Make sure you don’t take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7“The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from my father’s family. He brought me out of my own land. He made me a promise. He said, ‘I will give this land to your family after you.’ The Lord will send his angel ahead of you. So you will be able to get a wife for my son from there. 8The woman may not want to come back with you. If she doesn’t, you will be free from your promise. But don’t take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under Abraham’s thigh. He promised to do what his master wanted.
10The servant chose ten of his master’s camels and left. He loaded the camels with all kinds of good things from his master. He started out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11He stopped near the well outside the town. There he made the camels get down on their knees. It was almost evening, the time when women go out to get water.
12Then he prayed, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Make me successful today. Be kind to my master Abraham. 13I’m standing beside this spring. The daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out here to get water. 14I will speak to a young woman. I’ll say to her, ‘Please lower your jar so I can have a drink.’ Suppose she says, ‘Have a drink of water, and I’ll get some for your camels too.’ Then let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. That’s how I’ll know you have been kind to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out. She was carrying a jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Milkah’s son Bethuel. Milkah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16The young woman was very beautiful. No man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring. She filled her jar and came up again.
17The servant hurried to meet her. He said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18“Have a drink, sir,” she said. She quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll get water for your camels too. I’ll keep doing it until they have had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the stone tub. Then she ran back to the well to get more water. She got enough for all his camels. 21The man didn’t say a word. He watched her closely. He wanted to learn whether the Lord had given him success on the journey he had made.
22The camels finished drinking. Then the man took out a gold nose ring. It weighed about a fifth of an ounce. He also took out two gold bracelets. They weighed about four ounces. 23Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? And please tell me something else. Is there room in your father’s house for us? Can we spend the night there?”
24She answered, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel. He’s the son Milkah had by Nahor.” 25She continued, “We have plenty of straw and feed for your camels. We also have room for you to spend the night.”
26Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “I praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord hasn’t stopped being kind and faithful to my master. The Lord has led me on this journey. He has brought me to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The young woman ran home. She told her mother’s family what had happened. 29Rebekah had a brother named Laban. He hurried out to the spring to meet the man. 30Laban had seen the nose ring. He had seen the bracelets on his sister’s arms. And he had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said to her. So Laban went out to the man. He found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31“The Lord has given you his blessing,” he said. “So come with me. Why are you standing out here? I’ve prepared my house for you. I also have a place for the camels.”
32So the man went to the house. The camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were brought for the camels. And water was brought for him and his men to wash their feet. 33Then food was placed in front of him. But he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve told you what I have to say.”
“Then tell us,” Laban said.
34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become rich. The Lord has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold. He has also given him male and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36My master’s wife Sarah had a son by him when she was old. He has given that son everything he owns. 37My master made me promise him. He said, ‘I’m living in the land of the people of Canaan. But promise me that you won’t get a wife for my son from their daughters. 38Instead, go to my father’s family and to my own relatives. Get a wife for my son there.’
39“Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’
40“He replied, ‘I have walked faithfully with the Lord. He will send his angel with you. He will give you success on your journey. So you will be able to get a wife for my son. She will be from my own relatives and from my father’s family. 41When you go to my relatives, suppose they refuse to give her to you. Then you will be free from the promise you made to me.’
42“Today I came to the spring. I said, ‘Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please make me successful on this journey I’ve made. 43I’m standing beside this spring. A young woman will come out to get water. I’ll say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 44Suppose she says, “Have a drink of water, and I’ll get some for your camels too.” Then let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out. She was carrying a jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and got water. I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46“She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder. She said, ‘Have a drink, and I’ll get water for your camels too.’ So I drank. She also got water for the camels.
47“I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel. He’s the son Milkah had by Nahor.’
“Then I put the ring in her nose. I put the bracelets on her arms. 48And I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. He had led me on the right road. He had led me to get for my master’s son the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49Now will you be kind and faithful to my master? If you will, tell me. And if you won’t, tell me. Then I’ll know which way to turn.”
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The Lord has done all of this. We can’t say anything to you one way or the other. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her become the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has said.”
52Abraham’s servant heard what they said. So he bowed down to the Lord with his face to the ground. 53He brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing. He gave all of them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother. 54Then Abraham’s servant and the men who were with him ate and drank. They spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman stay with us ten days or so. Then you can go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t make me wait. The Lord has given me success on my journey. Send me on my way so I can go to my master.”
57Then they said, “Let’s get Rebekah and ask her about it.” 58So they sent for her and asked, “Will you go with this man?”
“Yes, I’ll go,” she said.
59So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way with Abraham’s servant and his men. They also sent Rebekah’s servant with her. 60And they gave Rebekah their blessing. They said to her,
“Dear sister, may your family grow
by thousands and thousands.
May they take over
the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her female servants got ready. They got on their camels to go back with the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and left.
62By that time Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi. He was living in the Negev Desert. 63One evening he went out to the field. He wanted to spend some time thinking. When he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He’s my master,” the servant answered. So she covered her face with her veil.
66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done. 67Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent that had belonged to his mother Sarah. And he married Rebekah. She became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother died.