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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
1 Now Abraham was old and of many days. And the Lord had blessed him in all things.
2 And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was in charge of all that he had: "Place your hand under my thigh,
3 so that I may make you 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 live.
4 But that you will proceed to my land and kindred, and from there take a wife for my son Isaac."
5 The servant responded, "If the woman is not willing to come with me into this land, must I lead your son back to the place from which you departed?"
6 And Abraham said: "Beware that you never lead my son back to that place.
7 The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my nativity, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' himself will send his Angel before you, and you will take from there a wife for my son.
8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, you will not be held by the oath. Only do not lead my son back to that place."
9 Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and he swore to him on his word.
10 And he took ten camels from his lord's herd, and he went forth, carrying with him things from all of his goods. And he set out, and continued on, to the city of Nahor, in Mesopotamia.
11 And when he had made the camels lie down outside of the town, near a well of water, in the evening, at the time when women are accustomed to go out to draw water, he said:
12 "O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, meet with me today, I beg you, and show mercy to my lord Abraham.
13 Behold, I stand near the fountain of water, and the daughters of the inhabitants of this city will go forth to draw water.
14 Therefore, the girl to whom I will say, 'Tip your pitcher, so that I may drink,' and she will respond, 'Drink. In fact, I will give your camels a drink also,' the same one is she whom you have prepared for your servant Isaac. And by this, I will understand that you have shown mercy to my lord."
15 But he had not yet completed these words within himself, when, behold, Rebekah went out, the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, having a pitcher on her shoulder.
16 She was an exceedingly elegant girl, and a most beautiful virgin, and unknown by man. And she descended to the spring, and she filled her pitcher, and then was returning.
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and he said, "Provide me with a little water to drink from your pitcher."
18 And she responded, "Drink, my lord." And she quickly brought down the pitcher on her arm, and she gave him a drink.
19 And after he drank, she added, "In fact, I will draw water for your camels also, until they all drink."
20 And pouring out the pitcher into the troughs, she ran back to the well to draw water; and having drawn, she gave it to all the camels.
21 But he was contemplating her silently, wanting to know whether the Lord had caused his journey to prosper or not
22 Then, after the camels drank, the man took out gold earrings, weighing two shekels, and the same number of bracelets, ten shekels in weight.
23 And he said to her: "Whose daughter are you? Tell me, is there any place in your father's house to lodge?"
24 She responded, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, to whom she gave birth for Nahor."
25 And she continued, saying, "There is very much straw and hay with us, and a spacious place to stay."
26 The man bowed himself down, and he adored the Lord,
27 saying, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has not taken away his mercy and truth from my lord, and who has led me on a direct journey to the house of the brother of my lord."
28 And so the girl ran, and she reported all that she had heard in the house of her mother.
29 Now Rebekah had a brother, named Laban, who went out quickly to the man, where the spring was.
30 And when he had seen the earrings and bracelets in his sister's hands, and he had heard all the words being repeated, "This is what the man spoke to me," he came to the man who stood by the camels and near the spring of water,
31 and he said to him: "Enter, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels."
32 And he brought him into his guest quarters. And he unharnessed the camels, and he distributed straw and hay, and water to wash his feet and that of the men who arrived with him.
33 And bread was set out in his sight. But he said, "I will not eat, until I have spoken my words." He answered him, "Speak."
34 Then he said: "I am the servant of Abraham.
35 And the Lord has blessed my lord greatly, and he has become great. And he has given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, men servants and women servants, camels and donkeys.
36 And Sarah, the wife of my lord, has given birth to a son for my lord in her old age, and he has given him all that he had.
37 And my lord made me swear, saying: 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell.
38 But you shall travel to my father's house, and you shall take a wife of my own kindred for my son.'
39 But truly, I answered my lord, 'What if the woman is not willing to come with me?'
40 'The Lord,' he said, 'in whose sight I walk, will send his Angel with you, and he will direct your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my own kindred and from my father's house.
41 But you will be innocent of my curse, if, when you will arrive at my close relatives, they will not grant this to you.'
42 And so, today I arrived at the well of water, and I said: 'O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, if you have directed my way, in which I now walk,
43 behold, I stand next to the well of water, and the virgin, who will go forth to draw water, will hear from me, "Give me a little water to drink from your pitcher."
44 And she will say to me, "You drink, and I will also draw for your camels." Let the same be the woman, whom the Lord has prepared for the son of my lord.'
45 And while I thought over these things silently within myself, Rebekah appeared, arriving with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder. And she descended to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, 'Give me a little to drink.'
46 And she quickly let down the pitcher from her arm, and said to me, 'You drink, and to your camels I will also distribute drinking water.' I drank, and she watered the camels.
47 And I questioned her, saying, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she responded, 'I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' And so, I hung the earrings on her, to adorn her face, and I put the bracelets on her hands.
48 And falling prostrate, I adored the Lord, blessing the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has led me along the straight path so as to take the daughter of my lord's brother to his son.
49 For this reason, if you would act according to mercy and truth with my lord, tell me so. But if it pleases you otherwise, say that to me also, so that I may go either to the right, or to the left."
50 And Laban and Bethuel responded: "A word has proceeded from the Lord. We are not able to speak anything else to you, beyond what pleases him.
51 Lo, Rebekah is in your sight. Take her and continue on, and let her be the wife of the son of your lord, just as the Lord has spoken."
52 When Abraham's servant had heard this, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.
53 And bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, as well as garments, he gave them to Rebekah as a tribute. Likewise, he offered gifts to her brothers and her mother.
54 And a banquet began, and they feasted and drank together, and they lodged there. And rising up in the morning, the servant said, "Release me, so that I may go to my lord."
55 And her brothers and mother responded, "Let the girl remain for at least ten days with us, and after that, she will continue on."
56 "Do not be willing," he said, "to delay me, for the Lord has directed my way. Release me, so that I may journey to my lord."
57 And they said, "Let us call the girl, and ask her will."
58 And when, having been called, she arrived, they wanted to know, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
59 Therefore, they released her and her nurse, and the servant of Abraham and his companions,
60 wishing prosperity for their sister, by saying: "You are our sister. May you increase to thousands of thousands. And may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."
61 And so, Rebekah and her maids, riding upon camels, followed the man, who quickly returned to his lord.
62 Then, at the same time, Isaac was walking along the way that leads to the well, whose name is: 'of the One who lives and who sees.' For he dwelt in the southern land.
63 And he had gone out to meditate in the field, as daylight was now declining. And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw camels advancing from afar.
64 Likewise, Rebekah, having seen Isaac, descended from the camel.
65 And she said to the servant, "Who is that man who advances to meet us through the field?" And he said to her, "That is my lord." And so, quickly taking up her cloak, she covered herself.
66 Then the servant explained to Isaac all that he had done.
67 And he led her into the tent of Sarah his mother, and he accepted her as wife. And he loved her so very much, that it tempered the sorrow which befell him at his mother's death.