A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now very old. The Lord had blessed him in every way. 2Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything Abraham owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.# This showed that a person would keep the promise. 3Make a promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Don’t get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here. 4Instead, go back to my country, to the land of my relatives. Get a wife for my son Isaac from there.”
5The servant said to him, “What if this woman does not want to return with me to this land? Then, should I take your son with me back to your homeland?”
6Abraham said to him, “No! Don’t take my son back there. 7The Lord is the God of heaven. He brought me from the home of my father and the land of my relatives. But the Lord promised me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ The Lord will send his angel before you. The angel will help you get a wife for my son there. 8But if the girl won’t come back with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg. He made a promise to Abraham about this.
10The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left. He carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Northwest Mesopotamia to Nahor’s city. 11He made the camels kneel down at the well outside the city. It was in the evening when the women come out to get water.
12The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Allow me to find a wife for his son today. Please show this kindness to my master Abraham. 13Here I am, standing by the spring of water. The girls from the city are coming out to get water. 14I will say to one of the girls, ‘Please put your jar down so I can drink.’ Then let her say, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels.’ If that happens, I will know she is the right one for your servant Isaac. And I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15Before the servant had finished praying, Rebekah came out of the city. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah was carrying her water jar on her shoulder. 16She was very pretty. She was a virgin; she had never had physical relations with a man. She went down to the spring and filled her jar. Then she came back up. 17The servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18Rebekah said, “Drink, sir.” She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19After he finished drinking, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20So she quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she kept running to the well until she had given all the camels enough to drink.
21The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure the Lord had made his trip successful. 22After the camels had finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring weighing one-fifth of an ounce. He also gave her two gold arm bracelets weighing about four ounces each. 23The servant asked, “Who is your father? Is there a place in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel. He is the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25Then she said, “And, yes, we have straw for your camels. We have a place for you to spend the night.”
26The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and truthful to him. He has led me to my master’s relatives.”
28Then Rebekah ran and told her mother’s family about all these things. 29She had a brother named Laban. He ran out to Abraham’s servant, who was still at the spring. 30Laban had heard what she had said. And he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms. So he ran out to the well. And there was the man standing by the camels at the spring. 31Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in. You don’t have to stand outside. I have prepared the house for you and also a place for your camels.”
32So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded the camels and gave them straw and food. Then Laban gave water to Abraham’s servant so he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33Then Laban gave the servant food. But the servant said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”
So Laban said, “Then tell us.”
34He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a rich man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has given Abraham silver and gold, male and female servants, camels and horses. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son when she was old. My master has given everything he owns to that son. 37My master had me make a promise to him. He said, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here. 38Instead you must go to my father’s people and to my family. There you must get a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’ 40But he said, ‘I serve the Lord. He will send his angel with you and will help you. You will get a wife for my son from my family and my father’s people. 41Then you will be free from the promise. Or if they will not give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’
42“Today I came to this spring. I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43Look, I am standing by this spring of water. I will wait for a young woman to come out to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44Then let her say, “Drink this water. I will also get water for your camels.” By this I will know the Lord has chosen her for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished my silent prayer, Rebekah came out of the city. She had her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and got water. I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder. She said, ‘Drink this. I will also get water for your camels.’ So I drank, and she gave water to my camels also. 47Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48At that time I bowed my head and thanked the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him because he led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now, tell me, will you be kind and truthful to my master? And if not, tell me so. Then I will know what I should do.”
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is clearly from the Lord. We cannot change what must happen. 51Rebekah is yours. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son as the Lord has commanded.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard these words, he bowed facedown on the ground before the Lord. 53Then the servant gave Rebekah gold and silver jewelry and clothes. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and mother. 54The servant and the men with him ate and drank. And they spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, the servant said, “Now let me go back to my master.”
55Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us at least ten days. After that she may go.”
56But the servant said to them, “Do not make me wait. The Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.”
57Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
She said, “Yes, I do.”
59So they allowed Rebekah and her nurse to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60They blessed Rebekah and said,
“Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of people.
And may your descendants capture the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her servant girls got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62At this time Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi. He was living in southern Canaan. 63One evening he went out to the field to think. As he looked up, he saw camels coming. 64Rebekah looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65She asked the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant answered, “That is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Then Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent of Sarah, his mother. And she became his wife. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.