A Bride for Isaac
1Now Abraham was old, [well] advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2Abraham said to his servant [Eliezer of Damascus], the oldest of his household, who had charge over all that Abraham owned, “Please, put your hand under my thigh [as is customary for affirming a solemn oath], 3and I will make you swear by the Lord, 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, among whom I live, 4but you will [instead] go to my [former] country (Mesopotamia) and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac [the heir of the covenant promise].” 5The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman will not be willing to follow me back to this country; should I take your son back to the country from which you came?” 6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there! 7The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, from the land of my family and my birth, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you [to guide you], and you will take a wife from there for my son [and bring her here]. 8If the woman is not willing to follow you [to this land], then you will be free from this my oath and blameless; only you must never take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels, and set out, taking some of his master’s good things with him; so he got up and journeyed to #Heb Aram Naharaim, “Aram of the two rivers.”Mesopotamia [between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers], to the city of Nahor [the home of Abraham’s brother]. 11He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water. 12And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I stand here at the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14now let it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please, let down your jar so that I may [have a] drink,’ and she replies, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels water to drink’—may she be the one whom You have selected [as a wife] for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master.”
Rebekah Is Chosen
15Before Eliezer had finished speaking (praying), Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel the #See 22:20-24.son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16The girl was very beautiful, a virgin and unmarried; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 18And she said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19When she had given Eliezer a drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels until they have finished drinking.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran again to the well and drew water for all his camels. 21Meanwhile, the man stood gazing at Rebekah in [reverent] silence, [waiting] to know if the Lord had made his trip successful or not.
22When the camels had finished drinking, Eliezer took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her hands weighing ten shekels in gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?” 24And she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to [her husband] Nahor.” 25Again she said to him, “We have plenty of both straw and feed, and also room to lodge.” 26The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not denied His lovingkindness and His truth to my master. As for me, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household what had happened. 29Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man at the well. 30When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he heard Rebekah his sister, saying, “The man said this to me,” he went to Eliezer and found him standing by the camels at the spring. 31And Laban said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside since I have made the house ready and have prepared a place for the camels?” 32So the man came into the house, and Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed, and [he gave] water to [Eliezer to] wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33But when food was set before him, he said, “I will not eat until I have stated my business.” And Laban said, “Speak on.” 34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great (wealthy, powerful); He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. 36Now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was in her old age, and he has given everything that he has to him. 37My master made me swear [an oath], saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38but you shall [instead] go to my father’s house and to my family and take a wife for my son [Isaac].’ 39Then I said to my master, ‘But suppose the woman will not follow me [back to this land].’ 40He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk [habitually and obediently], will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house; 41then you will be free of my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will [also] be free of my oath.’
42“I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; 43please look, I am standing by the spring of water; now let it be that when the maiden [whom You have chosen for Isaac] comes out to draw [water], and to whom I say, “Please, give me a little water to drink from your jar”; 44and if she says to me, “You drink, and I will also draw [water] for your camels”; let that woman be the one whom the Lord has selected and chosen [as a wife] for my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished praying in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please, let me have a drink.’ 46And she quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels’; so I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him’; and I #This was a customary act of admiration and respect; otherwise, Rebekah would not have accepted it.put the ring in her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother to his son [as a wife]. 49So now if you are going to show kindness and truth to my master [being faithful to him], tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right or to the left [and go on my way].”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The matter has come from the Lord; so we dare not speak bad or good [to you about it—we cannot interfere]. 51Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground [in worship] before the Lord. 53Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and articles of clothing, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. 54Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night [there]. In the morning when they got up, he said, “Now send me back to my master.” 55But Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go.” 56But Eliezer said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away, so that I may go back to my master.” 57And they said, “We will call the girl and ask her #Lit mouth.what she prefers.” 58So they called Rebekah and said, “Will you go with this man?” And she answered, “I will go.” 59So they sent off their sister Rebekah and her nurse [Deborah, as her attendant] and Abraham’s servant [Eliezer] and his men. 60They blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister,
Become [the mother of] thousands of ten thousands,
And may your descendants possess (conquer)
The [city] gate of those who hate them.”
61Then Rebekah and her attendants #The Hebrew verb “to stand” or “arise” is often used as an instruction to prepare to fulfill a command, somewhat similar to the military command “attention.”stood, and they mounted camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
62Now Isaac had returned from going to Beer-lahai-roi (Well of the Living One Who Sees Me), for he was living in the #The South country, south and west of the Dead Sea.Negev. 63Isaac went out to bow down [in prayer] in the field in the [early] evening; he raised his eyes and looked, and camels were coming. 64Rebekah also raised her eyes and looked, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from her camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that man there walking across the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master [Isaac].” So she took a veil and covered herself [as was customary]. 66The servant told Isaac everything that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah [in marriage], and she became his wife, and he loved her; therefore Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
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A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham lived to be a very old man. The Lord blessed him and everything he did. 2Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything he owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.#24:2 Put your hand under my leg This was a sign of a very important promise that Abraham trusted his servant to keep. 3Now I want you to make a promise to me. Promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but don’t let him marry a Canaanite girl. 4Go back to my country, to my own people, to find a wife for my son Isaac. Bring her here to him.”
5The servant said to him, “Maybe this woman will not want to come back with me to this land. If that happens, should I take your son with me to your homeland?”
6Abraham said to him, “No, don’t take my son to that place. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from my homeland to this place. That place was the home of my father and the home of my family, but he promised that this new land would belong to my family. May he send his angel before you so that you can choose a wife for my son. 8If the girl refuses to come with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back to that place.”
9So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.
The Search Begins
10The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left that place. The servant carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Mesopotamia, to Nahor’s city. 11In the evening, when the women come out to get water, he went to the water well outside the city. He made the camels kneel down at the well.
12The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please show your kindness to my master by helping me find a wife for his son Isaac. 13Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. 14I will say to one of them, ‘Please put your jar down so that I can drink.’ Let her answer show whether she is the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. If she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels,’ I will know that she is the right one. It will be proof that you have shown kindness to my master.”
A Wife Is Found
15Before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. 16She was very pretty. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. She went down to the well and filled her jar. 17Then the servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.”
18Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. She said, “Drink this, sir.” 19As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20So Rebekah quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she ran to the well to get more water, and she gave water to all the camels.
21The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure that the Lord had given him an answer and had made his trip successful. 22After the camels finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring that weighed 1/4 ounce.#24:22 1/4 ounce Literally, “1 beka” (5.75 g). He also gave her two gold arm bracelets that weighed 2 ounces#24:22 2 ounces Literally, “5 measures” (57.5 g). each. 23The servant asked, “Who is your father? And is there a place in your father’s house for me and my men to sleep?”
24Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25Then she said, “Yes, we have straw and other food for your camels and a place for you to sleep.”
26The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and loyal to him by leading me to his own people.”
28Then Rebekah ran and told her family about all these things. 29-30She had a brother named Laban. She told him what the man had said to her. Laban was listening to her. And when he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, he ran out to the well. There the man was, standing by the camels at the well. 31Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in!#24:31 Sir, you are welcome to come in Literally, “Come in, blessed of the Lord!” You don’t have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in and a place for your camels.”
32So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then he gave Abraham’s servant water so that he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33Laban then gave him food to eat, but the servant refused to eat. He said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”
So Laban said, “Then tell us.”
Bargaining for Rebekah
34The servant said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a great man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has much silver and gold and many servants. He has many camels and donkeys. 36Sarah was my master’s wife. When she was very old, she gave birth to a son, and my master has given everything he owns to that son. 37My master forced me to make a promise to him. He said to me, ‘You must not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but I don’t want him to marry one of the Canaanite girls. 38So you must promise to go to my father’s country. Go to my family and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘Maybe the woman will not come back to this place with me.’ 40But my master said to me, ‘I serve the Lord, and he will send his angel with you and help you. You will find a wife for my son among my people there. 41But if you go to my father’s country, and they refuse to give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’
42“Today I came to this well and said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43I will stand by this well and wait for a young woman to come to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44The right woman will answer in a special way. She will say, “Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels.” That way I will know that she is the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished praying, Rebekah came out to the well to get water. She had her water jar on her shoulder as she went to get water from the well. I asked her to give me some water. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and poured me some water. Then she said, ‘Drink this, and I’ll get some water for your camels.’ So I drank the water, and she gave water to my camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I gave her the ring and bracelets for her arms. 48I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him for leading me straight to the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49Now, tell me, will you be kind and loyal to my master and give him your daughter? Or will you refuse to give her to him? Tell me so that I will know what I should do.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “We see that this is from the Lord, so there is nothing we can say to change it. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son. This is what the Lord wants.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he brought. He gave her beautiful clothes and gold and silver jewelry. He also gave expensive gifts to her mother and brother. 54Then he and his men had something to eat and drink, and they spent the night there. Early the next morning they got up and the servant said, “Now we must go back to my master.”
55Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us for a short time. Let her stay with us ten days. After that she can go.”
56But the servant said to them, “Don’t 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?”
Rebekah said, “Yes, I will go.”
59So they allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. Her nurse also went with them. 60While Rebekah was leaving they said to her,
“Our sister, may you be
the mother of millions of people,
and may your descendants defeat
their enemies and take their cities.”
61Then Rebekah and her nurse got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was now living in the Negev. 63One evening he went out to the field to think.#24:63 think Or “to go for a walk.” He looked up and saw the camels coming from far away.
64Rebekah also looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that young man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “That is my master’s son.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Then Isaac brought the girl into his mother’s tent. Rebekah became his wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.
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