A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now old, getting on in years,#24:1 Lit days#Gn 18:11; Jos 13:1; 23:1–2; 1Kg 1:1 and the Lord had blessed him in everything. 2Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh,#Gn 47:29; Ex 1:5 3and I will have you swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,#Gn 26:34,35; 27:46; Dt 7:3; 2Co 6:14 4but will go to my land and my family to take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I have your son go back to the land you came from?”
6Abraham answered him, “Make sure that you don’t take my son back there. 7The Lord, the God of heaven,#2Ch 36:23; Ezr 1:2 who took me from my father’s house and from my native land,#Gn 12:1 who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’#24:7 Lit seed#Gn 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; Ex 32:13 — he will send his angel before you,#Gn 16:7; 21:17; 22:11; Ex 23:20,23 and you can take a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me,#Jos 2:17–20 but don’t let my son go back there.” 9So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and with all kinds of his master’s goods in hand, he went to Aram-naharaim, to Nahor’s town. 11At evening, the time when women went out to draw water, he made the camels kneel beside a well outside the town.
12“Lord, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “make this happen for me today,#Gn 27:20 and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13I am standing here#Gn 24:43–44 at the spring where the daughters of the men of the town are coming out to draw water. 14Let the girl to whom I say, ‘Please lower your water jug so that I may drink,’ and who responds, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also’ — let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah — daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah,#Gn 11:29; 22:23 the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor — coming with a jug on her shoulder. 16Now the girl was very beautiful,#Gn 12:11; 26:7; 29:17 a virgin — no man had been intimate with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up. 17Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jug.”
18She replied, “Drink, my lord.” She quickly lowered her jug to her hand and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they have had enough to drink.”#24:19 Lit they are finished drinking 20She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels 21while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success.
22As the camels finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing ten shekels of gold. 23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She also said to him, “We have plenty of straw and feed and a place to spend the night.”
26Then the man knelt low, worshiped the Lord,#Ex 4:31 27and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld his kindness and faithfulness from my master.#Ru 2:20; Ezr 9:9; Neh 9:17 As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban,#Gn 25:20; 28:2; 29:5 and Laban ran out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah’s words — “The man said this to me!” — he went to the man. He was standing there by the camels at the spring.
31Laban said, “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord.#Gn 26:29; Jdg 17:2; Ru 3:10 Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded.#Gn 43:24; Jdg 19:21 Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was brought to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.
33A meal was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.”
So Laban said, “Please speak.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said. 35“The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her#24:36 Sam, LXX read his old age,#Gn 21:2 and he has given him everything he owns.#Gn 25:5 37My master put me under this oath: ‘You will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live 38but will go to my father’s family and to my clan to take a wife for my son.’ 39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman will not come back with me?’ 40He said to me, ‘The Lord before whom I have walked#Gn 17:1; 1Sm 2:30; 1Kg 2:4; 8:23; 2Kg 20:3; Ps 116:9 will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, and you will take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s family. 41Then you will be free from my oath if you go to my family and they do not give her to you — you will be free from my oath.’
42“Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: Lord, God of my master Abraham, if only you will make my journey successful! 43I am standing here at a spring. Let the young woman#24:43 Or the virgin who comes out to draw water, and I say to her, ‘Please let me drink a little water from your jug,’ 44and who responds to me, ‘Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels also’ — let her be the woman the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.
45“Before I had finished praying silently,#1Sm 1:13 there was Rebekah coming with her jug on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please let me have a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels also.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you? ’ She responded, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose#Ezk 16:11–12 and the bracelets on her wrists. 48Then I knelt low, worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the right way to take the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now, if you are going to show kindness and faithfulness to my master,#Gn 47:29; Jos 2:14 tell me; if not, tell me, and I will go elsewhere.”#24:49 Lit go to the right or to the left
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.#24:50 Lit we cannot say to you anything bad or good#Gn 31:24,29; 2Sm 13:22 51Rebekah is here in front of you. Take her and go, and let her be a wife for your master’s son, just as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother. 54Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.
When they got up in the morning, he said, “Send me to my master.”
55But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us for about ten days. Then she#24:55 Or you can go.”
56But he responded to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master.”
57So they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.”#24:57 Lit mouth
58They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She replied, “I will go.” 59So they sent away their sister Rebekah with the one who had nursed and raised her,#24:59 Lit with her wet nurse; Gn 35:8#Gn 35:8 and Abraham’s servant and his men.
60They blessed Rebekah, saying to her:
Our sister, may you become
thousands upon ten thousands.#Gn 17:16
May your offspring possess
the city gates of their#24:60 Lit his enemies.#Gn 22:17
61Then Rebekah and her female servants got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi,#24:62 = A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me#Gn 16:14; 25:11 for he was living in the Negev region. 63In the early evening Isaac went out to walk#24:63 Or pray, or meditate; Hb obscure in the field, and looking up he saw camels coming. 64Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel 65and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
The servant answered, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah to be his wife. Isaac loved her, and he was comforted after his mother’s death.#Gn 23:1–2
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1Now Abraham was old, and advanced in age: and the Lord had blessed him in all things.
2And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was ruler over all he had: Put thy hand under my thigh,
3That I may make thee swear by the Lord the God of heaven and earth, that thou take not a wife for my son of the daughters of the Chanaanites, among whom I dwell:
4But that thou go to my own country and kindred, and take a wife from thence for my son Isaac.
5The servant answered: If the woman will not come with me into this land, must I bring thy son back again to the place, from whence thou camest out?
6And Abraham said: Beware, thou never bring my son back again thither.
7The Lord God of heaven, who took me out of my father's house, and out of my native country, who spoke to me, and swore to me, saying: To thy seed will I give this land; he will send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take from thence a wife for my son.
8But if the woman will not follow thee, thou shalt not be bound by the oath; only bring not my son back thither again.
9The servant therefore put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and swore to him upon this word.
10And he took ten camels of his master's herd, and departed, carrying something of all his goods with him; and he set forth and went on to Mesopotamia to the city of Nachor.
11And when he had made the camels lie down without the town near a well of water in evening, at the time when women are wont to come out to draw water, he said:
12O Lord the God of my master Abraham, meet me to-day, I beseech thee, and shew kindness to my master Abraham.
13Behold, I stand nigh the spring of water, and the daughters of the inhabitants of this city will come out to draw water.
14Now, therefore, the maid to whom I shall say: Let down thy pitcher that I may drink: and she shall answer, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: Let it be the same whom thou hast provided for thy servant Isaac. And by this I shall understand, that thou hast shown kindness to my master.
15He had not yet ended these words within himself, and, behold, Rebecca came out, the daughter of Bathuel, son of Melcha, wife to Nachor the brother of Abraham, having a pitcher on her shoulder.
16An exceedingly comely maid, and a most beautiful virgin, and not known to man: and she went down to the spring, and filled her pitcher and was coming back.
17And the servant ran to meet her, and said: Give me a little water to drink of thy pitcher.
18And she answered: Drink, my lord. And quickly she let down the pitcher upon her arm, and gave him drink.
19And when he had drunk, she said: I will draw water for thy camels also, till they all drink.
20And pouring out the pitcher into the troughs, she ran back to the well to draw water: and having drawn she gave to all the camels.
21But he, musing, beheld her with silence, desirous to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.
22And after that the camels had drunk, the man took out golden earrings, weighing two sicles: and as many bracelets of ten sicles weight.
23And he said to her: Whose daughter art thou? Tell me: Is there any place in thy father's house to lodge?
24And she answered: I am the daughter of Bathuel, the son of Melcha, whom she bore to Nachor.
25And she said moreover to him: We have good store of both straw and hay, and a large place to lodge in.
26The man bowed himself down, and adored the Lord,
27Saying: Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not taken away his mercy and truth from my master, and hath brought me the straight way into the house of my master's brother.
28Then the maid ran, and told in her mother's house, all that she had heard.
29And Rebecca had a brother named Laban, who went out in haste to the man, to the well.
30And when he had seen the earrings and bracelets in his sister's hands, and had heard all that she related, saying: Thus and thus, the man spoke to me. He came to the man who stood by the camels, and near to the spring of water,
31And said to him: Come in, thou blessed of the Lord: why standest thou without? I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.
32And he brought him in into his lodging: and he unharnessed the camels; and gave straw and hay, and water to wash his feet, and the feet of the men that were come with him.
33And bread was set before him. But he said: I will not eat, till I tell my message. He answered him: Speak.
34And he said: I am the servant of Abraham.
35And the Lord hath blessed my master wonderfully, and he is become great: and he hath given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, men-servants and women-servants, camels and asses.
36And Sara, my master's wife hath borne my master a son in her old age: and he hath given him all that he had.
37And my master made me swear, saying: Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the Chanaanites, in whose land I dwell.
38But thou shalt go to my father's house, and shalt take a wife of my own kindred for my son.
39But I answered my master: What if the woman will not come with me?
40The Lord, said he, in whose sight I walk, will send his angel with thee, and will direct thy way. And thou shalt take a wife for my son of my own kindred, and of my father's house.
41But thou shalt be clear from my curse, when thou shalt come to my kindred, if they will not give thee one.
42And I came to-day to the well of water, and said: O Lord God of my master Abraham, if thou hast prospered my way, wherein I now walk,
43Behold, I stand by the well of water, and the virgin, that shall come out to draw water, who shall hear me say: Give me a little water to drink of thy pitcher:
44And shall say to me: Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: Let the same be the woman, whom the Lord hath prepared for my master's son.
45And whilst I pondered these things secretly with myself, Rebecca appeared, coming with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder: and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her: Give me a little to drink.
46And she speedily let down the pitcher from her shoulder, and said to me: Both drink thou, and to thy camels I will give drink. I drank, and she watered the camels.
47And I asked her, and said: Whose daughter art thou? And she answered: I am the daughter of Bathuel, the son of Nachor, whom Melcha bore to him. So I put earrings on her to adorn her face, and I put bracelets on her hands.
48And falling down, I adored the Lord, blessing the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath brought me the straight way to take the daughter of my master's brother for his son.
49Wherefore, if you do according to mercy and truth with my master, tell me: but if it please you otherwise, tell me that also, that I may go to the right hand, or to the left.
50And Laban and Bathuel answered: The word hath proceeded from the Lord; we cannot speak any other thing to thee but his pleasure.
51Behold, Rebecca is before thee: Take her and go thy way; and let her be the wife of thy master's son, as the Lord hath spoken.
52Which when Abraham's servant heard, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.
53And bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, and garments, he gave them to Rebecca for a present. He offered gifts also to her brothers, and to her mother.
54And a banquet was made, and they ate and drank together, and lodged there. And in the morning, the servant arose, and said: Let me depart, that I may go to my master.
55And her brother and mother answered: Let the maid stay at least ten days with us, and afterwards she shall depart.
56Stay me not, said he, because the Lord hath prospered my way: send me away, that I may go to my master.
57And they said: Let us call the maid, and ask her will.
58And they called her, and when she was come, they asked: Wilt thou go with this man? She said: I will go.
59So they sent her away, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his company,
60Wishing prosperity to their sister, and saying: Thou art our sister: Mayst thou increase to thousands of thousands, and may thy seed possess the gates of their enemies.
61So Rebecca and her maids, being set upon camels, followed the man: who with speed returned to his master.
62At the same time Isaac was walking along the way to the well, which is called, Of the Living and the Seeing: for he dwelt in the south country.
63And he was gone forth to meditate in the field, the day being now well spent: and when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw camels coming afar off.
64Rebecca also, when she saw Isaac, lighted off the camel,
65And said to the servant: Who is that man who cometh towards us along the field? And he said to her: That man is my master. But she quickly took Her cloak, and covered herself.
66And the servant told Isaac all that he had done.
67Who brought her into the tent of Sara his mother, and took her to wife. And he loved her so much, that it moderated the sorrow which was occasioned by his mother's death.
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