1Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things. 2Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please put your hand under my thigh. 3I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live. 4But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant said to him, “What if the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?”
6Abraham said to him, “Beware that you don’t bring my son there again. 7Yahweh, the God of heaven—who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your offspring—he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again.”
9The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter. 10The servant took ten of his master’s camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master’s with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water. 12He said, “Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, ‘Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,’ then she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,’—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, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin. No man had known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17The servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher.”
18She said, “Drink, my lord.” She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will also draw for your camels, until they have finished drinking.” 20She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
21The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether Yahweh had made his journey prosperous or not. 22As the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel#24:22 A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces. weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay?”
24She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She said moreover to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in.”
26The man bowed his head, and worshiped Yahweh. 27He said, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Yahweh has led me on the way to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28The young lady ran, and told her mother’s house about these words. 29Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. 30When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31He said, “Come in, you blessed of Yahweh. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”
32The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my message.”
Laban said, “Speak on.”
34He said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35Yahweh has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. Yahweh has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38but you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’ 39I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’ 40He said to me, ‘Yahweh, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father’s house. 41Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don’t give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.’ 42I came today to the spring, and said, ‘Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go— 43behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44then she tells me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,”—let her be the woman whom Yahweh has appointed for my master’s son.’ 45Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink. 47I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands. 48I bowed my head, and worshiped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter for his son. 49Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The thing proceeds from Yahweh. We can’t speak to you bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as Yahweh has spoken.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to Yahweh. 53The servant brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. 54They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
55Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go.”
56He said to them, “Don’t hinder me, since Yahweh has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”
57They said, “We will call the young lady, and ask her.” 58They called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She said, “I will go.”
59They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them.”
61Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South. 63Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes and looked. Behold, there were camels coming. 64Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she got off the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.”
She took her veil, and covered herself. 66The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
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A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now old, getting on in years, # 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’ # 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 10 of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of his master’s goods in hand. Then he set out for Nahor’s town Aram-naharaim. 11He made the camels kneel beside a well of water outside the town at evening. This was the time when the women went out to draw water.
12“Lord, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “give me success 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 young woman who had not known a man intimately. 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.” # 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.
22After the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing 10 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 bowed down, worshiped the Lord, # Ex 4:31 27and said, “Praise 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 sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her # 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 household and to my family 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 family and from my father’s household. 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 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 bowed down, worshiped the Lord, and praised 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.” # 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. # 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 10 days. # Lit us a few days or 10 Then she # 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.” # 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, # 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 gates of their # 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, # = 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 # 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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