A wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man. The Lord had blessed him in every way. 2Abraham had an important servant in his house. He had authority over everything that belonged to Abraham. Abraham said to him, ‘Come here and make a promise to me. Put your hand between my legs to show that I can trust you. #24:2 At that time, the people used this practice. It showed that a person was making a serious promise to another person. 3You must make a serious promise to me in front of the Lord. He is the God who rules both heaven and earth. I am living among the Canaanite people, but you must promise this to me: Do not get a Canaanite woman to be a wife for my son. 4Instead, you must go to my own country. Go to my family there to find a wife for my son Isaac.’
5The servant asked Abraham, ‘What should I do if the woman will not agree? Maybe she will not come back with me to this land? Must I then take your son to the country that you came from?’
6Abraham replied, ‘No! You must never take my son back there. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from there. He took me out of my father's house. He took me away from the land where my family lives. God made a serious promise to me. He said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” Because God has promised this, he will send his angel to go in front of you. When you arrive there, you will find a woman to marry my son. 8But perhaps the woman will not agree to come back here with you. If that happens, you do not have to keep this promise. But do not take my son back to that land.’ 9So the servant put his hand between Abraham's legs. The servant promised that he would do everything that Abraham had told him.
10After that, Abraham's servant left to go on his journey. He took with him ten of his master's camels. He also took many different kinds of valuable gifts that Abraham had given to him. #24:10 The gifts were for the family of the woman who would agree to marry Isaac. He travelled towards Aram Naharaim. He arrived in the town of Nahor. #24:10 This was the place where Abraham's brother Nahor had lived. It was in Mesopotamia.
11Abraham's servant stopped outside the town. He made the camels go down on their knees near a well. It was the evening time, when women came to the well to get water. 12The servant prayed to God. He prayed, ‘Lord, God of Abraham, my master, please be my guide today. Be kind to my master Abraham, as you have promised him. 13See, I am standing here near this well. The daughters of the people who live in the town will come to get water from the well. 14I will say to one of the young women, “Please let me have a drink of water from your pot.” If she is the right woman for your servant Isaac to marry, please may she say, “Yes, drink. Then I will give water to your camels also”. If that happens, then I will know that you have kept your promise to my master.’
15The servant was still praying when Rebekah came to the well. She had her pot on her shoulder. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Milcah. Milcah was the wife of Abraham's brother, Nahor. 16The young woman was very beautiful. She had not had sex with any man. She went down to the well. She filled her pot with water and she came back up again. 17Abraham's servant hurried to meet her. He said, ‘Please give me a little water to drink from your pot.’ 18She replied, ‘Yes sir, please drink.’ She quickly took the pot down from her shoulders. She held the pot with her hands and gave him a drink. 19After she had done that, she said, ‘Now I will get some water for your camels too. I will do this until they have drunk as much water as they want.’ 20So Rebekah quickly poured the water from her pot into the place where the animals drank. She ran back to the well to get more water. She did this until the camels had drunk enough. 21Abraham's servant watched the girl, but he did not say anything. He wanted to know if the Lord had helped him to find a wife for Isaac.
22The camels finished drinking. Then Abraham's servant took out a valuable gold nose ring. It weighed one half shekel. He also took out two large gold rings for Rebekah's arms. They weighed 10 shekels each.
23The servant gave them to Rebekah and he asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there a room in your father's house for me and my men to sleep there tonight?’
24Rebekah replied ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel. Nahor is his father, and Milcah is his mother. 25We have plenty of grass and food for the camels. And there is a room for you to stay with us for the night.’
26Then the man turned his face towards the ground. He worshipped the Lord. 27He said, ‘I praise the Lord who is the God of my master, Abraham. He has been very kind to my master. He has done what he promised to do for him. The Lord has been kind to me too. He has led me here to the house of my master's family.’
28Rebekah quickly ran back home. She told her mother and her family about what had happened.
29Rebekah had a brother. His name was Laban. 30Laban saw the nose ring and the arm rings that Rebekah was wearing. Rebekah told him what the man had said to her. So Laban went out quickly to the well to meet the servant. He found him standing near the well, together with his camels. 31Laban said to him, ‘The Lord has blessed you! You should not continue to stand out here. Come with me. I have prepared a room for you in my house. There is also a place for your camels.’
32So Abraham's servant went with Laban to the house. They took the luggage off the camels. Someone brought grass and food for the camels. They also brought water so that Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33They prepared food for the servant but he said, ‘I will not eat yet. First I must tell you why I have come here.’ Laban said, ‘Please tell us.’
34So the servant said, ‘I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master very much, so that he has become very rich. The Lord has given him sheep and cows, and silver and gold. He has also given him male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36Sarah is my master's wife. She has given birth to a son for him, even when she was very old. My master has given his son everything that belongs to him. 37My master told me to make a serious promise to him. He said, “I live as a stranger among the Canaanite people. But you must not get a Canaanite woman to be a wife for my son. 38Instead, go to the land where my father lived and find a wife for my son from among my family there.”
39So I asked my master, “What should I do if the woman will not return with me?” 40My master said “I have lived to please the Lord. He will send his angel to go with you. You will find a wife for my son, because the Lord will help you. You will find a wife for him from among my own family. 41Go to the place where my family group live. If they refuse to let you take her, you will no longer have to keep your promise to me.”
42I arrived at the town well today. I prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, please help me to find a wife for my master's son. This is why I have travelled here. 43See, I am standing here near this well. If a young woman comes to get water, I will say to her, ‘Please let me drink some water from your pot.’ 44If she is the woman that the Lord has chosen to marry my master's son, please may she say to me, ‘Yes, drink. Then I will also get some water for your camels to drink.’ ”
45While I was still praying quietly, Rebekah came to the well. She carried her pot on her shoulder. She went down to the well, and got some water. Then I said to her “Please give me some water to drink.” 46She quickly took her pot down from her shoulder. She said, “Drink. Then I will get water for your camels too.” So I drank. And she also gave water to the camels.
47I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “I am the daughter of Bethuel. Nahor is his father and Milcah is his mother.” When I heard that, I put the ring in her nose. I put the rings on her arms. 48I turned my face towards the ground and I worshipped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham. The Lord led me to the right place so that I met the granddaughter of my master's brother. The Lord has led me to her, for my master's son. 49So tell me what you will say. If you will show true love to my master, then please say, “Yes.” But if not, then tell me. Then I will know what to do.’
50Laban and Bethuel replied, ‘We know that the Lord has caused all this to happen. So what we ourselves say is not important. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her with you to become the wife of your master's son. That is what the Lord has shown to be right.’
52When Abraham's servant heard their answer, he turned his face towards the ground to thank the Lord. 53He brought his master's gifts to give them to Rebekah. They were valuable things made from gold and silver, as well as beautiful clothes. He also gave valuable things to her brother and to her mother.
54After that, the servant ate a meal. The men who were with him also ate and drank. They stayed there for the night.
When they woke up the next morning, the servant said, ‘Let me leave now so that I can go back to my master.’ 55Rebekah's brother and her mother replied, ‘Please let Rebekah stay with us for a few more days. After about ten days, she can go with you.’ 56But the servant said, ‘Do not make me stay longer. The Lord has given me what I came here for. Let me leave now so that I can go back to my master.’ 57Rebekah's brother and mother said, ‘Let us call the girl. We can ask her what she wants to do.’ 58So they called Rebekah to come. They asked her, ‘Will you go with this man now?’ Rebekah said, ‘Yes, I will go.’
59So they agreed to let their sister Rebekah go. Her nurse went with her. They left there with Abraham's servant, and his men. 60As Rebekah was leaving, her brother and her mother blessed her. They said,
‘Our sister, may you become the mother of millions of descendants.
May your descendants win against their enemies,
and may they go into their enemies' cities.’ #24:60 Rebekah's mother and her brother are asking God that he will bless Rebekah. They want her to have many children.
61Then Rebekah and her female servants left there, together with Abraham's servant. They took camels to ride on. That was how the servant took Rebekah and left.
62At this time Isaac had returned from Beer Lahai Roi. #24:62 Beer Lahai Roi is a well. See Genesis 16:14. He was now living in the Negev.
63It was evening time. Isaac went out to walk in the fields. He looked up and he saw some camels. They were coming towards him.
64Rebekah also looked up and she saw Isaac. She got down from her camel. 65She asked Abraham's servant, ‘I see a man in the field who is coming towards us. Who is he?’ The servant replied, ‘He is my master’. Rebekah covered her face with a piece of cloth. #24:65 She covered her face because she was not yet a married woman.
66Then the servant told Isaac everything that happened. 67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent that his mother Sarah had lived in. Rebekah became Isaac's wife. And Isaac loved Rebekah. So Isaac was happy again, after the death of his mother.
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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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