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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Courting of Rebekah
1Now Abraham was old, advanced in years, and Adonai blessed Abraham in everything.
2Then Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household who managed everything that belonged to him, “Now put your hand under my thigh,
3so that I may make you take an oath by Adonai, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am dwelling.
4On the contrary, to my land and to my relatives you must go and get a wife for my son Isaac.
5But the servant said to him, “Suppose the woman were unwilling to follow after me to this land? Should I then have your son go back to the land you came from?
6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t return my son there.
7Adonai, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land and who spoke to me and made a pledge to me saying, ‘To your seed I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there.
8If the woman is not willing to follow after you, then you will be free from this oath of mine. Nevertheless, you must not return my son there.”
9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he made a pledge to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and left with all the best of his master’s things in his hand. Then he arose and went to Aram-Naharaim, to Nahor’s city.
11Then he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time for the going out to draw water.
12“Adonai, the God of Abraham my master,” he said, “please make something happen before me today, and show loyalty to Abraham my master.
13Look, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are going out to draw water.
14Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please tip your jar so that I may drink,’ and she will say, ‘Drink—and I’ll also water your camels’—let her be the one You have appointed for your servant Isaac. So by this I’ll know that You have shown graciousness to my master.”
15Now before he had finished speaking, behold there was Rebekah (who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother) going out with her jar on her shoulder.
16Now the young woman was very good looking, a girl of marriageable age, and she was a virgin. 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 sip a little water from your jar.”
18So she said, “Drink, my lord,” and she quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and gave him a drink.
19Now when she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they’ve finished drinking.”
20So she quickly poured out her jug into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew water for all his camels,
21while the man continued to pay close attention to her, keeping silent in order to know whether or not Adonai had made his way successful.
22Now after the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a nose ring of gold weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets on her hands weighing ten shekels of gold.
23“Whose daughter are you?” he said. “Please tell me. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She said to him, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”
25She also said to him, “There’s both straw and plenty of feed with us, as well as room to spend the night.”
26Then the man bowed down and worshipped Adonai,
27and he said, “Blessed be Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His loyalty and His truth toward my master. As for me, Adonai has guided me in the way to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s house these things.
29Now Rebekah had a brother and his name was Laban, and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring.
30As soon as he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister saying, “Thus the man said to me,” he went to the man. There he was, standing by the camels at the spring.
31So he said, “Come in, blessed of Adonai. Why are you standing outside when I’ve tidied up the house and there is room for the camels?”
32So the man came to the house and he unloaded the camels. Straw and feed were given to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
33Food was placed before him to eat, but he said, “I won’t eat until I’ve stated my business.” So he said, “Speak.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he said.
35Adonai has blessed my master very much so that he has become great, and He has given to him flocks of sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male slaves and female slaves, camels and donkeys.
36Now Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to a son for my master after she was old, and He gave him everything he owns.
37Then my master made me take an oath, saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I’m dwelling.’
38Instead you must go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’
39But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman won’t come back with me?’
40So he said to me, ‘Adonai, before whom I’ve walked continually, will send His angel with you, and He will make your way successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s household.
41Then you’ll be free from my oath—if you come to my family and if they don’t give her to you—then you’ll be free from my oath.’
42So I came today to the spring and I said, ‘Adonai, the God of Abraham my master, if You are really going to make my way upon which I am walking successful,
43look, I’m standing by the spring of water. So let it be that the unmarried girl who is going out to draw water, to whom I’ll say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jug,”
44and she’ll say to me, “You drink, and I’ll also draw water for your camels”—let her be the woman whom Adonai appoints for my master’s son!’
45I had not yet finished speaking to my heart, and behold there was Rebekah going out—her jug was on her shoulder and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46And she quickly lowered her jug off of her and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ Then I placed the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her hands.
48I bowed down and worshipped Adonai and blessed Adonai, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the true way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49So now, if you’re really going to show loyalty and truth to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me and I’ll turn to the right or to the left.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, and they said, “The matter proceeds from Adonai. We cannot speak to you bad or good.
51Rebekah is before you. Take her and go, and let her become a wife for our master’s son, just as Adonai has spoken.”
52Now when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground to Adonai.
53Then the servant brought out articles of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brothers and to her mother.
54Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and spent the night. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me off to my master.”
55But her brother with her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days—or ten. Afterwards she may go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t delay me, since Adonai has made my way successful. Send me off so that I can go to my master.”
57So they said, “We’ll call the young woman and let’s ask her opinion.”
58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”
59So they sent Rebekah their sister off with her nanny, and Abraham’s servant and his men,
60and they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your seed possess the gate of those who hate him.”
61Then Rebekah got up, with her maids, and they mounted the camels and followed after the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed.
62Now Isaac had come from visiting Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the land of the Negev.
63Isaac went out to meditate strolling in the field at dusk. Then he lifted up his eyes and saw, behold, camels were coming.
64Rebekah also lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac. Then she fell off her camel.
65Then she said to the servant, “Who is that man there who is walking in the field—to meet us?” The servant said, “He is my master.” So she took the veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.
67Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother, took Rebekah and she became his wife—and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after the loss of his mother.
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