Rebekah, a wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man. The LORD had made him rich, and he was successful in everything he did. 2One day, Abraham called in his most trusted servant and said to him, “Solemnly promise me 3in the name of the LORD, who rules heaven and earth, that you won't choose a wife for my son Isaac from the people here in the land of Canaan. 4Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for him from among my relatives.”
5But the servant asked, “What if the young woman I choose refuses to leave home and come here with me? Should I send Isaac there to look for a wife?”
6“No!” Abraham answered. “Don't ever do that, no matter what. 7The LORD who rules heaven brought me here from the land where I was born and promised that he would give this land to my descendants for ever. When you go back there, the LORD will send his angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for my son. 8If the woman refuses to come along, you don't have to keep this promise. But don't ever take my son back there.” 9So the servant gave Abraham his word that he would do everything he had been told to do.
10Soon after that, the servant loaded ten of Abraham's camels with valuable gifts. Then he set out for the city in northern Syria,#24.10 northern Syria: The Hebrew text has “Aram-Naharaim”, probably referring to the land around the city of Haran (see also “Paddan-Aram” in 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15; and “Paddan” in 48.7). where Abraham's brother Nahor lived.
11When he got there, he let the camels rest near the well outside the city. It was late afternoon, the time when the women came out for water. 12The servant prayed:
You, LORD, are the God my master Abraham worships. Please keep your promise to him and let me find a wife for Isaac today. 13The young women of the city will soon come to this well for water, 14and I'll ask one of them for a drink. If she gives me a drink and then offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen and that you have kept your promise to my master.
15-16While he was still praying, a beautiful unmarried young woman came by with a water jar on her shoulder. She was Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife Milcah. Rebekah walked past Abraham's servant, then went over to the well, and filled her water jar. When she started back, 17Abraham's servant ran to her and said, “Please let me have a drink of water.”
18“I'll be glad to,” she answered. Then she quickly took the jar from her shoulder and held it while he drank. 19-20After he had finished, she said, “Now I'll give your camels all the water they want.” She quickly poured out water for them, and she kept going back for more, until his camels had drunk all they wanted. 21Abraham's servant did not say a word, but he watched everything Rebekah did, because he wanted to know for certain if this was the woman the LORD had chosen.
22The servant had brought along an expensive gold ring and two large gold bracelets. When Rebekah had finished bringing the water, he gave her the ring for her nose#24.22 ring for her nose: Nose-rings were popular jewellery items, as were earrings. and the bracelets for her arms. 23Then he said, “Please tell me who your father is. Does he have room in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24She answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Nahor and Milcah. 25We have a place where you and your men can stay, and we also have enough straw and feed for your camels.”
26Then the servant bowed his head and prayed, 27“I thank you, LORD God of my master Abraham! You have led me to his relatives and kept your promise to him.”
28Rebekah ran straight home and told her family everything. 29-30Her brother Laban heard her tell what the servant had said, and he saw the ring and the bracelets she was wearing. So Laban ran out to Abraham's servant, who was standing by his camels at the well. 31Then Laban said, “The LORD has brought you safely here. Come home with me. There's no need for you to keep on standing outside. I have a room ready for you in our house, and there's also a place for your camels.”
32Abraham's servant went home with Laban, where Laban's servants unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then they brought water into the house, so Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33After that, they brought in food. But the servant said, “Before I eat, I must tell you why I have come.”
“Go ahead and tell us,” Laban answered.
34The servant explained:
I am Abraham's servant. 35The LORD has been good to my master and has made him very rich. He has given him many sheep, goats, cattle, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of silver and gold, and many slaves. 36Sarah, my master's wife, didn't have any children until she was very old. Then she had a son, and my master has given him everything. 37I solemnly promised my master that I would do what he said. And he told me, “Don't choose a wife for my son from the women in this land of Canaan. 38Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for my son from among my relatives.”
39I asked my master, “What if the young woman refuses to come with me?”
40My master answered, “I have always obeyed the LORD, and he will send his angel to help you find my son a wife from among my own relatives. 41But if they refuse to let her come back with you, then you are freed from your promise.”
42When I came to the well today, I silently prayed, “You, LORD, are the God my master Abraham worships, so please lead me to a wife for his son 43while I am here at the well. When a young woman comes out to get water, I'll ask her to give me a drink. 44If she gives me a drink and offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen.”
45Even before I had finished praying, Rebekah came by with a water jar on her shoulder. When she had filled the jar, I asked her for a drink. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and said, “Have a drink. Then I'll get water for your camels.” So I drank, and after that she got some water for my camels. 47I asked her who her father was, and she answered, “My father is Bethuel the son of Nahor and Milcah.” Straight away I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and gave thanks to the God my master Abraham worships. The LORD had led me straight to my master's relatives, and I had found a wife for his son.
49Now please tell me if you are willing to do the right thing for my master. Will you treat him fairly, or do I have to look for another young woman?
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The LORD has done this. We have no choice in the matter. 51Take Rebekah with you; she can marry your master's son, just as the LORD has said.” 52Abraham's servant bowed down and thanked the LORD. 53Then he gave clothing, as well as silver and gold jewellery, to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother.
54Abraham's servant and the men with him ate and drank, then spent the night there. The next morning they got up, and the servant told Rebekah's mother and brother, “I would like to go back to my master now.”
55“Let Rebekah stay with us for a week or ten days,” they answered. “Then she may go.”
56But he said, “Don't make me stay any longer. The LORD has already helped me find a wife for my master's son. Now let us return.”
57They answered, “Let's ask Rebekah what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked, “Are you willing to leave with this man at once?”
“Yes,” she answered.
59So they agreed to let Rebekah and an old family servant woman#24.59 old family servant woman: Probably Deborah, who had taken care of Rebekah from the time she was born (see 35.8). leave immediately with Abraham's servant and his men. 60They gave Rebekah their blessing and said, “We pray that God will give you many children and grandchildren and that he will help them defeat their enemies.” 61Afterwards, Rebekah and the young women who were to travel with her prepared to leave. Then they got on camels and left with Abraham's servant and his men.
62At that time Isaac was living in the southern part of Canaan near a place called “The Well of the Living One who Sees Me”.#24.62 who Sees Me: Or “I Have Seen”. 63-65One evening he was walking out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started towards them. Rebekah saw him coming; she got down from her camel, and asked, “Who is that man?”
“He is my master Isaac,” the servant answered. Then Rebekah covered her face with her veil.#24.63-65 covered…veil: Since the veiling of a bride was part of the wedding ceremony, this probably means that she was willing to become the wife of Isaac.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent#24.67 took…tent: This shows that Rebekah is now the wife of Isaac and the successor of Sarah as the leading woman in the tribe. where his mother had lived before she died, and Rebekah became his wife. He loved her and was comforted over the loss of his mother.
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Isaac and Rebekah
1#Ge 13:2; 12:2Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2#Ge 47:29; 39:4–6So Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who was in charge over all that he had, “Please, place your hand under my thigh, 3#Ge 26:34–35; 14:22and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live. 4#Ge 28:2But you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
5Then the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7#Ge 13:15; 15:18The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s family and from the land of my relatives, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ He shall send His angel before you and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8#Jos 2:17–20If the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from my oath. Only do not take my son back there.” 9#Ge 24:2So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
10#Ge 11:31; Dt 23:4Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all the goods of his master were in his hand. And he arose and went to the city of Nahor in Aram Naharaim. 11#1Sa 9:11; Ex 2:16He made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water in the evening when the women came out to draw water.
12#Ge 24:27; 26:24Then he said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please let me have success this day and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13#Ge 24:43See, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14#Jdg 6:17; 6:37Let it be that the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please lower your pitcher, that I may drink,’ and she shall say, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels water also’—let her be the one that You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. Then I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”
15#Ge 11:29; 24:45Before he had finished speaking, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milkah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with a pitcher on her shoulder. 16#Ge 26:7The young woman was very beautiful to look at, a virgin, and no man had ever been with her. She went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up.
17#Jn 4:7Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”
18So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let down her pitcher to her hand and gave him a drink.
19#Ge 24:14When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough and ran to the well to draw water and drew for all his camels. 21#Ge 24:12The man, gazing at her, remained silent, trying to discern whether the Lord had made his journey a success or not.
22#Ex 32:2–3When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold nose ring of half a shekel weight#About 1/5 ounce, or 5.7 grams. and two bracelets for her wrists of ten shekels weight#About 4 ounces, or 115 grams. in gold, 23and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
24#Ge 24:15; 22:23She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milkah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25Again she said to him, “We have both straw and provision enough, and room in which to lodge.”
26#Ge 24:48; 24:52Then the man bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord. 27#Ge 24:48; 24:12; 32:10And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s relatives.”
28So the young woman ran and told her mother’s household of these things. 29#Ge 29:5Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the well. 30When he saw the nose ring and 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 went to the man who stood by the camels at the well. 31#Ge 26:29; Ru 3:10And he said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
32#Ge 43:24; Jdg 19:21So the man came to the house. Then he unloaded his camels and gave straw and provision to the camels and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33He then set food before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.”
And he said, “Speak on.”
34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35#Ge 13:2; 24:1The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy. He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36#Ge 25:5; 21:1–7Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old, and he has given to him all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live. 38#Ge 24:4But you shall go to my father’s house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.’
39“So I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’
40#Ge 17:1; 24:7“Then he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house. 41#Ge 24:8You will be free from my oath, when you come to my family, if they will not give her to you; then you will be released from my oath.’
42#Ne 1:11“So today I came to the well and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if You will now give me success in my task; 43#Ge 24:13–14I am standing by the well of water, and let it be that when the virgin comes forth to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” 44#Ge 24:14and she says to me, “Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,” let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. Then I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
46“She then quickly let down her pitcher from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also.
47“Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milkah bore for him.’
“So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48#Ge 24:26–27; 24:52And I bowed down my head and worshipped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49#Ge 47:29; Jos 2:14And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
50#Ge 31:24; 31:29Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “This thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51#Ge 24:15Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52#Ge 24:26; 24:48When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. 53#Ex 3:22; 11:2Then the servant brought out jewels of silver and gold, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother. 54#Ge 24:56; 24:59Then they ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night.
The next morning they arose, and he said, “Send me away to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a few days, at least ten; after that she may go.”
56So he said to them, “Do not delay me, seeing the Lord has given me success. Let me go that I may go to my master.”
57They said, “We will call the girl and ask her.” 58Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
And she said, “I will go.”
59#Ge 35:8So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60#Ge 17:16; 22:17They blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister, become the mother
of thousands of ten thousands;
and may your descendants possess
the gate of those who hate them.”
61Then Rebekah and her maids arose and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
62#Ge 16:14; 25:11Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the Negev. 63#Ps 1:2; 119:15Isaac went out in the evening to meditate in the field; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and surely the camels were coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from her camel 65and said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “It is my master.” Therefore she took a veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant told Isaac all the things he had done. 67#Ge 37:35; 38:12So Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
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