Isaac marries Rebekah
1As the days went by and Abraham became older, the LORD blessed Abraham in every way. 2Abraham said to the oldest servant of his household, who was in charge of everything he owned, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3By the LORD, God of heaven and earth, give me your word that you won’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I live. 4Go to my land and my family and find a wife for my son Isaac there.”
5The servant said to him, “What if the woman doesn’t agree to come back with me to this land? Shouldn’t I take your son back to the land you left?”
6Abraham said to him, “Be sure you don’t take my son back there. 7The LORD, God of heaven—who took me from my father’s household and from my family’s land, who spoke with me and who gave me his word, saying, ‘I will give this land to your descendants’—he will send his messenger in front of you, and you will find a wife for my son there. 8If the woman won’t agree to come back with you, you will be free from this obligation to me. Only don’t take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and gave him his word about this mission.
10The servant took ten of his master’s camels and all of his master’s best provisions, set out, and traveled to Nahor’s city in Aram-naharaim. 11He had the camels kneel down outside the city at the well in the evening, when women come out to draw water. 12He said, “LORD, God of my master Abraham, make something good happen for me today and be loyal to my master Abraham. 13I will stand here by the spring while the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. 14When I say to a young woman, ‘Hand me your water jar so I can drink,’ and she says to me, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels water too,’ may she be the one you’ve selected for your servant Isaac. In this way I will know that you’ve been loyal to my master.” 15Even before he finished speaking, Rebekah—daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother—was coming out with a water jar on her shoulder. 16The young woman was very beautiful, old enough to be married, and hadn’t known a man intimately. She went down to the spring, filled her water jar, and came back up.
17The servant ran to meet her and said, “Give me a little sip of water from your jar.”
18She said, “Drink, sir.” Then she quickly lowered the water jar with her hands and gave him some water to drink. 19When she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw some water for your camels too, till they’ve had enough to drink.” 20She emptied her water jar quickly into the watering trough, ran to the well again to draw water, and drew water for all of the camels. 21The man stood gazing at her, wondering silently if the LORD had made his trip successful or not.
22As soon as the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold ring, weighing a half shekel,#24.22 Heb beqa and two gold bracelets for her arms, weighing ten shekels. 23He said, “Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24She responded, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, who is the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25She continued, “We have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and a place to spend the night.”
26The man bowed down and praised the LORD: 27“Bless the LORD, God of my master Abraham, who hasn’t given up his loyalty and his faithfulness to my master. The LORD has shown me the way to the household of my master’s brother.”
28The young woman ran and told her mother’s household everything that had happened. 29Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran to the man outside by the spring. 30When he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah say, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man, who was still standing by the spring with his camels. 31Laban said, “Come in, favored one of the LORD! Why are you standing outside? I’ve prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32So the man entered the house. Then Laban unbridled the camels, provided straw and feed for them and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him, 33and set out a meal for him.
But the man said, “I won’t eat until I’ve said something.”
Laban replied, “Say it.”
34The man said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The LORD has richly blessed my master, has made him a great man, and has given him flocks, cattle, silver, gold, men servants, women servants, camels, and donkeys. 36My master’s wife Sarah gave birth to a son for my master in her old age, and he’s given him everything he owns. 37My master made me give him my word: ‘Don’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women, in whose land I’m living. 38No, instead, go to my father’s household and to my relatives and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’ 40He said to me, ‘The LORD, whom I’ve traveled with everywhere, will send his messenger with you and make your trip successful; and you will choose a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s household. 41If you go to my relatives, you will be free from your obligation to me. Even if they provide no one for you, you will be free from your obligation to me.’
42“Today I arrived at the spring, and I said, ‘LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you wish to make the trip I’m taking successful, 43when I’m standing by the spring and the young woman who comes out to draw water and to whom I say, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jar,” 44and she responds to me, “Drink, and I will draw water for your camels too,” may she be the woman the LORD has selected for my master’s son.’ 45Before I finished saying this to myself, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder and went down to the spring to draw water. And I said to her, ‘Please give me something to drink.’ 46She immediately lowered her water jar and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels something to drink too.’ So I drank and she also gave water to the camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son whom Milcah bore him.’ I put a ring in her nose and bracelets on her arms. 48I bowed and worshipped the LORD and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who led me in the right direction to choose the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49Now if you’re loyal and faithful to my master, tell me. If not, tell me so I will know where I stand either way.”
50Laban and Bethuel both responded, “This is all the LORD’s doing. We have nothing to say about it. 51Here is Rebekah, right in front of you. Take her and go. She will be the wife of your master’s son, just as the LORD said.” 52When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed low before the LORD. 53The servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. To her brother and to her mother he gave the finest gifts. 54He and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.
When they got up in the morning, the servant said, “See me off to my master.”
55Her brother and mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us not more than ten days, and after that she may go.”
56But he said to them, “Don’t delay me. The LORD has made my trip successful. See me off so that I can go to my master.”
57They said, “Summon the young woman, and let’s ask her opinion.” 58They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
She said, “I will go.”
59So they sent off their sister Rebekah, her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah, saying to her,
“May you, our sister, become
thousands of ten thousand;
may your children possess
their enemies’ cities.”
61Rebekah and her young women got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac had come from the region of#24.62 Heb uncertain; LXX through the desert of Beer-lahai-roi and had settled in the arid southern plain. 63One evening, Isaac went out to inspect the pasture,#24.63 Heb uncertain; possibly to walk around in the pasture or to meditate in the pasture and while staring he saw camels approaching. 64Rebekah stared at Isaac. She got down from the camel 65and said to the servant, “Who is this man walking through the pasture to meet us?”
The servant said, “He’s my master.” So she took her headscarf and covered herself. 66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent. He received Rebekah as his wife and loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death.
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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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