A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham lived to be a very old man. The Lord blessed him and everything he did. 2Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything he owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.#24:2 Put your hand under my leg This was a sign of a very important promise that Abraham trusted his servant to keep. 3Now I want you to make a promise to me. Promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but don’t let him marry a Canaanite girl. 4Go back to my country, to my own people, to find a wife for my son Isaac. Bring her here to him.”
5The servant said to him, “Maybe this woman will not want to come back with me to this land. If that happens, should I take your son with me to your homeland?”
6Abraham said to him, “No, don’t take my son to that place. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from my homeland to this place. That place was the home of my father and the home of my family, but he promised that this new land would belong to my family. May he send his angel before you so that you can choose a wife for my son. 8If the girl refuses to come with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back to that place.”
9So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.
The Search Begins
10The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left that place. The servant carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Mesopotamia, to Nahor’s city. 11In the evening, when the women come out to get water, he went to the water well outside the city. He made the camels kneel down at the well.
12The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please show your kindness to my master by helping me find a wife for his son Isaac. 13Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. 14I will say to one of them, ‘Please put your jar down so that I can drink.’ Let her answer show whether she is the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. If she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels,’ I will know that she is the right one. It will be proof that you have shown kindness to my master.”
A Wife Is Found
15Before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. 16She was very pretty. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. She went down to the well and filled her jar. 17Then the servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.”
18Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. She said, “Drink this, sir.” 19As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20So Rebekah quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she ran to the well to get more water, and she gave water to all the camels.
21The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure that the Lord had given him an answer and had made his trip successful. 22After the camels finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring that weighed 1/4 ounce.#24:22 1/4 ounce Literally, “1 beka” (5.75 g). He also gave her two gold arm bracelets that weighed 2 ounces#24:22 2 ounces Literally, “5 measures” (57.5 g). each. 23The servant asked, “Who is your father? And is there a place in your father’s house for me and my men to sleep?”
24Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25Then she said, “Yes, we have straw and other food for your camels and a place for you to sleep.”
26The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27He said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and loyal to him by leading me to his own people.”
28Then Rebekah ran and told her family about all these things. 29-30She had a brother named Laban. She told him what the man had said to her. Laban was listening to her. And when he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, he ran out to the well. There the man was, standing by the camels at the well. 31Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in!#24:31 Sir, you are welcome to come in Literally, “Come in, blessed of the Lord!” You don’t have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in and a place for your camels.”
32So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then he gave Abraham’s servant water so that he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33Laban then gave him food to eat, but the servant refused to eat. He said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”
So Laban said, “Then tell us.”
Bargaining for Rebekah
34The servant said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a great man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has much silver and gold and many servants. He has many camels and donkeys. 36Sarah was my master’s wife. When she was very old, she gave birth to a son, and my master has given everything he owns to that son. 37My master forced me to make a promise to him. He said to me, ‘You must not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but I don’t want him to marry one of the Canaanite girls. 38So you must promise to go to my father’s country. Go to my family and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘Maybe the woman will not come back to this place with me.’ 40But my master said to me, ‘I serve the Lord, and he will send his angel with you and help you. You will find a wife for my son among my people there. 41But if you go to my father’s country, and they refuse to give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’
42“Today I came to this well and said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43I will stand by this well and wait for a young woman to come to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44The right woman will answer in a special way. She will say, “Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels.” That way I will know that she is the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45“Before I finished praying, Rebekah came out to the well to get water. She had her water jar on her shoulder as she went to get water from the well. I asked her to give me some water. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and poured me some water. Then she said, ‘Drink this, and I’ll get some water for your camels.’ So I drank the water, and she gave water to my camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I gave her the ring and bracelets for her arms. 48I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him for leading me straight to the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49Now, tell me, will you be kind and loyal to my master and give him your daughter? Or will you refuse to give her to him? Tell me so that I will know what I should do.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “We see that this is from the Lord, so there is nothing we can say to change it. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son. This is what the Lord wants.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he brought. He gave her beautiful clothes and gold and silver jewelry. He also gave expensive gifts to her mother and brother. 54Then he and his men had something to eat and drink, and they spent the night there. Early the next morning they got up and the servant said, “Now we must go back to my master.”
55Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us for a short time. Let her stay with us ten days. After that she can go.”
56But the servant said to them, “Don’t make me wait. The Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.”
57Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
Rebekah said, “Yes, I will go.”
59So they allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. Her nurse also went with them. 60While Rebekah was leaving they said to her,
“Our sister, may you be
the mother of millions of people,
and may your descendants defeat
their enemies and take their cities.”
61Then Rebekah and her nurse got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was now living in the Negev. 63One evening he went out to the field to think.#24:63 think Or “to go for a walk.” He looked up and saw the camels coming from far away.
64Rebekah also looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that young man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “That is my master’s son.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67Then Isaac brought the girl into his mother’s tent. Rebekah became his wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.
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© 1987, 2004 Bible League International
1¶ And Abraham was old and well stricken in age, and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2And Abraham said unto his eldest slave of his house, who ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh,
3and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of the heavens and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;
4but thou shalt go unto my country and to my kindred and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5And the slave said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land, must I therefore bring thy son again unto the land from which thou didst come?
6And Abraham said unto him, Beware that thou not bring my son there again.
7The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred and who spoke unto me and swore unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from there.
8And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be free from this my oath; only do not bring my son there again.
9Then the slave put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning that matter.
10¶ And the slave took ten camels of the camels of his master and departed with the best of what his master had in his hand; and he arose and went to Aram-naharaim, unto the city of Nahor.
11And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.
12And he said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, to have a good encounter this day and show mercy unto my master Abraham.
13Behold, I stand here by the fountain of water, and the daughters of the men of the city come out for water:
14And let it come to pass that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels to drink also; let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy slave Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shown mercy unto my master.
15And it came to pass before he had done speaking that, behold, Rebekah came out (who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother) with her pitcher upon her shoulder.
16And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known; and she went down to the fountain and filled her pitcher and was coming back up.
17Then the slave ran to meet her and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
18And she said, Drink, my lord, and she hastened to let down her pitcher upon her hand and gave him drink.
19And when she had finished giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also until they have finished drinking.
20And she hastened and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water and drew for all his camels.
21And the man marveled at her in silence, to see whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not.
22And it came to pass as the camels had finished drinking that the man took a golden pendant of half a shekel weight and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold
23and said, Whose daughter art thou? Tell me, I pray thee; is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in?
24And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she gave birth unto Nahor.
25She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and fodder enough and room to lodge in.
26Then the man bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord.
27And he said, Blessed be the Lord, God of my master Abraham, who has not lifted his mercy and his truth from my master, the Lord leading me in the way to the house of my master’s brethren.
28And the damsel ran and told those of her mother’s house these things.
29¶ And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban; and Laban ran out unto the man to the fountain.
30And it came to pass when he saw the pendant and the bracelets upon his sister’s hands, she said, Thus spoke the man unto me; then he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the fountain.
31And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the Lord; why dost thou stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and the place for the camels.
32Then the man came into the house, and Laban ungirded his camels and gave straw and fodder for the camels and water to wash his feet and the men’s feet that were with him.
33And they set food before him to eat, but he said, I will not eat until I have told my errand. And he said unto him, Speak on.
34And he said, I am Abraham’s slave.
35And the Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he is become great; and he has given him flocks and herds and silver and gold and menslaves and maidslaves and camels and asses.
36And Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master when she was old, unto whom he has given all that he has.
37And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell;
38but thou shalt go unto my father’s house and to my kindred and take from there a wife for my son.
39And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my lineage and of my father’s house;
41then shalt thou be free from this my oath, when thou hast come unto my lineage; and if they give her not unto thee, thou shalt be free from my oath.
42And I came this day unto the fountain and said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if now thou dost prosper my way by which I go,
43behold, I stand by the fountain of water; let it come to pass, therefore, that the virgin who comes forth to draw water unto whom I say, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
44and if she shall say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels, let the same be the woman whom the Lord has prepared for my master’s son.
45And before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder, and she went down unto the fountain and drew water, and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
46And she made haste and let down her pitcher from her shoulder and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also; so I drank, and she gave to drink unto the camels also.
47And I asked her and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore unto him. Then I put the pendant over her nose and the bracelets upon her hands.
48And I bowed down my head and worshipped the Lord and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of the truth to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.
49And now if ye will deal in mercy and truth with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.
50Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceeds from the Lord; we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
51Behold, Rebekah is before thee; take her and go and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.
52And it came to pass that when Abraham’s slave heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.
53And the slave brought forth vessels of silver and vessels of gold and raiment and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
54¶ And they ate and drank, he and the men that were with him, and slept; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.
55Then her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
56And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord has prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57Then they said, We will call the damsel and enquire at her mouth.
58And they called Rebekah and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59So they sent away Rebekah, their sister, and her nurse and Abraham’s slave and his men.
60And they blessed Rebekah and said unto her, Thou art our sister; be thou the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let thy seed possess the gate of those who hate them.
61And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels and followed the man; and the slave took Rebekah and went away.
62¶ And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the land of the Negev.
63And Isaac had gone out to pray in the field at the evening hour; and he lifted up his eyes and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
64And Rebekah also lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65For she had asked the slave, What man is this that walks in the field to meet us? And the slave had said, This is my master; therefore she took a veil and covered herself.
66Then the slave told Isaac all the things that he had done.
67And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent and took Rebekah as his wife; and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
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