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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1Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then 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. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your descendants I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, grant me success today, I pray thee, and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Let the maiden to whom I shall say, ‘Pray let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac. By this I shall know that thou hast shown steadfast love to my master.”
15Before he had done speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her water jar upon her shoulder. 16The maiden was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known. She went down to the spring, and filled her jar, and came up. 17Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Pray give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18She said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly let down her jar upon her hand, and gave him a drink. 19When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw for your camels also, until they have done drinking.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels. 21The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the Lord had prospered his journey or not.
22When the camels had done drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels, 23and said, “Tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge in?” 24She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She added, “We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.” 26The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord, 27and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the Lord has led me in the way to the house of my master's kinsmen.”
28Then the maiden ran and told her mother's household about these things. 29Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man, to the spring. 30When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, “Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. 31He said, “Come in, O blessed of the Lord; why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32So the man came into the house; and Laban ungirded the camels, and gave him straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33Then food was set before him to eat; but he said, “I will not eat until I have told my errand.” He said, “Speak on.”
34So he said, “I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, camels and asses. 36And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and to him he has given all that he has. 37My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell; 38but you shall go to my father's house and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’ 40But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father's house; 41then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my kindred; and if they will not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’
42“I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now thou wilt prosper the way which I go, 43behold, I am standing by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, “Pray give me a little water from your jar to drink,” 44and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,” let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master's son.’
45“Before I had done speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Pray let me drink.’ 46She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels drink also. 47Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to take the daughter of my master's kinsman for his son. 49Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly 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, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord. 53And the servant brought forth jewelry of silver and of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me back to my master.” 55Her brother and her mother said, “Let the maiden remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way; let me go that I may go to my master.” 57They said, “We will call the maiden, and ask her.” 58And they called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” 59So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, be 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 rode upon the camels and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62Now Isaac had come from#24.62 Syr Tg: Heb from coming to Beer-lahai-roi, and was dwelling in the Negeb. 63And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there were camels coming. 64And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel, 65and said to the servant, “Who is the man yonder, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67Then Isaac brought her into the tent,#24.67 Heb adds Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
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