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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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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