1 Now Abraham was old and of many days. And the Lord had blessed him in all things.
2 And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was in charge of all that he had: "Place your hand under my thigh,
3 so that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.
4 But that you will proceed to my land and kindred, and from there take a wife for my son Isaac."
5 The servant responded, "If the woman is not willing to come with me into this land, must I lead your son back to the place from which you departed?"
6 And Abraham said: "Beware that you never lead my son back to that place.
7 The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my nativity, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' himself will send his Angel before you, and you will take from there a wife for my son.
8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, you will not be held by the oath. Only do not lead my son back to that place."
9 Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and he swore to him on his word.
10 And he took ten camels from his lord's herd, and he went forth, carrying with him things from all of his goods. And he set out, and continued on, to the city of Nahor, in Mesopotamia.
11 And when he had made the camels lie down outside of the town, near a well of water, in the evening, at the time when women are accustomed to go out to draw water, he said:
12 "O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, meet with me today, I beg you, and show mercy to my lord Abraham.
13 Behold, I stand near the fountain of water, and the daughters of the inhabitants of this city will go forth to draw water.
14 Therefore, the girl to whom I will say, 'Tip your pitcher, so that I may drink,' and she will respond, 'Drink. In fact, I will give your camels a drink also,' the same one is she whom you have prepared for your servant Isaac. And by this, I will understand that you have shown mercy to my lord."
15 But he had not yet completed these words within himself, when, behold, Rebekah went out, the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, having a pitcher on her shoulder.
16 She was an exceedingly elegant girl, and a most beautiful virgin, and unknown by man. And she descended to the spring, and she filled her pitcher, and then was returning.
17 And the servant ran to meet her, and he said, "Provide me with a little water to drink from your pitcher."
18 And she responded, "Drink, my lord." And she quickly brought down the pitcher on her arm, and she gave him a drink.
19 And after he drank, she added, "In fact, I will draw water for your camels also, until they all drink."
20 And pouring out the pitcher into the troughs, she ran back to the well to draw water; and having drawn, she gave it to all the camels.
21 But he was contemplating her silently, wanting to know whether the Lord had caused his journey to prosper or not
22 Then, after the camels drank, the man took out gold earrings, weighing two shekels, and the same number of bracelets, ten shekels in weight.
23 And he said to her: "Whose daughter are you? Tell me, is there any place in your father's house to lodge?"
24 She responded, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, to whom she gave birth for Nahor."
25 And she continued, saying, "There is very much straw and hay with us, and a spacious place to stay."
26 The man bowed himself down, and he adored the Lord,
27 saying, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has not taken away his mercy and truth from my lord, and who has led me on a direct journey to the house of the brother of my lord."
28 And so the girl ran, and she reported all that she had heard in the house of her mother.
29 Now Rebekah had a brother, named Laban, who went out quickly to the man, where the spring was.
30 And when he had seen the earrings and bracelets in his sister's hands, and he had heard all the words being repeated, "This is what the man spoke to me," he came to the man who stood by the camels and near the spring of water,
31 and he said to him: "Enter, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels."
32 And he brought him into his guest quarters. And he unharnessed the camels, and he distributed straw and hay, and water to wash his feet and that of the men who arrived with him.
33 And bread was set out in his sight. But he said, "I will not eat, until I have spoken my words." He answered him, "Speak."
34 Then he said: "I am the servant of Abraham.
35 And the Lord has blessed my lord greatly, and he has become great. And he has given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, men servants and women servants, camels and donkeys.
36 And Sarah, the wife of my lord, has given birth to a son for my lord in her old age, and he has given him all that he had.
37 And my lord made me swear, saying: 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell.
38 But you shall travel to my father's house, and you shall take a wife of my own kindred for my son.'
39 But truly, I answered my lord, 'What if the woman is not willing to come with me?'
40 'The Lord,' he said, 'in whose sight I walk, will send his Angel with you, and he will direct your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my own kindred and from my father's house.
41 But you will be innocent of my curse, if, when you will arrive at my close relatives, they will not grant this to you.'
42 And so, today I arrived at the well of water, and I said: 'O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, if you have directed my way, in which I now walk,
43 behold, I stand next to the well of water, and the virgin, who will go forth to draw water, will hear from me, "Give me a little water to drink from your pitcher."
44 And she will say to me, "You drink, and I will also draw for your camels." Let the same be the woman, whom the Lord has prepared for the son of my lord.'
45 And while I thought over these things silently within myself, Rebekah appeared, arriving with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder. And she descended to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, 'Give me a little to drink.'
46 And she quickly let down the pitcher from her arm, and said to me, 'You drink, and to your camels I will also distribute drinking water.' I drank, and she watered the camels.
47 And I questioned her, saying, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she responded, 'I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' And so, I hung the earrings on her, to adorn her face, and I put the bracelets on her hands.
48 And falling prostrate, I adored the Lord, blessing the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has led me along the straight path so as to take the daughter of my lord's brother to his son.
49 For this reason, if you would act according to mercy and truth with my lord, tell me so. But if it pleases you otherwise, say that to me also, so that I may go either to the right, or to the left."
50 And Laban and Bethuel responded: "A word has proceeded from the Lord. We are not able to speak anything else to you, beyond what pleases him.
51 Lo, Rebekah is in your sight. Take her and continue on, and let her be the wife of the son of your lord, just as the Lord has spoken."
52 When Abraham's servant had heard this, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.
53 And bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, as well as garments, he gave them to Rebekah as a tribute. Likewise, he offered gifts to her brothers and her mother.
54 And a banquet began, and they feasted and drank together, and they lodged there. And rising up in the morning, the servant said, "Release me, so that I may go to my lord."
55 And her brothers and mother responded, "Let the girl remain for at least ten days with us, and after that, she will continue on."
56 "Do not be willing," he said, "to delay me, for the Lord has directed my way. Release me, so that I may journey to my lord."
57 And they said, "Let us call the girl, and ask her will."
58 And when, having been called, she arrived, they wanted to know, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
59 Therefore, they released her and her nurse, and the servant of Abraham and his companions,
60 wishing prosperity for their sister, by saying: "You are our sister. May you increase to thousands of thousands. And may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."
61 And so, Rebekah and her maids, riding upon camels, followed the man, who quickly returned to his lord.
62 Then, at the same time, Isaac was walking along the way that leads to the well, whose name is: 'of the One who lives and who sees.' For he dwelt in the southern land.
63 And he had gone out to meditate in the field, as daylight was now declining. And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw camels advancing from afar.
64 Likewise, Rebekah, having seen Isaac, descended from the camel.
65 And she said to the servant, "Who is that man who advances to meet us through the field?" And he said to her, "That is my lord." And so, quickly taking up her cloak, she covered herself.
66 Then the servant explained to Isaac all that he had done.
67 And he led her into the tent of Sarah his mother, and he accepted her as wife. And he loved her so very much, that it tempered the sorrow which befell him at his mother's death.
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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