1Now Abraham was old, and advanced in age: and the Lord had blessed him in all things.
2And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was ruler over all he had: Put thy hand under my thigh,
3That I may make thee swear by the Lord the God of heaven and earth, that thou take not a wife for my son of the daughters of the Chanaanites, among whom I dwell:
4But that thou go to my own country and kindred, and take a wife from thence for my son Isaac.
5The servant answered: If the woman will not come with me into this land, must I bring thy son back again to the place, from whence thou camest out?
6And Abraham said: Beware, thou never bring my son back again thither.
7The Lord God of heaven, who took me out of my father's house, and out of my native country, who spoke to me, and swore to me, saying: To thy seed will I give this land; he will send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take from thence a wife for my son.
8But if the woman will not follow thee, thou shalt not be bound by the oath; only bring not my son back thither again.
9The servant therefore put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and swore to him upon this word.
10And he took ten camels of his master's herd, and departed, carrying something of all his goods with him; and he set forth and went on to Mesopotamia to the city of Nachor.
11And when he had made the camels lie down without the town near a well of water in evening, at the time when women are wont to come out to draw water, he said:
12O Lord the God of my master Abraham, meet me to-day, I beseech thee, and shew kindness to my master Abraham.
13Behold, I stand nigh the spring of water, and the daughters of the inhabitants of this city will come out to draw water.
14Now, therefore, the maid to whom I shall say: Let down thy pitcher that I may drink: and she shall answer, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: Let it be the same whom thou hast provided for thy servant Isaac. And by this I shall understand, that thou hast shown kindness to my master.
15He had not yet ended these words within himself, and, behold, Rebecca came out, the daughter of Bathuel, son of Melcha, wife to Nachor the brother of Abraham, having a pitcher on her shoulder.
16An exceedingly comely maid, and a most beautiful virgin, and not known to man: and she went down to the spring, and filled her pitcher and was coming back.
17And the servant ran to meet her, and said: Give me a little water to drink of thy pitcher.
18And she answered: Drink, my lord. And quickly she let down the pitcher upon her arm, and gave him drink.
19And when he had drunk, she said: I will draw water for thy camels also, till they all drink.
20And pouring out the pitcher into the troughs, she ran back to the well to draw water: and having drawn she gave to all the camels.
21But he, musing, beheld her with silence, desirous to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.
22And after that the camels had drunk, the man took out golden earrings, weighing two sicles: and as many bracelets of ten sicles weight.
23And he said to her: Whose daughter art thou? Tell me: Is there any place in thy father's house to lodge?
24And she answered: I am the daughter of Bathuel, the son of Melcha, whom she bore to Nachor.
25And she said moreover to him: We have good store of both straw and hay, and a large place to lodge in.
26The man bowed himself down, and adored the Lord,
27Saying: Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not taken away his mercy and truth from my master, and hath brought me the straight way into the house of my master's brother.
28Then the maid ran, and told in her mother's house, all that she had heard.
29And Rebecca had a brother named Laban, who went out in haste to the man, to the well.
30And when he had seen the earrings and bracelets in his sister's hands, and had heard all that she related, saying: Thus and thus, the man spoke to me. He came to the man who stood by the camels, and near to the spring of water,
31And said to him: Come in, thou blessed of the Lord: why standest thou without? I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.
32And he brought him in into his lodging: and he unharnessed the camels; and gave straw and hay, and water to wash his feet, and the feet of the men that were come with him.
33And bread was set before him. But he said: I will not eat, till I tell my message. He answered him: Speak.
34And he said: I am the servant of Abraham.
35And the Lord hath blessed my master wonderfully, and he is become great: and he hath given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, men-servants and women-servants, camels and asses.
36And Sara, my master's wife hath borne my master a son in her old age: and he hath given him all that he had.
37And my master made me swear, saying: Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the Chanaanites, in whose land I dwell.
38But thou shalt go to my father's house, and shalt take a wife of my own kindred for my son.
39But I answered my master: What if the woman will not come with me?
40The Lord, said he, in whose sight I walk, will send his angel with thee, and will direct thy way. And thou shalt take a wife for my son of my own kindred, and of my father's house.
41But thou shalt be clear from my curse, when thou shalt come to my kindred, if they will not give thee one.
42And I came to-day to the well of water, and said: O Lord God of my master Abraham, if thou hast prospered my way, wherein I now walk,
43Behold, I stand by the well of water, and the virgin, that shall come out to draw water, who shall hear me say: Give me a little water to drink of thy pitcher:
44And shall say to me: Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: Let the same be the woman, whom the Lord hath prepared for my master's son.
45And whilst I pondered these things secretly with myself, Rebecca appeared, coming with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder: and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her: Give me a little to drink.
46And she speedily let down the pitcher from her shoulder, and said to me: Both drink thou, and to thy camels I will give drink. I drank, and she watered the camels.
47And I asked her, and said: Whose daughter art thou? And she answered: I am the daughter of Bathuel, the son of Nachor, whom Melcha bore to him. So I put earrings on her to adorn her face, and I put bracelets on her hands.
48And falling down, I adored the Lord, blessing the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath brought me the straight way to take the daughter of my master's brother for his son.
49Wherefore, if you do according to mercy and truth with my master, tell me: but if it please you otherwise, tell me that also, that I may go to the right hand, or to the left.
50And Laban and Bathuel answered: The word hath proceeded from the Lord; we cannot speak any other thing to thee but his pleasure.
51Behold, Rebecca is before thee: Take her and go thy way; and let her be the wife of thy master's son, as the Lord hath spoken.
52Which when Abraham's servant heard, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.
53And bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, and garments, he gave them to Rebecca for a present. He offered gifts also to her brothers, and to her mother.
54And a banquet was made, and they ate and drank together, and lodged there. And in the morning, the servant arose, and said: Let me depart, that I may go to my master.
55And her brother and mother answered: Let the maid stay at least ten days with us, and afterwards she shall depart.
56Stay me not, said he, because the Lord hath prospered my way: send me away, that I may go to my master.
57And they said: Let us call the maid, and ask her will.
58And they called her, and when she was come, they asked: Wilt thou go with this man? She said: I will go.
59So they sent her away, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his company,
60Wishing prosperity to their sister, and saying: Thou art our sister: Mayst thou increase to thousands of thousands, and may thy seed possess the gates of their enemies.
61So Rebecca and her maids, being set upon camels, followed the man: who with speed returned to his master.
62At the same time Isaac was walking along the way to the well, which is called, Of the Living and the Seeing: for he dwelt in the south country.
63And he was gone forth to meditate in the field, the day being now well spent: and when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw camels coming afar off.
64Rebecca also, when she saw Isaac, lighted off the camel,
65And said to the servant: Who is that man who cometh towards us along the field? And he said to her: That man is my master. But she quickly took Her cloak, and covered herself.
66And the servant told Isaac all that he had done.
67Who brought her into the tent of Sara his mother, and took her to wife. And he loved her so much, that it moderated the sorrow which was occasioned by his mother's death.
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A Wife for Isaac
1Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, “Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh. 3Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 4Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
5The servant asked, “But what if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?”
6“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. 7For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants.#24:7 Hebrew seed; also in 24:60. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son. 8If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there.”
9So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. 10Then he loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his master, and he traveled to distant Aram-naharaim. There he went to the town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. 11He made the camels kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women were coming out to draw water.
12“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. 13See, I am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town are coming out to draw water. 14This is my request. I will ask one of them, ‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’—let her be the one you have selected as Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. 16Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again. 17Running over to her, the servant said, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.”
18“Yes, my lord,” she answered, “have a drink.” And she quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and gave him a drink. 19When she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels, too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw water for all his camels.
21The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not the Lord had given him success in his mission. 22Then at last, when the camels had finished drinking, he took out a gold ring for her nose and two large gold bracelets#24:22 Hebrew a gold nose-ring weighing a beka [0.2 ounces or 6 grams] and two gold bracelets weighing 10 [shekels] [4 ounces or 114 grams]. for her wrists.
23“Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “And please tell me, would your father have any room to put us up for the night?”
24“I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she replied. “My grandparents are Nahor and Milcah. 25Yes, we have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and we have room for guests.”
26The man bowed low and worshiped the Lord. 27“Praise the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham,” he said. “The Lord has shown unfailing love and faithfulness to my master, for he has led me straight to my master’s relatives.”
28The young woman ran home to tell her family everything that had happened. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to meet the man at the spring. 30He had seen the nose-ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man had said. So he rushed out to the spring, where the man was still standing beside his camels. 31Laban said to him, “Come and stay with us, you who are blessed by the Lord! Why are you standing here outside the town when I have a room all ready for you and a place prepared for the camels?”
32So the man went home with Laban, and Laban unloaded the camels, gave him straw for their bedding, fed them, and provided water for the man and the camel drivers to wash their feet. 33Then food was served. But Abraham’s servant said, “I don’t want to eat until I have told you why I have come.”
“All right,” Laban said, “tell us.”
34“I am Abraham’s servant,” he explained. 35“And the Lord has greatly blessed my master; he has become a wealthy man. The Lord has given him flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, a fortune in silver and gold, and many male and female servants and camels and donkeys.
36“When Sarah, my master’s wife, was very old, she gave birth to my master’s son, and my master has given him everything he owns. 37And my master made me take an oath. He said, ‘Do not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women. 38Go instead to my father’s house, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son.’
39“But I said to my master, ‘What if I can’t find a young woman who is willing to go back with me?’ 40He responded, ‘The Lord, in whose presence I have lived, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful. Yes, you must find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41Then you will have fulfilled your obligation. But if you go to my relatives and they refuse to let her go with you, you will be free from my oath.’
42“So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O Lord, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. 43See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” 44If she says, “Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,” let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master’s son.’
45“Before I had finished praying in my heart, I saw Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Yes, have a drink, and I will water your camels, too!’ So I drank, and then she watered the camels.
47“Then I asked, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, and my grandparents are Nahor and Milcah.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her wrists.
48“Then I bowed low and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife. 49So tell me—will you or won’t you show unfailing love and faithfulness to my master? Please tell me yes or no, and then I’ll know what to do next.”
50Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “The Lord has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say. 51Here is Rebekah; take her and go. Yes, let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.”
52When Abraham’s servant heard their answer, he bowed down to the ground and worshiped the Lord. 53Then he brought out silver and gold jewelry and clothing and presented them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive presents to her brother and mother. 54Then they ate their meal, and the servant and the men with him stayed there overnight.
But early the next morning, Abraham’s servant said, “Send me back to my master.”
55“But we want Rebekah to stay with us at least ten days,” her brother and mother said. “Then she can go.”
56But he said, “Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.”
57“Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” 58So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her.
And she replied, “Yes, I will go.”
59So they said good-bye to Rebekah and sent her away with Abraham’s servant and his men. The woman who had been Rebekah’s childhood nurse went along with her. 60They gave her this blessing as she parted:
“Our sister, may you become
the mother of many millions!
May your descendants be strong
and conquer the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her servant girls mounted the camels and followed the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
62Meanwhile, Isaac, whose home was in the Negev, had returned from Beer-lahai-roi. 63One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming. 64When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel. 65“Who is that man walking through the fields to meet us?” she asked the servant.
And he replied, “It is my master.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil. 66Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
67And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.
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