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. The Lord had made him rich, and he was successful in everything he did. 2One day, Abraham called in his most trusted servant and said to him, “Solemnly promise me 3in the name of the Lord, who rules heaven and earth, that you won't choose a wife for my son Isaac from the people here in the land of Canaan. 4Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for him from among my relatives.”
5But the servant asked, “What if the young woman I choose refuses to leave home and come here with me? Should I send Isaac there to look for a wife?”
6“No!” Abraham answered. “Don't ever do that, no matter what. 7The Lord who rules heaven brought me here from the land where I was born and promised that he would give this land to my descendants forever. When you go back there, the Lord will send his angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for my son. 8If the woman refuses to come along, you don't have to keep this promise. But don't ever take my son back there.” 9So the servant gave Abraham his word that he would do everything he had been told to do.
10Soon after that, the servant loaded ten of Abraham's camels with valuable gifts. Then he set out for the city in northern Syria,#24.10 northern Syria: The Hebrew text has “Aram-Naharaim,” probably referring to the land around the city of Haran (see also 25.20; 28.2,6; 31.18,20; 33.18; 35.23-26; 46.8-15 where CEV translates “Paddan-Aram” as “northern Syria”; and 48.7 where CEV translates “Paddan” as “northern Syria”). where Abraham's brother Nahor lived.
11When he got there, he let the camels rest near the well outside the city. It was late afternoon, the time when the women came out for water. 12The servant prayed:
You, Lord, are the God my master Abraham worships. Please keep your promise to him and let me find a wife for Isaac today. 13The young women of the city will soon come to this well for water, 14and I'll ask one of them for a drink. If she gives me a drink and then offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen and that you have kept your promise to my master.
15-16While he was still praying, a beautiful unmarried young woman came by with a water jar on her shoulder. She was Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Abraham's brother Nahor and his wife Milcah. Rebekah walked past Abraham's servant, then went over to the well, and filled her water jar. When she started back, 17Abraham's servant ran to her and said, “Please let me have a drink of water.”
18“I'll be glad to,” she answered. Then she quickly took the jar from her shoulder and held it while he drank. 19-20After he had finished, she said, “Now I'll give your camels all the water they want.” She quickly poured out water for them, and she kept going back for more, until his camels had drunk all they wanted. 21Abraham's servant did not say a word, but he watched everything Rebekah did, because he wanted to know for certain if this was the woman the Lord had chosen.
22The servant had brought along an expensive gold ring and two large gold bracelets. When Rebekah had finished bringing the water, he gave her the ring for her nose#24.22 ring for her nose: Nose-rings were popular jewelry items, as were earrings. and the bracelets for her arms. 23Then he said, “Please tell me who your father is. Does he have room in his house for me and my men to spend the night?”
24She answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Nahor and Milcah. 25We have a place where you and your men can stay, and we also have enough straw and feed for your camels.”
26Then the servant bowed his head and prayed, 27“I thank you, Lord God of my master Abraham! You have led me to his relatives and kept your promise to him.”
28Rebekah ran straight home and told her family everything. 29-30Her brother Laban heard her tell what the servant had said, and he saw the ring and the bracelets she was wearing. So Laban ran out to Abraham's servant, who was standing by his camels at the well. 31Then Laban said, “The Lord has brought you safely here. Come home with me. There's no need for you to keep on standing outside. I have a room ready for you in our house, and there's also a place for your camels.”
32Abraham's servant went home with Laban, where Laban's servants unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then they brought water into the house, so Abraham's servant and his men could wash their feet. 33After that, they brought in food. But the servant said, “Before I eat, I must tell you why I have come.”
“Go ahead and tell us,” Laban answered.
34The servant explained:
I am Abraham's servant. 35The Lord has been good to my master and has made him very rich. He has given him many sheep, goats, cattle, camels, and donkeys, as well as a lot of silver and gold, and many slaves. 36Sarah, my master's wife, didn't have any children until she was very old. Then she had a son, and my master has given him everything. 37I solemnly promised my master that I would do what he said. And he told me, “Don't choose a wife for my son from the women in this land of Canaan. 38Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for my son from among my relatives.”
39I asked my master, “What if the young woman refuses to come with me?”
40My master answered, “I have always obeyed the Lord, and he will send his angel to help you find my son a wife from among my own relatives. 41But if they refuse to let her come back with you, then you are freed from your promise.”
42When I came to the well today, I silently prayed, “You, Lord, are the God my master Abraham worships, so please lead me to a wife for his son 43while I am here at the well. When a young woman comes out to get water, I'll ask her to give me a drink. 44If she gives me a drink and offers to get some water for my camels, I'll know she is the one you have chosen.”
45Even before I had finished praying, Rebekah came by with a water jar on her shoulder. When she had filled the jar, I asked her for a drink. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and said, “Have a drink. Then I'll get water for your camels.” So I drank, and after that she got some water for my camels. 47I asked her who her father was, and she answered, “My father is Bethuel the son of Nahor and Milcah.” At once I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and gave thanks to the God my master Abraham worships. The Lord had led me straight to my master's relatives, and I had found a wife for his son.
49Now please tell me if you are willing to do the right thing for my master. Will you treat him fairly, or do I have to look for another young woman?
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “The Lord has done this. We have no choice in the matter. 51Take Rebekah with you; she can marry your master's son, just as the Lord has said.” 52Abraham's servant bowed down and thanked the Lord. 53Then he gave clothing, as well as silver and gold jewelry, to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and her mother.
54Abraham's servant and the men with him ate and drank, then spent the night there. The next morning they got up, and the servant told Rebekah's mother and brother, “I would like to go back to my master now.”
55“Let Rebekah stay with us for a week or ten days,” they answered. “Then she may go.”
56But he said, “Don't make me stay any longer. The Lord has already helped me find a wife for my master's son. Now let us return.”
57They answered, “Let's ask Rebekah what she wants to do.” 58They called her and asked, “Are you willing to leave with this man at once?”
“Yes,” she answered.
59So they agreed to let Rebekah and an old family servant woman#24.59 old family servant woman: Probably Deborah, who had taken care of Rebekah from the time she was born (see 35.8). leave immediately with Abraham's servant and his men. 60They gave Rebekah their blessing and said, “We pray that God will give you many children and grandchildren and that he will help them defeat their enemies.” 61Afterwards, Rebekah and the young women who were to travel with her prepared to leave. Then they got on camels and left with Abraham's servant and his men.
62At that time Isaac was living in the southern part of Canaan near a place called “The Well of the Living One Who Sees Me.”#24.62 Who Sees Me: Or “I Have Seen.” 63-65One evening he was walking#24.63-65 walking: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. out in the fields, when suddenly he saw a group of people approaching on camels. So he started toward them. Rebekah saw him coming; she got down from her camel, and asked, “Who is that man?”
“He is my master Isaac,” the servant answered. Then Rebekah covered her face with her veil.#24.63-65 covered … veil: Since the veiling of a bride was part of the wedding ceremony, this probably means that she was willing to become the wife of Isaac.
66The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
67Isaac took Rebekah into the tent#24.67 took … tent: This shows that Rebekah is now the wife of Isaac and the successor of Sarah as the leading woman in the tribe. where his mother had lived before she died, and Rebekah became his wife. He loved her and was comforted over the loss of his mother.
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