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Genesis 24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

A Wife for Isaac

24 Abraham was now old, getting on in years,[a] and the Lord had blessed him in everything. Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, “Place your hand under my thigh, and 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, but will go to my land and my family to take a wife for my son Isaac.”

The 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?”

Abraham answered him, “Make sure that you don’t take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from my native land, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your offspring’—He will send His angel before you, and you can take a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me, but don’t let my son go back there.” So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

10 The servant took 10 of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of his master’s goods in hand. Then he set out for Nahor’s town Aram-naharaim. 11 He made the camels kneel beside a well of water outside the town at evening. This was the time when the women went out to draw water.

12 Lord, God of my master Abraham,” he prayed, “give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 I am standing here at the spring where the daughters of the men of the town are coming out to draw water. 14 Let 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.”

15 Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah—daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor—coming with a jug on her shoulder. 16 Now the girl was very beautiful, a young woman who had not known a man intimately. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me have a little water from your jug.”

18 She replied, “Drink, my lord.” She quickly lowered her jug to her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll also draw water for your camels until they have had enough to drink.”[b] 20 She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels 21 while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success.

22 After the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing 10 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?”

24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25 She also said to him, “We have plenty of straw and feed and a place to spend the night.”

26 Then the man bowed down, worshiped the Lord, 27 and said, “Praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

28 The girl ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the spring. 30 As 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.

31 Laban said, “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord. Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was brought to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.

33 A 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 sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah, my master’s wife, bore a son to my master in her[c] old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 My 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 38 but will go to my father’s household and to my family to take a wife for my son.’ 39 But I said to my master, ‘Suppose the woman will not come back with me?’ 40 He said to me, ‘The Lord before whom I have walked will send His angel with you and make your journey a success, and you will take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s household. 41 Then 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! 43 I am standing here at a spring. Let the virgin who comes out to draw water, and I say to her: Please let me drink a little water from your jug, 44 and 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, 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. 46 She 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. 47 Then 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 and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I bowed down, worshiped the Lord, and praised 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. 49 Now, if you are going to show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; if not, tell me, and I will go elsewhere.”[d]

50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.[e] 51 Rebekah 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.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then 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. 54 Then 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.”

55 But her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us for about 10 days.[f] Then she[g] can go.”

56 But 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.”

57 So they said, “Let’s call the girl and ask her opinion.”[h]

58 They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”

She replied, “I will go.” 59 So they sent away their sister Rebekah with the one who had nursed and raised her,[i] and Abraham’s servant and his men.

60 They blessed Rebekah, saying to her:

Our sister, may you become
thousands upon ten thousands.
May your offspring possess
the gates of their[j] enemies.

61 Then Rebekah and her female servants got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Now Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi,[k] for he was living in the Negev region. 63 In the early evening Isaac went out to walk[l] in the field, and looking up he saw camels coming. 64 Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel 65 and 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. 66 Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.

67 And 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 24:1 Lit days
  2. Genesis 24:19 Lit they are finished drinking
  3. Genesis 24:36 Sam, LXX read his
  4. Genesis 24:49 Lit go to the right or to the left
  5. Genesis 24:50 Lit we cannot say to you anything bad or good
  6. Genesis 24:55 Lit us a few days or 10
  7. Genesis 24:55 Or you
  8. Genesis 24:57 Lit mouth
  9. Genesis 24:59 Lit with her wet nurse; Gn 35:8
  10. Genesis 24:60 Lit his
  11. Genesis 24:62 = A Well of the Living One Who Sees Me
  12. Genesis 24:63 Or pray, or meditate; Hb obscure

Genesis 24 New International Version (NIV)

Isaac and Rebekah

24 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.

The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?

“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring[a] I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

10 Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim[b] and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11 He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.

12 Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14 May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”

15 Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.

17 The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”

18 “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.

19 After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21 Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka[c] and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.[d] 23 Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?

24 She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor. 25 And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”

26 Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30 As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31 “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”

32 So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33 Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.”

“Then tell us,” Laban said.

34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37 And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38 but go to my father’s family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’

39 “Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’

40 “He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father’s family. 41 You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you—then you will be released from my oath.’

42 “When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43 See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,” 44 and if she says to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’

46 “She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.

47 “I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’

“She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’

“Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48 and I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.”

50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51 Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed.

52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.

When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”

55 But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you[e] may go.”

56 But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”

57 Then they said, “Let’s call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”

“I will go,” she said.

59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,

“Our sister, may you increase
    to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
    the cities of their enemies.”

61 Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63 He went out to the field one evening to meditate,[f] and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”

“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.

66 Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67 Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 24:7 Or seed
  2. Genesis 24:10 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  3. Genesis 24:22 That is, about 1/5 ounce or about 5.7 grams
  4. Genesis 24:22 That is, about 4 ounces or about 115 grams
  5. Genesis 24:55 Or she
  6. Genesis 24:63 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)

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