Genesis 24

Abraham was now old, well advanced in years, and by the Lord in all things he’d been blessed.
Abraham said to the senior slave of his household, who had charge of all he possessed,
“Put your hand under my thigh and swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of the earth,
That you won’t take a wife for my son from the Canaanites, but from the land of my birth.
Do not take from these women where I’ve settled, but go to seek wives in my native land,
For Isaac.” And the slave said to him, “But what if she does not want to heed my command?
If she won’t consent to follow me here, shall I take your son back to your former home?”
Abraham said to him, “Beware. My son must never be brought back to that land to roam.
For the Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my kin, spoke to me.
And He swore to me saying, ‘I give this land to your offspring’– So I have faith that He
Will send a messenger before you, and from there you will then take a wife for my son.
And if that woman won’t consent to follow you, your oath-bound duty to me is done.
But you must never take my son back there.” The servant then put his hand under the thigh
Of his lord Abraham, and swore to him an oath about this matter, vowed to comply.

So the servant took ten camels from his lord’s camels and went out, his lord’s goods in hand.
He rose up and went to Aram of-two-rivers, to Nahor’s town just as had been planned.
He had his camels kneel outside town at the water well as the sun set, at the time
When the women go out to draw water. And he said, “Lord, God of that master of mine,
Let today be the day that it goes well for me, deal kindly with my lord Abraham.
Here, I stand beside the spring of water as the townswomen draw from it. Here I am.
Let the maiden to whom I say, ‘Please lower your pitcher so that I may have a drink.’
And who says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels some water.’ (She’d be it, I think.),
Let her be the one you have decided on for your servant, for Isaac, so I’ll know
That you’ve dealt graciously and in good faith with my master. And this sign will serve to show.”

And then just as he had finished speaking, Rebekah came out– she’d been born to Bethuel,
Son of Milcah, wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother– she was as pretty as a jewel.
Now her pitcher was up on her shoulder, and she was fair to look upon, a virgin.
No man had known her. Going down to the spring, she filled her pitcher and came up again.
Then the servant ran towards her and said, “Pray, from your pitcher let me sip a little water.”
She replied, “Drink, my lord,” as she lowered her pitcher in haste as her good grace had taught her.
She let him drink, and when he had finished she said, “I will water your camels as well.”
So she emptied her pitcher and quickly ran to the well to draw for all his camels.

He stood staring at her, silently wondering if the Lord had granted him success.
When the camels had finished, the man took a gold nose ring, half-shekel weight, and bracelets,
Two nice bracelets of gold for her wrists, ten gold shekels in weight. “Pray tell me,” the man said,
“Whose daughter are you? And in your father’s house is there space where we might rest our heads?”
She replied, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”
And she said, “Yes, there’s straw. Yes, there’s plenty of food. Yes, you may find shelter through our door.”
The man bowed low in homage to the Lord and said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master
Abraham, who has not withheld his faithfulness from my lord, nor led him to disaster.
As for me, the Lord has guided me on my journey to the house of my master’s kin.”
And the maiden then ran to her mother’s household and relayed all this to those within.

Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. Laban ran to the man at the spring,
And as soon as he saw the bracelets on the wrists of his sister, and the gold nose ring,
And as soon as Laban heard Rebekah his sister say, “That’s what the man said to me.”
He went up to the man who still stood at the wellspring with his camels, and said to he,
“Come in, oh you blessed of the Lord, why are you standing outside when I have prepared
Both the house for you and a place camels can stay?” So the man came in and food was shared.
The man first had unbridled the camels, and they gave the camels some straw and some fodder,
And then gave to the man and those who were with him for the washing of their feet some water.
Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat before speaking my word.”
Laban said, “Speak on.” So the man said, “I am Abraham’s servant, as you may have heard.
The Lord has blessed my master exceedingly, and he’s become rich, with oxen and sheep,
He has given him silver and gold, servants and maids, both camels and asses he keeps.
As for Sarah, my master’s wife, she bore my master a son after she had grown old,
And he’s given him all that he owns. Now my lord made me swear, and here’s what I was told:
‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the women of the Canaanites, where I dwell.
No, instead you shall go to my father’s house, there you will find a wife that will work well.
Take a wife for my son.’ I said to my lord, ‘What if the woman will not follow me?’
He replied, ‘The Lord, Whose ways I’ve followed will send His messenger to aid your journey.
He will grant you success on your journey, to take from my clan a good wife for my son,
From my father’s house. When you have finished this task, only then will your duty be done.
When you come to my clan, if they don’t give her to you, your duty is finished that way.’
Now today I came to the well and said, ‘Oh Lord, God of my master Abraham, pray,
If you would grant success to my journey, then here, I have stationed myself by the well.
Let the maiden to whom I say, “Please lower your pitcher so that my thirst I may quell.”
And who answers, “Drink, and I will also give your camels water.” Let her be the one
Whom the Lord has decided should serve as the wife of my good master Abraham’s son.’
And before I was even done praying in my heart, Rebekah came out. On her shoulder
Was a pitcher, and she went down to the wellspring and drew water. At that point I told her,
‘Oh, please give me a drink.’ So she hastily lowered her pitcher and said, ‘Here you go.
Drink, and I’ll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
Then I asked her ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor,
Whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring and bracelets on her, which you saw before,
And in homage I bowed to the Lord, and blessed Him, God of my master Abraham, One
Who led me on this journey to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
So, now, if you will deal truly and faithfully with my lord, then tell me so I’ll know,
And if not, tell me, so I’ll know whether to turn right or if to the left I should go.”

Bethuel and Laban both responded, saying, “By the Lord this matter has been decreed;
We cannot speak to you anything bad or good. Here’s Rebekah before you, indeed,
Now take her and go, so that she may be a wife for your master’s son, as God has said.”
When the servant of Abraham heard their words, he bowed low to the Lord God with his head.
And the servant brought out things of silver and gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah,
And he gave presents to her brother and her mother as well, to show he did respect her.
Both he and the men that were with him ate and drank, spent the night. When they woke the next day,
He said, “Send me off to my lord.” But then her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay.
Let her stay with us for a few days, maybe ten, after that she can go.” He replied,
“Don’t delay me, for God has made my journey filled with success. Send me off on my ride,
So that I can return to my master.” They said, “Call the maiden and ask her reply.”
They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go, aye.”
So they sent off Rebekah their sister with her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and men,
And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “Our sister, may you become thousands of tens
Of thousands; And may your offspring seize the gates of their foes.” She rose, and her maids rose too.
And they mounted the camels and followed the man. Then the servant took her and withdrew.

Now Isaac had just come back from Beerlahairoi, for in the Negev he was still dwelling.
And Isaac went out to ponder in the field at night, because he found evening compelling.
Isaac lifted his eyes and saw, look, camels coming. Rebekah lifted her eyes too,
And saw Isaac, got down from the camel, and said to the servant beside her, “Now who
Is the man over there walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “That’s my lord.”
So she took a veil and covered herself. The servant told Isaac all that had occurred.
Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah, his mother, took Rebekah as his wife,
And he loved her, and so was able to find comfort once his mother left from this life.

Leave a comment

Your comment