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Genesis 24 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

A Wife for Isaac

24 Abraham lived to be a very old man. The Lord blessed him and everything he did. Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything he owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.[a] Now I want you to make a promise to me. Promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but don’t let him marry a Canaanite girl. Go back to my country, to my own people, to find a wife for my son Isaac. Bring her here to him.”

The servant said to him, “Maybe this woman will not want to come back with me to this land. If that happens, should I take your son with me to your homeland?”

Abraham said to him, “No, don’t take my son to that place. The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from my homeland to this place. That place was the home of my father and the home of my family, but he promised that this new land would belong to my family. May he send his angel before you so that you can choose a wife for my son. If the girl refuses to come with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back to that place.”

So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.

The Search Begins

10 The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left that place. The servant carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Mesopotamia, to Nahor’s city. 11 In the evening, when the women come out to get water, he went to the water well outside the city. He made the camels kneel down at the well.

12 The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please show your kindness to my master by helping me find a wife for his son Isaac. 13 Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. 14 I will say to one of them, ‘Please put your jar down so that I can drink.’ Let her answer show whether she is the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. If she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels,’ I will know that she is the right one. It will be proof that you have shown kindness to my master.”

A Wife Is Found

15 Before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 She was very pretty. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. She went down to the well and filled her jar. 17 Then the servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.”

18 Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. She said, “Drink this, sir.” 19 As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20 So Rebekah quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she ran to the well to get more water, and she gave water to all the camels.

21 The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure that the Lord had given him an answer and had made his trip successful. 22 After the camels finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring that weighed 1/4 ounce.[b] He also gave her two gold arm bracelets that weighed 2 ounces[c] each. 23 The servant asked, “Who is your father? And is there a place in your father’s house for me and my men to sleep?”

24 Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25 Then she said, “Yes, we have straw and other food for your camels and a place for you to sleep.”

26 The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27 He said, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and loyal to him by leading me to his own people.”

28 Then Rebekah ran and told her family about all these things. 29-30 She had a brother named Laban. She told him what the man had said to her. Laban was listening to her. And when he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, he ran out to the well. There the man was, standing by the camels at the well. 31 Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in![d] You don’t have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in and a place for your camels.”

32 So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then he gave Abraham’s servant water so that he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33 Laban then gave him food to eat, but the servant refused to eat. He said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”

So Laban said, “Then tell us.”

Bargaining for Rebekah

34 The servant said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a great man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has much silver and gold and many servants. He has many camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah was my master’s wife. When she was very old, she gave birth to a son, and my master has given everything he owns to that son. 37 My master forced me to make a promise to him. He said to me, ‘You must not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but I don’t want him to marry one of the Canaanite girls. 38 So you must promise to go to my father’s country. Go to my family and choose a wife for my son.’ 39 I said to my master, ‘Maybe the woman will not come back to this place with me.’ 40 But my master said to me, ‘I serve the Lord, and he will send his angel with you and help you. You will find a wife for my son among my people there. 41 But if you go to my father’s country, and they refuse to give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’

42 “Today I came to this well and said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43 I will stand by this well and wait for a young woman to come to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44 The right woman will answer in a special way. She will say, “Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels.” That way I will know that she is the one the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

45 “Before I finished praying, Rebekah came out to the well to get water. She had her water jar on her shoulder as she went to get water from the well. I asked her to give me some water. 46 She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and poured me some water. Then she said, ‘Drink this, and I’ll get some water for your camels.’ So I drank the water, and she gave water to my camels. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I gave her the ring and bracelets for her arms. 48 I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him for leading me straight to the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49 Now, tell me, will you be kind and loyal to my master and give him your daughter? Or will you refuse to give her to him? Tell me so that I will know what I should do.”

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “We see that this is from the Lord, so there is nothing we can say to change it. 51 Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son. This is what the Lord wants.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he brought. He gave her beautiful clothes and gold and silver jewelry. He also gave expensive gifts to her mother and brother. 54 Then he and his men had something to eat and drink, and they spent the night there. Early the next morning they got up and the servant said, “Now we must go back to my master.”

55 Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us for a short time. Let her stay with us ten days. After that she can go.”

56 But the servant said to them, “Don’t make me wait. The Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.”

57 Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do.” 58 They called her and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”

Rebekah said, “Yes, I will go.”

59 So they allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. Her nurse also went with them. 60 While Rebekah was leaving they said to her,

“Our sister, may you be
    the mother of millions of people,
and may your descendants defeat
    their enemies and take their cities.”

61 Then Rebekah and her nurse got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was now living in the Negev. 63 One evening he went out to the field to think.[e] He looked up and saw the camels coming from far away.

64 Rebekah also looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65 She said to the servant, “Who is that young man walking in the field to meet us?”

The servant said, “That is my master’s son.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.

66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67 Then Isaac brought the girl into his mother’s tent. Rebekah became his wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 24:2 Put your hand under my leg This was a sign of a very important promise that Abraham trusted his servant to keep.
  2. Genesis 24:22 1/4 ounce Literally, “1 beka” (5.75 g).
  3. Genesis 24:22 2 ounces Literally, “5 measures” (57.5 g).
  4. Genesis 24:31 Sir, you are welcome to come in Literally, “Come in, blessed of the Lord!”
  5. Genesis 24:63 think Or “to go for a walk.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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