24 Abraham was now very old. He had seen many years come and go. The Eternal One had blessed his life in every imaginable way. 2 One day, Abraham spoke to his oldest and most-trusted servant, the man in charge of all his affairs.
Abraham: Put your hand here underneath my thigh. 3 Swear by the Eternal One, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not arrange for my son to marry any of the Canaanite daughters here where I am living. 4 Instead promise me you will go to my own country and my own relatives to find a wife for my son Isaac.
Servant: 5 But what if the woman is not willing to follow me here to this unfamiliar land? Do you want me then to take Isaac back to your homeland?
Abraham: 6 Absolutely not! Isaac’s future is here. Do not take my son back there. 7 The Eternal One, the God of heaven, the God who led me from my father’s house and from the land of my birth long ago, the God who spoke to me and swore to me, “I am going to give this land to your future generations”—that God will send His messenger to guide and help you find a wife for my son from there. 8 If for some reason the woman is not willing to follow you, then I free you from the obligation of my oath. But you must never take my son back there!
9 The trusted servant took the oath, holding in his hand Abraham’s power to give life. He swore to do what his master required.
This solemn oath, sworn with the servant’s hand beneath Abraham’s thigh, binds the servant to carry out the request.
10 Then the servant gathered together 10 of his master’s camels and left, taking all kinds of valuable gifts from his master to give to his relatives. He traveled all the way to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 Outside of the city, he made the camels kneel down by a well of water to rest after the long journey. It was nearly dusk, the time when all of the women were coming out to draw water from the well. 12 He said a prayer.
Servant: O Eternal One, God of my master Abraham, please make me successful today and show Your loyal love to my master Abraham. 13 You see that I am standing here by the spring as the young women of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the girl to whom I say, “Please dip your jar in the water that I may drink,” and who will reply, “Drink, and I will draw water for your camels”—let her be the one You have chosen to be a wife for Your servant Isaac. When You do this, I will know of Your loyal love for my master.
15 Before he could finish his prayer, it happened that Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel (Milcah’s and Nahor’s son—Nahor, you remember, was Abraham’s brother) approached the spring with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 She was a very beautiful girl and still a virgin. No man had ever touched her. He watched her go down to the spring, fill her jar, and come back up the hill. 17 The servant wasted no time; he ran down to meet her.
Servant: Please let me have a little water to drink from your jar.
Rebekah: 18 Drink, my lord.
She quickly lowered her jar onto her hand and tipped it for him to drink. 19 After she had finished giving him water, she offered to do more.
Rebekah: I’ll draw some water for your camels too. I’ll make sure they drink all they need.
20 She quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw more water. She continued to draw water until all of the camels had drunk their fill. 21 The man gazed at her in silence, waiting and wondering if she was the one the Eternal One intended for Isaac, the one who would make his journey a success. 22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out from his things a gold nose ring weighing about a fifth of an ounce, plus two gold bracelets for her arms weighing four ounces.
Servant: 23 Please tell me, whose daughter are you? Is there any room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?
Rebekah: 24 I am the daughter of Bethuel (son of Milcah, Nahor’s wife). 25 We have plenty of straw and feed for your camels and also space for you to spend the night.
26 The servant bowed his head and worshiped the Eternal One.
Servant: 27 Blessed be the Eternal One, the God of my master Abraham, who has not failed to show His loyal love and faithfulness to my master, for the Eternal has led me directly to the house of my master’s relatives.
28 The girl ran ahead and told her mother’s household everything that had happened. 29-30 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban. As soon as Laban saw the nose ring and bracelets on his sister’s arms and heard what his sister, Rebekah, had to say about how this man had spoken to her, he ran to the man and found him waiting by the spring with the camels.
Laban: 31 Come in, please, you who are blessed by the Eternal One! Don’t stand outside. I have prepared the house for guests and have a place for the camels.
32 The servant did exactly as Laban asked. When they arrived at the house, Laban unloaded the camels, gave the man straw and feed for his camels, and gave him enough fresh water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who traveled with him. 33 Then food was prepared and set in front of him to eat.
Servant: I will not eat until I tell you why I am here.
Laban: Please, tell us!
Servant: 34 I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Eternal One has blessed my master in a multitude of ways; he has become a great and wealthy man. The Eternal has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah, my master’s wife, gave birth to his son when she was quite old, and Abraham has passed on all he has to him.
37 My master made me swear, saying, “You will not arrange for my son to marry any of the Canaanite daughters here where we are living; 38 instead, you will go to my father’s house—to my own relatives to find a wife for my son.” 39 I asked my master, “What if the woman won’t follow me to this unfamiliar land?” 40 But he told me, “The Eternal One, with whom I walked all these years, will send His messenger with you to guide and help you along the way. I know you will find a wife for my son among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41 When you reach my family, then you will be free from my oath. Even if they won’t give her to you, you will still be free from my oath.”
42 I arrived here today and came to the spring and said a prayer: “O Eternal One, God of my master Abraham, if You will only make my trip successful! 43 You see that I am standing here by the spring. Let the young woman who comes out to draw water and to whom I shall say, ‘Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,’ 44 and who will reply to me, ‘Drink, and I will draw water for your camels,’ let her be the woman the Eternal has chosen to be a wife for my master’s son.” 45 Before I could even finish speaking to God from my heart, Rebekah approached the spring with her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. I said to her, “Please let me have a drink,” 46 and she quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, “Drink, and I will also give your camels some water.” So I drank, and she made sure my camels had enough water. 47 Then I asked her, “Whose daughter are you?” And she said, “The daughter of Bethuel (son of Milcah, Nahor’s wife).” That’s when I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48 Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Eternal, and blessed the God of my master Abraham because He led me in the right direction and to the right place in order to find the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49 Now then, if you intend to show loyal love and faithfulness to my master, tell me. If not, also tell me, so that I know which way to go from here.
Laban and Bethuel: 50 There is no doubt this comes from the Eternal One. We cannot find fault or add anything to what you have said. 51 Look, you’ve found Rebekah here. Take her, and go. Let her marry your master’s son as the Eternal has intended.
52 When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed low to the ground before the Eternal. 53 He brought out silver and gold jewelry and beautiful clothes, and the servant presented them to Rebekah. He also gave her brother and her mother expensive ornaments to pay her bride-price. 54 Then he and the men who traveled with him ate and drank heartily, and they spent the night there. After everyone had risen the next morning, he asked his hosts for permission to leave and return to his master with Rebekah.
Laban and Rebekah’s Mother: 55 Allow Rebekah to remain with us just a little while longer—perhaps 10 days. After that, she may go.
Servant: 56 Please don’t delay my journey. Since the Eternal One has made me successful in my mission, grant me permission to leave and return to my master.
Laban and Rebekah’s Mother: 57 We’ll call Rebekah now and ask her what she wants to do.
58 They called for Rebekah.
Laban and Rebekah’s Mother (to Rebekah): Are you willing to go with this man?
Rebekah: Yes, I will go.
59 So the family gathered and sent Rebekah, their sister, along with her nurse to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 They all blessed Rebekah, saying,
May you, our dear sister,
be blessed with thousands upon thousands of children,
And may your descendants possess
the cities of their enemies.
61 At last Rebekah and her maidservants all went out, mounted the camels, and followed Abraham’s trusted servant back toward Canaan. This is how the servant found Rebekah and took her to be Isaac’s wife.
62 Meanwhile, Isaac had come back from a trip to Beer-lahai-roi and was living in the Negev. 63 Isaac went outside toward evening to take a walk in the field. As he was deep in thought, he looked up and saw the camels coming toward him. 64 At the same time, Rebekah looked up; and when she saw Isaac, she slipped down quickly from the camel 65 and spoke softly to the servant.
Rebekah: Who is that man over there, walking in the field to meet us?
Servant: Ah, it is my young master.
So she took her veil and covered herself so as to be in proper attire to meet her future husband. 66 When Isaac reached them, the servant told him all of the amazing things that had happened. 67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her as his wife and slept with her, and grew to love her deeply. In this way, Isaac found comfort in the wake of his mother’s death.