A Bride for Isaac
24 Now Abraham was old, [well] advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 Abraham said to his servant [Eliezer of Damascus], the oldest of his household, who had charge over all that Abraham owned, “Please, put your hand under my thigh [as is customary for affirming a solemn oath],(A) 3 and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, 4 but you will [instead] go to my [former] country (Mesopotamia) and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac [the heir of the covenant promise].” 5 The servant said to him, “Suppose the woman will not be willing to follow me back to this country; should I take your son back to the country from which you came?” 6 Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there! 7 The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, from the land of my family and my birth, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I will give this land’—He will send His angel before you [to guide you], and you will take a wife from there for my son [and bring her here]. 8 If the woman is not willing to follow you [to this land], then you will be free from this my oath and blameless; only you must never take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels, and set out, taking some of his master’s good things with him; so he got up and journeyed to [a]Mesopotamia [between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers], to the city of Nahor [the home of Abraham’s brother]. 11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand here at the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; 14 now let it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please, let down your jar so that I may [have a] drink,’ and she replies, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels water to drink’—may she be the one whom You have selected [as a wife] for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness (faithfulness) to my master.”
Rebekah Is Chosen
15 Before Eliezer had finished speaking (praying), Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel the [b]son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. 16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin and unmarried; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 18 And she said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 When she had given Eliezer a drink, she said, “I will also draw water for your camels until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, and ran again to the well and drew water for all his camels. 21 Meanwhile, the man stood gazing at Rebekah in [reverent] silence, [waiting] to know if the Lord had made his trip successful or not.
22 When the camels had finished drinking, Eliezer took a gold ring weighing a half-shekel and two bracelets for her hands weighing ten shekels in gold, 23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?” 24 And she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to [her husband] Nahor.” 25 Again she said to him, “We have plenty of both straw and feed, and also room to lodge.” 26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord. 27 He said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not denied His lovingkindness and His truth to my master. As for me, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brothers.”
28 Then the girl ran and told her mother’s household what had happened. 29 Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to the man at the well. 30 When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he heard Rebekah his sister, saying, “The man said this to me,” he went to Eliezer and found him standing by the camels at the spring. 31 And Laban said, “Come in, blessed of the Lord! Why do you stand outside since I have made the house ready and have prepared a place for the camels?” 32 So the man came into the house, and Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed, and [he gave] water to [Eliezer to] wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 But when food was set before him, he said, “I will not eat until I have stated my business.” And Laban said, “Speak on.” 34 So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great (wealthy, powerful); He has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and servants and maids, and camels and donkeys. 36 Now Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was in her old age, and he has given everything that he has to him. 37 My master made me swear [an oath], saying, ‘You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; 38 but you shall [instead] go to my father’s house and to my family and take a wife for my son [Isaac].’ 39 Then I said to my master, ‘But suppose the woman will not follow me [back to this land].’ 40 He said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk [habitually and obediently], will send His angel with you to make your journey successful, and you will take a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s house; 41 then you will be free of my oath, when you come to my relatives; and if they do not give her to you, you will [also] be free of my oath.’
42 “I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if now You will make my journey on which I go successful; 43 please look, I am standing by the spring of water; now let it be that when the maiden [whom You have chosen for Isaac] comes out to draw [water], and to whom I say, “Please, give me a little water to drink from your jar”; 44 and if she says to me, “You drink, and I will also draw [water] for your camels”; let that woman be the one whom the Lord has selected and chosen [as a wife] for my master’s son.’
45 “Before I had finished praying in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please, let me have a drink.’ 46 And she quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels’; so I drank, and she also watered the camels. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him’; and I [c]put the ring in her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. 48 And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother to his son [as a wife]. 49 So now if you are going to show kindness and truth to my master [being faithful to him], tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right or to the left [and go on my way].”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “The matter has come from the Lord; so we dare not speak bad or good [to you about it—we cannot interfere]. 51 Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the ground [in worship] before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and articles of clothing, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave precious things to her brother and her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night [there]. In the morning when they got up, he said, “Now send me back to my master.” 55 But Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go.” 56 But Eliezer said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away, so that I may go back to my master.” 57 And they said, “We will call the girl and ask her [d]what she prefers.” 58 So they called Rebekah and said, “Will you go with this man?” And she answered, “I will go.” 59 So they sent off their sister Rebekah and her nurse [Deborah, as her attendant] and Abraham’s servant [Eliezer] and his men. 60 They blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“May you, our sister,
Become [the mother of] thousands of ten thousands,
And may your descendants possess (conquer)
The [city] gate of those who hate them.”
61 Then Rebekah and her attendants [e]stood, and they mounted camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
62 Now Isaac had returned from going to Beer-lahai-roi (Well of the Living One Who Sees Me), for he was living in the [f]Negev.(B) 63 Isaac went out to bow down [in prayer] in the field in the [early] evening; he raised his eyes and looked, and camels were coming. 64 Rebekah also raised her eyes and looked, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from her camel. 65 She said to the servant, “Who is that man there walking across the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master [Isaac].” So she took a veil and covered herself [as was customary]. 66 The servant told Isaac everything that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah [in marriage], and she became his wife, and he loved her; therefore Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
- Genesis 24:10 Heb Aram Naharaim, “Aram of the two rivers.”
- Genesis 24:15 See 22:20-24.
- Genesis 24:47 This was a customary act of admiration and respect; otherwise, Rebekah would not have accepted it.
- Genesis 24:57 Lit mouth.
- Genesis 24:61 The Hebrew verb “to stand” or “arise” is often used as an instruction to prepare to fulfill a command, somewhat similar to the military command “attention.”
- Genesis 24:62 The South country, south and west of the Dead Sea.