Genesis 24 International Standard Version (ISV)
Finding a Bride for Isaac
24 Now Abraham had grown old, was well advanced in age, and the Lord had blessed Abraham in every way. 2 So Abraham instructed his servant, who was the oldest member of his household and in charge of everything he owned, “Make this solemn oath to me[a] 3 as a promise to the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you won’t acquire a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I’m living. 4 Instead, you are to go to my country and to my family and acquire a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 “What if the woman doesn’t want to come back with me to this land?” the servant asked. “Shouldn’t I have your son go to the land from which you came?”
6 “Make sure not to take my son there,” Abraham replied. 7 “The Lord God of heaven, who brought me from my father’s house and from my family’s land, who spoke to me and promised me ‘I will give this land to your descendants,’ will send his angel ahead of you, and you are to acquire a wife for my son from there. 8 If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you’ll be free from this oath to me. Just don’t take my son back there!” 9 So the servant made a solemn oath[b] to his master Abraham regarding this matter.
The Servant Encounters Rebekah
10 Then Abraham’s servant took ten camels from his master’s herd of[c] camels and left on his journey with all kinds of gifts from his master’s inventory. Eventually, he traveled as far as Aram-naharaim, Nahor’s home town. 11 As evening approached, he had the camels kneel outside the town at the water well, right about the time when women customarily went out to draw water.
12 That’s when he prayed, “Lord God of my master Abraham, help me to succeed today. Please show your gracious love to my master Abraham. 13 I’ve stationed myself here by the spring as the women of the town come to draw water. 14 May it be that the young woman to whom I ask, ‘Please, lower your jug so that I may drink,’ responds, ‘Have a drink, and I’ll water your camels as well.’ May she be the one whom you have chosen for your servant Isaac. This is how I’ll know that you have shown your gracious love to my master.”
15 Before he had finished speaking, Rebekah appeared. She was a daughter of Milcah’s son Bethuel. (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor.) She approached the well, carrying a jug on her shoulder. 16 The woman was very beautiful, young, and had not had sexual relations with a man. Going down to the spring, she filled her jug and turned for home. 17 Then Abraham’s servant ran to meet her and asked her, “Please, let me have a sip of water from your jug.”
18 “Drink, sir!” she replied as she quickly lowered her jug on her arm to offer him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she also said, “I’ll also draw water[d] for your camels until they’ve had enough to drink.”
20 She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and ran to the well to draw again until she had drawn enough water[e] for all ten of the servant’s[f] camels. 21 The man stared at her in silence, waiting to see 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 half shekel and two bracelets for her wrists, weighing 10 shekels and presented them to her.[g]
23 He asked her, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
24 “I am the daughter of Bethuel,” she answered. “He’s the son of Milcah and Nahor. 25 And yes,” she continued, “we have plenty of straw and feed, as well as a place to spend the night.”
26 At this, the man bowed down and worshipped the Lord. 27 “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hasn’t held back his gracious love and faithfulness from my master! The Lord has led me to the house of my master’s relatives!”
28 The young woman then ran ahead and informed her mother’s household what had happened.
Rebekah’s Brother Laban
29 Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, who ran out to the man and met him[h] at the spring. 30 And so it was, as soon as he saw the nose ring and bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and as soon as he heard what his sister Rebekah was saying about what the man had spoken to her,[i] he went out to the man who was still standing by the camels at the spring! 31 “Come on,” Laban[j] said. “The Lord has blessed you! So why are you standing out here when I’ve prepared some space in the house and a place for the camels?”
32 So the servant went to the house and unbridled the camels. They provided straw and feed for the camels and water for washing his feet and those of the men with him. 33 But when they had prepared a meal and set it in front of him, he said, “I’m not eating until I’ve spoken.”
“Speak up!” Laban[k] exclaimed.
The Servant Relates His Adventures
34 “I’m Abraham’s servant,” he said. 35 “The Lord has greatly blessed my master, so that he has become wealthy. He has provided him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah gave birth to my master’s son in her old age, and Abraham[l] has given him everything that belongs to him. 37 My master made me swear this oath: ‘You are not to select a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites in this land where I live. 38 Instead, you are to go to my father’s household, to my relatives, and choose a wife for my son there.’
39 “So I asked my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’
40 “Abraham[m] told me, ‘The Lord, who is with me wherever I go, will send his angel with you to make your journey successful. So you are to choose a wife for my son from my family, from my father’s household. 41 Only then will you be released from fulfilling[n] my oath. However, when you come to my family, if they don’t give her to you, you’ll be released from fulfilling[o] my oath.’
42 “So today I arrived at the spring and prayed, ‘Lord God of my master Abraham, if you wish to make the journey that I have traveled successful, 43 here I am standing by the spring. May it be that the young woman who comes out to draw water, from whom I request a little water from her[p] jug to drink, 44 if she tells me to drink and also draws water for the[q] camels, may she be the woman that the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’
45 “Before I had finished praying, along came Rebekah with her jug on her shoulder! She went to the spring and drew some water. I asked her to please let me have a drink. 46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder[r] and told me, ‘Have a drink while I also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also gave my camels water[s] to drink.
47 “That’s when I asked, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“She replied, ‘I’m the daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore for him.’
“So I gave her a ring for her nose and bracelets for her wrists. 48 I bowed down and worshipped the Lord, and I praised the Lord God of my master Abraham, who led me on the true way to request[t] the daughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 So now, if you wish to show gracious love and truth toward my master, tell me so. But if not, tell me, so that I may go elsewhere.”[u]
Laban and Bethuel Acquiesce
50 “Since this has come from the Lord,” Laban and Bethuel both replied, “we cannot speak one way or another.[v] 51 So here’s Rebekah—she’s right in front of you. Take her and go, so she can become a wife for your master’s son, just as the Lord has decreed.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they had said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then the servant brought out some silver and gold items, along with some clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 He and the men with him ate and drank, and then they spent the night.
The Servant Prepares to Leave
When they got up the next morning, the servant[w] requested, “Send me off to my master.”
55 But her brother and mother said, “Let the young lady stay with us a few days—at least ten—and after that she may go.”
56 “Please don’t delay me,” the servant[x] answered them. “The Lord has made my journey successful. Send me off so I can return to my master.”
57 But they said, “We’ll call the young lady and see what she has to say about this.”[y]
58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man?”
“I will go,” she replied.
61 Then Rebekah and her young servant women got up, mounted their camels, and followed Abraham’s servant, who took Rebekah and went on his way.
Isaac Marries Rebekah
62 Later on, as Isaac was returning one evening from Beer-lahai-roi[ae] (he had been living in the Negev[af]), 63 Isaac[ag] went out walking[ah] in a field. He looked up, and all of a sudden there were some camels coming. 64 Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man coming in the field to meet us?”
“That’s my master,” the servant told her. So she reached for a veil and covered herself. 66 Then the servant informed Isaac about everything he had done. 67 Later, Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent that had belonged to his mother Sarah and married her. Isaac loved her, and that’s how he was comforted following the loss of[ai] his mother.
Genesis 24 New International Version (NIV)
Isaac and Rebekah
24 Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2 He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3 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, 4 but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
5 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?”
6 “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7 “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. 8 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.” 9 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
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.