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Genesis 24-27 Common English Bible (CEB)

Isaac marries Rebekah

24 As the days went by and Abraham became older, the Lord blessed Abraham in every way. Abraham said to the oldest servant of his household, who was in charge of everything he owned, “Put your hand under my thigh. By the Lord, God of heaven and earth, give me your word that you won’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I live. Go to my land and my family and find a wife for my son Isaac there.”

The servant said to him, “What if the woman doesn’t agree to come back with me to this land? Shouldn’t I take your son back to the land you left?”

Abraham said to him, “Be sure you don’t take my son back there. The Lord, God of heaven—who took me from my father’s household and from my family’s land, who spoke with me and who gave me his word, saying, ‘I will give this land to your descendants’—he will send his messenger in front of you, and you will find a wife for my son there. If the woman won’t agree to come back with you, you will be free from this obligation to me. Only don’t take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and gave him his word about this mission.

10 The servant took ten of his master’s camels and all of his master’s best provisions, set out, and traveled to Nahor’s city in Aram-naharaim. 11 He had the camels kneel down outside the city at the well in the evening, when women come out to draw water. 12 He said, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make something good happen for me today and be loyal to my master Abraham. 13 I will stand here by the spring while the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. 14 When I say to a young woman, ‘Hand me your water jar so I can drink,’ and she says to me, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels water too,’ may she be the one you’ve selected for your servant Isaac. In this way I will know that you’ve been loyal to my master.” 15 Even before he finished speaking, Rebekah—daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother—was coming out with a water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very beautiful, old enough to be married, and hadn’t known a man intimately. She went down to the spring, filled her water jar, and came back up.

17 The servant ran to meet her and said, “Give me a little sip of water from your jar.”

18 She said, “Drink, sir.” Then she quickly lowered the water jar with her hands and gave him some water to drink. 19 When she finished giving him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw some water for your camels too, till they’ve had enough to drink.” 20 She emptied her water jar quickly into the watering trough, ran to the well again to draw water, and drew water for all of the camels. 21 The man stood gazing at her, wondering silently if the Lord had made his trip successful or not.

22 As soon as the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold ring, weighing a half shekel,[a] and two gold bracelets for her arms, weighing ten shekels. 23 He said, “Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24 She responded, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel, who is the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25 She continued, “We have plenty of straw and feed for the camels, and a place to spend the night.”

26 The man bowed down and praised the Lord: 27 “Bless the Lord, God of my master Abraham, who hasn’t given up his loyalty and his faithfulness to my master. The Lord has shown me the way to the household of my master’s brother.”

28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household everything that had happened. 29 Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran to the man outside by the spring. 30 When he had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah say, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man, who was still standing by the spring with his camels. 31 Laban said, “Come in, favored one of the Lord! Why are you standing outside? I’ve prepared the house and a place for the camels.” 32 So the man entered the house. Then Laban unbridled the camels, provided straw and feed for them and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him, 33 and set out a meal for him.

But the man said, “I won’t eat until I’ve said something.”

Laban replied, “Say it.”

34 The man said, “I am Abraham’s servant.” 35 The Lord has richly blessed my master, has made him a great man, and has given him flocks, cattle, silver, gold, men servants, women servants, camels, and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah gave birth to a son for my master in her old age, and he’s given him everything he owns. 37 My master made me give him my word: ‘Don’t choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women, in whose land I’m living. 38 No, instead, go to my father’s household and to my relatives and choose a wife for my son.’ 39 I said to my master, ‘What if the woman won’t come back with me?’ 40 He said to me, ‘The Lord, whom I’ve traveled with everywhere, will send his messenger with you and make your trip successful; and you will choose a wife for my son from my relatives and from my father’s household. 41 If you go to my relatives, you will be free from your obligation to me. Even if they provide no one for you, you will be free from your obligation to me.’

42 “Today I arrived at the spring, and I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you wish to make the trip I’m taking successful, 43 when I’m standing by the spring and the young woman who comes out to draw water and to whom I say, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jar,” 44 and she responds to me, “Drink, and I will draw water for your camels too,” may she be the woman the Lord has selected for my master’s son.’ 45 Before I finished saying this to myself, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder and went down to the spring to draw water. And I said to her, ‘Please give me something to drink.’ 46 She immediately lowered her water jar and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels something to drink too.’ So I drank and she also gave water to the camels. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son whom Milcah bore him.’ I put a ring in her nose and bracelets on her arms. 48 I bowed and worshipped the Lord and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who led me in the right direction to choose the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now if you’re loyal and faithful to my master, tell me. If not, tell me so I will know where I stand either way.”

50 Laban and Bethuel both responded, “This is all the Lord’s doing. We have nothing to say about it. 51 Here is Rebekah, right in front of you. Take her and go. She will be the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord said.” 52 When Abraham’s servant heard what they said, he bowed low before the Lord. 53 The servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. To her brother and to her mother he gave the finest gifts. 54 He and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night.

When they got up in the morning, the servant said, “See me off to my master.”

55 Her brother and mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us not more than ten days, and after that she may go.”

56 But he said to them, “Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my trip successful. See me off so that I can go to my master.”

57 They said, “Summon the young woman, and let’s ask her opinion.” 58 They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”

She said, “I will go.”

59 So they sent off their sister Rebekah, her nurse, Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, saying to her,

“May you, our sister, become
    thousands of ten thousand;
may your children possess
        their enemies’ cities.”

61 Rebekah and her young women got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Now Isaac had come from the region of[b] Beer-lahai-roi and had settled in the arid southern plain. 63 One evening, Isaac went out to inspect the pasture,[c] and while staring he saw camels approaching. 64 Rebekah stared at Isaac. She got down from the camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is this man walking through the pasture to meet us?”

The servant said, “He’s my master.” So she took her headscarf and covered herself. 66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67 Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent. He received Rebekah as his wife and loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death.

Abraham and Keturah’s children

25 Abraham married another wife, named Keturah. The children she bore him were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s sons were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Enoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All of these were Keturah’s sons. Abraham gave everything he owned to Isaac. To the sons of Abraham’s secondary wives, Abraham gave gifts and, while he was still living, sent them away from his son Isaac to land in the east.

Abraham’s death

Abraham lived to the age of 175. Abraham took his last breath and died after a good long life, a content old man, and he was placed with his ancestors. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave in Machpelah, which is in the field of Zohar’s son Ephron the Hittite, near Mamre. 10 Thus Abraham and his wife Sarah were both buried in the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, and Isaac lived in Beer-lahai-roi.

Ishmael’s descendants

12 These are the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore for Abraham. 13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, by their names and according to their birth order: Nebaioth, Ishmael’s oldest son; Kedar; Adbeel; Mibsam; 14 Mishma; Dumah; Massa; 15 Hadad; Tema; Jetur; Naphish; and Kedemah. 16 These are Ishmael’s sons. These are their names by their villages and their settlements: twelve tribal leaders according to their tribes. 17 Ishmael lived to the age of 137. He took his last breath and died, and was placed with his ancestors. 18 He established camps[d] from Havilah to Shur, which is near Egypt on the road to Assyria. He died[e] among all of his brothers.

Jacob and Esau are born

19 These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham became the father of Isaac. 20 Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean and the sister of Laban the Aramean, from Paddan-aram. 21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, since she was unable to have children. The Lord was moved by his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the boys pushed against each other inside of her, and she said, “If this is what it’s like, why did it happen to me?”[f]

So she went to ask the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,

“Two nations are in your womb;
        two different peoples will emerge from your body.
One people will be stronger than the other;
    the older will serve the younger.”

24 When she reached the end of her pregnancy, she discovered that she had twins. 25 The first came out red all over, clothed with hair, and she named him Esau. 26 Immediately afterward, his brother came out gripping Esau’s heel, and she named him Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when they were born.

Jacob acquires the oldest son’s rights

27 When the young men grew up, Esau became an outdoorsman who knew how to hunt, and Jacob became a quiet man who stayed at home. 28 Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29 Once when Jacob was boiling stew, Esau came in from the field hungry 30 and said to Jacob, “I’m starving! Let me devour some of this red stuff.” That’s why his name is Edom.[g]

31 Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright[h] today.”

32 Esau said, “Since I’m going to die anyway, what good is my birthright to me?”

33 Jacob said, “Give me your word today.” And he did. He sold his birthright to Jacob. 34 So Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew. He ate, drank, got up, and left, showing just how little he thought of his birthright.

Isaac and Rebekah visit Gerar

26 When a famine gripped the land, a different one from the first famine that occurred in Abraham’s time, Isaac set out toward Gerar and toward King Abimelech of the Philistines. The Lord appeared to him and said, “Don’t go down to Egypt but settle temporarily in the land that I will show you. Stay in this land as an immigrant, and I will be with you and bless you because I will give all of these lands to you and your descendants. I will keep my word, which I gave to your father Abraham. I will give you as many descendants as the stars in the sky, and I will give your descendants all of these lands. All of the nations of the earth will be blessed because of your descendants. I will do this because Abraham obeyed me and kept my orders, my commandments, my statutes, and my instructions.”

So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men who lived there asked about his wife, he said, “She’s my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, The men who live there will kill me for Rebekah because she’s very beautiful. After Isaac had lived there for some time, the Philistines’ King Abimelech looked out his window and saw Isaac laughing together with his wife Rebekah.

So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She’s your wife, isn’t she? How could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?”

Isaac responded, “Because I thought that I might be killed because of her.”

10 Abimelech said, “What are you trying to do to us? Before long, one of the people would have slept with your wife; and you would have made us guilty.” 11 Abimelech gave orders to all of the people, “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!”

Isaac’s treaty with the Philistines

12 Isaac planted grain in that land and reaped one hundred shearim[i] that year because the Lord had blessed him. 13 Isaac grew richer and richer until he was extremely wealthy. 14 He had livestock, both flocks and cattle, and many servants. As a result, the Philistines envied him. 15 The Philistines closed up and filled with dirt all of the wells that his father’s servants had dug during his father Abraham’s lifetime. 16 Abimelech said to Isaac, “Move away from us because you have become too powerful among us.”

17 So Isaac moved away from there, camped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there. 18 Isaac dug out again the wells that were dug during the lifetime of his father Abraham. The Philistines had closed them up after Abraham’s death. Isaac gave them the same names his father had given them. 19 Isaac’s servants dug wells in the valley and found a well there with fresh water. 20 Isaac’s shepherds argued with Gerar’s shepherds, each claiming, “This is our water.” So Isaac named the well Esek[j] because they quarreled with him. 21 They dug another well and argued about it too, so he named it Sitnah.[k] 22 He left there and dug another well, but they didn’t argue about it, so he named it Rehoboth[l] and said, “Now the Lord has made an open space for us and has made us fertile in the land.”

23 Then he went up from Gerar to Beer-sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Don’t be afraid because I am with you. I will bless you, and I will give you many children for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So Isaac built an altar there and worshipped in the Lord’s name. Isaac pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.

26 But Abimelech set out toward him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his ally and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac said to him, “Why have you come after me? You resented me and sent me away from you.”

28 They said, “We now see that the Lord was with you. We propose that there be a formal agreement between us and that we draw up a treaty[m] with you: 29 you must not treat us badly since we haven’t harmed you and since we have treated you well at all times. Then we will send you away peacefully, for you are now blessed by the Lord.” 30 Isaac prepared a banquet for them, and they ate and drank. 31 They got up early in the morning, and they gave each other their word. Isaac sent them off, and they left peacefully.

32 That day Isaac’s servants informed him about the well that they had been digging and said to him, “We found water.” 33 He called it Shibah;[n] therefore, the city’s name has been Beer-sheba[o] until today.

Esau’s wives

34 When Esau was 40 years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They made life very difficult for Isaac and Rebekah.

Jacob acquires his father’s blessing

27 When Isaac had grown old and his eyesight was failing, he summoned his older son Esau and said to him, “My son?”

And Esau said, “I’m here.”

He said, “I’m old and don’t know when I will die. So now, take your hunting gear, your bow and quiver of arrows, go out to the field, and hunt game for me. Make me the delicious food that I love and bring it to me so I can eat. Then I can bless you before I die.”

Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau went out to the field to hunt game to bring back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I just heard your father saying to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and make me some delicious food so I can eat, and I will bless you in the Lord’s presence before I die.’ Now, my son, listen to me, to what I’m telling you to do. Go to the flock and get me two healthy young goats so I can prepare them as the delicious food your father loves. 10 You can bring it to your father, he will eat, and then he will bless you before he dies.”

11 Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “My brother Esau is a hairy man, but I have smooth skin. 12 What if my father touches me and thinks I’m making fun of him? I will be cursed instead of blessed.”

13 His mother said to him, “Your curse will be on me, my son. Just listen to me: go and get them for me.” 14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made the delicious food that his father loved. 15 Rebekah took her older son Esau’s favorite clothes that were in the house with her, and she put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 On his arms and smooth neck she put the hide of young goats, 17 and the delicious food and the bread she had made she put into her son’s hands.

18 Jacob went to his father and said, “My father.”

And he said, “I’m here. Who are you, my son?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I’m Esau your oldest son. I’ve made what you asked me to. Sit up and eat some of the game so you can bless me.”

20 Isaac said to his son, “How could you find this so quickly, my son?”

He said, “The Lord your God led me right to it.”[p]

21 Isaac said to Jacob, “Come here and let me touch you, my son. Are you my son Esau or not?” 22 So Jacob approached his father Isaac, and Isaac touched him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the arms are Esau’s arms.” 23 Isaac didn’t recognize him because his arms were hairy like Esau’s arms, so he blessed him.

24 Isaac said, “Are you really my son Esau?”

And he said, “I am.”

25 Isaac said, “Bring some food here and let me eat some of my son’s game so I can bless you.” Jacob put it before him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank. 26 His father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came close and kissed him. When Isaac smelled the scent of his clothes, he blessed him,

“See, the scent of my son
        is like the scent of the field
        that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you
        showers from the sky,
        olive oil from the earth,
        plenty of grain and new wine.
29 May the nations serve you,
        may peoples bow down to you.
Be the most powerful man among your brothers,
        and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
    Those who curse you will be cursed,
        and those who bless you will be blessed.”

Esau receives a secondary blessing

30 After Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and just as Jacob left his father Isaac, his brother Esau came back from his hunt. 31 He too made some delicious food, brought it to his father, and said, “Let my father sit up and eat from his son’s game so that you may bless me.”

32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?”

And he said, “I’m your son, your oldest son, Esau.”

33 Isaac was so shocked that he trembled violently. He said, “Who was the hunter just here with game? He brought me food, and I ate all of it before you came. I blessed him, and he will stay blessed!”

34 When Esau heard what his father said, he let out a loud agonizing cry and wept bitterly. He said to his father, “Bless me! Me too, my father!”

35 Isaac said, “Your brother has already come deceitfully and has taken your blessing.”

36 Esau said, “Isn’t this why he’s called Jacob? He’s taken me[q] twice now: he took my birthright, and now he’s taken my blessing.” He continued, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”

37 Isaac replied to Esau, “I’ve already made him more powerful than you, and I’ve made all of his brothers his servants. I’ve made him strong with grain and wine. What can I do for you, my son?”

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you really have only one blessing, Father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau wept loudly.

39 His father Isaac responded and said to him,

“Now, you will make a home
    far away from the olive groves of the earth,
        far away from the showers of the sky above.
40 You will live by your sword;
        you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,[r]
        you will tear away his harness
        from your neck.”

Jacob sent away for protection

41 Esau was furious at Jacob because his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, When the period of mourning for the death of my father is over, I will kill my brother.

42 Rebekah was told what her older son Esau was planning, so she summoned her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Esau your brother is planning revenge. He plans to kill you. 43 So now, my son, listen to me: Get up and escape to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Live with him for a short while until your brother’s rage subsides, 45 until your brother’s anger at you goes away and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send for you and bring you back from there. Why should I suffer the loss of both of you on one day?”

46 Rebekah then said to Isaac, “I really loathe these Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women, like the women of this land, why should I go on living?”

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 24:22 Heb beqa
  2. Genesis 24:62 Heb uncertain; LXX through the desert of
  3. Genesis 24:63 Heb uncertain; possibly to walk around in the pasture or to meditate in the pasture
  4. Genesis 25:18 LXX; MT they established camps
  5. Genesis 25:18 Or He fell
  6. Genesis 25:22 Heb uncertain
  7. Genesis 25:30 Or red
  8. Genesis 25:31 Or oldest son’s rights
  9. Genesis 26:12 An unknown measure of grain
  10. Genesis 26:20 Or quarrel
  11. Genesis 26:21 Or accusation
  12. Genesis 26:22 Or open spaces
  13. Genesis 26:28 Or covenant
  14. Genesis 26:33 Or giving one’s word or seven
  15. Genesis 26:33 Or Well of giving one’s word or Well of seven
  16. Genesis 27:20 Or made something good happen for me
  17. Genesis 27:36 Heb ya’acob, a wordplay on Jacob
  18. Genesis 27:40 Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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