Genesis 24

A wife for Isaac

1 Abraham was now very old. He had been alive for many years. The LORD had blessed him in every way. 2 Abraham had a servant. This servant had authority over everything in Abraham's household. Abraham said to him ‘Put your hand under my thigh.’

24:2In Old Testament times, people did this to show that they were making a promise.
24:2The thigh is the top part of the leg.

3 Abraham said ‘I live among the Canaanites. But I want you to make a promise to me. Make a promise to me in front of the LORD who is the God of heaven. He is also the God of earth. Say that you will not get a Canaanite wife for my son. 4 You must go to my country. Go to my relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.’ 5 The servant asked Abraham ‘What if the woman will not come back with me to this land? Must I take your son to the country that you came from?’ 6 Abraham replied ‘You must not take my son back there. 7 The LORD, who is the God of heaven, brought me from there. He brought me out of my father's household. That was in the land where I was born. The LORD spoke to me. He made a promise to me. He said “I will give this land to your descendants.” Because of this, the LORD will send His angel to go before you. He will send him so that you can get a wife for my son. Get the wife from the land that I was born in. 8 Perhaps the woman will not come back. Then you do not have to do as I have told you. But do not take my son back to that land.’ 9 The servant put his hand under Abraham's thigh. The servant said that he would do everything that Abraham had said.

24:9The servant agreed to do what Abraham said. He did this in front of the LORD. He put his hand under Abraham's thigh. This was to show Abraham that he was making a promise to him.

10 The servant took 10 of his master's camels. He left. He took many good things with him. These were from his master. He started to go to Aram Naharaim. He made his way to the town of Nahor.

24:10The town of Nahor was in the direction of Aram Naharaim.
24:10The servant took good things from his master. These were gifts for the lady who would become Isaac's wife, and for her mother and father.

11 The servant was outside the town. He made the camels go down on their knees. They were near the well. It was almost evening. At this time, women came to the well to get water. 12 The servant prayed to God. He prayed ‘LORD, God of my master, Abraham. Help me to do what I promised. And be kind to my master Abraham. 13 See, I am standing by this well. The daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out. They are coming to get water from the well. 14 May this happen. I will say to a girl “Please put your water pot down the well so that I may have a drink.” She may say, “Drink and I will give water to your camels”. Then let her be the wife that you have chosen for your servant Isaac. I want you to do this. Then I know that you have been kind to my master Abraham.’

15 The servant was still praying when Rebekah came out. She had her pot on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel. Bethuel was the son of Milcah. Milcah was the wife of Abraham's brother, Nahor. 16 The girl was very beautiful. She had not had sex with a man. No man had slept with her. She went down to the well. She filled her pot with water. And she came up again. 17 The servant hurried to meet the girl. He said ‘Please give me some water from your pot.’ 18 The girl replied ‘Drink my lord.’ She quickly took the pot from her shoulders. She held the pot in her hands and gave him a drink. 19 After she had done this, she said ‘I will get water for your camels too. I will do this until they have finished drinking.’ 20 So Rebekah quickly emptied her pot. She emptied the water into the place where animals drank. She ran back to the well. She took more water from the well. She took enough for all the camels. 21 The servant did not say anything. But he watched the girl. He wanted to see if the LORD had shown him a wife for Isaac.

22 The camels finished drinking. The servant took out a gold nose ring. It weighed a beka. He also took out two gold bracelets. They weighed 10 shekels.

24:22A beka is half a shekel. You wear bracelets on your arm.

23 The servant asked ‘Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father's house for me and my men to spend the night there?’ 24 She replied ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel. He is the son of Milcah (his mother) and Nahor (his father).’ 25 She said ‘We have plenty of dry grass and food for the camels. And we have room for you. You can stay the night with us.’ 26 Then the man bowed down. He worshipped the LORD. 27 He said ‘Praise to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham. He is kind and faithful to my master. And the LORD has been kind to me. He has led me on a journey to my master's relatives.’

24:27A relative is someone belonging to your family or to your parents family. For example, your brother's son is a relative.

28 The girl ran on before the servant. She told her mother's household about what had happened.

29 Rebekah had a brother. His name was Laban. 30 Laban saw the nose ring and the bracelets. The bracelets were on his sister's arms. He heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her. So Laban went out to the servant. He found him standing by the camels, near the well. 31 Laban said ‘You are blessed by the LORD. Why are you standing out here? Come, I have prepared the house for you and a place for your camels.’ 32 So the servant went to the house. He took everything off the camels. Someone brought dried grass and food for the camels. And they brought water so that he could wash his feet. And the men with him could wash their feet.

24:32Camels sleep on dried grass. And they eat it.

33 They gave him food. But the servant said ‘I will not eat. Not until I tell you why I have come here.’ Laban said, ‘Then tell us.’

34 The servant said ‘I am Abraham's servant. 35 The LORD has given my master many blessings. My master is very rich. The LORD has given him sheep and cows, and silver and gold. He has also given him male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah was my master's wife. She gave him a son even when she was very old. My master has given his son everything that belongs to him. 37 My master made me make a promise. He said, “You must not get a Canaanite woman to be a wife for my son. I live in the land of the Canaanites. 38 Go to my father's family and to my own relatives. And get a wife for my son.” 39 I asked my master “What if the woman will not return with me?” 40 My master said “The LORD will send His angel with you. You will find what you want on your journey. You will get a wife for my son. Get a wife from my own relatives. 41 Go to my relatives' house. If they will not let you take her, you will be free from your promise.”’

42 ‘I came to the well today. I prayed to the Lord. I prayed “LORD, God of my master Abraham. If you will, let me find a wife for my master's son. This is why I have travelled. 43 Look. I am standing by a well. If a girl comes to get water, I will say to her, ‘Please let me drink some water from your jar.’ 44 She may say to me, ‘Drink and I will get some water for your camels too.’ Then I will know that she is the wife for my master's son. She will be the wife that the LORD has chosen.”’

45 ‘While I was still praying, Rebekah came out. She carried her pot on her shoulder. She went down to the well, and got some water. I said to her “Please give me a drink.” 46 She quickly took her pot off her shoulder. She said, “Drink. And I will get water for your camels too.” So I drank. And she gave water to the camels. 47 I asked her “Whose daughter are you?” She said, “I am the daughter of Bethuel. He is the son of Nahor. Milcah is Bethuel's mother.” Then I put the ring in her nose. I put the bracelets on her arms. 48 And I bowed down. I worshipped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham. The LORD led me to this girl. She is the granddaughter of my master's brother. The LORD led me to her, for my master's son. 49 If you want to say, “No” then tell me. Or if you want to say, “Yes” then tell me. Then I will know what to do.’

50 Laban and Bethuel replied ‘These things are from the LORD. We cannot go against the LORD. 51 Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. She will become the wife of your master's son. This is as the LORD has said.’

52 Abraham's servant heard what they said. He bowed to the ground in front of the LORD. 53 Then the servant brought out things made from gold and silver. He brought out special clothes. He gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable things to her brother and to her mother.

54 Then the servant ate and drank. And the men with him ate and drank. They stayed the night there. The next morning they woke up. The servant said, ‘Let me go back to my master.’ 55 Rebekah's brother and mother replied ‘Let her stay with us for 10 days or so. Then you can go.’ 56 The servant said ‘Do not stop me. The LORD has given me what I need. Let me go now. Then I can go to my master.’ 57 The brother and mother said ‘Let us call the girl. Let us ask her what she wants to do.’ 58 So they called out to Rebekah. They asked her ‘Will you go with this man?’ Rebekah said ‘I will go.’ 59 So they sent their sister Rebekah away. And her nurse went with her. They went with Abraham's servant, and his men. 60 And her brother and mother blessed Rebekah. They said ‘Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands, and the mother of ten thousands. May your descendants take the gates of their enemies.’

24:60Her mother and brother are asking that Rebekah will have many children. And they are asking that her children will take the land of their enemies.

61 Rebekah and her female servants left. They rode on camels. And they went back with the servant. The servant took Rebekah and left.

62 Isaac came from Beer Lahai Roi because he was living in the Negev.

24:62Beer Lahai Roi is a well.

63 It was evening. And Isaac went out to the field to meditate. He looked up. And he saw camels coming near.

24:63Meditate means to think a lot about something for a long time.

64 Rebekah looked up. She saw Isaac. She got down from her camel. 65 She asked the servant ‘Who is that man in the field? Who is that man coming to meet us?’ The servant replied ‘He is my master’. Rebekah covered herself with her veil.

24:65A veil hid her face from Isaac. It is a piece of material. To cover herself with a veil showed Isaac that she was not married.

66 The servant told Isaac everything that happened. 67 Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent. Isaac married Rebekah. Rebekah became his wife. And Isaac loved Rebekah. So, Isaac was happy again, after the death of his mother.