A Wife for Isaac
Abraham lived to be a very old man. The LORD blessed him and everything he did. 2
Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything he owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.* 3
Now I want you to make a promise to me. Promise to me before the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but don’t let him marry a Canaanite girl. 4
Go back to my country, to my own people, to find a wife for my son Isaac. Bring her here to him.”
5 The servant said to him, “Maybe this woman will not want to come back with me to this land. If that happens, should I take your son with me to your homeland?”
6 Abraham said to him, “No, don’t take my son to that place. 7 The LORD, the God of heaven, brought me from my homeland to this place. That place was the home of my father and the home of my family, but he promised that this new land would belong to my family. May he send his angel before you so that you can choose a wife for my son. 8 If the girl refuses to come with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back to that place.”
9 So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.
The Search Begins
10 The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left that place. The servant carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Mesopotamia, to Nahor’s city. 11 In the evening, when the women come out to get water, he went to the water well outside the city. He made the camels kneel down at the well.
12 The servant said, “LORD, you are the God of my master Abraham. Please show your kindness to my master by helping me find a wife for his son Isaac. 13 Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. 14 I will say to one of them, ‘Please put your jar down so that I can drink.’ Let her answer show whether she is the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. If she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels,’ I will know that she is the right one. It will be proof that you have shown kindness to my master.”
A Wife Is Found
15 Before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. She was the daughter of Bethuel. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother.) Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 She was very pretty. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. She went down to the well and filled her jar. 17 Then the servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.”
18 Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. She said, “Drink this, sir.” 19 As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20 So Rebekah quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she ran to the well to get more water, and she gave water to all the camels.
The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure that the LORD had given him an answer and had made his trip successful. 22
After the camels finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring that weighed 1/4 ounce.†
He also gave her two gold arm bracelets that weighed 2 ounces‡
The servant asked, “Who is your father? And is there a place in your father’s house for me and my men to sleep?”
24 Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25 Then she said, “Yes, we have straw and other food for your camels and a place for you to sleep.”
26 The servant bowed and worshiped the LORD. 27 He said, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham. The LORD has been kind and loyal to him by leading me to his own people.”
Then Rebekah ran and told her family about all these things. 29-30
She had a brother named Laban. She told him what the man had said to her. Laban was listening to her. And when he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, he ran out to the well. There the man was, standing by the camels at the well. 31
Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in!§
You don’t have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in and a place for your camels.”
32 So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban unloaded his camels and gave them straw and feed. Then he gave Abraham’s servant water so that he and the men with him could wash their feet. 33 Laban then gave him food to eat, but the servant refused to eat. He said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.”
So Laban said, “Then tell us.”
Bargaining for Rebekah
34 The servant said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35 The LORD has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a great man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. He has much silver and gold and many servants. He has many camels and donkeys. 36 Sarah was my master’s wife. When she was very old, she gave birth to a son, and my master has given everything he owns to that son. 37 My master forced me to make a promise to him. He said to me, ‘You must not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among these people, but I don’t want him to marry one of the Canaanite girls. 38 So you must promise to go to my father’s country. Go to my family and choose a wife for my son.’ 39 I said to my master, ‘Maybe the woman will not come back to this place with me.’ 40 But my master said to me, ‘I serve the LORD, and he will send his angel with you and help you. You will find a wife for my son among my people there. 41 But if you go to my father’s country, and they refuse to give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.’
42 “Today I came to this well and said, ‘LORD, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43 I will stand by this well and wait for a young woman to come to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44 The right woman will answer in a special way. She will say, “Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels.” That way I will know that she is the one the LORD has chosen for my master’s son.’
45 “Before I finished praying, Rebekah came out to the well to get water. She had her water jar on her shoulder as she went to get water from the well. I asked her to give me some water. 46 She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and poured me some water. Then she said, ‘Drink this, and I’ll get some water for your camels.’ So I drank the water, and she gave water to my camels. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I gave her the ring and bracelets for her arms. 48 I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him for leading me straight to the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49 Now, tell me, will you be kind and loyal to my master and give him your daughter? Or will you refuse to give her to him? Tell me so that I will know what I should do.”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “We see that this is from the LORD, so there is nothing we can say to change it. 51 Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son. This is what the LORD wants.”
52 When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed to the ground before the LORD. 53 Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he brought. He gave her beautiful clothes and gold and silver jewelry. He also gave expensive gifts to her mother and brother. 54 Then he and his men had something to eat and drink, and they spent the night there. Early the next morning they got up and the servant said, “Now we must go back to my master.”
55 Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us for a short time. Let her stay with us ten days. After that she can go.”
56 But the servant said to them, “Don’t make me wait. The LORD has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.”
57 Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do.” 58 They called her and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?”
Rebekah said, “Yes, I will go.”
59 So they allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. Her nurse also went with them. 60 While Rebekah was leaving they said to her,
“Our sister, may you be
the mother of millions of people,
and may your descendants defeat
their enemies and take their cities.”
61 Then Rebekah and her nurse got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was now living in the Negev. 63
One evening he went out to the field to think.*
He looked up and saw the camels coming from far away.
64 Rebekah also looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65 She said to the servant, “Who is that young man walking in the field to meet us?”
The servant said, “That is my master’s son.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67 Then Isaac brought the girl into his mother’s tent. Rebekah became his wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So he was comforted after his mother’s death.