Genesis Chapter 24
1 Abraham was old, and well advanced in age. The LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please put your hand under my thigh.
3 I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, amongst whom I live.
4 But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac."
5 The servant said to him, "What if the woman isn't willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?"
6 Abraham said to him, "Beware that you don't bring my son there again.
7 The LORD, the God of heaven-who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, 'I will give this land to your offspring-he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
8 If the woman isn't willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath to me. Only you shall not bring my son there again."
9 The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 The servant took ten of his master's camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master's with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.
12 He said, "The LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
14 Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, 'Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,' then she says, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,'-let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder.
16 The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin. No man had known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 The servant ran to meet her, and said, "Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher."
18 She said, "Drink, my lord." She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him a drink.
19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I will also draw for your camels, until they have finished drinking."
20 She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
21 The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
22 As the camels had done drinking, the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold,
23 and said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father's house for us to stay?"
24 She said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."
25 She said moreover to him, "We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge in."
26 The man bowed his head, and worshipped the LORD.
27 He said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth towards my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the way to the house of my master's relatives."
28 The young lady ran, and told her mother's house about these words.
29 Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring.
30 When he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "This is what the man said to me," he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring.
31 He said, "Come in, you blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."
32 The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and feed for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told my message." Laban said, "Speak on."
34 He said, "I am Abraham's servant.
35 The LORD has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. The LORD has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
36 Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him.
37 My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,
38 but you shall go to my father's house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.'
39 I asked my master, 'What if the woman will not follow me?'
40 He said to me, 'The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my relatives, and of my father's house.
41 Then you will be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don't give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.'
42 I came today to the spring, and said, 'The LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go-
43 behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes out to draw, to whom I will say, "Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,"
44 then she tells me, "Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,"-let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master's son.'
45 Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, 'Please let me drink.'
46 She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.' So I drank, and she also gave the camels a drink.
47 I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands.
48 I bowed my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter for his son.
49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, "The thing proceeds from the LORD. We can't speak to you bad or good.
51 Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master's son's wife, as the LORD has spoken."
52 When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to the LORD.
53 The servant brought out jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother.
54 They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, "Send me away to my master."
55 Her brother and her mother said, "Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go."
56 He said to them, "Don't hinder me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master."
57 They said, "We will call the young lady, and ask her."
58 They called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will go."
59 They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham's servant, and his men.
60 They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, "Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them."
61 Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62 Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South.
63 Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes and looked. Behold, there were camels coming.
64 Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she got off the camel.
65 She said to the servant, "Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." She took her veil, and covered herself.
66 The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
67 Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
- Verse 22 (Shekel)
- A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces.
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Genesis Chapter 24 Guide
This chapter is complete in itself and is a perfect idyll. Abraham was well stricken in years. Sarah was dead. Isaac, the son of Abraham, was still unmarried. In the interest of the divine program Isaac must not marry a Canaanite nor go back to find a bride among the people who had been left behind. Thus Eliezer was sent to seek a bride among his own kindred. Of course, the story is Eastern, and gives the account of how the quest was undertaken and rewarded.
In this story Laban appears and his masterfulness is manifest in the way he acted as host in the house of his father. Rebekah's consent to go showed her responding to the divine purpose and her willingness to move forward along the divine pathway.
The story of the woman going the long distance toward her new home, and of Isaac, the man of quiet, passive faith, meditating in the field at eventide, is picturesque and full of beauty. Apart from these details of the faraway land, we have here a beautiful picture of an ideal marriage. It is the union of a man and woman on the basis of identity in principle. By faith Isaac waited and by faith Rebekahnn obeyed. It is, moreover, the union of opposites. In Rebekah faith was adventurous and bold. In Isaac faith was retiring and meek. The two lives were made one on the basis of response to a common principle. Two natures utterly different, yet complementing each other, were united for the fulfilment of a divine purpose. In the story of these two as it proceeds we shall come across failure on both sides, but here the shadows have not gathered, and the faith of Abraham is rewarded in the union of his son, a man of passive faith, with Rebekah, a woman whose faith is adventuresome and bold.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.