Rebecca and Eliezer by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (17th century)

Abraham was an advanced age when he asked his servant to swear he would find a wife for his son Isaac and that he not get a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites (from the area where Abraham was living at the time) but would instead travel to his old country to find a wife for his son. The servant asked Abraham what he should do if he found a wife for Isaac but she was unwilling to return to Canaan with him. Abraham told the servant that God had promised him land in Canaan and no matter what, he should not take Isaac back to his old country – Isaac must remain in Canaan.

The servant then put his hand under the thigh of Abraham (the way they swore an oath in those days) and swore he would find a wife for Isaac and not allow Isaac to return to his old country.  Abraham explained to the servant that an angel would lead him to Isaac’s future wife and that of course, he would be released from his promise if the woman he found was unwilling to return to Canaan with him.  The servant then took helpers and ten camels, which he loaded with treasures, and set out for Aram Naharaim and the town of Nahor.

When the servant arrived at his destination in the evening, he made his camels kneel down next to a well outside of town. At that time, women were arriving at the well to draw water for their households. The servant prayed and asked God to help him determine which woman would be the right marriage partner for Isaac. He asked that a specific sign be given – that when he asked one of the women for a drink of water, the woman would not only offer him a drink but would also offer to water all of his camels too (no small feat given the number of camels and their notorious propensity to drink lots of water).

Abraham's servant giving gifts to RebekahBefore the servant even finished his prayer, a woman named Rebekah arrived at the well with a jar on her shoulder. Rebekah was beautiful, and pure. The servant asked Rebekah for a drink from her jar. In response, Rebekah lowered the jar to offer him a drink and said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they’ve had enough to drink.” Rebekah then brought water from the well to the camel’s water trough and watered them until they were full.

For her kindness, the servant gave Rebekah a gold ring and two gold bracelets.  He asked Rebekah who her kin were and if her father’s home had enough room for him to spend the night.  Rebekah explained that she was the daughter of Bethuel, the granddaughter of Mikah and Nahor (Abraham’s brother).  In a show of great kindness, she told the servant that there was plenty of room for him and his camels and that in addition, they had plenty of food for his camels too.  Overjoyed, the servant said a prayer, thanking God for helping him find Rebekah.

Rebekah ran to her home and told her family about the man at the well.  Rebekah’s brother, Laban, noting the gold ring and bracelets on his sister’s arms (and likely recognizing the man’s true intent), returned to the well and invited the servant back to his home where he provided him with a meal to eat.  The servant addressed the family and told them that before he ate, he had something of importance to tell them.  He then explained who he was and that his master, Abraham, a wealthy man living in Canaan, had sent him to find a wife for his son, Isaac.

Laban (Rebekah’s brother) and Bethuel (Rebekah’s father) told the servant that the request he was making was from God and therefore, the decision was not up to them.  Hence, they agreed to let Rebekah become Isaac’s wife.  The servant celebrated and gave the family gifts.

When they awoke the next morning, the family requested that Rebekah be allowed to stay a little longer.  The servant resisted so they asked Rebekah what she wanted to do.  She stated quite frankly that she was ready to begin the journey to meet her future husband.

Isaac was living in Negev at the time and had just arrived home from Beer Lahai Roi.  One evening Isaac was in the field relaxing when he saw camels approaching in the distance.  At the same time, Rebekah saw Isaac in the distance and was told that he was her future husband.  She covered her face with her veil.  Isaac married Rebekah.  After the devastating death of his mother (Sarah), Isaac was once again happy.

What the story means to us today

Relationships

It’s relevant to note that the reason Abraham looked to areas outside of Canaan for a wife was because of the moral character of the Canaanite people (or lack thereof).  At the time, the people of Canaan were intertwined with sin, especially idolatry, which was repugnant to both Abraham and God.  This illustrates to us that it’s important to take great care when deciding who you should associate with.  The story also reveals that although there are many attributes to consider when looking for a lifelong partner, the most important quality is that both share the same moral values and beliefs.  For a long lasting marriage, both partners in the marriage should have a commitment to God and the values taught in the Bible.

Additional thoughts and considerations

Who was the servant mentioned in the story?

Although the servant’s name is not revealed in the story, it is quite likely that the servant was Eliezer.  We can make this assumption from Genesis 15:2 where Abraham mentions “Eliezer of Damascus” inheriting his estate if he remains childless (it was common for the chief steward to take ownership of their master’s property if there were no heirs).

Why place a hand under the thigh during an oath?

The name Canaan occurs in hieroglyphs on the Merneptah Stele in the 13th century BCIn those days, placing a hand under the thigh was the sign of a solemn oath (similar to placing your hand on the Bible or placing a hand over your chest/heart).  In these cases, if the oath was unfulfilled, even the party’s’ children could be held responsible for fulfilling the agreement.  The taking of this sort of oath related to the sanctity of the family and the continuation of the family line.

The “sign” requested by the servant

The “sign” that the servant requested was a significant event.  Given that camels consume large quantities of water, to water ten camels would be no small undertaking and it would likely be unusual for a citizen to make such an offer.  Rebekah’s kindness was further demonstrated when she offered the servant not only a place to say for the night, but also food for his camels (another significant offering).

Isaac’s first glimpse at Rebakah

In the verses that detail Isaac’s first glimpse of Rebekah, there is some ambiguity in the translation.  We mentioned that Isaac was “resting” when he saw Rebekah approaching on the horizon.  This is often given as the most accurate translation of the Hebrew words.  Although it bears little difference to the story, the translation could be read as Isaac sitting in the field meditating or “thinking”.  It is possible that Isaac was contemplating the arrival of Rebekah when he first saw her approaching.

The Science behind the story

The area of Aram Naharaim

Aram Naharaim, which could be translated to “Aram of Two Rivers”or “Field of Aram“, likely refers to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers where Nahor, Abraham’s brother, lived.  Believed to be located in Mesopotamia, it roughly corresponds to modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, the northeastern section of Syria and to a much lesser extent southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of southwestern Iran.  The major city in the area was Haran.

Why did Rebekah’s brother carry out the negotiations?

It may seem surprising that Leban, Rebekah’s brother, took such an active part in the marriage discussion.  This was due to regional customs. In those days, it was common for a woman’s brother to give away his sister’s hand in marriage.

Bible Text

NIV

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 p 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 y 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 and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. 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 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

to thousands upon thousands;

may your offspring possess

the cities of their enemies.”

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, t 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.

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The Message

24:1 Abraham was now an old man. GOD had blessed Abraham in every way.

2 Abraham spoke to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh 3 and swear by GOD—God of Heaven, God of Earth—that you will not get a wife for my son from among the young women of the Canaanites here, 4 but will go to the land of my birth and get a wife for my son Isaac.”

5 The servant answered, “But what if the woman refuses to leave home and come with me? Do I then take your son back to your home country?”

6 Abraham said, “Oh no. Never. By no means are you to take my son back there. 7 GOD, the God of Heaven, took me from the home of my father and from the country of my birth and spoke to me in solemn promise, ‘I’m giving this land to your descendants.’ This God will send his angel ahead of you to get a wife for my son. 8 And if the woman won’t come, you are free from this oath you’ve sworn to me. But under no circumstances are you to take my son back there.”

9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn oath.

10 The servant took ten of his master’s camels and, loaded with gifts from his master, traveled to Aram Naharaim and the city of Nahor. 11 Outside the city, he made the camels kneel at a well. It was evening, the time when the women came to draw water. 12 He prayed, “O GOD, God of my master Abraham, make things go smoothly this day; treat my master Abraham well! 13 As I stand here by the spring while the young women of the town come out to get water, 14 let the girl to whom I say, ‘Lower your jug and give me a drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and let me also water your camels’—let her be the woman you have picked out for your servant Isaac. Then I’ll know that you’re working graciously behind the scenes for my master.”

15 It so happened that the words were barely out of his mouth when Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel whose mother was Milcah the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with a water jug on her shoulder. 16 The girl was stunningly beautiful, a pure virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. 17 The servant ran to meet her and said, “Please, can I have a sip of water from your jug?”

18 She said, “Certainly, drink!” And she held the jug so that he could drink. 19 When he had satisfied his thirst she said, “I’ll get water for your camels, too, until they’ve drunk their fill.” 20 She promptly emptied her jug into the trough and ran back to the well to fill it, and she kept at it until she had watered all the camels.

21 The man watched, silent. Was this GOD’s answer? Had GOD made his trip a success or not?

22 When the camels had finished drinking, the man brought out gifts, a gold nose ring weighing a little over a quarter of an ounce and two arm bracelets weighing about four ounces, and gave them to her. 23 He asked her, “Tell me about your family? Whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father’s house for us to stay the night?”

24 She said, “I’m the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor. 25 And there’s plenty of room in our house for you to stay—and lots of straw and feed besides.”

26 At this the man bowed in worship before GOD 27 and prayed, “Blessed be GOD, God of my master Abraham: How generous and true you’ve been to my master; you’ve held nothing back. You led me right to the door of my master’s brother!”

28 And the girl was off and running, telling everyone in her mother’s house what had happened.

29 Rebekah had a brother named Laban. Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. 30 He had seen the nose ring and the bracelets on his sister and had heard her say, “The man said this and this and this to me.” So he went to the man and there he was, still standing with his camels at the spring. 31 Laban welcomed him: “Come on in, blessed of GOD! Why are you standing out here? I’ve got the house ready for you; and there’s also a place for your camels.”

32 So the man went into the house. The camels were unloaded and given straw and feed. Water was brought to bathe the feet of the man and the men with him. 33 Then Laban brought out food. But the man said, “I won’t eat until I tell my story.”

Laban said, “Go ahead; tell us.”

34 The servant said, “I’m the servant of Abraham. 35 GOD has blessed my master—he’s a great man; GOD has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, servants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. 36 And then to top it off, Sarah, my master’s wife, gave him a son in her old age and he has passed everything on to his son. 37 My master made me promise, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live. 38 No, go to my father’s home, back to my family, and get a wife for my son there.’ 39 I said to my master, ‘But what if the woman won’t come with me?’ 40 He said, ‘GOD before whom I’ve walked faithfully will send his angel with you and he’ll make things work out so that you’ll bring back a wife for my son from my family, from the house of my father. 41 Then you’ll be free from the oath. If you go to my family and they won’t give her to you, you will also be free from the oath.’

42 “Well, when I came this very day to the spring, I prayed, ‘GOD, God of my master Abraham, make things turn out well in this task I’ve been given. 43 I’m standing at this well. When a young woman comes here to draw water and I say to her, Please, give me a sip of water from your jug, 44 and she says, Not only will I give you a drink, I’ll also water your camels—let that woman be the wife GOD has picked out for my master’s son.’

45 “I had barely finished offering this prayer, when Rebekah arrived, her jug on her shoulder. She went to the spring and drew water and I said, ‘Please, can I have a drink?’ 46 She didn’t hesitate. She held out her jug and said, ‘Drink; and when you’re finished I’ll also water your camels.’ I drank, and she watered the camels. 47 I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel whose parents were Nahor and Milcah.’ I gave her a ring for her nose, bracelets for her arms, 48 and bowed in worship to GOD. I praised GOD, the God of my master Abraham who had led me straight to the door of my master’s family to get a wife for his son.

49 “Now, tell me what you are going to do. If you plan to respond with a generous yes, tell me. But if not, tell me plainly so I can figure out what to do next.”

50 Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is totally from GOD. We have no say in the matter, either yes or no. 51 Rebekah is yours: Take her and go; let her be the wife of your master’s son, as GOD has made plain.”

52 When Abraham’s servant heard their decision, he bowed in worship before GOD. 53 Then he brought out gifts of silver and gold and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and mother. 54 He and his men had supper and spent the night. But first thing in the morning they were up. He said, “Send me back to my master.”

55 Her brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay a while, say another ten days, and then go.”

56 He said, “Oh, don’t make me wait! GOD has worked everything out so well—send me off to my master.”

57 They said, “We’ll call the girl; we’ll ask her.”

They called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man?”

58 She said, “I’m ready to go.”

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

You’re our sister—live bountifully!

And your children, triumphantly!

61 Rebekah and her young maids mounted the camels and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah and set off for home.

62 Isaac was living in the Negev. He had just come back from a visit to Beer Lahai Roi. 63 In the evening he went out into the field; while meditating he looked up and saw camels coming. 64 When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she got down from her camel 65 and asked the servant, “Who is that man out in the field coming toward us?”

“That is my master.”

She took her veil and covered herself.

66 After the servant told Isaac the whole story of the trip, 67 Isaac took Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah. He married Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death.

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

The NET Bible

24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in everything. 24:2 Abraham said to his servant, the senior one in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh 24:3 so that I may make you solemnly promise by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living. 24:4 You must go instead to my country and to my relatives to find a wife for my son Isaac.”

24:5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is not willing to come back with me to this land? Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?”

24:6 “Be careful never to take my son back there!” Abraham told him. 24:7 “The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives, promised me with a solemn oath, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send his angel before you so that you may find a wife for my son from there. 24:8 But if the woman is not willing to come back with you, you will be free from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!” 24:9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes.

24:10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of gifts from his master at his disposal. He journeyed to the region of Aram Naharaim and the city of Nahor. 24:11 He made the camels kneel down by the well outside the city. It was evening, the time when the women would go out to draw water. 24:12 He prayed, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, guide me today. Be faithful to my master Abraham. 24:13 Here I am, standing by the spring, and the daughters of the people who live in the town are coming out to draw water. 24:14 I will say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jar so I may drink.’ May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master.”

24:15 Before he had finished praying, there came Rebekah with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor). 24:16 Now the young woman was very beautiful. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. 24:17 Abraham’s servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug.” 24:14:18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and quickly lowering her jug to her hands, she gave him a drink. 24:19 When she had done so, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have drunk as much as they want.” 24:20 She quickly emptied her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw more water until she had drawn enough for all his camels. 24:21 Silently the man watched her with interest to determine if the LORD had made his journey successful or not.

24:22 After the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels and gave them to her. 24:23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. “Tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24:24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom Milcah bore to Nahor. 24:25 We have plenty of straw and feed,” she added, “and room for you to spend the night.”

24:26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the LORD, 24:27 saying “Praised be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love for my master! The LORD has led me to the house of my master’s relatives!”

24:28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household all about these things. 24:29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.) Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 24:30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring and heard his sister Rebekah say, “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing by the camels near the spring. 24:31 Laban said to him, “Come, you who are blessed by the LORD! Why are you standing out here when I have prepared the house and a place for the camels?”

24:32 So Abraham’s servant went to the house and unloaded the camels. Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet. 24:33 When food was served, he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.” “Tell us,” Laban said.

24:34 “I am the servant of Abraham,” he began. 24:35 “The LORD has richly blessed my master and he has become very wealthy. The Lord has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 24:36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to him when she was old, and my master has given him everything he owns. 24:37 My master made me swear an oath. He said, ‘You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 24:38 but you must go to the family of my father and to my relatives to find a wife for my son.’ 24:39 But I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not want to go with me?’ 24:40 He answered, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you. He will make your journey a success and you will find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 24:41 You will be free from your oath if you go to my relatives and they will not give her to you. Then you will be free from your oath.’ 24:42 When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to make my journey successful, may events unfold as follows: 24:43 Here I am, standing by the spring. When the young woman goes out to draw water, I’ll say, “Give me a little water to drink from your jug.” 24:44 Then she will reply to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too.” May that woman be the one whom the LORD has chosen for my master’s son.’

24:45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, along came Rebekah with her water jug on her shoulder! She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 24:46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels water. 24:47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.’ I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 24:48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right path to find the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son. 24:49 Now, if you will show faithful love to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me as well, so that I may go on my way.”

24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is the LORD’s doing. Our wishes are of no concern. 24:51 Rebekah stands here before you. Take her and go so that she may become the wife of your master’s son, just as the LORD has decided.”

24:52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD. 24:53 Then he brought out gold, silver jewelry, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and to her mother. 24:54 After this, he and the men who were with him ate a meal and stayed there overnight.

When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.” 24:55 But Rebekah’s brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.” 24:56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me—the LORD has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return to my master.” 24:57 Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.” 24:58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”

24:59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, accompanied by her female attendant, with Abraham’s servant and his men. 24:60 They blessed Rebekah with these words:

“Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands!

May your descendants possess the strongholds of their enemies.”

24:61 Then Rebekah and her female servants mounted the camels and rode away with the man. So Abraham’s servant took Rebekah and left.

24:62 Now Isaac came from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 24:63 He went out to relax in the field in the early evening. Then he looked up and saw that there were camels approaching. 24:64 Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 24:65 and asked Abraham’s servant, “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” “That is my master,” the servant replied. So she took her veil and covered herself.

24:66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 24:67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her as his wife and loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

King James Version

24 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7 The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11 And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. 15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19 And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20 And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21 And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not. 22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23 And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in? 24 And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. 25 She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26 And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. 27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren. 28 And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother’s house these things. 29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him. 33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. 34 And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. 35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36 And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38 But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house: 41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go: 43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; 44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master’s son. 45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. 46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. 48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son. 49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken. 52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. 53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. 54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. 55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. 56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. 57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.

61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: Bible