Genesis 24:1-67 Reading the Passage

Two Biblical Guidelines for Choosing a Spouse – Genesis 24:1-67

24 Abraham was old, and well advanced in years. Now Jehovah had blessed Abraham in all things. (2) Then Abraham said to his servant, the chief servant of his household, the one who had charge over all Abraham’s possessions, I beg you, put your hand under my thigh. (3) I will make you swear by Jehovah, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am living; (4) rather, you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and get a wife for my son Isaac. (5) Then the servant said to him, Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then bring your son back to the land from where you came? (6) And Abraham said to him, Make sure that you do not bring my son back there again. (7) Jehovah, the God of heaven—who took me from my father’s household and from my native land, who spoke to me and who swore an oath to me, saying, To your offspring I will give this land—he will send his angel before you, and you shall get a wife for my son from there. (8) If the woman is not willing to come with you, then you shall be released from my oath. Only you must not bring my son there again. (9) So the servant put his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.

(10) Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Mesopotamia, and came to the city of Nahor. (11) When he arrived there he made the camels kneel down by the well of water outside the city. It was towards evening, the time when the women of the city went out to draw water. (12) And he said, O Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, I beg you, please give me success today and show kindness to my master Abraham. (13) See, I am standing beside this well, and the young women of the city are coming out to draw water. (14) May the young woman to whom I say, Please, I beg you, lower your water pitcher into the well so that I may have a drink, and she shall say, Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink—may that very girl be the one whom you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown kindness to my master.

(15) And it happened that, before he had finished praying, Rebekah—the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother, Nahor)—came, bearing her water pitcher on her shoulder. (16) Now the young woman was very beautiful in appearance, and she was a virgin, no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came back. (17) Then the servant ran to meet her and said, I beg you, give me a little water to drink from your pitcher. (18) And she said, Drink, my lord. Then she quickly lowered her pitcher to her hands and gave him a drink. (19) When she had finished giving him a drink she said, I will also draw water for your camels until they have finished drinking. (20) Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough and ran back to the well to draw more water. She drew water for all his camels.

(21) Without saying a word, the man watched her closely, to determine whether or not Jehovah had made his journey successful. (22) When the camels had finished drinking, the man gave her a golden ring, weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her arms, the weight of which equaled ten shekels of gold. (23) He said to her, Whose daughter are you? I beg you, please tell me, Is there enough room in your father’s house to provide lodging for us? (24) She said to him, I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son whom Milcah bore to Nahor. (25) Furthermore, she said to him, We have enough straw and fodder, and enough room to provide lodging for you. (26) Then the man bowed his head and worshiped Jehovah. (27) He said, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his lovingkindness and his faithfulness to my master. As for me, Jehovah has led me along the way to the house of my master’s relatives. (28) Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things.

(29) Now Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the well to greet the man. (30) When he saw the ring and the bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard his sister Rebekah’s report, This is what the man said to me; he went out to meet him. Now the man was standing with his camels by the well. (31) Laban said to him, Come to my house, you who are blessed by Jehovah. Why do you remain outside? I have prepared my house for you, and have made provision for your camels.

(32) So the man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. Laban provided straw and fodder for the camels, also water to wash the man’s feet as well as the feet of the men who were with him. (33) Then food was set before him to eat. But he said, I will not eat until I have made known to you my mission. Laban said, Tell us. (34) And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. (35) Jehovah has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great. Jehovah has given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys. (36) And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old. And my master has given him all that he owns. (37) Now my master made me swear an oath, saying, You shall not take a wife for my son from the young women of the Canaanites in whose land I am living. (38) On the contrary, you shall go to my father’s household, and to my relatives, and from among them take a wife for my son. (39) And I said to my master, Perhaps the woman will not follow me. (40) And he said to me, Jehovah, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you and make your journey successful. So shall you take a wife for my son from among my relatives, and from my father’s household. (41) You shall be released from my oath if you come to my relatives and they refuse to give her to you, if that be the case you shall be released from my oath. (42) Today I came to this well and said, O Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, if you will, now make my journey successful. (43) Look, I am standing by this well of water. Let it be that the young woman who comes here to draw water—the one to whom I shall say, I beg you, give me a little water from your pitcher to drink; (44) and she shall say to me, Drink, and I will also draw water for your camels—let her be the woman whom Jehovah has chosen for my master’s son. (45) And before I had finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came with her pitcher on her shoulder. And she went down to the well and drew water. Then I said to her, I beg you, let me have a drink. (46) And she quickly lowered her pitcher from her shoulder and said, Drink, and I will also give your camels water to drink. So I drank, and she also made the camels drink. (47) Then I asked her, Whose daughter are you? And she said, I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him. Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets upon her arms. (48) And I bowed my head and worshiped Jehovah and blessed Jehovah, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take the daughter of my master’s brother as a wife for his son. (49) Now if you will deal kindly and faithfully with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, so that I may turn to the right or to the left in pursuit of a wife for my master’s son.

(50) Then Laban and Bethuel answered, This matter comes from Jehovah. We can say nothing to you either one way or the other. (51) Look, Rebekah is here before you, take her, and go on your way. Let her become the wife of your master’s son, as Jehovah has spoken. (52) When Abraham’s servant heard their words he bowed down to the earth to Jehovah. (53) Then the servant brought out silver and gold jewelry and articles of clothing, and presented them to Rebekah. He also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.

(54) Then they ate and drank, both he and the men who were with him, and they spent night there. When they got up in the morning he said, Send me on my way back to my master. (55) Rebekah’s brother and her mother said, Let the young woman stay with us for a few days, at least ten; after that she shall go. (56) But he said to them, Do not detain me, since Jehovah has caused my journey to be successful. Send me on my way so that I may return to my master. (57) They said, We will call the young woman and ask her personally. (58) So they called Rebekah and asked her, Are you willing to go with this man? And she said, I am willing to go.

(59) Then they sent their sister Rebekah, along with her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men on their way. (60) They blessed Rebekah and said to her, Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the cities of those who hate them. (61) Then Rebekah and her maidservants got ready and mounted the camels and went with Abraham’s servant. So the servant took Rebekah and went on his way.

(62) Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, for he was living in the land of the South. (63) One evening he went out to the open field to meditate. He looked up and saw that there were camels coming. (64) And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted the camel. (65) Then she said to the servant, Who is this man in the field that is coming to meet us? And the servant said, It is my master. So she took her veil and covered herself. (66) The servant told Isaac all that he had done. (67) And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. She became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.