A Wife for Isaac
Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
Abraham called to him the eldest servant of his house who ruled over all that he had.
The steward of Abraham’s house was Eliezer of Damascus. Abraham had said of him, “one born in my house is my heir.” (Genesis 15:2-3) This servant could be Eliezer but more than 54 years have passed and Eliezer could have died during that time.
Abraham (to servant): Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. You shall go to my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.
Servant: Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I bring your son to the land from where you came?
Abraham: Do not take my son there. The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred and who spake to me and who swore to me, saying, To your seed I will give this land, he shall send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. If the woman is not willing to follow you to this land, then you shall be free from this oath: only do not take my son there.
The servant swore to Abraham concerning this matter.
The servant took ten camels and departed with all the goods of his master in his hand. He arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor.
The servant made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, the time that women go out to draw water.
The servant prayed.
Servant: O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray, send me good speed this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. Let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down your pitcher, I pray, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give your camels drink also: let the same be she that you have appointed for your servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that you have shown kindness to my master.
Before he had finished speaking, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.
Rebekah was a virgin and very fair to look upon. She went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up. The servant ran to meet her.
Servant: Let me drink a little water of your pitcher.
Rebekah: Drink, my lord.
She hurried and let down her pitcher upon her hand and gave him drink.
Rebekah: I will draw water for your camels also, until they have done drinking.
She hurried and emptied her pitcher into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water and drew for all his camels.
When Rebekah offered to water the camels, she was volunteering for quite a job. A camel can drink 10 gallons of water and the servant had 10 camels with him.
The servant, wondering at her, held his peace, to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.
As the camels had done drinking, the servant took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold.
Servant: Whose daughter are you? Is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?
Rebekah: I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare to Nahor. We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.
The servant bowed down his head and worshipped the Lord.
Servant: Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not left my master destitute of his mercy and his truth. The Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.
Rebekah ran and told them at her mother’s house these things.
Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. When he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, Laban ran out to the man, to the well, and found him standing by the camels at the well.
Laban: Come in, blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house and room for the camels.
And the man came into the house: and Laban 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. And there was set meat before him to eat.
Servant: I will not eat, until I have told my errand.
Laban: Speak on.
Servant: I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great. The Lord has given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and to him Abraham has given all that he has.
The servant told of his oath to Abraham and all that had happened.
Servant: And now if you 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.
Laban and Bethuel: The thing proceeds from the Lord: we cannot speak to you bad or good. Here is Rebekah. Take her and go and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.
When the servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. Then he brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
He and the men that were with him ate and drank and tarried all night, and they rose up in the morning.
Servant: Send me away to my master.
Laban and her mother: Let the damsel stay with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.
Servant: Do not hinder me, seeing the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.
Laban and her mother: We will call the damsel and ask her.
They called Rebekah.
Laban and her mother: Will you go with this man?
Rebekah: I will go.
And they sent Rebekah away, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.
They blessed Rebekah.
The Blessing: You are our sister. Be the mother of thousands of millions, and let your seed possess the gate of those who hate them.
Rebekah and her damsels arose, and they rode upon the camels and followed the man. And the servant took Rebeka and went his way.
Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai–roi; for he dwelt in the south country. And he went out to meditate in the field at eventide. He lifted up his eyes and saw the camels coming.
Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and she saw Isaac.
Rebekah (to the servant): Who is this man who walks in the field to meet us?
Servant: It is my master.
Rebekah lighted off the camel. She took a veil and covered herself.
The servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her, and he was comforted after his mother’s death.