Abraham was now old, getting on in years,a and the Lord had blessed him in everything.
Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, "Place your hand under my thigh,b3
and I will have you swear by the Lord, God of heaven and God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,
but will go to my land and my family to take a wife for my son Isaac."
The servant said to him, "Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I have your son go back to the land you came from?"
Abraham answered him, "Make sure that you don't take my son back there.
The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from my native land, who spoke to me and swore to me, 'I will give this land to your offspring'-He will send His angel before you, and you can take a wife for my son from there.
If the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are free from this oath to me, but don't let my son go back there."
So the servant placed his hand under his master Abraham's thigh and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
The servant took 10 of his master's camels and departed with all kinds of his master's goods in hand. Then he set out for the town of Nahor, Aram-naharaim.
He made the camels kneel beside a well of water outside the town at evening. [This was] the time when the women went out to draw water.
"Lord, God of my master Abraham," he prayed, "grant me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
I am standing here at the spring where the daughters of the men of the town are coming out to draw water.
Let the girl to whom I say, 'Please lower your water jug so that I may drink,' and who responds, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels also'-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."
Before he had finished speaking, there was Rebekah-daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor-coming with a jug on her shoulder.
Now the girl was very beautiful, a young woman who had not known a man intimately. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up.
Then the servant ran to meet her and said, "Please let me have a little water from your jug."
She replied, "Drink, my lord." She quickly lowered her jug to her hand and gave him a drink.
When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, "I'll also draw water for your camels until they have had enough to drink."c20
She quickly emptied her jug into the trough and hurried to the well again to draw water. She drew water for all his camels
while the man silently watched her to see whether or not the Lord had made his journey a success.
After the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing half a shekel, and for her wrists two bracelets weighing 10 shekels of gold.
"Whose daughter are you?" he asked. "Please tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?"
She answered him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."
She also said to him, "We have plenty of straw and feed, and a place to spend the night."
Then the man bowed down, worshiped the Lord,
and said, "Praise the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not withheld His kindness and faithfulness from my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."
The girl ran and told her mother's household about these things.
Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and Laban ran out to the man at the spring.
As soon as he had seen the ring, and the bracelets on his sister's wrists, and when he had heard his sister Rebekah's words-"The man said this to me!"-he went to the man. He was standing there by the camels at the spring.
Laban said, "Come, you who are blessed by the Lord. Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels."
So the man came to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and feed were given to the camels, and water was brought to wash his feet and the feet of the men with him.
A meal was set before him, but he said, "I will not eat until I have said what I have to say." So Laban said, "Speak on."
"I am Abraham's servant," he said.
"The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become rich. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female slaves, and camels and donkeys.
Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master in herd old age, and he has given him everything he owns.
My master put me under this oath: 'You will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live
but will go to my father's household and to my family to take a wife for my son.'
But I said to my master, 'Suppose the woman will not come back with me?'
He said to me, 'The Lord before whom I have walked will send His angel with you and make your journey a success, and you will take a wife for my son from my family and from my father's household.
Then you will be free from my oath if you go to my family and they do not give [her] to you-you will be free from my oath.'
"Today when I came to the spring, I prayed: Lord, God of my master Abraham, if only You will make my journey successful!
I am standing here at a spring. Let the virgin who comes out to draw water, and I say to her: Please let me drink a little water from your jug,
and who responds to me, 'Drink, and I'll draw water for your camels also'-let her be the woman the Lord has appointed for my master's son.
"Before I had finished praying in my heart, there was Rebekah coming with her jug on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her: Please let me have a drink.
She quickly lowered her jug from her [shoulder] and said, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels also.' So I drank, and she also watered the camels.
Then I asked her: Whose daughter are you? She responded, 'The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists.
Then I bowed down, worshiped the Lord, and praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who guided me on the right way to take the daughter of my master's brother for his son.
Now, if you are going to show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; if not, tell me, and I will go elsewhere."e50
Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter.f51
Rebekah is here in front of you. Take [her] and go, and let her be a wife for your master's son, just as the Lord has spoken."
When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed to the ground before the Lord.
Then he brought out objects of silver and gold, and garments, and gave [them] to Rebekah. He also gave precious gifts to her brother and her mother.
Then he and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night. When they got up in the morning, he said, "Send me to my master."
But her brother and mother said, "Let the girl stay with us for about 10 days.g Then sheh can go."
But he responded to them, "Do not delay me, since the Lord has made my journey a success. Send me away so that I may go to my master."
So they said, "Let's call the girl and ask her opinion."i58
They called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She replied, "I will go."
So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men.
They blessed Rebekah, saying to her: Our sister, may you become thousands upon ten thousands. May your offspring possess the gates of theirj enemies.
Then Rebekah and her young women got up, mounted the camels, and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
Now Isaac was returning from Beer-lahai-roi,k for he was living in the Negev region.
In the early evening, Isaac went out to walkl in the field, and looking up, he saw camels coming.
Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she got down from her camel
and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" The servant answered, "It is my master." So she took her veil and covered herself.
Then the servant told Isaac everything he had done.
And Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah and took Rebekah to be his wife. Isaac loved her, and he was comforted after his mother's [death].