Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way.
Abraham said to his oldest servant, who was in charge of everything he owned, "Put your hand under my leg.
Make a promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Don't get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here.
Instead, go back to my country, to the land of my relatives, and get a wife for my son Isaac."
The servant said to him, "What if this woman does not want to return with me to this land? Then, should I take your son with me back to your homeland?"
Abraham said to him, "No! Don't take my son back there.
The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my father and the land of my relatives. And he promised me, 'I will give this land to your descendants.' The Lord will send his angel before you to help you get a wife for my son there.
If the girl won't come back with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back there."
So the servant put his hand under his master's leg and made a promise to Abraham about this.
The servant took ten of Abraham's camels and left, carrying with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. He went to Northwest Mesopotamia to Nahor's city.
In the evening, when the women come out to get water, he made the camels kneel down at the well outside the city.
The servant said, "Lord, God of my master Abraham, allow me to find a wife for his son today. Please show this kindness to my master Abraham.
Here I am, standing by the spring, and the girls from the city are coming out to get water.
I will say to one of them, 'Please put your jar down so I can drink.' Then let her say, 'Drink, and I will also give water to your camels.' If that happens, I will know she is the right one for your servant Isaac and that you have shown kindness to my master."
Before the servant had finished praying, Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, came out of the city. (Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham's brother.) Rebekah was carrying her water jar on her shoulder.
She was very pretty, a virgin; she had never had sexual relations with a man. She went down to the spring and filled her jar, then came back up.
The servant ran to her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
Rebekah said, "Drink, sir." She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink.
After he finished drinking, Rebekah said, "I will also pour some water for your camels."
So she quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she kept running to the well until she had given all the camels enough to drink.
The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure the Lord had made his trip successful.
After the camels had finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring weighing one-fifth of an ounce and two gold arm bracelets weighing about four ounces each.
He asked, "Who is your father? Is there a place in his house for me and my men to spend the night?"
Rebekah answered, "My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor."
Then she said, "And, yes, we have straw for your camels and a place for you to spend the night."
The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord
and said, "Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and truthful to him and has led me to my master's relatives."
Then Rebekah ran and told her mother's family about all these things.
She had a brother named Laban, who ran out to Abraham's servant, who was still at the spring.
Laban had heard what she had said and had seen the ring and the bracelets on his sister's arms. So he ran out to the well, and there was the man standing by the camels at the spring.
Laban said, "Sir, you are welcome to come in; you don't have to stand outside. I have prepared the house for you and also a place for your camels."
So Abraham's servant went into the house. After Laban unloaded the camels and gave them straw and food, he gave water to Abraham's servant so he and the men with him could wash their feet.
Then Laban gave the servant food, but the servant said, "I will not eat until I have told you why I came." So Laban said, "Then tell us."
He said, "I am Abraham's servant.
The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything, and he has become a rich man. The Lord has given him many flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, camels, and horses.
Sarah, my master's wife, gave birth to a son when she was old, and my master has given everything he owns to that son.
My master had me make a promise to him and said, 'Don't get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here.
Instead, you must go to my father's people and to my family. There you must get a wife for my son.'
I said to my master, 'What if the woman will not come back with me?'
But he said, 'I serve the Lord, who will send his angel with you and will help you. You will get a wife for my son from my family and my father's people.
Then you will be free from the promise. But if they will not give you a wife for my son, you will be free from this promise.'
"Today I came to this spring. I said, 'Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful.
I am standing by this spring. I will wait for a young woman to come out to get water, and I will say, "Please give me water from your jar to drink."
Then let her say, "Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels." By this I will know the Lord has chosen her for my master's son.'
"Before I finished my silent prayer, Rebekah came out of the city with her water jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and got water. I said to her, 'Please give me a drink.'
She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and said, 'Drink this. I will also get water for your camels.' So I drank, and she gave water to my camels too.
When I asked her, 'Who is your father?' she answered, 'My father is Bethuel son of Milcah and Nahor.' Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,
and I bowed my head and thanked the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, because he led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master's brother for his son.
Now, tell me, will you be kind and truthful to my master? And if not, tell me so. Then I will know what I should do."
Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is clearly from the Lord, and we cannot change what must happen.
Rebekah is yours. Take her and go. Let her marry your master's son as the Lord has commanded."
When Abraham's servant heard these words, he bowed facedown on the ground before the Lord.
Then he gave Rebekah gold and silver jewelry and clothes. He also gave expensive gifts to her brother and mother.
The servant and the men with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, the servant said, "Now let me go back to my master."
Rebekah's mother and her brother said, "Let Rebekah stay with us at least ten days. After that she may go."
But the servant said to them, "Do not make me wait, because the Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master."
Rebekah's brother and mother said, "We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants to do."
They called her and asked her, "Do you want to go with this man now?" She said, "Yes, I do."
So they allowed Rebekah and her nurse to go with Abraham's servant and his men.
They blessed Rebekah and said, "Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of people, and may your descendants capture the cities of their enemies."
Then Rebekah and her servant girls got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
At this time Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was living in southern Canaan.
One evening when he went out to the field to think, he looked up and saw camels coming.
Rebekah also looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel
and asked the servant, "Who is that man walking in the field to meet us?" The servant answered, "That is my master." So Rebekah covered her face with her veil.
The servant told Isaac everything that had happened.
Then Isaac brought Rebekah into the tent of Sarah, his mother, and she became his wife. Isaac loved her very much, and so he was comforted after his mother's death.