And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master,
Camels were much in use in the eastern countries; where, as Pliny F15 says, they were brought up among their herds of cattle, and their riches much consisted in them. Arabia abounded with them; Job had three thousand of them, ( Job 1:3 ) ; how many Abraham had is not said, only ten of them his servant took, being sufficient for his present purpose, and which he took with his master's leave, and by his order. These creatures are very strong and fit for carrying great burdens, even a thousand pound weight, as is affirmed; and for riding, especially such as have two humps on their backs, for some have but one; and for long journeys, being very swift, and will travel without water many days, and so very proper to take on such journeys in hot and desert countries, (See Gill on Leviticus 11:4); for all the goods of his master [were] in his hand;
which agrees with what is before said, that he was the steward of his house, and ruled over all that he had; this in our version, and others, is put in a parenthesis, and given as a reason why the servant took, as it may seem of himself, so many camels as he did, and then set forward on his journey: though it may be rendered, "and of all the goods of his master in his hand"; that is, he took some of the choicest and most valuable things his master had, and carried them along with him as presents to the damsel and her friends; to which sense the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions interpret the words, as well as some others, and which may receive confirmation from ( Genesis 24:22 ) , Jarchi thinks that Abraham's servant carried a schedule of all his master's goods and substance, which he had under his hand given to his son, whereby it would appear how rich he was, and how good a match Isaac would be to the woman, and which might the more incline her and her friends to listen to the proposal. Other Jewish writers F16 say, it was his testament or will that he carried: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia;
or Aram Naharaim, Syria of the rivers, which lay between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates, called therefore by the Greeks Mesopotamia; the three Targums render it Aram or Syria, which is by Euphrates: unto the city of Nahor;
this was the brother of Abraham, and his city was Haran, whither he came, either with his father, or with Abraham, out of Ur of the Chaldees, or followed them thither, and where he and his family stayed and settled. From Hebron, where Abraham now was, to Haran, is reckoned a journey of seventeen days; the distance between them, according to Ptolemy, as Drusius observes, were eight degrees, which make one hundred and twenty German miles; the journey Abraham's servant took is computed to be four hundred and sixty eight miles F17.
F15 Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 18.
F16 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 59. fol. 52. 2.
F17 Bunting's Travels, p. 69.