Genesis 24

1 And Abraam was old, advanced in days, and the Lord blessed Abraam in all things.
2 And Abraam said to his servant the elder of his house, who had rule over all his possessions, Put thy hand under my thigh,
3 and I will adjure thee by the Lord the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou take not a wife for my son Isaac from the daughters of the Chananites, with whom I dwell, in the midst of them.
4 But thou shalt go instead to my country, where I was born, and to my tribe, and thou shalt take from thence a wife for my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said to him, Shall I carry back thy son to the land whence thou camest forth, if haply the woman should not be willing to return with me to this land?
6 And Abraam said to him, Take heed to thyself that thou carry not my son back thither.
7 The Lord the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, who took me out of my father's house, and out of the land whence I sprang, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, I will give this land to thee and to thy seed, he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife to my son from thence.
8 And if the woman should not be willing to come with thee into this land, thou shalt be clear from my oath, only carry not my son thither again.
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraam, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 And the servant took ten camels of his master's camels, and of all the goods of his master with him, and he arose and went into Mesopotamia to the city of Nachor.
11 And he rested his camels without the city by the well of water towards evening, when damsels go forth to draw water.
12 And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraam, prosper my way before me to day, and deal mercifully with my master Abraam.
13 Lo! I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of them that inhabit the city come forth to draw water.
14 And it shall be, the virgin to whomsoever I shall say, Incline thy water-pot, that I may drink, and she shall say, Drink thou, and I will give thy camels drink, until they shall have done drinking—even this one thou hast prepared for thy servant Isaac, and hereby shall I know that thou hast dealt mercifully with my master Abraam.
15 And it came to pass before he had done speaking in his mind, that behold, Rebecca the daughter of Bathuel, the son of Melcha, the wife of Nachor, and the brother of Abraam, came forth, having a water-pot on her shoulders.
16 And the virgin was very beautiful in appearance, she was a virgin, a man had not known her; and she went down to the well, and filled her water-pot, and came up.
17 And the servant ran up to meet her, and said, Give me a little water to drink out of thy pitcher;
18 and she said, Drink, Sir; and she hasted, and let down the pitcher upon her arm, and gave him to drink, till he ceased drinking.
19 And she said, I will also draw water for thy camels, till they shall all have drunk.
20 And she hasted, and emptied the water-pot into the trough, and ran to the well to draw again, and drew water for all the camels.
21 And the man took great notice of her, and remained silent to know whether the Lord had made his way prosperous or not.
22 And it came to pass when all the camels ceased drinking, that the man took golden ear-rings, each of a drachm weight, and he two bracelets on her hands, their weight was ten pieces of gold.
23 And he asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? Tell me if there is room for us to lodge with thy father.
24 And she said to him, I am the daughter of Bathuel the son of Melcha, whom she bore to Nachor.
25 And she said to him, We have both straw and much provender, and a place for resting.
26 And the man being well pleased, worshipped the Lord,
27 and said, Blessed be the Lord the God of my master Abraam, who has not suffered his righteousness to fail, nor his truth from my master, and the Lord has brought me prosperously to the house of the brother of my lord.
28 And the damsel ran and reported to the house of her mother according to these words.
29 And Rebecca had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to meet the man, to the well.
30 And it came to pass when he saw the ear-rings and the bracelets on the hands of his sister, and when he heard the words of Rebecca his sister, saying, Thus the man spoke to me, that he went to the man, as he stood by the camels at the well.
31 And he said to him, Come in hither, thou blessed of the Lord, why standest thou without, whereas I have prepared the house and a place for the camels?
32 And the man entered into the house, and unloaded the camels, and gave the camels straw and provender, and water to wash his feet, and the feet of the men that were with him.
33 And he set before them loaves to eat; but he said, I will not eat, until I have told my errand. And he said, Speak on.
34 And he said, I am a servant of Abraam;
35 and the Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he is exalted, and he has given him sheep, and calves, and silver, and gold, servants and servant-maids, camels, and asses.
36 And Sarrha my master's wife bore one son to my master after he had grown old; and he gave him whatever he had.
37 And my master caused me to swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Chananites, among whom I sojourn in their land.
38 But thou shalt go to the house of my father, and to my tribe, and thou shalt take thence a wife for my son.
39 And I said to my master, Haply the woman will not go with me.
40 And he said to me, The Lord God to whom I have been acceptable in his presence, himself shall send out his angel with thee, and shall prosper thy journey, and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my tribe, and of the house of my father.
41 Then shalt thou be clear from my curse, for whensoever thou shalt have come to my tribe, and they shall not give her to thee, then shalt thou be clear from my oath.
42 And having come this day to the well, I said, Lord God of my master Abraam, if thou prosperest my journey on which I am now going,
43 behold, I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city come forth to draw water, and it shall be the damsel to whom I shall say, Give me a little water to drink out of thy pitcher,
44 and she shall say to me, Both drink thou, and I will draw water for thy camels, this the wife whom the Lord has prepared for his own servant Isaac; and hereby shall I know that thou hast wrought mercy with my master Abraam.
45 And it came to pass before I had done speaking in my mind, straightway Rebecca came forth, having her pitcher on her shoulders; and she went down to the well, and drew water; and I said to her, Give me to drink.
46 And she hasted and let down her pitcher on her arm from her head, and said, Drink thou, and I will give thy camels drink; and I drank, and she gave the camels drink.
47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me; and she said, I am daughter of Bathuel the son of Nachor, whom Melcha bore to him; and I put on her the ear-rings, and the bracelets on her hands.
48 And being well-pleased I worshipped the Lord, and I blessed the Lord the God of my master Abraam, who has prospered me in a true way, so that I should take the daughter of my master's brother for his son.
49 If then ye deal mercifully and justly with my lord, , and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.
50 And Laban and Bathuel answered and said, This matter has come forth from the Lord, we shall not be able to answer thee bad or good.
51 Behold, Rebecca is before thee, take her and go away, and let her be wife to the son of thy master, as the Lord has said.
52 And it came to pass when the servant of Abraam heard these words, he bowed himself to the Lord down to the earth.
53 And the servant having brought forth jewels of silver and gold and raiment, gave them to Rebecca, and gave gifts to her brother, and to her mother.
54 And both he and the men with him ate and drank and went to sleep. And he arose in the morning and said, Send me away, that I may go to my master.
55 And her brethren and her mother said, Let the virgin remain with us about ten days, and after that she shall depart.
56 But he said to them, Hinder me not, for the Lord has prospered my journey for me; send me away, that I may depart to my master.
57 And they said, Let us call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58 And they called Rebecca, and said to her, Wilt thou go with this man? and she said, I will go.
59 So they sent forth Rebecca their sister, and her goods, and the servant of Abraam, and his attendants.
60 And they blessed Rebecca, and said to her, Thou art our sister; become thou thousands of myriads, and let thy seed possess the cities of their enemies.
61 And Rebecca rose up and her maidens, and they mounted the camels and went with the man; and the servant having taken up Rebecca, departed.
62 And Isaac went through the wilderness to the well of the vision, and he dwelt in the land toward the south.
63 And Isaac went forth into the plain toward evening to meditate; and having lifted up his eyes, he saw camels coming.
64 And Rebecca lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac; and she alighted briskly from the camel,
65 and said to the servant, Who is that man that walks in the plain to meet us? And the servant said, This is my master; and she took her veil and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all that he had done.
67 And Isaac went into the house of his mother, and took Rebecca, and she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted for Sarrha his mother.

Images for Genesis 24

Genesis 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

Abraham's care for Isaac's marriage. (1-9) The journey of Abraham's servant to Mesopotamia, His meeting with Rebekah. (10-28) Rebekah and her relatives consent to her marriage. (29-53) The happy meeting and marriage of Isaac and rebekah. (54-67)

Verses 1-9 The effect of good example, good teaching, and the worship of God in a family, will generally appear in the piety, faithfulness, prudence, and affection of the servants. To live in such families, or to have such servants, both are blessings from God which should be highly valued, and thankfully acknowledged. But no concern in life is of greater importance to ourselves, to others, or to the church of God, than marriage. It therefore ought always to be undertaken with much care and prudence, especially with reference to the will of God, and with prayer for his direction and blessing. Where good parents are not consulted and regarded, the blessing of God cannot be expected. Parents, in disposing of their children, should carefully consult the welfare of their souls, and their furtherance in the way to heaven. Observe the charge Abraham gave to a good servant, one whose conduct, faithfulness, and affection, to him and his family, he had long known. Observe also, that Abraham remembers that God had wonderfully brought him out of the land of his birth, by the call of his grace; and therefore doubts not but He will prosper his care, not to bring his son thither again. God will cause that to end in our comfort, in which we sincerely aim at his glory.

Verses 10-28 Abraham's servant devoutly acknowledged God. We have leave to be particular in recommending our affairs to the care of Divine providence. He proposes a sign, not that he intended to proceed no further, if not gratified in it; but it is a prayer that God would provide a good wife for his young master; and that was a good prayer. She should be simple, industrious, humble, cheerful, serviceable, and hospitable. Whatever may be the fashion, common sense, as well as piety, tells us, these are the proper qualifications for a wife and mother; for one who is to be a companion to her husband, the manager of domestic concerns, and trusted to form the minds of children. When the steward came to seek a wife for his master, he did not go to places of amusement and sinful pleasure, and pray that he might meet one there, but to the well of water, expecting to find one there employed aright. He prayed that God would please to make his way in this matter plain and clear before him. Our times are in God's hand; not only events themselves, but the times of them. We must take heed of being over-bold in urging what God should do, lest the event should weaken our faith, rather than strengthen it. But God owned him by making his way clear. Rebekah, in all respects, answered the characters he sought for in the woman that was to be his master's wife. When she came to the well, she went down and filled her pitcher, and came up to go home with it. She did not stand to gaze upon the strange man his camels, but minded her business, and would not have been diverted from it but by an opportunity of doing good. She did not curiously or confidently enter into discourse with him, but answered him modestly. Being satisfied that the Lord had heard his prayer, he gave the damsel some ornaments worn in eastern countries; asking at the same time respecting her kindred. On learning that she was of his master's relations, he bowed down his head and worshipped, blessing God. His words were addressed to the Lord, but being spoken in the hearing of Rebekah, she could perceive who he was, and whence he came.

Verses 29-53 The making up of the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah is told very particularly. We are to notice God's providence in the common events of human life, and in them to exercise prudence and other graces. Laban went to ask Abraham's servant in, but not till he saw the ear-ring, and bracelet upon his sister's hands. We know Laban's character, by his conduct afterwards, and may think that he would not have been so free to entertain him, if he had not hoped to be well rewarded for it. The servant was intent upon his business. Though he was come off a journey, and come to a good house, he would not eat till he had told his errand. The doing our work, and the fulfilling our trusts, either for God or man, should be preferred by us before our food: it was our Saviour's meat and drink, ( John 4:34 ) . He tells them the charge his master had given him, with the reason of it. He relates what had happened at the well, to further the proposal, plainly showing the finger of God in it. Those events which to us seem the effect of choice, contrivance, or chance, are "appointed out" of God. This hinders not, but rather encourages the use of all proper means. They freely and cheerfully close with the proposal; and any matter is likely to be comfortable, when it proceeds from the Lord. Abraham's servant thankfully acknowledges the good success he had met with. He was a humble man, and humble men are not ashamed to own their situation in life, whatever it may be. All our temporal concerns are sweet if intermixed with godliness.

Verses 54-67 Abraham's servant, as one that chose his work before his pleasure, was for hastening home. Lingering and loitering no way become a wise and good man who is faithful to his duty. As children ought not to marry without their parents' consent, so parents ought not to marry them without their own. Rebekah consented, not only to go, but to go at once. The goodness of Rebekah's character shows there was nothing wrong in her answer, though it be not agreeable to modern customs among us. We may hope that she had such an idea of the religion and godliness in the family she was to go to, as made her willing to forget her own people and her father's house. Her friends dismiss her with suitable attendants, and with hearty good wishes. They blessed Rebekah. When our relations are entering into a new condition, we ought by prayer to commend them to the blessing and grace of God. Isaac was well employed when he met Rebekah. He went out to take the advantage of a silent evening, and a solitary place, for meditation and prayer; those divine exercises by which we converse with God and our own hearts. Holy souls love retirement; it will do us good to be often alone, if rightly employed; and we are never less alone than when alone. Observe what an affectionate son Isaac was: it was about three years since his mother died, and yet he was not, till now, comforted. See also what an affectionate husband he was to his wife. Dutiful sons promise fair to be affectionate husbands; he that fills up his first station in life with honour, is likely to do the same in those that follow.

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. See the use of µ? p?te in a somewhat similar case, 2 Tim 2. 25.
  • [b]. Heb. caused to kneel down. Gr. caused to sleep.
  • [c]. i.e. Nachor.
  • [d]. Gr. spoken my words.
  • [e]. Gr. from herself.
  • [f]. Gr. run away.
  • [g]. Lit. all the words which. Hebraism.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 24

This chapter shows Abraham's concern to get a suitable wife for his son Isaac, for which purpose he commits the affair into the hands of his eldest servant, and makes him swear that he will not take one from among the Canaanites, but out of his own country, and from among his own kindred, Ge 24:1-4; which his servant agreed to, after having the nature of his charge, and of the oath, explained to him, Ge 24:5-9; upon which he departed to Mesopotamia, and coming to the city of Nahor, and to a well near it, he prayed for success, and desired direction by a token, which was granted him, Ge 24:10-22; and inquiring of the damsel, who answered to the token, whose daughter she was, and whether they had room for him and his in their house; and an agreeable answer being returned, he gave thanks to God that had directed him, and had so far made his journey prosperous, Ge 24:23-27; the damsel acquainting her parents whom and what she met with at the well, a brother of her steps out, and invites the servant in, and makes him welcome, Ge 24:28-33; but before he would eat anything, he tells his errand he was come upon, at the instance of his master; how, he had prayed for direction, and was heard, and for which he had given thanks, Ge 24:34-48; and then treats with the relations of the damsel about her marriage to his master's son, to which they agreed, Ge 24:49-51; and after having blessed God, and given his presents he brought with him to the damsel, and her family, and ate and drank with them, was for departing the next morning, Ge 24:52-54; but the friends of the damsel being desirous of her stay with them some few days, and he urgent to be gone, the affair was referred to her, and she agreed to go with him directly, Ge 24:55-58; upon which they dismissed her with their blessing, Ge 24:59,60; who being met by Isaac in the way, was received and introduced into his mother's tent, and married by him, Ge 24:61-67.

Genesis 24 Commentaries

The Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.