The First Book of Moses, Called Genesis

Chapter 24

Abraham gives charge to his servant, 1-9. The servant's journey, 10, 11. His prayer, 12, 13. His sign, 14. Rebekah meets him, 15-17; fulfills his sign, 18-21; receives jewels, 22; shows her kindred, 23, 24; and invites him home, 25. The servant blesses God, 26, 27. Laban entertains him, 29-33. The servant relates his message, 34-49. Laban and Bethuel approve it, 50-57. Rebekah consents to go and departs, 58-61. Isaac meets and marries her, 62-67.

1 And Abraham was old and far advanced in age, and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his eldest servant of his house who ruled over all that he had, "Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh, 3 And I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I dwell. 4 But you shall go to my country and to my kindred and take a wife for my son Isaac." 5 And the servant said to him, "It may be that the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I bring your son back to the land from where you came?" 6 And Abraham said to him, "Beware that you do not bring my son there again. 7 The LORD God of heaven who took me from my father's house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this oath of mine. Only do not bring my son there again." 9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning that matter.

10 And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master and departed (for all the goods of his master were in his hands), and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, "O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray you, prosper me this day and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water. 14 And let it come to pass, that the young woman to whom I say, 'Let down your pitcher, I pray you, so that I may drink,' and she shall say, 'Drink, and I will give your camels drink also,' let the same be she whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. And by that I shall know that you have shown kindness to my master."

15 And it came to pass before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16 And the young woman was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her. And she went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, "Let me, I pray you, drink a little water from your pitcher." 18 And she said, "Drink, my lord." And she hastened and let down her pitcher upon her hand and gave him drink. 19 And when she had finished giving him drink, she said, "I will draw water for your camels also until they have finished drinking." 20 And she hastened and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21 And the man, wondering at her, held his peace to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous, or not.

22 And it came to pass as the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold, 23 And said, "Whose daughter are you? Tell me, I pray you, is there room in your father's house for us to lodge in?" 24 And she said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor." 25 She said moreover to him, "We have enough of both straw and provender and room to lodge in." 26 And the man bowed his head and worshiped the LORD. 27 And he said, "Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who has not left my master destitute of his mercy and his truth. I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brothers."

28 And the young woman ran and told these things to her mother's house. 29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. And Laban ran out to the man at the well. 30 And it came to pass when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "Thus spoke the man to me," that he came to the man. And behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31 And he said, "Come in, you blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels." 32 And the man came into the house, and he ungirded his camels and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him. 33 And there was food set before him 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 Abraham's servant. 35 And the LORD has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great. And he has given him flocks, herds, silver, gold, men-servants, women-servants, camels, and donkeys. 36 And Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. And to him he has given all that he has. 37 And my master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell. 38 But you shall go to my father's house and to my kindred and take a wife for my son.' 39 And I said to my master, 'It may be that the woman will not follow me.' 40 And he said to me, 'The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you and prosper your way, and you shall take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father's house. 41 Then you shall be clear from this oath of mine when you come to my kindred. And if they do not give you one, you shall be clear from my oath.'

42 "And I came this day to the well and said, 'O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now you prosper my way which I go, 43 Behold, I stand by the well of water, and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin comes forth to draw water, and I say to her, "Give me, I pray you, a little water from your pitcher to drink," 44 And she says to me, "Drink, and I will also draw for your camels," let the same be the woman whom the LORD has pointed out for my master's son.'

45 "And before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder, and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, 'Let me drink, I pray you.' 46 And she made haste and let down her pitcher from her shoulder and said, 'Drink, and I will give your camels drink also.' So I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47 And I asked her and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' And she said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' And I put the earring upon her face and the bracelets upon her hands. 48 And I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter for his son. 49 And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me so that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, and said, "The thing proceeds from the LORD. We cannot speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her and go, and let her be your master's son's wife, as the LORD has spoken."

52 And it came to pass, that when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. 53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother precious things. 54 And they ate and drank—he and the men who were with him—and stayed all night. And they rose in the morning, and he said, "Send me away to my master." 55 And her brother and her mother said, "Let the young woman abide with us a few days, at the least ten. After that she shall go." 56 And he said to them, "Do not hinder me, seeing the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away so that I may go to my master." 57 And they said, "We will call the young woman and inquire at her mouth." 58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go." 59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, her nurse, Abraham's servant, and his men. 60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her,

"You are our sister—may you be the mother of thousands of millions,/
and let your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them."

61 And Rebekah and her attendants arose, and they rode upon the camels and followed the man. And the servant took Rebekah and went his way.

62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi, for he dwelt in the south country. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, the camels were coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel, 65 And she said to the servant, "What man is this who walks in the field to meet us?" And the servant said, "It is my master." Therefore, she took a veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Genesis, Chapter 24[➚]


[v.2] - "Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh" - According to John Gill's Exposition, this act of putting the hand under the thigh is to be taken, "as a token of [the servant's] subjection to [Abraham] as a servant, and of his readiness, willingness, and fidelity to execute any commands he should lay upon him, and in order to take an oath, as appears by what follows; for it seems this rite was used in swearing."

[v.15] - "Before he had finished speaking" - LXX: "Before he had finished speaking in his mind."

[v.62] - "the well Lahai-roi" - LXX: "the well of the vision."