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1 And Abraham was olde and well stricken in age: And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

2 And Abraham said vnto his eldest seruant of his house, that ruled ouer all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand vnder my thigh:

3 And I will make thee sweare by the LORD the God of heauen, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife vnto my sonne of the daughters of the Canaanites amongst whom I dwell.

4 But thou shalt go vnto my countrey, and to my kinred, and take a wife vnto my sonne Isaac.

5 And the seruant said vnto him, Peraduenture the woman will not bee willing to follow mee vnto this land: must I needes bring thy sonne againe, vnto the land from whence thou camest?

6 And Abraham said vnto him, Beware thou, that thou bring not my sonne thither againe.

7 The LORD God of heauen which tooke mee from my fathers house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake vnto mee, and that sware vnto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I giue this land, he shall send his Angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife vnto my sonne from thence.

8 And if the woman wil not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt bee cleare from this my othe: onely bring not my sonne thither againe.

9 And the seruant put his hand vnder the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

10 And the seruant tooke ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed, ( for all the goods of his master were in his hand) and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, vnto the citie of Nahor.

11 And he made his camels to kneele downe without the citie, by a well of water, at the time of the euening, euen the time that women goe out to draw water.

12 And he said, O LORD, God of my master Abraham, I pray thee send me good speed this day, and shew kindnesse vnto my master Abraham.

13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the Citie come out to draw water:

14 And let it come to passe, that the damsell to whom I shall say, Let downe thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drinke, and she shall say, Drinke, and I will giue thy camels drinke also; let the same be shee that thou hast appointed for thy seruant Isaac: and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindnesse vnto my master.

15 And it came to passe before hee had done speaking, that behold, Rebekah came out, who was borne to Bethuel, sonne of Milcah, the wife of Nahor Abrahams brother, with her pitcher vpon her shoulder.

16 And the damsell was very faire to looke vpon, a virgine, neither had any man knowen her; and shee went downe to the wel, and filled her pitcher, and came vp.

17 And the seruant ranne to meete her, and said, Let mee (I pray thee) drinke a little water of thy pitcher.

18 And she said, Drinke, my lord: and she hasted, and let downe her pitcher vpon her hand, and gaue him drinke.

19 And when shee had done giuing him drinke, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, vntill they haue done drinking.

20 And she hasted and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ranne againe vnto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

21 And the man wondering at her, helde his peace, to wit, whether the LORD had made his iourney prosperous, or not.

22 And it came to passe as the camels had done drinking, that the man tooke a golden eare-ring, of halfe a shekel weight, & two bracelets for her handes, of ten shekels weight of gold,

23 And said, whose daughter art thou? tell mee, I pray thee: is there roome in thy fathers house for vs to lodge in?

24 And she said vnto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the sonne of Milcah, which she bare vnto Nahor:

25 She said moreouer vnto him, We haue both straw & prouender ynough, and roome to lodge in.

26 And the man bowed downe his head, and worshipped the LORD.

27 And hee saide, Blessed bee the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy, and his trueth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my masters brethren.

28 And the damsell ranne, and told them of her mothers house, these things.

29 And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ranne out vnto the man, vnto the well.

30 And it came to passe when he saw the eare-ring, and bracelets vpon his sisters hands, and when hee heard the wordes of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man vnto me, that he came vnto the man; and behold, hee stood by the camels, at the well.

31 And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD, wherefore standest thou without? for I haue prepared the house, and roome for the camels.

32 And the man came into the house: and he vngirded his camels, and gaue straw and prouender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the mens feet that were with him.

33 And there was set meat before him to eate: but he said, I will not eate, vntill I haue tolde mine errand. And hee said, Speake on.

34 And he said, I am Abrahams seruant.

35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly, and hee is become great: and hee hath giuen him flocks, and heards, and siluer, and gold, and men seruants, and mayd seruants, and camels, and asses.

36 And Sarah my masters wife bare a sonne to my master when shee was old: and vnto him hath hee giuen all that he hath.

37 And my master made me sweare, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my sonne, of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:

38 But thou shalt goe vnto my fathers house, and to my kinred, and take a wife vnto my sonne.

39 And I said vnto my master, Peraduenture the woman will not followe me.

40 And hee saide vnto me, The LORD, before whom I walke, will send his Angel with thee, and prosper thy way: and thou shalt take a wife for my sonne, of my kinred, and of my fathers house.

41 Then shalt thou bee cleare from this my oath, when thou commest to my kinred, and if they giue not thee one, thou shalt be cleare from my oath.

42 And I came this day vnto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou doe prosper my way, which I goe:

43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to passe, that when the virgine commeth foorth to draw water, and I say to her, Giue me, I pray thee, a litle water of thy pitcher to drinke;

44 And she say to me, Both drinke thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman, whō the LORD hath appointed out for my masters sonne.

45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth, with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went downe vnto the well, and drew water: and I said vnto her, Let me drinke, I pray thee.

46 And she made haste, & let downe her pitcher from her shoulder, and saide, Drinke, and I will giue thy camels drinke also: so I dranke, and she made the camels drinke also.

47 And I asked her, and said, whose daughter art thou? and she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahors sonne, whom Milcah bare vnto him: and I put the earering vpon her face, and the bracelets vpon her hands.

48 And I bowed downe my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led mee in the right way to take my masters brothers daughter vnto his sonne.

49 And now if you wil deale kindly and truely with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me, that I may turne to the right hand, or to the left.

50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speake vnto thee bad or good.

51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and goe, and let her be thy masters sonnes wife, as the LORD hath spoken.

52 And it came to passe, that when Abrahams seruant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himselfe to the earth.

53 And the seruant brought foorth iewels of siluer, and iewels of gold, and raiment, and gaue them to Rebekah: He gaue also to her brother, and to her mother precious things.

54 And they did eate and drinke, he and the men that were with him, and taried all night, and they rose vp in the morning, and he said, Send me away vnto my master.

55 And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsell abide with vs a few dayes, at the least ten; after that, she shall goe.

56 And he said vnto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way: send me away, that I may goe to my master.

57 And they said, wee will call the Damsell, and enquire at her mouth.

58 And they called Rebekah, and said vnto her, Wilt thou go with this man? and she said, I will goe.

59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abrahams seruant, and his men.

60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said vnto her, Thou art our sister, bee thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possesse the gate of those which hate them.

61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, & they rode vpon the camels, and followed the man: and the seruant tooke Rebekah, and went his way.

62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi, for he dwelt in the South countrey.

63 And Isaac went out, to meditate in the field, at the euentide: and hee lift vp his eyes, and saw, and behold, the camels were comming.

64 And Rebekah lift vp her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

65 For she had said vnto the seruant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet vs? and the seruant had said, It is my master: therefore shee tooke a vaile and couered her selfe.

66 And the seruant tolde Isaac all things that he had done.

67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarahs tent, and tooke Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loued her: and Isaac was comforted after his mothers death.

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Commentary for Genesis 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)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.

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.

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, #Joh 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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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