HEN ABRAHAM HAD grown old, he desired that his son, Isaac, should take a wife. But he did not wish him to choose one from among the women of Canaan, for they worshipped idols. So he called his oldest servant, and commanded him to make a journey to Abraham's own country, and there to choose a wife for Isaac.
|REBEKAH GIVING DRINK TO ABRAHAM'S SERVANT.|
Then the man took ten camels, together with food and other goods for the journey, and set out for the city of Nahor. When he came to the walls of the city he spied a well, and, as it was evening, the young women were coming out to draw water.
Then he asked God to help him to choose a wife for Isaac, saying, "Let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, 'Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink,' and who shall reply, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also;' let her be the one Thou hast chosen for Thy servant Isaac."
Before he had done speaking, there came out a beautiful young woman, whose name was Rebekah. She was the grand-daughter of Nahor, Abraham's brother. She carried a pitcher upon her shoulder, and went down to the well and filled it. Then Abraham's servant ran to her and asked her for a drink from her pitcher.
She said, "Drink, my lord," and held the pitcher for him, and afterwards drew water for his camels also. Then he took a golden jewel and a pair of gold bracelets, and put them upon her, and asked whose daughter she was, and if her father could lodge him and his company. When she told him who she was, he was glad, and worshipped God, for he was sure then that he had been led to the house of Abraham's brother.
Then Rebekah called out her friends, and they took the man in to lodge him for the night, and set food before him. But he would not eat until he had told them his errand, and how he believed God had chosen Rebekah for Isaac's wife. He then asked the parents to say whether they would give their daughter or not, but they said: "It has been ordered by God; we cannot give or refuse her. Rebekah is before you. Take her and go. Let her be Isaac's wife, as the Lord hath spoken."
When the man heard these words, he again praised God, and then he brought out rich clothing, and jewels of gold and silver, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave presents to her mother and brother. When they asked Rebekah if she would go with the man, she said "Yes," and took leave of her friends, who blessed her. Then, with her nurse and her maids, she rode upon the camels, and followed the man, for she believed that so God had ordered it.
Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi, and one evening he walked into the fields to meditate. As he lifted up his eyes he saw the company of camels coming towards him. At the same time, Rebekah lifted up her eyes and saw Isaac.
When the man told her it was his master Isaac, she alighted from the camel, and covered her face with a veil, according to the custom of the East. When the man told Isaac all he had done, Isaac was pleased, and welcomed Rebekah, and gave her the tent that had been his mother's. And she became his wife.