1Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way. 2He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh. 3I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 4but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.”
5The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?”
6“Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. 7“The Lord, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my fatherʼs household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. 8If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
10Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his masterʼs camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. 11He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
12Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. 14May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and Iʼll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.”
15Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abrahamʼs brother Nahor. 16The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
17The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.”
18“Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
19After she had given him a drink, she said, “Iʼll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” 20So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful.
22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels. 23Then he asked, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your fatherʼs house for us to spend the night?”
24She answered him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milkah bore to Nahor.” 25And she added, “We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night.”
26Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, 27saying, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my masterʼs relatives.”
28The young woman ran and told her motherʼs household about these things. 29Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring. 30As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sisterʼs arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring. 31“Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
32So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet. 33Then food was set before him, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.”
“Then tell us,” Laban said.
34So he said, “I am Abrahamʼs servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36My masterʼs wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns. 37And my master made me swear an oath, and said, ‘You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live, 38but go to my fatherʼs family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.’
39“Then I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’
40“He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my fatherʼs family. 41You will be released from my oath if, when you go to my clan, they refuse to give her to you—then you will be released from my oath.’
42“When I came to the spring today, I said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come. 43See, I am standing beside this spring. If a young woman comes out to draw water and I say to her, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar,” 44and if she says to me, “Drink, and Iʼll draw water for your camels too,” let her be the one the Lord has chosen for my masterʼs son.’
45“Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’
46“She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and Iʼll water your camels too.’ So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
47“I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’
“She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’
“Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, 48and I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my masterʼs brother for his son. 49Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn.”
50Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. 51Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your masterʼs son, as the Lord has directed.”
52When Abrahamʼs servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.
When they got up the next morning, he said, “Send me on my way to my master.”
55But her brother and her mother replied, “Let the young woman remain with us ten days or so; then you may go.”
56But he said to them, “Do not detain me, now that the Lord has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master.”
57Then they said, “Letʼs call the young woman and ask her about it.” 58So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Will you go with this man?”
“I will go,” she said.
59So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abrahamʼs servant and his men. 60And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
“Our sister, may you increase
to thousands upon thousands;
may your offspring possess
the cities of their enemies.”
61Then Rebekah and her attendants got ready and mounted the camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
62Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. 63He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. 64Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?”
“He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
66Then the servant told Isaac all he had done. 67Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his motherʼs death.
1Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. 3Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. 4The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
5Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. 6But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
7Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11After Abrahamʼs death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
12This is the account of the family line of Abrahamʼs son Ishmael, whom Sarahʼs slave, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.
13These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. 16These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. 17Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. 18His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt, as you go toward Ashur. And they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them.
19This is the account of the family line of Abrahamʼs son Isaac.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, 20and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
21Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
23The Lord said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
24When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb. 25The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. 26After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esauʼs heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
27The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content : to stay at home among the tents. 28Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
29Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. 30He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! Iʼm famished!” (That is why he was also called Edom.)
31Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”
32“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”
33But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
34Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.
So Esau despised his birthright.
34When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.
1When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”
“Here I am,” he answered.
2Isaac said, “I am now an old man and donʼt know the day of my death. 3Now then, get your equipment—your quiver and bow—and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”
5Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, 6Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, 7‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the Lord before I die.’ 8Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: 9Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. 10Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.”
11Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man while I have smooth skin. 12What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.”
13His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.”
14So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and she prepared some tasty food, just the way his father liked it. 15Then Rebekah took the best clothes of Esau her older son, which she had in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16She also covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck with the goatskins. 17Then she handed to her son Jacob the tasty food and the bread she had made.
18He went to his father and said, “My father.”
“Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”
19Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
20Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”
“The Lord your God gave me success,” he replied. 21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near so I can touch you, my son, to know whether you really are my son Esau or not.”
22Jacob went close to his father Isaac, who touched him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like those of his brother Esau; so he proceeded to bless him. 24“Are you really my son Esau?” he asked.
“I am,” he replied.
25Then he said, “My son, bring me some of your game to eat, so that I may give you my blessing.”
Jacob brought it to him and he ate; and he brought some wine and he drank. 26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here, my son, and kiss me.”
27So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said,
“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field
that the Lord has blessed.
28May God give you heavenʼs dew
and earthʼs richness—
an abundance of grain and new wine.
29May nations serve you
and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed
and those who bless you be blessed.”
30After Isaac finished blessing him, and Jacob had scarcely left his fatherʼs presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting. 31He too prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Then he said to him, “My father, please sit up and eat some of my game, so that you may give me your blessing.”
32His father Isaac asked him, “Who are you?”
“I am your son,” he answered, “your firstborn, Esau.”
33Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it, then, that hunted game and brought it to me? I ate it just before you came and I blessed him—and indeed he will be blessed!”
34When Esau heard his fatherʼs words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me—me too, my father!”
35But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36Esau said, “Isnʼt he rightly named Jacob? This is the second time he has taken advantage of me: He took my birthright, and now heʼs taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Havenʼt you reserved any blessing for me?”
37Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”
38Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.
39His father Isaac answered him,
“Your dwelling will be
away from the earthʼs richness,
away from the dew of heaven above.
40You will live by the sword
and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless,
you will throw his yoke
from off your neck.”
41Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”
42When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44Stay with him for a while until your brotherʼs fury subsides. 45When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, Iʼll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “Iʼm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”
Response: Wow, this was like a modern day soup opera! Did you find yourself wondering, “How can these people be the ones God chose to build His kingdom?” Explain your thoughts.