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THE STORY OF REBEKAH.

from Old Testament Stories





When 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. 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.





Next: JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN.

Previous: ABRAHAM AND ISAAC.



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