: 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 Na
or. 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.