Abraham has grown old, but his son is not married and has no children of his own. Abraham commands his servant to swear that he will not find a Canaanite wife for Isaac, but rather will go to Haran and find a wife from Abraham’s family there. The servant doubts if this is possible.
Abraham tells his servant that Isaac must not go to Mesopotamia where his family lives. Rather, the LORD will guide the servant and lead him to the wife chosen for Isaac. But if no woman is willing to marry Isaac, the servant will not be accountable for refusal.
Abraham’s servant loads ten camels with costly gifts and journeys to the city of Haran in Mesopotamia. At the well there, the servant prays for a sign from God. He asks that a woman would give him water and water his camels, and that this would confirm that she was the wife for Isaac.
Rebekah comes to the well and fills her jar with water. The servant asks for a drink, and she gives him one, and then offers to water his camels, fulfilling the sign the servant had prayed for.
After Rebekah waters the camels, Abraham’s servant asks her who she is. She tells him she is the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor. Nahor was Abraham’s brother. The servant praises God for guiding him to Rebekah. He gives her golden presents and asks for lodging.
Rebekah tells her family about the stranger and shows the golden jewelry he gifted her. Her brother Laban goes to the servant and welcomes him into their house.
At dinner, Abraham’s servant explains his reason for coming to Haran. He tells Rebekah and her family of Abraham’s wealth, that he has been blessed by God. He reveals that he journeyed to Haran to find a wife for Abraham’s son.
The servant recaps what happened at the well. He prayed for a sign from God revealing the woman whom Isaac should marry. Rebekah appeared and gave him a drink, then watered the ten camels of Abraham. So, the servant asks if her family will consent to the marriage of Rebekah and Isaac.
Laban says that God has ordained these events and that Rebekah should marry Isaac. Abraham’s servant praises God and gives gifts to the family. In the morning he requests they return to Canaan.
Laban and his mother ask the servant to let Rebekah stay in Haran for another ten days before leaving, but the servant does not want to delay. They ask Rebekah what she wants, and she decides to leave that very day. Her family gives her a blessing.
Isaac is in the southern desert of Canaan. He sees the ten camels returning. Rebekah sees him from a distance and asks who he is. The servant tells her. Isaac goes to greet them, hearing the full story from the servant. He and Rebekah are married, and he is comforted after his mother Sarah’s death.
Genesis is a book about many beginnings. The beginnings of the world, the human race, sin and redemption, and the nation of Israel to name a few. In fact, the word Genesis from the Greek means “origin,” and in Hebrew it means “beginning.” The book of Genesis contains the events of the flood, tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lives of the Patriarchs.
In the beginning, God created everything by simply speaking, “God said…and it was so” (Genesis 1:6-7, 9, 11, 14-15). This is not a scientific technical account of creation, but it shows a loving God creating a universe and mankind to rule it and fellowship with God. Man was formed especially from the ground and given the breath of life from God. The woman was made from the man’s rib (Genesis 2:7).
After man fell into sin, things began to spin out of control quickly. Cain murdered his brother Abel and the human race became so violent that God decided to destroy them all with a flood. God saved one righteous man (Noah) and his family in an ark filled with animals to deliver the human race from extinction. God chose Abraham and blessed a special group of people named “Israel.” God began to unfold a plan of salvation from a coming famine by sending Joseph to rule in Egypt. The failure of man in every circumstance is met by the salvation of God. We fail, but the good news is God saves us.
Abraham is old and Isaac is still unmarried. Abraham sends his most trustworthy servant to his former dwelling place in Haran to find a wife for Isaac from among Abraham’s kin who live there. The servant wonders if he should take Isaac with him, speculating that no woman will blindly return with him to Canaan. But Abraham forbids taking Isaac out of Canaan, and tells the servant all he must do is seek a wife, but if none are willing to go with him, he will have done his job.
The servant takes ten camels and costly gifts with him. He reaches Haran and prays to God at the well there that the woman meant for Isaac would give him a drink and water his camels. Rebekah, a relative of Abraham and Isaac, approaches the servant and does just as he had prayed. She gives him water, and waters his camels. He praises God and discovers she is related to Abraham. He asks if he may stay at her house and she obliges.
The servant makes the marriage proposal to Rebekah’s brother Laban, and Laban agrees. Rebekah and her family are given precious gifts. The next day, the servant wants to return to his master, and Rebekah agrees to leave with him right away. Her brother and mother bless her.
The servant leads Rebekah to a well in the south of Canaan. There, she sees Isaac meditating in a field. He receives her, they are married, and he loves her. His new bride comforts him after the death of Sarah his mother.