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Genesis 24:16-19

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Genesis 24:16
  • Genesis 24:17
  • Genesis 24:18
  • Genesis 24:19

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.

Rebekah is described as very beautiful and a virgin, meaning that no man had had relations with her. She was unmarried, and eligible. Just what the servant was looking for.

She came to the spring with a jar on her shoulder, then filled her jar with water and came up. Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.”

Having just filled a bucket or jar with water, she was probably taking it back to her own household, or to give her family’s livestock a drink. It would not be unusual if, when a stranger intercepts a young woman asking for her water, that she’d tell him, “Get your own.”

But Rebekah’s reply is generous and good-natured: “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink.

Giving a thirsty traveler a drink of water is an act of kindness, surely, but what Rebekah offers next goes above and beyond basic hospitality, Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking.”

Drawing water for ten thirsty camels required time and effort. She plausibly might have had to fill her jar fifty times in order to water them all. She promised to keep filling their watering trough until they had finished drinking. Yet this was exactly what the servant had prayed for, a woman to give him a drink as well as his camels. Rebekah fit the prayer exactly, displaying her quality of character and God’s confirmation that she was the woman meant for Isaac.

Biblical Text

16 The girl was very beautiful, a virgin, and no man had had relations with her; and she went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her, and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord”; and she quickly lowered her jar to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 Now when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw also for your camels until they have finished drinking.”