24:14 I will say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jar so I may drink.’ May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ 1 In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master.” 2
24:16 Now the young woman was very beautiful. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. 3 She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up.
24:55 But Rebekah’s 5 brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.”
1 sn I will also give your camels water. It would be an enormous test for a young woman to water ten camels. The idea is that such a woman would not only be industrious but hospitable and generous.
2 tn Heb “And let the young woman to whom I say, ‘Lower your jar that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink and I will also give your camels water,’ – her you have appointed for your servant, for Isaac, and by it I will know that you have acted in faithfulness with my master.”
3 tn Heb “And the young woman was very good of appearance, a virgin, and a man she had not known.” Some argue that the Hebrew noun translated “virgin” (בְּתוּלָה, bÿtulah) is better understood in a general sense, “young woman” (see Joel 1:8, where the word appears to refer to one who is married). In this case the circumstantial clause (“and a man she had not known”) would be restrictive, rather than descriptive. If the term actually means “virgin,” one wonders why the circumstantial clause is necessary (see Judg 21:12 as well). Perhaps the repetition emphasizes her sexual purity as a prerequisite for her role as the mother of the covenant community.
4 tn Heb “according to.”
5 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Rebekah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.