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Genesis 24:10

Context

24:10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of gifts from his master at his disposal. 1  He journeyed 2  to the region of Aram Naharaim 3  and the city of Nahor.

Genesis 24:29-60

Context
24:29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.) 4  Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 24:30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring 5  and heard his sister Rebekah say, 6  “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing 7  by the camels near the spring. 24:31 Laban said to him, 8  “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord! 9  Why are you standing out here when I have prepared 10  the house and a place for the camels?”

24:32 So Abraham’s servant 11  went to the house and unloaded 12  the camels. Straw and feed were given 13  to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet. 14  24:33 When food was served, 15  he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.” 16  “Tell us,” Laban said. 17 

24:34 “I am the servant of Abraham,” he began. 24:35 “The Lord has richly blessed my master and he has become very wealthy. 18  The Lord 19  has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 24:36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to him 20  when she was old, 21  and my master 22  has given him everything he owns. 24:37 My master made me swear an oath. He said, ‘You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 24:38 but you must go to the family of my father and to my relatives to find 23  a wife for my son.’ 24:39 But I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not want to go 24  with me?’ 25  24:40 He answered, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, 26  will send his angel with you. He will make your journey a success and you will find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 24:41 You will be free from your oath 27  if you go to my relatives and they will not give her to you. Then you will be free from your oath.’ 24:42 When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to make my journey successful, 28  may events unfold as follows: 29  24:43 Here I am, standing by the spring. 30  When 31  the young woman goes out to draw water, I’ll say, “Give me a little water to drink from your jug.” 24:44 Then she will reply to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too.” May that woman be the one whom the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

24:45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, 32  along came Rebekah 33  with her water jug on her shoulder! She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 24:46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels water. 24:47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.’ 34  I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 24:48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right path to find the granddaughter 35  of my master’s brother for his son. 24:49 Now, if you will show faithful love to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me as well, so that I may go on my way.” 36 

24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is the Lord’s doing. 37  Our wishes are of no concern. 38  24:51 Rebekah stands here before you. Take her and go so that she may become 39  the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has decided.” 40 

24:52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 24:53 Then he 41  brought out gold, silver jewelry, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and to her mother. 24:54 After this, he and the men who were with him ate a meal and stayed there overnight. 42 

When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.” 43  24:55 But Rebekah’s 44  brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.” 24:56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me – the Lord 45  has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return 46  to my master.” 24:57 Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.” 47  24:58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want 48  to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”

24:59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, accompanied by her female attendant, with Abraham’s servant and his men. 24:60 They blessed Rebekah with these words: 49 

“Our sister, may you become the mother 50  of thousands of ten thousands!

May your descendants possess the strongholds 51  of their enemies.”

1 tn Heb “and every good thing of his master was in his hand.” The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, explaining that he took all kinds of gifts to be used at his discretion.

2 tn Heb “and he arose and went.”

3 tn The words “the region of” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

sn Aram Naharaim means in Hebrew “Aram of the Two Rivers,” a region in northern Mesopotamia.

4 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause introduces the audience to Laban, who will eventually play an important role in the unfolding story.

5 tn Heb “And it was when he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on the arms of his sister.” The word order is altered in the translation for the sake of clarity.

6 tn Heb “and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying.”

7 tn Heb “and look, he was standing.” The disjunctive clause with the participle following the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) invites the audience to view the scene through Laban’s eyes.

8 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified and the words “to him” supplied in the translation for clarity.

9 sn Laban’s obsession with wealth is apparent; to him it represents how one is blessed by the Lord. Already the author is laying the foundation for subsequent events in the narrative, where Laban’s greed becomes his dominant characteristic.

10 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial.

11 tn Heb “the man”; the referent (Abraham’s servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Some translations (e.g., NEB, NASB, NRSV) understand Laban to be the subject of this and the following verbs or take the subject of this and the following verbs as indefinite (referring to an unnamed servant; e.g., NAB, NIV).

13 tn Heb “and [one] gave.” The verb without an expressed subject may be translated as passive.

14 tn Heb “and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.”

15 tn Heb “and food was placed before him.”

16 tn Heb “my words.”

17 tc Some ancient textual witnesses have a plural verb, “and they said.”

tn Heb “and he said, ‘Speak.’” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Heb “great.” In this context the statement refers primarily to Abraham’s material wealth, although reputation and influence are not excluded.

19 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20 tn Heb “to my master.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “him” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

21 tn Heb “after her old age.”

22 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the servant’s master, Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Heb “but to the house of my father you must go and to my family and you must take a wife for my son.”

24 tn The imperfect is used here in a modal sense to indicate desire.

25 tn Heb “after me.”

26 tn The verb is the Hitpael of הָלַךְ (halakh), meaning “live one’s life” (see Gen 17:1). The statement may simply refer to serving the Lord or it may have a more positive moral connotation (“serve faithfully”).

27 tn Heb “my oath” (twice in this verse). From the Hebrew perspective the oath belonged to the person to whom it was sworn (Abraham), although in contemporary English an oath is typically viewed as belonging to the person who swears it (the servant).

28 tn Heb “if you are making successful my way on which I am going.”

29 tn The words “may events unfold as follows” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

30 tn Heb “the spring of water.”

31 tn Heb “and it will be.”

32 tn Heb “As for me, before I finished speaking to my heart.” The adverb טֶרֶם (terem) indicates the verb is a preterite; the infinitive that follows is the direct object.

33 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out.” As in 24:15, the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is used here for dramatic effect.

34 tn Heb “whom Milcah bore to him.” The referent (Nahor) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

35 tn Heb “daughter.” Rebekah was actually the granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. One can either translate the Hebrew term בַּת (bat) as “daughter,” in which case the term אָח (’akh) must be translated more generally as “relative” rather than “brother” (cf. NASB, NRSV) or one can translate בַּת as “granddaughter,” in which case אָח may be translated “brother” (cf. NIV).

36 tn Heb “and I will turn to the right or to the left.” The expression apparently means that Abraham’s servant will know where he should go if there is no further business here.

37 tn Heb “From the Lord the matter has gone out.”

38 tn Heb “We are not able to speak to you bad or good.” This means that Laban and Bethuel could not say one way or the other what they wanted, for they viewed it as God’s will.

39 tn Following the imperatives, the jussive with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

40 tn Heb “as the Lord has spoken.”

41 tn Heb “the servant”; the noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

42 tn Heb “And they ate and drank, he and the men who [were] with him and they spent the night.”

43 tn Heb “Send me away to my master.”

44 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Rebekah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

45 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, indicating a reason for the preceding request.

46 tn After the preceding imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

47 tn Heb “and we will ask her mouth.”

48 tn The imperfect verbal form here has a modal nuance, expressing desire.

49 tn Heb “and said to her.”

50 tn Heb “become thousands of ten thousands.”

sn May you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands. The blessing expresses their prayer that she produce children and start a family line that will greatly increase (cf. Gen 17:16).

51 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. In an ancient Near Eastern city the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”). A similar phrase occurs in Gen 22:17.



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