Genesis Chapter 23 to 24 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Sarah Dies

23 Sarah lived to be 127 years old. 2She died in the city of Kiriath Arba (Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham was very sad and cried for her there. 3Then Abraham left his dead wife and went to talk to the Hittite people. He said, 4“I am only a traveler staying in your country. I have no place to bury my wife. Please give me some land so I can bury my wife.” 5The Hittite people answered Abraham, 6“Sir, you are one of God’s great leaders among us. You can have the best place we have to bury your dead. You can have any of our burying places that you want. None of us will stop you from burying your wife there.” 7Abraham got up and bowed to the people. 8Abraham said to them, “If you truly want to help me bury my dead wife, then speak to Ephron the son of Zohar for me. 9I would like to buy the cave of Machpelah. Ephron owns this. It is at the end of his field. I will pay him the full price—all that it is worth. I want all of you to be witnesses that I am buying it as a burial place.” 10Ephron was sitting there among the people. Ephron answered Abraham, 11“No, sir. Here, in front of all my people, I give you that land and the cave on it so you can bury your wife.” 12Abraham bowed before the Hittite people. 13Abraham said to Ephron before all the people, “But I want to pay you the full price for the field. Accept my money, and I will bury my dead.” 14Ephron answered Abraham, 15“Sir, listen to me. 10 pounds* of silver means nothing to you and me! Take the land, and bury your dead wife.” 16Abraham understood that Ephron was telling him the price of the land.* So Abraham paid him for the land. Abraham weighed 10 pounds* of silver for Ephron and gave it to the merchant.* 17–18So the field of Ephron changed owners. This field was in Machpelah, east of Mamre. Abraham became the owner of the field, the cave on the field, and all the trees that were on that field. All the people in the city saw the agreement between Ephron and Abraham. 19After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of that field near Mamre (Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20Abraham bought the field and the cave on it from the Hittite people. This became his property, and he used it as a burying place.

10 pounds Literally, “400 shekels.” Abraham understood … the price of the land Literally, “Abraham heard.” merchant A person who earns his living buying and selling things. Here this is probably a person who was helping Abraham and Ephron write the contract in verses 17 and 18.

A Wife for Isaac

24 Abraham lived to be a very old man. The Lord blessed Abraham and everything that he did. 2Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything Abraham owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg.* 3Now I want you to make a promise to me. Promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among those people but don’t let him marry a Canaanite girl. 4Go back to my country to my own people. There find a wife for my son Isaac and bring her here to him.” 5The servant said to him, “Maybe this woman will not want to come back with me to this land. If that happens, should I take your son with me to your homeland?” 6Abraham said to him, “No! Don’t take my son to that place. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from my homeland to this place. That place was the home of my father and the home of my family. But the Lord promised that this new land here would belong to my family. May the Lord send his angel before you so you can choose a wife for my son. 8But if the girl refuses to come with you, then you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back to that place.” 9So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.

The Search Begins

10The servant took ten of Abraham’s camels and left that place. The servant carried with him many different kinds of beautiful gifts. The servant went to Mesopotamia to Nahor’s city. 11The servant went to the water well outside the city. It was in the evening when the women come out to get water. The servant made the camels kneel down there. 12The servant said, “Lord, you are the God of my master Abraham. Allow me to find a wife for his son today. Please show this kindness to my master Abraham. 13Here I am, standing by this well of water, and the young women from the city are coming out to get water. 14I am waiting for a special sign to know which is the right young woman for Isaac. {This is the special sign:} I will say to the girl, ‘Please put your jar down so I can drink.’ I will know if she is the right young woman if she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give water to your camels.’ If that happens, then you will have proved that she is the right young woman for Isaac. And I will know you have shown kindness to my master.”

A Wife Is Found

15Then, before the servant finished praying, a young woman named Rebekah came to the well. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel. Bethuel was the son of Milcah and Nahor, Abraham’s brother. Rebekah came to the well with her water jar on her shoulder. 16She was very pretty. She was a virgin; she had never slept with a man. She went down to the well and filled her jar. 17Then the servant ran to her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18Rebekah quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and gave him a drink. Rebekah said, “Drink this, sir.” 19As soon as she finished giving him something to drink, Rebekah said, “I will also pour some water for your camels.” 20So Rebekah quickly poured all the water from her jar into the drinking trough for the camels. Then she ran to the well to get more water. And she gave water to all the camels. 21The servant quietly watched her. He wanted to be sure that the Lord had given him an answer and had made his trip successful. 22After the camels finished drinking, he gave Rebekah a gold ring that weighed 1/4ounce.* He also gave her two gold arm bracelets that weighed 5 ounces* each. 23The servant asked, “Who is your father? And is there a place in your father’s house for my group to sleep?” 24Rebekah answered, “My father is Bethuel, the son of Milcah and Nahor.” 25Then she said, “And yes, we have straw for your camels and a place for you to sleep.” 26The servant bowed and worshiped the Lord. 27The servant said, “Blessed is the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. The Lord has been kind and loyal to my master. The Lord has led me to the right girl for my master’s son.” 28Then Rebekah ran and told her family about all these things. 29–30Rebekah had a brother. His name was Laban. Rebekah told about the things the man had said to her. Laban was listening to her. And when Laban saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, he ran out to the well. And there the man was—standing by the camels at the well. 31Laban said, “Sir, you are welcome to come in!* You don’t have to stand outside here. I have prepared a room for you to sleep in and a place for your camels.” 32So Abraham’s servant went into the house. Laban helped him with the camels and gave him straw for the camels to eat. Then Laban gave him water so he and the other men with him could wash their feet. 33Then Laban gave him food to eat. But the servant refused to eat. He said, “I will not eat until I have told you why I came.” So Laban said, “Then tell us.”

Bargaining for Rebekah

34The servant said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has greatly blessed my master in everything. My master has become a great man. The Lord has given Abraham many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. Abraham has much silver and gold and many servants. Abraham has many camels and donkeys. 36Sarah was my master’s wife. When she was very old, she gave birth to a son. And my master has given everything he owns to that son. 37My master forced me to make a promise to him. My master said to me, ‘You must not allow my son to marry a girl from Canaan. We live among those people, but I don’t want him to marry one of the Canaanite girls. 38So you must promise to go to my father’s country. Go to my family and choose a wife for my son.’ 39I said to my master, ‘Maybe the woman will not come back to this place with me.’ 40But my master said to me, ‘I serve the Lord, and the Lord will send his angel with you and help you. You will find a wife for my son among my people there. 41But if you go to my father’s country, and they refuse to give you a wife for my son, then you will be free from this promise.’ 42“Today I came to this well and said, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, please make my trip successful. 43I will stand by this well and wait for a young woman to come to get water. Then I will say, “Please give me water from your jar to drink.” 44The right young woman will answer in a special way. She will say, “Drink this water, and I will also get water for your camels.” That way I will know that she is the woman the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’ 45“Before I finished praying, Rebekah came out to the well to get water. She had her water jar on her shoulder as she went to get water from the well. I asked her to give me some water. 46She quickly lowered the jar from her shoulder and poured me some water. Then she said, ‘Drink this and I’ll get some water for your camels.’ So I drank the water, and she gave water to my camels. 47Then I asked her, ‘Who is your father?’ She answered, ‘My father is Bethuel the son of Milcah and Nahor.’ Then I gave her the ring and bracelets for her arms. 48I bowed my head and thanked the Lord. I blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham. I thanked him for leading me straight to the granddaughter of my master’s brother. 49Now, tell me, will you be kind and loyal to my master and give him your daughter? Or will you refuse to give him your daughter? Tell me so I will know what I should do.” 50Then Laban and Bethuel answered, “We see this is from the Lord, so there is nothing we can say to change it. 51Here is Rebekah. Take her and go. Let her marry your master’s son. This is what the Lord wants.” 52When Abraham’s servant heard this, he bowed to the ground before the Lord. 53Then he gave Rebekah the gifts he brought. He gave her beautiful clothes and gold and silver jewelry. He also gave expensive gifts to her mother and brother. 54Then he and his men had something to eat and drink and then spent the night there. Early the next morning, they got up and said, “Now we must go back to my master.” 55Rebekah’s mother and her brother said, “Let Rebekah stay with us for a short time. Let her stay with us ten days. After that she can go.” 56But the servant said to them, “Do not make me wait. The Lord has made my trip successful. Now let me go back to my master.” 57Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “We will call Rebekah and ask her what she wants.” 58They called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want to go with this man now?” Rebekah said, “Yes, I will go.” 59So they allowed Rebekah to go with Abraham’s servant and his men. Rebekah’s nurse also went with them. 60While Rebekah was leaving they said to her, “Our sister, may you be the mother of millions of people. And may your descendants* defeat their enemies and take their cities.” 61Then Rebekah and her nurse got on the camels and followed the servant and his men. So the servant took Rebekah and left on the trip back home. 62Isaac had left Beer Lahai Roi and was now living in the Negev.* 63One evening, Isaac went out to the field to think.* Isaac looked up and saw the camels coming from far away. 64Rebekah looked and saw Isaac. Then she jumped down from the camel. 65She said to the servant, “Who is that young man walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “That is my master’s son.” So Rebekah covered her face with her veil. 66The servant told Isaac about all the things that had happened. 67Then Isaac brought the girl into his mother’s tent. Rebekah became Isaac’s wife that day. Isaac loved her very much. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Put your hand under my leg This showed that this was a very important promise and that Abraham trusted his servant to keep it. 1/4 ounce Literally, “one beka.” 5 ounces Literally, “five measures.” Sir, you are welcome to come in Literally, “Come in, blessed of the Lord!” descendants A person’s children and their future families. Negev The desert area in the southern part of Judah. think Or, “to go for a stroll.”

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