Isaac marries Rebekah
1: And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2: And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: 4: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. 5: And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? 6: And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. 7: The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. 8: And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. 9: And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. 10: And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. 11: And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. 12: And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. 13: Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. 15: And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. 16: And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. 17: And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. 18: And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. 19: And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. 20: And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels. 21: And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not. 22: And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold; 23: And said, Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in? 24: And she said unto him, I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, which she bare unto Nahor. 25: She said moreover unto him, We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in. 26: And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. 27: And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren. 28: And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things. 29: And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban: and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the well. 30: And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well. 31: And he said, Come in, thou blessed of the LORD; wherefore standest thou without? for I have prepared the house, and room for the camels. 32: And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men's feet that were with him. 33: And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on. 34: And he said, I am Abraham's servant. 35: And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses. 36: And Sarah my master's wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath. 37: And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell: 38: But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son. 39: And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. 40: And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house: 41: Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath. 42: And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go; 43: Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink; 44: And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master's son. 45: And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee. 46: And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also. 47: And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands. 48: And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son. 49: And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. 50: Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. 51: Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken. 52: And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth. 53: And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. 54: And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. 55: And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. 56: And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. 57: And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. 58: And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. 59: And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 60: And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. 61: And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. 62: And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the south country. 63: And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. 64: And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. 65: For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself. 66: And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 67: And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Abraham’s family by Keturah
1: Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2: And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3: And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4: And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5: And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6: But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
Abraham dies and is buried
7: And these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. 8: Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. 9: And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; 10: The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife. 11: And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi.
12: Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: 13: And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 14: And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, 15: Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah: 16: These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. 17: And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. 18: And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren.
Isaac’s twin sons
19: And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham begat Isaac: 20: And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. 21: And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22: And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23: And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 24: And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25: And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 26: And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them. 27: And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 28: And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29: And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31: And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32: And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33: And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34: Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
In today’s Bible reading we see Isaac coming onto centre stage and Abraham, after Isaac’s marriage, moving off stage. But first we have a detailed and interesting story of how Isaac finds Rebekah and marries her. Abraham was now very old and the LORD had blessed him in everything. Abraham set about arranging a marriage for his son. So he calls his most trusted servant and makes him swear to never bring a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites but to find a wife from Abraham’s own family. The servants only question is what if she doesn’t want to come with him? Abraham says if she is unwilling, then he is released from the oath. When he arrived at the city of Nahor he rested at a well at end of the day. Next the servant makes a bold prayer he asks that the woman who comes to the well and has a certain conversation with him, will be the right woman for Isaac. As soon as he had said these words Rebekah came to the well. Unknown to them both God the Holy Spirit was guiding in a remarkable way. He was beautiful and unmarried. The servant ran to her and asked for water and she was glad to help. Hospitality is a great thing in a woman. The servant was looking for confirmation of her identity so he asked her who she was. When she said who she was, he bowed down and worshipped the LORD. He said may the LORD God bless my master Abraham who has been so kind to my master Abraham and has clearly led me to my master’s brethren. She ran home and told them of the man who was outside. Laban her brother came out to meet Abraham’s servant. Laban insisted that he come into the house to be looked after. They put food in front of the servant but he said l must not eat until l have delivered the message. Then he described what the LORD had done to bless Abraham and of his wealth. He described Sarah’s son - Isaac. Then he explained his errand. After relating the whole thing Laban said this is something that has been arranged by the LORD. We cannot speak good or evil of it. If Rebekah will go - then we will let her go. Again the servant worshipped the LORD. They rested that night and then the servant said in the morning - let me go back to my master. They wanted Rebekah to stay a while but the servant said, please send us away – they asked Rebekah and Rebekah said l will go right away. They blessed her, asking that God would make her the mother of thousands of millions. After a long journey they found Isaac was walking in the fields - meditating and he saw camels coming from afar. When Rebekah saw Isaac she climbed down and she said to Abrahams servant who is this that is coming to meet us? He replied, he is my master. She took a veil and covered her face. Isaac took Rebekah and put her in his mother Sarah’s tent. Later he took her as his wife and he lover her and the LORD sent comfort into Isaacs life after the death of his mother. After a while Abraham took another wife by the name of Keturah. Her name means ‘beautiful scent’. The children that she bore became fathers of tribes which were a trial to Israel. Abraham had wives that were servants but the children never inherited the estate of Abraham instead he gave them great gifts and sent them away so that Isaac could rule his own house without hindrance. Abraham lived for 175 years and died a very old man, full of years. Isaac and Ishmael buried him with Sarah in the cave of Machpelah. Next we have another division in Genesis. Moses says ‘These are the generations of’ – Ishmael. Then he records his family. However the story from now on focuses closely on Isaac. Next we have another division Moses says ‘These are the generations of’ – Isaac. Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah but Rebekah was barren. (The second of eight barren women in scripture.) Isaac being the man of God that he was, he sought the LORD for his wife and God heard his prayer and Rebekah conceived. But she was carrying twins in her womb. She sought the Lord about the great struggle that was going on inside her. The LORD answered her saying that - two nations are within you. Two different types of peoples. One of the people will dominate the other – the elder child will serve the younger child. When they were born, the first child was red and hairy and he was called Esau. His brother soon followed and his hand was firmly gripped onto the heel of his older brother. They called him Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when the twins were born. They had waited for 20 years for their children. Esau became a hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a plain man living in the tents. This was a marriage made in heaven but it was a family divided down the middle because of misplaced affection. Isaac loved Esau because Esau made venison which appealed to the flesh in his father Isaac but Rebekah loved Jacob. One day Jacob had made a thick lentil soup and Esau came into the tent hungry. He was exhausted and so he asked for some food but Jacob said Sell me your birthright (The rights of the firstborn) Esau said I am dying – what good is the birthright if l am dead? So he swore that Jacob could be first born that day. Jacob gave him bread and soup for the birthright. Esau despised his birthright but Jacob valued it.