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draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the Lo R D hath appointed out for my master's son. 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. 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. - 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. And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the J.or d, and blessed the Lo RD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter unto his son. And now if you will deal kindly and truly with, m master, tell me; and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. - Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LoRD : we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son's wife, as the I. or D hath spoken. - And it came to pass, that when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshipped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth. 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. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that - Were
were with him, and tarried all night:-and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master, 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. 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. And they said, we will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man 2 And she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. 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. And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man; and the serwant took Rebekah, and went his way. And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahai-roi, for he dwelt in the south country. And he went out to meditate in the field at the even tide ; and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold the camels were coming. And Rebekah listed up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel; 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 wail and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done. 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.
Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife Re
bekah the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian, of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Nahor very probably either removed with his father Terah (as Abraham did) from Ur, in Chaldea, and settled at Haran, in Mesopotamia, or not long after followed them thither. We find that the promises of God, as far as they related to Abraham's personal prosperity and happiness, were abundantly fulfilled; for he was blessed in all things, and had as full enjoyment of the land of Canaan, as his circumstances would admit of: the entire possession of the country would have been an incumbrance to him, and disadvantageous to his posterity, for he could not have peopled it all, and the parts unoccupied would have been over-tun with wild beasts, and covered with briars and brambles, before his descendants could increase into a nation. It was very natural that Abraham should wish to see Isaac settled before he died; and as the people who surrounded him were idolators, he certainly would have been very unhappy had Isaac made an intimate alliance with them, especially as it had been revealed to Abraham, that their presumptuous wickedness would provoke the Lo R D to cut them off at last. It would have been an imprudent step, if Abraham had suffered his son to leave the land of Canaan, and go. to the very place from whence he himself had been called by the Lord. Besides the good Patriarch knew. that in Mesopotamia, even those who adhered to the true God, had greatly corrupted His holy worship, and that the generality of the people were very much addicted to idolatry; in this case, Isaac would have been exposed to the
the danger of being drawn away from his duty, had he gone thither in search of a wife. Besides, he might have fancied some other woman in the country, instead of one of his own kindred, and by this means have made an improper match. Abraham considered that his own life was very uncertain ; and knowing the fidelity and discretion of Eliezer, he appointed him the guardian of his son in this momentous affair. The oath which Abraham required his steward to take, was the most solemn one then in use. It does not appear that illiezer was visibly conducted by an angel, but it is likely that Abraham, in sending him, acted agreeably to Divine direction, and that he had received assurances from the LoRD GoD of heaven and earth, that an extraordinary providence should attend this expedition. The readiness of Eliezer to undertake it, shews, that he was a pious good man, worthy of this important trust; and his subsequent behaviour was such as might justly be expected from a person trained in Abraham's house. The prayer Eliezer offered, was exactly suited to the occasion, which was so difficult a one, that without some sign from the LoRD, he would have been utterly at a loss how to proceed, for he was not acquainted with a single person in the country; and had he cpened his business to strangers, he would have been in great danger of imposition. In those days, they had not contrivances for conveying water from place to place by pipes as we now have; nor indeed would it have been worth their while to be at the trouble and expence of making them, because they requently changed their situation ; which obliged them to have public wells, and to water their flocks at stated times, when all the young women used to attend, - it
it being part of their business to look after the sheep. This was the occasion that brought Rebekah to the place where Eliezer had his first interview with her. It is evident from his thanksgiving at the well, and the relation he gave of the sentiments which successively arose in his mind, that Eliezer perceived the providence of GoD disposing all events for the accomplishment of the business he was employed' in. And we may also judge, from the ready concurrence of Rebekah and her friends, that they were of the same opinion. There is one particular in Rebekah's conduct, which shews her character in a very pleasing light; that is her humanity to the camels”. When she went to the well and beheld the poor weary beasts, though she knew not to whom they belonged, she was moved with compassion towards them, and offered, without the least solicitation, to draw water for them all. This was a very laborious employment for a young woman to undertake, considering that camels are very large creatures, and that they drink water in great abundance to serve them for long travel in dry deserts, and Rebekah had no less than ten of them to satisfy ; yet she performed her promise, and drew for them all. Her brother Laban likewise was so attentive to the necessities of the beasts, that before he gave the men any refreshment, he ungirded the camels, and gave them provender to eat, and straw to lie down and rest on. Compassion urged him to take the first care of those creatures that could not take care of themselves. How admirable was the fidelity of Eliezer. He would neither eat nor drink, till he had executed his commission. The readiness of Rebekah to leave her friends, and of
* Dr. Primatt's Dissertation. - them