Story Eleven

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
AFTER the death of Sā́ rah, Īs̞aac, her son, was lonely; and as he was now old enough to marry, Ā́ bră-hăm sought a wife for him; for in those countries the parents have always chosen the wives for their sons, and husbands for their daughters. A 'bra-ham did not wish Ī́ s̞aac to marry any woman of the people in the land where he was living, for they were all worshippers of idols, and would not teach their children the ways of the Lord. For the same reason, Ā́ bră-hăm did not settle in one place, and build for himself and his people a city. By moving from place to place, Ā́ bră-hăm kept his people apart.
You remember that when Ā́ bră-hăm made his long journey to the land of Cā́ năan, he stayed for a time at a place called Hā́ ran, in Mĕs-o-pō-tā́ mĭ-ȧ, between the two rivers Tī́ gris and Eūphrā́ tēs, far to the northeast of Cá̄năan. When Ā́ bră-hăm left Hā́ ran to go to Cā́ năan, his brother Nā́hôr and his family stayed in Hā́ ran. They worshipped the Lord, as Ā́ bră-hăm and his family did; and Ā́ bră-hăm thought that it would be well to find among them a wife for his son Ī́ s̞aac.
As Ā́ bră-hăm could not leave his own land of Cā́ năan and go to Hā́ ran in Mĕs-o-pō-tā́ mĭ-ȧ to find a wife for his son Ī́ s̝aac, he called his chief servant, E-li-ḗ zēr, the man whom he trusted, who cared for all his flocks and cattle, and who ruled over his other servants, and sent him to Hā́ ran to find a wife for his son Ī́ s̝aac.
And the servant took ten camels, and many presents and went on a long journey, and at last came to the city of Hā́ ran, where the family of Nā́ hôr, the brother of Ā́ bră-hăm, was living. And at the well, just outside of the city, at the time of evening, he made his camels kneel down. Then the servant prayed to the Lord that he would send to him just the right young woman to be the wife of his master's son Ī́ s̞aac. And just as the servant was praying, a beautiful young woman came to the well, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. As she drew the water and filled her pitcher, the servant came up and bowed to her, and said, "Will you kindly give me a drink of water from your pitcher?" And she said, "Drink, my lord," and she held her pitcher for him to drink. And then she said, "I will draw some water for your camels also to drink." And she emptied her pitcher into the trough by the well, and drew more water, until she had given drink to all the camels.
And the servant of Ā́ bră-hăm looked at her, and wondered whether she might be the right woman for Ī́ s̞aac to marry. And he said to her, "Will you tell me your name, young lady, and whose daughter you are? And do you suppose that I could find a place to stay at your father's house?" And then he gave her a gold ring and gold bracelets for her wrists. And the beautiful young woman said, "My name is Rē̇-bĕḱ ah; and my father is Bĕth-ṳ́ el, who is the son of Nā́ hôr. You can come right to our house. We have room for you, and a place and food for your camels.”
Then the man bowed his head and thanked God, for he saw that his prayer was answered, since this kind and lovely young woman was a cousin to Ī́ s̞aac, his master's son. And he told Rē̇˗bĕḱ ah that he was the servant of Ā́ bră-hăm, who was so near a relative to her own family.
Then Rē̇-bĕḱ ah ran home and told her parents of the stranger, and showed them the presents that he had given to her. And her brother Lā́ ban went out to the man, and brought him into the house, and found a place for his camels. And they washed his feet, for that was the custom of the land, where people did not wear shoes, but sandals: and they set the table for a supper, and asked him to sit down and eat with them. But the man said, "I will not eat until I have told my errand.”
After this he told them all about Ā́ bră-hăm's riches; and how Ā́ bră-hăm had sent him to Hā́ ran to find a wife for Ī́ s̝aac, his son; and how he had met Rē̇-bĕḱ ah, and felt sure that Rē̇-bĕḱ ah was the one whom the Lord would choose for Ī́ s̞aac's wife; and then he asked that they would give him Rē̇-bĕḱ ah to be taken home to be married to Ī́ s̞aac. When he had told his errand, Lā́ ban, Rē̇-bĕḱ ah's brother, and Bĕth-ṳ́ el, her father, said, "This comes from the Lord; it is his will; and it is not for us to oppose it. Here is Rē̇-bĕḱ ah; take her, and let her be the wife of your master's son, for the Lord has shown it to be his will." Then Ā́ bră-hăm's servant gave rich presents to Rē̇-bĕḱ ah, and to her mother, and her brother Lā́ ban. And that night they had a feast, with great joy. And the next morning Ā́ bră˗hăm's servant said, "Now I must go home to my master." But they said, "O, not so soon! Let Rē̇-bĕḱ ah stay with us for a few days, ten days at least, before she goes away from her home.”
And he said to them, "Do not hinder me; since God has given me what I came for, I must go back to my master.”
And they called Rē̇-bĕḱ ah, and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go.”
So the servant of Ā́ bră˗hăm went away, and took with him Rē̇-bĕḱ ah, with good wishes; and blessings, arid prayers, from all in her father's house. And, after a long journey, they came to the place where Ā́ bră-hăm and Ī́ s̝aac were living. And when Ī́ s̞aac saw Rē̇-bĕḱ ah, he loved her; and she became his wife, and they were faithful to each other as long as they both lived.
Afterward Ā́ bră-hăm, great and good man that he was, died, almost a hundred and eighty years old. And Ī́ s̞aac and Ĭsh́ ma-el buried Ā́ bră,-hăm in the cave where Ā́ bră-hăm had buried Sā́ rah at Hebron. Then Ī́ s̞aac became the owner of all the riches of Ā́ bră˗hăm, his tents, and flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle, and camels, and servants. Ī́ s̞aac was a peaceful, quiet man. He did not move his tents often, as his father had done, but stayed in one place nearly all his life.