Rebekah’s Betrothal


Adapted from Scripture Stories (PBIC0358)

Abraham lived in Canaan, and he wanted to find a good wife for his son Isaac. He did not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman, because the Canaanites worshipped false gods.

Abraham called his oldest servant to him and asked him to search for a wife for Isaac. He said, “Thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites …

“But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.”

The servant understood how important this assignment was and asked, “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?”

Abraham told him that he was not to take Isaac to Abraham’s former home. The Lord had given the land of Canaan to Abraham and his family as an inheritance, and Abraham did not want his son to leave it. Abraham told his servant, the Lord “shall send his angel before thee.”

The servant journeyed to Mesopotamia with ten camels and a few men to help him. When he reached the outskirts of the city of Nahor, he made his camels kneel near a well. It was evening, and many women were getting water at the well. The servant needed help, so he prayed, “O Lord God, … shew kindness unto my master Abraham.

“Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:

“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.”

Before he had finished praying, a beautiful young woman named Rebekah approached the well. Rebekah loved the Lord and tried to keep His commandments. As she turned from the well with her water pitcher filled, “the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.”

“Drink, my lord,” she replied. Then when she had given him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for thy camels also.” This was the answer to the servant’s prayer, so he knew Rebekah was the woman the Lord had chosen to be Isaac’s wife.

After the camels had been watered, the servant asked Rebekah, “Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee: is there room in thy father’s house for us to lodge in?”

Rebekah told him she was the daughter of Bethuel and a granddaughter of Nahor. The servant knew that Nahor was Abraham’s brother and that he had been led to the house of Abraham’s relatives. He bowed his head and thanked the Lord.

When Rebekah ran home and told her family what had happened, her brother, Laban, ran out to meet Abraham’s servant. “Come in, thou blessed of the Lord,” Laban greeted him. “I have prepared the house, and room for the camels.”

When food was set in front of him, the servant said, “I will not eat, until I have told mine errand.” Then he told the family why Abraham had sent him there. He told them, too, that he had prayed to know who Isaac’s wife should be and that Rebekah was the one the Lord had chosen. The servant asked Rebekah’s father and brother for permission to take her to Canaan to be Isaac’s wife.

Rebekah’s family were good people. Their answer showed their great faith and trust in the Lord. They told the servant that they knew that the Lord had sent him. They said, “Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.”

When Abraham’s servant heard this, he again bowed himself to the earth and thanked God. He brought out clothing and jewels of silver and gold and gave them to Rebekah. To Rebekah’s mother and brother he gave other precious gifts. Then he ate and spent the night with Rebekah’s family.

When morning came, Rebekah’s family blessed her and said, “Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions.”

Then, mounting the camels, Rebekah and her nurse went with the servant of Abraham.

Back in the land of Canaan, Isaac awaited them. He knew that the Lord would direct the servant to find the right woman to be his wife.

Isaac and Rebekah trusted in the Lord, and He brought them together to be husband and wife.