Genesis 24

Written and compiled by Gary Kukis

Genesis 24:1–24

Abraham Sends His Servant to Fetch a Wife for Isaac


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


Document Navigation

Preface

Quotations

Outline of Chapter

Charts, Graphics, Short Doctrines

Doctrines Alluded to

Chapters Alluded to

Dictionary of Terms

Introduction and Text

First Verse

Addendum

A Complete Translation

Chapter Word Clouds


Links to the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies of Genesis (HTML) (PDF) (that is what this document is). This incorporates 2 previous studies done in the book of Genesis. However, much of this material was thrown together without careful editing. Therefore, from time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because there was no overall editing done once all of this material was combined.

 

There is a second, less complete set of weekly lessons of Genesis (HTML) (PDF). Every word of that study can be found in the word-by-word, verse-by-verse studies.

 

This study makes reference to a wide-range of sources. There are quotations from doctrinal teachers, of course; but from Catholic commentaries and from other sources as well. Wherever I found relevant truth, I quoted from it or was inspired by it. Even though it is clear that some churches have a better concept of our reason for being here, that does not mean that there is no truth to be found anywhere else. So, from time to time, I will quote from John Calvin, even though I do not subscribe to 5-point Calvinism; I will quote from some Catholic sources, even though I believe that they are very wrong regarding Mary, the pope, apostolic succession and other such doctrines. The intention is for this to be the most thorough and accurate study of Genesis available anywhere.

 

Also, it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them (based upon the suggestion of a friend). However, if you ever doubt the translation of a word, phrase or a verse, these translation tables are then available.


Preface: This chapter marks the passing of the spiritual baton from Abraham to Isaac, from one generation to the next generation. The chapter begins with Abraham and his servant, but it ends with Rebekah riding a camel into Isaac’s camp, to meet her husband-to-be for the first time.

 

Thomas Coke gives a brief description of this chapter: Abraham sends his eldest servant to his relations, to take a wife for his son Isaac. Rebekah meets the servant, who is hospitably entertained by Laban. She is delivered to him, and he returns with her, with all speed, to Isaac.


This should be the most extensive examination of Gen. 24 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.


Introductory Quotations:

 

J. Vernon McGee: We have come in chapter 24 to a major break in this second division of Genesis. The first division (chapters 1 - 11) deals with four great events. The second and final division, (chapters 12 - 50, deals with four outstanding individuals. Specifically, in Genesis 12 - Genesis 23 we have Abraham, the man of faith. Now in chapters 24 - 26 we have Isaac, the beloved son. There are three great events in the life of Isaac, and we have already seen two of them. The first was his birth, and the second was his being offered by Abraham. The third is the obtaining of his bride.

 

C. H. Mackintosh: The connection of this chapter, with the two which precede it, is worthy of notice. In Genesis 22:1-24 the son is offered up; in Genesis 23:1-20 Sarah is laid aside; and in Genesis 24:1-67 the servant is sent forth to procure a bride for him who had been, as it were, received from the dead in a figure. Properly, the bride procured for the Son is Israel (not the church).

 

Peter Pett: Having been commissioned in the name of `Yahweh the God of heaven and the God of the earth' the steward of Abraham puts the onus on Yahweh to act faithfully in providing a wife for Isaac...[This narrative stands] as testimony to Yahweh's specific activity on Isaac's behalf.

 

J. Vernon McGee: My Christian friend, if you have a boy or girl in your home who is marriageable, you ought to pray that he will not marry one of the "Canaanites." They are still in the land, and there is always a danger of our young people marrying one of them. If they do, as someone has put it, they are going to have the devil for their father-in-law, and they are always going to have trouble with him.

 

J. Ligon Duncan on the servant who falls to the ground and worships God upon meeting Rebekah: He instantaneously falls on his face and he worships God. Success inflates the ego of the natural man, but it humbles the man of God.

 

The servant will be taken is as a guest to the compound of Laban and Bethuel.

 

Benjamin Franklin: Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

 

And, because this chapter represents the beginning of the next generation (Sarah has died; Abraham’s life is coming to a close (he will pass away in the next chapter); and in this chapter, Isaac will meet and marry Rebekah):

 

Brett Harris: The beauty of collaboration between older and younger generations is that we combine strength with wisdom-a surefire way to accomplish more for the glory of God.

 

Criss Jami, Venus in Arms: Pride and power fall when the person falls, but discoveries of truth form legacies that can be built upon for generations.

 

Gaylord Nelson: The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

 

Peter Krause: Parenthood...It's about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last. (Bear in mind, many of these quotations simply reveal human viewpoint on this topic)

 

George Orwell: Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.

 

Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby: Every generation wants to be the last. Every generation hates the next trend in music they can't understand. We hate to give up those reins of our culture. To find our own music playing in elevators. The ballad for our revolution, turned into background music for a television commercial. To find our generation's clothes and hair suddenly retro.


Outline of Chapter 24:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–9           Abraham’s Servant Makes a Vow to Find a Wife for Isaac from Abraham’s Family

         vv.    10–28         Abraham’s Servant Meets Rebekah, as an Answer to Prayer

         vv.    29–32         Abraham’s Servant is Invited to Stay with Rebekah’s Family

         vv.    33–49         Abraham’s Servant Tells Rebekah’s Family Why He is There

         vv.    50–60         Rebekah and Her Family Agree for Her to Marry Isaac, Abraham’s Son

         vv.    61–67         Rebekah Goes with Abraham’s Servant Back to Canaan to Meet Isaac

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Preface               Quotations

 

         Introduction         The Prequel of Genesis 24

         Introduction         The Principals of Genesis 24

         Introduction         The Places of Genesis 24

         Introduction         The Patriarchal Timeline for Genesis 24

         Introduction         Clarke’s Synopsis of Genesis 24

         Introduction         Arno Gaebelein's Chapter Outline

         Introduction         Scofield’s Typical Approach to Genesis 24

 

         v.       1              Abraham, a Friend of God (a graphic)

         v.       1              The Abbreviated Doctrine of Bârake

         v.       1              Communism, Socialism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ

         v.       1              Jesus the Socialist (a graphic)

         v.       1              Abraham’s Blessings

         v.       2              Abraham and his Servant (a graphic)

         v.       3              Words of man interlude

         v.       3              Various Royal Titles and Designations of God and How They are Used

         v.       3              The Doctrine of Racial Intermarriage

         v.       3              What is wrong with the Canaanites

         v.       4              Land of Birth or Land of Kindred?

         v.       4              Desalinization plants (graphic)

         v.       4              The 5 Divine Institutions

         v.       4              Ages of the Patriarchs Chart

         v.       6              Abraham’s reasoning about not letting Isaac leave the Land of Promise

         v.       7              Abraham’s logical conclusion, based upon the promises of God

         v.      10              Christianity Today on Abraham’s Anachronistic Camels

         v.      10              Map of Aram-naharaim

         v.      10              Map of Abraham’s Journeys

         v.      14              How does this prayer square with the will of God?

         v.      15              Terah’s Line (chart)

         v.      16              “Eliezer and Rebekah” by Gustave Doré (a graphic)

         v.      18              Rebekah at the Well by Michael Deas

         v.      20              Rebekah gives water to the servant’s camels (a graphic)

         v.      20              F. Hastings describes the scene

         v.      22              The servant places bracelets on the wrist of Rebekah (a graphic)

         v.      22              Clarke on Jewelry of the Bible

         v.      23              The Abbreviated Doctrine of Slavery

         v.      27              Blessing God

         v.      28              Where’s Mom? (A graphic)

         v.      35              Blessings for the Church Age Believer

         v.      38              Steven Cole’s four aspects of God’s wisdom for the choice of a mate

         v.      40              Wenstrom and Ballinger on the Function of Angels

         v.      48              The servant recounts his experience (a graphic)

         v.      50              Who is Bethuel—Really?

         v.      50              Keys to Determining the Proper Wife and Proper Husband

         v.      57              Rebekah and her consent to marriage

         v.      61              The Servant is a Type of Christ

         v.      62              Map of Southern Israel (Including Beer-lahai-roi, Gerar and Beersheba)

         v.      63              The Importance of Knowing the Word of God in the Old Testament

         v.      65              Rebekah’s Veil (a graphic)

         v.      67              The 3 Great Life Events of Isaac and What They Point to

         v.      67              The Culture of Genesis and the Bible

 

         Addendum          Why Genesis 24 is in the Word of God

         Addendum          What We Learn from Genesis 24

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes Genesis 24

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Genesis 24

         Addendum          Word Cloud from a Reasonably Literal Paraphrase of Genesis 24

         Addendum          Word Cloud from Exegesis of Genesis 24



Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics, Short Doctrines

Beginning of Document

Doctrines Covered or Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded to

Definition of Terms

Introduction and Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Genesis


Doctrines Covered or Alluded To

Angelic Conflict

Bârake

 

Intercalation

Liberalism, Conservatism and Christianity

Parallels Between the Birth of Isaac and the Birth of Jesus

Racial Intermarriage

Typology: Abraham's Offering of Isaac/God's offering of

Additional doctrines and links are found in Definition of Terms below.


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To and/or Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

Genesis 22

Genesis 23

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts which require definition as well.

In addition, there are other more traditional yet technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Sometimes the terms in the exegesis of this chapter are simply alluded to, without any in-depth explanation of them. Sometimes, these terms are explained in detail and illustrated. A collection of all these terms is found here: (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Definition of Terms

Angelic Conflict

During human history, there is an invisible conflict being played out and tied to human history, which is call the Angelic Conflict. This began with the fall of Satan and has flowed into our own lives since Satan tempted the first woman to sin against God. The two primary objectives of Satan with respect to man are (1) to keep people from believing in Jesus Christ and (2) to keep believers from growing spiritually and participating in the production of divine good. See the Angelic Conflict (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Blessing by Association

Friends and relatives and associates of a spiritually mature believer receive some overflow of blessing from that believer. People in the same geographical area of a mature of maturing believer receive blessings through their association. Blessing by Association (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers). See the Doctrine of Rebound (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

The Revealed God (or, the Revealed Lord)

We do not look within ourselves or do we build up some concept of God based upon our own experiences, but we first understand God as He has revealed Himself. Throughout the lives of the saints who have gone before us, God revealed Himself through the written Word and sometimes through direct contact. Once a foundation is laid, then we can see how God is understood through various experiences in our lives.


We do not look within to find God and we do not go out and search for God. He will reveal Himself to us. Those who look to other gods are simply worshiping that which others have defined as God; or, in many cases, they incorporate their own norms and standards into their belief of the God they choose to believe in. Essentially, such a person is making God in his own image.

Type

A type is a preordained representation wherein certain persons, events, and institutions of the O.T. stand for corresponding persons, events, and institutions of the N.T. Types are pictures or object lessons by which God has taught His redemptive plan. They are a shadow of things to come, not the image of those things (Col. 2:17 Heb. 8:5 10:1). The Mosaic system, for example, was a kind of kindergarten in which God's people were trained in divine things and taught to look forward to the realities of things yet to come. See Typology (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


——————————


An Introduction to Genesis 24


I ntroduction: Gen. 24 is all about Abraham sending his servant back to Charan (Haran) to find a wife for his son Isaac. We have seen very little of Isaac’s life so far. Isaac was born (most of Gen. 21); there is some information about Ishmael, Isaac’s half-brother; there is a dispute over possession of a well (the latter portion of Gen. 21); God has Abraham offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice (Gen. 22), and Sarah (Abraham’s wife and Isaac’s mother) dies (Gen. 23). So, nearly no time at all has been devoted to anything about Isaac’s adult life until now. There is almost no information in Genesis about Isaac as an adult.


It is quite fascinating that so many verses are given to this incident in Isaac’s life compared to the amount of text given to Isaac’s life overall. As I have asserted on many occasions, the book of Genesis was not written by Moses, but by those who actually experienced these incidents. No doubt Rebekah (Rebecca) was the most important aspect of Isaac’s life, after God and the promises to Abraham; therefore, it is not unreasonable that this should occupy a great deal of narrative.

 

Matthew Henry: We have here the making up of the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah. It is related very largely and particularly, even to the minute circumstances, which, we should think, might have been spared, while other things of great moment and mystery (as the story of Melchizedek) are related in few words.


Further, what we should gather here is how much God works behind the scenes. We have no idea what occurred that day, or how it came about that Rebekah (Rebecca), Isaac’s right women, was the one to come to Abraham’s servant and fulfill what he had requested to God in prayer—well, we have no idea, but, hopefully, in heaven, we will find out what occurred behind the scenes as well. How many young women came out to draw water from the fountain of water at that time of the day, just as Rebekah did? 20? 100? Yet she is the one with whom Abraham’s servant will meet and speak to. Where were the other women when Abraham’s servant comes to this place?


One of the things which is striking about this narrative is the repetition of the narrative as well as the point-of-view of this narrative. It seems as though most or all of this story is seen from the eyes of the servant of Abraham; but as it comes across as if this were a bedtime story (a bedtime story does not have to be fiction). What seems most likely to me is that this story was told to Jacob and Esau when they were infants and very young children, before they dropped off to sleep. The story-teller would have been Rebekah’s nurse or Rebekah or even Abraham’s servant.


This story has many of the characteristics that we would expect to find in a bedtime story. It is fairly simple. It is long enough so that the children would drop off to sleep long before the story is over. The story could be adapted for a family gathering, where it could be expanded upon. And a great deal of this story is repetitive. This is a very different style of writing than we find in previous chapters or in later chapters. For this reason, this narrative is unique in the book of Genesis.


In my estimation, this narrative is either spoken by the servant who is at the center of this narrative, or it is based upon his account of this story. It would not surprise me that this servant also repeated this story on several occasions—this story could have been spoken at family gatherings or, as I suggested, given as a bedtime story for Jacob and Esau, the twins which Rebekah will bear to Isaac.


I have always enjoyed hearing my mother tell me how she met my father; and this story would have been very important emotionally to Jacob and Esau (the sons that Rebekah would bear to Isaac).


This chapter is not an analogy or a parable, but a true story. There is nothing in this chapter to make us doubt the veracity of this narrative.


History recorded in the Bible is so very different from the history which most men record. Most of our historical records of this era are about kings and kingdom and wars and territory taken. There are other kinds of mundane records from this era, but that is record keeping (deeds, business transactions) and not history. An historian of this era might look at the presidency of Barack Obama, and how he managed to win a second term of office, and how he had the hearts of most of the press, and how he accomplished almost nothing legislatively, after his second year in office, but that he continued to be probably one of the most effectual presidents in the history of the United States. But that is not necessarily the true story. The true story of what is happening in America might be better seen from the perspective of Charley Brown, who has a family. He has taken his family to church on occasion, but doctrine is not being taught in their church. His wife, Lucy Van Pelt (she kept her own last name) has a career of her own. She is dedicated to her family; but she is equally dedicated to her career. His son, Chucky Brown, graduates from college with a mountain of student loans with few opportunities before him. His daughter Charlene Brown is pregnant at age 17, does not marry the father, and moves out after many arguments with her family, and is supported by government section 8 payments to a crappy apartment complex. These people all voted for Obama because he promised Charley hope and change. He said a lot of good things about women and the Republicans had a war on women, so Lucy voted for him. Chucky has this mound of student debt and Obama keeps telling him that is terrible and he will see what he can do about it. So Chucky voted for him. And Charlene got an Obama phone, so she voted for him. So the true history of America is better seen in the Brown-Pelt family. What has happened to them is just as instructive—if not more so—when it comes to the mood and thinking of the country.


The Bible focuses on Abraham (Gen. 11–12) and follows him, because God is working through Abraham. One of the most amazing historical incidents up to this point in time—the offering of Isaac—was only seen by two people. No one else knew what was going on—not even the servants who accompanies Abraham and Isaac. Yet this is a pivotal event in human history. The Word of God recognizes it. The Word of God focuses on and teaches that which is important.


This reminds me of a quotation from the Little Prince: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." It is what you don’t see that is often much more important than what you see. And Paul writes: So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2Cor. 4:18; HCSB) In case you do not know immediately what these things our, let me offer you 3 unseen things which are far more important than anything else to you today: God (and His essence); your soul; the Angelic Conflict. In this life, we will never see any of this. We might see the readings of an electroencephalogram, but we are not looking at our souls—just some physical manifestations of our souls. Therefore, we do not focus on what is seen, but [we focus] upon what is unseen. What we see is is temporary, but what we do not see is eternal. (2Cor. 4:18)


God knows upon what we ought to focus. He knows where the light ought to be shined. We may think that the history of this United States is steered by Barack Hussein Obama; but God focuses upon the Brown family, and what happens in their family is the key to the direction of the United States.


My point is, most of the narrative of Scripture focuses upon things that, if it were up to man, would be ignored. Who cares about this Abraham fellow? Who cares that he wants to get a wife for his son. Aren’t these people just successful shepherds and ranchers? Why are we looking at a history of their lives? Why don’t we focus on the Pharaoh of Egypt? Isn’t he far more important than this itinerant shepherd who is near the end of his life? That is how man thinks. God sees that which is important. As a result, millions of people today know who Abraham is. Not even a fraction of these people could tell you who the Pharaoh of Egypt was at this time; in fact, not even a fraction of these people could tell you who is in charge of Egypt today.


This is why you need to think like God thinks; you need to focus upon the things of God. God’s plan is about the greatest things of life—but His plan often eludes the elite (1Cor. 1:26 Matt. 11:25). God focuses on that which is important; something that we do not always see if our thinking is not aligned with His.


Some believers have a tendency to want to see or do the really big thing. They want to talk in front of 10,000 people or be on a Christian television station or pastor a mega-church or give the gospel to 40,000 people. Those who are confused may want to heal people or speak in tongues. However, there are a lot of small things that God wants done; there is a lot of faithfulness in small things that God wants to see. This chapter is an example of such an event. We all know about the exodus and the Israelites walking in between the piled up waters of the Sea of Reeds—and this seems amazing and spectacular. But, did you know that God gives as much space and discussion to this faithful servant leading additional servants on a trip to Haran, in order to find a wife for Isaac—more, in fact. In order for the plan of God to move forward, Isaac must have a wife and he must then have a son. God’s plan does not advance without those two things. This only happens because of one very faithful servant; a man who trusts and loves Abraham’s God.


The information which is found in this verse leads me to believe that Isaac (or his son Jacob) wrote this down. In Gen. 25:7–8 we have the death of Abraham, which means Abraham did not write that. For some reason, people have trouble with the end of Deuteronomy where Moses' death is recorded. It is very simple: there has been throughout the recording of the early portion of the Bible a continuous narrative that one generation would pick up where the previous left off. Joshua finished the last chapter of Deuteronomy and began his own book; here Isaac has picked up where Abraham left off. It is very likely that Abraham left off writing with the death of Sarah and Isaac began with the advent of his marriage. His marriage would be quite important to him and would record every detail, just as the death of Sarah would be very important to Abraham; which is why he recorded every bit of information regarding that.


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Genesis 24

We are coming to the end of the narrative about Abraham. He has fathered a son, Isaac, at age 100. He offered up his son to God as a sacrifice in Gen. 22, which was the great event in Abraham’s life. In Gen. 23, Abraham buries his wife Sarah; and he himself will pass away in Gen. 25.


This chapter, in many ways, begins the next generation. Abraham will send his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, and then Isaac will be front and center for a few chapters of Genesis.

Gen. 24 will begin with Abraham calling his servant in to him.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Genesis 24

Characters

Commentary

Abraham

Abraham is the called of God, and he will have his head servant swear to go to the east and to bring back a woman from his family.

Abraham’s servant

Most of this chapter seems to be told from the point of view of the servant. He will take 10 camels and a great many riches to the east to search for Abraham’s family.

Rebekah

Rebekah is a relative of Abraham’s, the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor. She will meet Abraham’s servant at the well outside her town, and agree to give him water, his camels water; and then to let him stay at her family’s compound for the night.

Laban

Laban is Rebekah’s brother. In the narrative, it appears as if he is quite interested in money; and he will agree almost immediately that his sister be taken to be the bride of Isaac, Abraham’s son.

Bethuel

Bethuel is the father of Laban and Rebekah and he would have been the patriarch. However, it appears as if he and Laban made decisions together.

Isaac

Abraham’s son, who was born to Abraham when Sarah was past the age of conceiving. He is not actually a part of the narrative until the end.

Additional servants of Abraham

Abraham’s servant leaves with an unspecified number of additional servants, who are not mentioned for a long time in this narrative.

The servants of Rebekah

Rebekah has a nurse and other servants who will go with her to meet and to marry Isaac.

 

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We need to know where this chapter takes place.

The Places of Genesis 24

Place

Description

Canaan

The Land of Promise. Abraham and Isaac were living in the land of Canaan.

Mesopotamia

This is often known as the place between the two rivers. This is the land in between and surrounding the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. It is a huge area.

Padan-aram

This would be western Mesopotamia. Also spelled Paddan-aram. It is the Aramæan kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia.

The city of Nahor

This is where Abraham’s servant traveled to. It would seem that this is the same as Haran; but that is not made clear in this passage. We do not find the city of Nahor named again.

Haran

This is the place where Abraham lived for awhile until his father died, and then he went all of the way to Canaan. We would have expected Haran to be named in this chapter, but it is not. We know about it because of Gen. 12. We would guess that perhaps Abraham’s eastern family took up residence in a new area, as this is not named in Gen. 24, but Laban is said to live in Haran in Gen. 27:43 28:10. Therefore, it appears that the city of Nahor is equivalent to Haran (or that an area outside of Haran was established by Nahor).

Beer-lahai-roi

This is the well where God provided water for Hagar and her young teen son. It is located in southern Judah.

The Negeb

The southern portion of the Land of Promise. This would become southern Judah when Israel becomes a nation.

 

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


The Patriarchal Timeline for Genesis 24


Legend

Birth or death

God speaks with Abraham

Historical incidents (most of which are related to Abraham)

Parenthetical dates (2065 b.c.) simply refer to taking the date assigned by the chronologist and using Scripture to determine the next date.

The entire Abrahamic Timeline (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

The entire Patriarchal Timeline (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Brent MacDonald

Age of Abraham

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Event/Description

2234 b.c.

 

2097 b.c.

Gen. 11:24

Terah, Abram’s father, is born. Gen 11:24–26 Nahor lived 29 years and fathered Terah. After he fathered Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and fathered other sons and daughters. Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

 

 

1978 b.c.

Gen. 11:25

Death of Nahor, Abram’s uncle

 

 

1969 b.c.

Gen. 9:28–29

Death of Noah

2164 b.c.

0

1967 b.c.

Gen. 11:26–27

Abraham (Terah’s son) and Lot (Haran’s son) born in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram would be the 43rd generation from Adam. Gen 11:26 Terah lived 70 years and fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

 

 

1961 b.c.

1963 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 11:28

Death of Haran, brother of Abram

Reese occasionally supplies 2 dates in his Chronological Bible; the first is his and the second is Klassen’s.

 

 

1927 b.c.

Gen. 11:29–30

Marriage of Abram to Sarai

 

 

1907 b.c.

1927 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 11:28, 24

Abram’s family travel from Ur to Haran, although their original intention had been to go to the land of Canaan. Gen 11:28, 24 Haran died in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans, during his father Terah's lifetime. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.

 

 

1892 b.c.

Gen. 11:32

Death of Terah, Abram’s father. Gen. 11:32 Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran.

2089 b.c.

75

1892 b.c.

Gen. 12:1–4

Abraham leaves for Promised Land from Haran, after being so instructed by God. Gen 12:4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.

Reese actually gives the date of Terah’s death as April 1–4, 1892 b.c. and the date of Abram leaving Haran as April 5, 1892 b.c.

Reese suggests that this is Shem, a theory which several people have; which theory I reject.

(2065 b.c.)

99

1868 b.c.

Gen. 17:1–8

God renews His covenant with Abram and renames him Abraham. Gen 17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, the LORD appeared to him, saying, "I am God Almighty. Live in My presence and be devout.

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:15–19

Sarai’s name is changed to Sarah and Isaac, a future son, is promised the Abraham and Sarah. Gen 17:17 Abraham fell to the ground, laughed, and thought in his heart, "Can a child be born to a hundred-year-old man? Can Sarah, a ninety-year-old woman, give birth?"

(2065 b.c.)

99

(1868 b.c.)

Gen. 17:21–22

The time that Sarah would give birth is revealed; at a set time in the next year. Gen 17:21 But I will confirm My covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at a set time next year."

(2065 b.c.)

 

(1867 b.c.)

Gen. 18:1–15

Jehovah and two angels come to Abraham and promise that Sarah would have a child in a year’s time. Gen 18:10, 14 The LORD said, "I will certainly come back to you in about a year's time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!" Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him. Is anything impossible for the LORD? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son."

2064 b.c.

100

 

Gen. 21:1–7 1Chron. 1:34

Isaac born to Abraham. Isaac would be the 44th generation from Adam. Gen 21:5 Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

 

 

1864 b.c.

Gen. 21:8–13

Conflicts arise between Isaac and Ishmael, Abram’s two sons.

 

 

 

Gen. 21:14–21

Hagar and Ishmael are both cast out, and they wander the desert of Beer-sheba (which is at the edge of southern Judah). Later, they move to the desert of Paran.

 

 

1834 b.c.

1829 b.c. (Klassen)

Gen. 22:1–19

Abraham is told by God to go to the land of Moriah to offer up his son Isaac to God as a sacrifice. This was a 3-day journey away. They then go to Beer-sheba, which could simply indicate that they are returning home to Beer-sheba.

 

 

 

Gen. 22:20–24

Abraham learns of his brother Nahor’s family.

 

137

1830 b.c.

Gen. 23:1–20

The death of Sarah. She dies in Kirjatharba, it is Hebron, in the land of Canaan. Gen 23:1 Now Sarah lived 127 years; these were all the years of her life. She is buried in a cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre; it is Hebron, in the land of Canaan, purchased by Abraham from the sons of Heth.

 

 

 

Gen. 24:1–67 Gen. 25:20

Isaac (Abraham’s son) and Rebecca. Gen. 25:20 Isaac was 40 years old when he took as his wife Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramæan from Paddan-aram, and sister of Laban the Aramæan. At this time, Isaac is living in the Negev. It is likely that Abraham lived there as well; or near to there.

 

 

1826 b.c.

Gen. 25:1–4 1Chron. 1:32–33

Abraham marries Keturah and they have a family.

2004 b.c.

160

1807 b.c.

Gen. 25:19, 21–26

Jacob & Esau born to Isaac. Gen 25:26 After this, his brother came out grasping Esau's heel with his hand. So he was named Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when they were born. Therefore, Abraham would be 160 years old.

 

 

 

Gen. 25:5–6

Isaac is the heir of all things that Abraham has (but, most importantly, of the covenant of God with Abraham).

1989 b.c.

175

1792 b.c.

Gen. 25:7–10

Abraham dies. Gen 25:7 This is the length of Abraham's life: 175 years. He is buried in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Nephron (this would be with Sarah).


Bibliography

MacDonald’s timeline is from: http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63.htm accessed October 11, 2011.

See http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna63dating.htm for his justification of his timeline.

From: http://www.christianshepherd.org/bible_study_guides/abram_to_the_exodus.pdf (Christian shepherd)

The Reese Chronological Bible; KJV translation; Editor: Edward Reese; ©1977 by Edward Reese and Klassen’s dating system ©1975 by Frank R. Klassen; Ⓟ1980 by Bethany House Publishers, South Minneapolis, MN; pp. 18–19, 54–74.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It would be instructive to understand the ages of these patriarchs. Abraham is 140 at this time and he will live to 175, meaning that he will be alive through 35 years of the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah (although there is no interaction between them all recorded). Isaac and Rebekah will have children when Isaac is around age 60—twins Jacob and Esau. Therefore, Abraham will die around the 14th or 15th birthday of these twins. Again, no interaction between these families is recorded in Scripture. Interestingly enough, when Jacob returns to the Land of Promise as an adult with his wives and mistresses, he will meet Esau; but there will only be one verse which suggests that Jacob saw his father Isaac again. Once we begin to focus on the next generation, the previous generation is set aside. Abraham will be mentioned briefly in Gen. 25, but he is clearly no longer the focus of the History of the Patriarchs. Briefly, we will focus upon Isaac, and then we will focus upon Jacob. When we change focus to the next generation, the previous generation is only referred to incidentally.

 

Barnes lays out the beginning of this chapter: Abraham is now a hundred and forty years of age, and Sarah has been three years dead. Isaac seems to have been of an easy, sedate turn of mind, and was not in circumstances to choose a partner for life such as his father would approve. The promise of a numerous offspring by the son of Sarah is before the mind of the patriarch. All these considerations impel him to look out for a suitable wife for his son, and the blessing of the Lord encourages him to proceed.


Clarke put together a fairly good summary of this chapter.

Clarke’s Synopsis of Genesis 24

Abraham, being solicitous to get his son Isaac property married, calls his confidential servant, probably Eliezer, and makes him swear that he will not take a wife for Isaac from among the Canaanites (Gen. 24:1–3), but from among his own kindred (Gen. 24:4). The servant proposes certain difficulties (Gen. 24:5), which Abraham removes by giving him the strongest assurances of God’s direction in the business (Gen. 24:6 –7), and then specifies the conditions of the oath (Gen. 24:8). The form of the oath itself (Gen. 24:9).

The servant makes preparations for his journey, and sets out for Mesopotamia, the residence of Abraham’s kindred (Gen. 24:10). Arrives at a well near to the place (Gen. 24:11). His prayer to God (Gen. 24:12–14). Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel, son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, comes to the well to draw water (Gen. 24:15). She is described (Gen. 24:16). Conversation between her and Abraham’s servant, in which every thing took place according to his prayer to God (Gen. 24:17–21). He makes her presents, and learns whose daughter she is (Gen. 24:22–24). She invites him to her father’s house (Gen. 24:25). He returns thanks to God for having thus far given him a prosperous journey (Gen. 24:26–27).

Rebekah runs home and informs her family (Gen. 24:28); on which her brother Laban comes out, and invites the servant home (Gen. 24:29–31). His reception (Gen. 24:32–33). Tells his errand (Gen. 24:34), and how he had proceeded in executing the trust reposed in him (Gen. 24:35–48). Requests an answer (Gen. 24:49). The family of Rebekah consent that she should become the wife of Isaac (Gen. 24:50–51). The servant worships God (Gen. 24:52, and gives presents to Milcah, Laban, and Rebekah (Gen. 24:53). He requests to be dismissed (Gen. 24:54–56).

Rebekah, being consulted, consents to go (Gen. 24:57–58). She is accompanied by her nurse (Gen. 24:59); and having received the blessing of her parents and relatives (Gen. 24:60), she departs with the servant of Abraham (Gen. 24:61). They are met by Isaac, who was on an evening walk for the purpose of meditation (Gen. 24:62–65). The servant relates to Isaac all that he had done (Gen. 24:66). Isaac and Rebekah are married (Gen. 24:67).

Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, Gen. 24 chapter comments.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It is always good to see how others organize a chapter.

Arno Gaebelein's Chapter Outline

CHAPTER 24 The Bride Sought for Isaac

 

1.      The commission to the servant (Genesis 24:1-9)

2.      The obedience and prayer of the servant (Genesis 24:10-14)

3.      The prayer answered (Genesis 24:15-21)

4.      The gifts of the servant (Genesis 24:22-26)

5.      The servant received (Genesis 24:27-33)

6.      The servant's message (Genesis 24:34-36)

7.      The commission and answered prayer stated (Genesis 24:37-49)

8.      The bride chosen (Genesis 24:50-60)

9.      The journey to meet Isaac. (Genesis 24:61)

10.    The meeting and the marriage (Genesis 24:62-67)

From http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/view.cgi?bk=0&ch=24 accessed January 11, 2015.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

 

Bruce Goettsche summarizes this chapter: [This is the] story of the arranged marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. Abraham sends his trusted servant (perhaps Eliezar) back to the homeland of his family in Haran to get a wife for Isaac.


I have some misgivings with this approach—I am still giving it consideration. A type is a real historical person or event which portrays something that will occur in the future.

Scofield’s Typical Approach to Genesis 24

(1)     Abraham, type of a certain king who would make a marriage for his son (Matt. 22:2 John 6:44).

(2)     The unnamed servant, type of the Holy Spirit, who does not "speak of himself," but takes of the things of the Bridegroom with which to win the bride (John 16:13 John 16:14).

(3)     The servant, type of the Spirit as enriching the bride with the Bridegroom's gifts (Gal. 5:22 1Cor. 12:7–11).

(4)     The servant, type of the Spirit as bringing the bride to the meeting with the Bridegroom (Acts 13:4 Acts 16:6–7 Rom. 8:11 1Thess. 4:14–16).

(5)     Rebekah, type of the Church, the ecclesia, the "called out" virgin bride of Christ (Gen. 24:16 2Cor. 11:2);

(6)     Isaac, type of the Bridegroom, "whom not having seen," the bride loves through the testimony of the unnamed Servant (1Peter 1:8).

(7)     Isaac, type of the Bridegroom who goes out to meet and receive His bride (Gen. 24:63 1Thess. 4:14–16).

On the one hand, I question whether we find anything about the Church Age in the Old Testament; on the other hand, this is typical, which means it was hidden. No one would be expected to study this chapter and come up with the conclusion, this is talking about a new age to come. We should change this to Isaac, a type of Bridegroom, who takes His virgin bride, Rebekah, who represents Israel. Making this final change—Israel rather than the church—is the best way to understand the typology here.

We live in the Church Age today. It is dangerous to try to interpret types and prophecy to refer to our age. In fact, the Doctrine of Intercalation gives us many Old Testament examples where the Church Age is clearly not acknowledged. See the Doctrine of Intercalation (HTML) (PDF) (WPD). The concept of intercalation is, the Bible has the 1st and 2nd advents of Jesus Christ placed together, as if one event. The Church Age would be placed between these two events.

C. I. Scofield, Scofield Notes from the Scofield King James’ Bible; from e-Sword, Gen. 24:1.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

 

Matthew Henry: Marriages and funerals are the changes of families, and the common news among the inhabitants of the villages. In the foregoing chapter we had Abraham burying his wife, here we have him marrying his son. These stories concerning his family, with their minute circumstances, are largely related, while the histories of the kingdoms of the world then in being, with their revolutions, are buried in silence; for the Lord knows those that are his. The subjoining of Isaac's marriage to Sarah's funeral (with a particular reference to it in Gen. 24:67) shows us that as “one generation passes away another generation comes;” and thus the entail both of the human nature, and of the covenant, is preserved.


If you have gone through the book of Genesis before, you will note many similarities to this narrative and Jacob’s narrative when he went back east to find a woman for himself. However, there are many significant differences, which will be discussed in Gen. 29.


You will notice in this chapter a very different style of writing than we have seen before. It is very repetitive, with the same phrases and words often being used over and over again, without a thought to edit out much. This could signal that there is a different writer for this chapter of Genesis, than we have had before. The writer is very methodical and very detail oriented. Those are characteristics which are good to find in a servant.


Like many chapters of Scripture, this chapter abounds with cultural norms. Now many of them are buried and require some digging and discussion to recognize them. Culture is simply culture. Some cultural norms may be right; some may be wrong; and some may be neutral, with regards to the standards of God. Sometimes, the difference of cultures is startling, and other times, subtle. What the Bible does—and this is quite amazing—is it provides laws and guidance within a culture, but without requiring us to adhere to the cultural norms of that society. For instance, Rebekah will fetch the water for the servant’s camels, and this will require her to do a great deal of work. At no time does the servant say to her, “Please, dear, take a seat, and let me do the rest.” That does not mean that this is the standard that we should follow when dealing with our own women; nor does it mean that how we interact with women today is far superior to that time. These are simply cultural norms—and ones which are neither right or wrong.


This is a long and fairly repetitive chapter. That does not mean that it will be uninteresting. However, there will be a lot of narrative and not as many short doctrines or references as are generally found in the average chapter.


Because of the length of this chapter, I have made a conscious choice to have as few quotations as possible. I will quote other commentators, but not near as liberally as in the past. There will be exceptions to this. I always enjoy the style of J. Vernon McGee, so I will quote him on as many occasions are pertinent.


As in most previous examinations of entire chapters, there will be unique observations found here which are not found in any other commentary.


One of the fascinating aspects of Scripture—particularly revealed in this chapter—is the dramatic differences between our culture today and the culture of the people in Genesis. It would seem logical to the person who does not believe that the Bible is the Word of God that the vignettes found in the book of Genesis would be simply narratives from the past with little application to our life today. However, throughout Scripture, there is man, who is corrupt, and there is God Who is perfect. There may be a different cultural backdrop, but the fundamentals still apply. So, where we ought to expect, from human viewpoint, to read an interesting narrative of a culture from long ago, we continue to find clear areas of application to our lives today, further confirming to us that this truly is the Word of God.


There has been, however, an eagerness on the part of many commentators, to try to set up parallels between this chapter and the marriage of Jesus and the church. This is problematic to me simply because I don’t believe that God the Holy Spirit set up types in the Old Testament to reveal Church Age truth. However, I do think that it is reasonable to see parallels between this chapter and God’s relationship to nation Israel—and to His people the Jews.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abraham's Servant Makes a Vow to Find a Wife for Isaac from Abraham's Family


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And Abraham has become old; he has gone in the days and Yehowah has blessed Abraham in the all.

Genesis

24:1

Now Abraham had become old; he had advanced in years and Yehowah has blessed Abraham in all things.

Now Abraham had grown old, but Jehovah has blessed Abraham in all things throughout his long life.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Taken from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.

 

The very fact that we have ancient Greek, Latin, Syriac and Arabic translations of the Bible testifies to its accuracy. There may be a difference word or phrase here or there; the Greek may have a singular where the Hebrew has a plural, but there is no set of doctrines in the Latin Bible which are any different from those found in the Greek Bible or the Syriac Bible. These different cultures when they chose to translate the Bible chose to translate it as accurately as possible. Where human viewpoint would expect to find doctrinal differences between the Bible of the Hebrews, of the Greeks or of the Romans, no such differences exist.

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And Abraham has become old; he has gone in the days and Yehowah has blessed Abraham in the all.

Targum of Onkelos                And Abraham was old with days, and the Word of the Lord had blessed Abraham with every kind of blessing.

Latin Vulgate                          Now Abraham was old, and advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed him in all things.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    NOW Abraham was old and well advanced in years; and the LORD had blessed him in all things.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abraham was old, advanced in days, and the Lord blessed Abraham in all things.

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew he has gone in the days simply suggests that Abraham is advanced in years. The targum has an extra phrase.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Isaac marries Rebekah

As the days went by and Abraham became older, the Lord blessed Abraham in every way.

Contemporary English V.       Abraham was now a very old man. The LORD had made him rich, and he was successful in everything he did.

Easy English                          A wife for Isaac

Abraham was an old man. The *Lord had *blessed him in everything during all his long life.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham lived to be a very old man. The Lord blessed Abraham and everything that he did.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Abraham was now very old, and the LORD had blessed him in everything he did.

The Message                         Abraham was now an old man. GOD had blessed Abraham in every way.

New Life Bible                                                    Isaac And Rebekah

Now Abraham was old. He had lived many years. And the Lord had brought good to Abraham in every way.

New Living Translation           A Wife for Isaac

Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every way.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          By then, AbraHam was very old, and Jehovah had blest AbraHam in everything.

Beck’s American Translation Abraham was old and far along in years, and the Lord had blessed Abraham in every way.

Christian Community Bible     Eliezer finds a wife for Isaac

Abraham was now old and well on in years, and Yahweh had blessed him in every way.

God’s Word                         By now Abraham was old, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.

International Standard V        Finding a Bride for Isaac

Now Abraham had grown old, was well advanced in age, and the LORD had blessed Abraham in every way.

NIRV                                      Abraham's Servant Finds a Wife for Isaac

By that time Abraham was very old. The Lord had blessed him in every way.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abraham was-old. Yahweh blessed Abraham in all his coming days.

Bible in Basic English             Now Abraham was old and far on in years: and the Lord had given him everything in full measure.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The History of Isaac’s Marriage

Abraham however grew old, and advanced in years; and the Lord had prospered Abraham in everything.

HCSB                                     Abraham was now old, getting on in years, and the LORD had blessed him in everything.

NIV – UK                                Isaac and Rebekah

Abraham was now very old, and the Lord had blessed him in every way.


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 And Abraham was old, and advanced in days, and Jehovah had knelt down with goodness to Abraham in all things.

New American Bible              Abraham had now reached a ripe old age, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Isaac and Rebekah.

Abraham was old, having seen many days, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. [24:1-67] The story of Abraham and Sarah is drawing to a close. The promises of progeny (21:1-7) and land (chap. 23) have been fulfilled and Sarah has died (23:1-2). Abraham's last duty is to ensure that his son Isaac shares in the promises. Isaac must take a wife from his own people (vv. 3-7), so the promises may be fulfilled. The extraordinary length of this story and its development of a single theme contrast strikingly with the spare style of the preceding Abraham and Sarah stories. It points ahead to the Jacob and Joseph stories.

The length of the story is partly caused by its meticulous attention to the sign (vv. 12-14), its fulfillment (vv. 15-20), and the servant's retelling of sign and fulfillment to Rebekah's family to win their consent (vv. 34-49).

New Jerusalem Bible             By now Abraham was an old man, well on in years, and Yahweh had blessed Abraham in every way.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   YISCHAQ AND RIBQAH

And Abraham ages - well stricken in days:

and Yah Veh blesses Abraham in all:.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abraham was old, going on in days, and Jehovah had blessed Abraham in all things.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Abraham was old, advanced in days, and the Lord had blessed Abraham with everything.

Kaplan Translation                 A Wife for Isaac

Abraham was old, well advanced in years, and God had blessed Abraham with everything.


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    The Preparation for the Journey

And Abraham was old and well stricken in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. He was now one hundred and forty years old, and felt the coming on of the infirmities of old age. It was necessary for him to provide for Isaac's marriage before death should overtake him; moreover, the Messianic promise was to be preserved to his family through Isaac and his descendants. In all things the Lord had blessed Abraham, pouring out upon him both temporal and spiritual blessings.

Lexham English Bible            Isaac and Rebekah

Now Abraham [was] old, {advanced in age}, and Yahweh had blessed Abraham in everything.

NET Bible®                             The Wife for Isaac

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years [Heb "days."], and the Lord had blessed him [Heb "Abraham." The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun ("he") for stylistic reasons.] in everything. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote. Some of their notes will be reproduced in the exegesis of the chapter.

Translation for Translators                        Abraham sent a servant to Canaan to find a wife for Isaac

Abraham was now a very old man. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in many ways.

The Voice                               Abraham was now very old. He had seen many years come and go. The Eternal One had blessed his life in every imaginable way.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And Abraham is old, come to days. And Yahweh blesses Abraham in all things.

Context Group Version          And Abraham was old, [ and ] well stricken in age. And YHWH had esteemed Abraham in all things.

English Standard Version      Isaac and Rebekah

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

NASB                                     A Bride for Isaac

Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in every way.

World English Bible                Abraham was old, and well stricken in age. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abraham is old, he has entered into days, and Jehovah has blessed Abraham in all things.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham had become old and God has blessed him in all things.


Genesis 24:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

zâqên (זָקֵן) [pronounced zaw-KANE]

to become old, to become aged

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2204 BDB #278


Translation: Now Abraham had become old;... This is something which few of us actually realize—we all grow old, even Abraham, who is beloved of God—called a friend of God, in fact. At a young age, the world is our oyster. There appear to be an endless realm of possibilities before us; however, as we grow older, these potential pathways become increasingly limited. This is not necessarily because we have squandered our lives in any way (although some of us do), but simply that there is a clock ticking and we have to determine what we will do with our limited time here on earth.

 

Leupold: Abraham's being old is referred to in connection with his choice of a wife for Isaac because his age reminds him of the need of delaying in this important matter no longer.


One of the doctrines which I have been meaning to investigate is the arc of man’s life, as we all go from birth to death over the period of 40–100 years, give or take. And every portion of our life is different. Abraham has come very nearly to the end of his. His wife passed in the previous chapter, when Abraham was age 137, but he will still live another 38 years. He will marry again and have children, but we will hear very little about Abraham’s life after Gen. 22–23.


Abraham is said to be old. Isaac will marry at age 40. The things which take place in this chapter of Genesis might take a year or two. So Abraham would be about 139 at this time and he will live to be 175.


Genesis 24:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

That the plural of days often refers to a year can be seen in Lev. 25:29 1Sam. 1:3, 20 2:19.


Translation: ...he had advanced in years... Abraham did not just grow old, but he advanced in years; he moved forward in years. Now, the idea ought to be as one grows older, one’s life becomes more purposeful, more directed, more focused. There are fewer things which we can do, but God still has a purpose for our lives.


The last times that we views Abraham, he first offered up his son Isaac to God [Genesis 22 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD)] and later Abraham negotiated with Hittites to purchase a grave site for Sarah. Since then, Abraham has aged considerably [Genesis 23 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD)].


Many believers of an advanced age spend much time in prayer. In some cases, their minds are going, but the one thing that many of them continue to have in their souls in a strong trust in God, as well as a great focus on His plan.

 

Peter Pett: This is a brief summary of Abraham's life which is now coming to its end. It deliberately emphasises that the future is now with Isaac. The blessings were now to begin on him.


Genesis 24:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]; also kol (כַּל) [pronounced kol]

all, all things, the whole, totality, the entirety, everything

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

With the definite article, kôl is limited by the context; it is limited to the things or the persons mentioned in the context; however, it can be taken in a wider sense (which sounds rather contradictory to me).


Translation: ...and Yehowah has blessed Abraham in all things. God is pleased with Abraham and God has called Abraham a friend (James 2:23). This appears to be a stage of spiritual growth that few of us will reach, but one which ought to be our focus as we grow older.


genesis24.gif

Throughout his life, God blessed Abraham. It is an amazing thing, but, of all historical figures, Abraham is perhaps the most well-known apart from Jesus Christ our Lord (and Moses). And bear in mind, he never laid down permanent stakes; he moved throughout the Canaan realm, and there were even times when he made some mistakes in his relationship with those he encountered. However, how many of you could name a king or a prime minister of that era—give or take 500 years on both sides of Abraham’s life—and be able to tell me more than 2 things about that world ruler?


Abraham, a Friend of God (a graphic); from WordPress, accessed December 17, 2014.


This ought to help focus you. Many of us want fame; many of us want to be known. We would love to ride through a new town and have dozens (or hundreds) of people recognize us and call out our name with respect or adoration. There are movies stars and politicians throughout history who have had that, and with this fleeting fame, they often have armed guards as well and crazy stalkers as well.


Yet, at the church that you attend, there might be 5 or 15 people who recognize you and 2 perhaps who even know your name. In your neighborhood there might be a like number of people; and at your work, perhaps a few more. But, our life is not about fleeting fame; it is not about being recognized in a restaurant, walking down a street, or when seated in a plane. We all have a purpose in this life (assuming that you are a believer in Jesus Christ)—one which is fairly well-defined if you know Bible doctrine—and that purpose goes on throughout our lives, and that purpose continues with Abraham, even at his advanced age. Furthermore, these things that we do can have permanent impact. If you have a little sense, then you have seen these odd names attached to a school where you attended, to a street or to a building—and you don’t know who these people were. In some rare cases, you may meet one or two of those people—old and grey and much of God’s life squeezed out of them—but, for the most part, those people who were important enough to have a street or a school named after them—they’re gone and you have no idea who or what they were. Fame is fleeting.


Abraham, a rich and successful rancher, is known to us today; however, in eternity, what he did throughout his life will be even better known and celebrated, as his life glorified God, and through him, was God’s purpose wrought on this earth.


This is what we ought to expect—there is the recognition that the world gives, and it is fleeting and rarely attain, as well as fraught with inherent problems. Then there is the recognition of God—that is eternal and real.


We studied Gen. 22 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD), and there are few things as amazing as the parallels between Abraham offering up his son and God offering up His Son. I don’t know that we find a greater single illustration of our Lord anywhere else, apart from Psalm 22 and Isa. 53.


So there is no misunderstanding—let’s say that you would like to be like Abraham. You would like to have the impact that he had. In the Church Age, this is possible for any believer. All you need to positive volition toward the Word of God and authority orientation. Your attitude toward the Word of God and your ability to obey God’s direction in life will result in great spiritual impact. Every believer has all of the assets necessary to be an Abraham, a Moses, a Paul, a Billy Sunday or a Billy Graham. We may or may not be well-known in time—that depends upon God’s gift that we possess and our positive volition. But our impact can be great. Furthermore—and you may have a difficult time believing this—you may have one specific spiritual duty—say, to raise your one son in the Lord—and that may be very common in most people’s eyes—but that could be something could literally change history.


Application: I don’t know anything about Billy Graham’s parents or his life when young—but it is possible that even his mother or father, by their faithful service to God may be highly exalted in heaven over how they raised him.


Application: As an aside, you may think, “Well, dammit, I’m humble. I don’t need to be exalted.” When you glorify God, you are exalted. We want this—maybe not for the fame, but because this is God’s plan for our lives.


Application: But, back to the original point—we all have a plan designed specifically for us by God, and this plan may related to millions of people (as God’s plan for Billy Graham) or this plan may involve 1 or 2 other people in your life. You learn God’s plan by means of the Word of God and then you go with it. I would not be surprised if some people have only 1 or 2 people God wants them to witness to—but it is a job that no one else can do. And building up to this witness might take decades. Whatever it is, you just do it.


Everyone has different gifts and all of them are necessary.


Abraham built up to the point where he could do what God wanted him to do in Gen. 22; and it is possible that this servant of Abraham’s may have given Abraham a lifetime of dedicated service, so that Abraham could trust him with a mission this great.


Gen. 24:1 Now Abraham had grown old, but Jehovah has blessed Abraham in all things throughout his long life.


We have had the word to bless (bârake) throughout the book of Genesis and it may be a good idea to know exactly what it means and how it is used. For this, you may go to the Doctrine of Bârake (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

This is the abbreviated doctrine of bârake.

The Abbreviated Doctrine of Bârake

(1)     Some general comments:

         (1)     The spelling and pronunciation: bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe].

         (2)     Strong’s #1288 BDB #138.

         (3)     First of all, the basic meaning of bârake is to kneel before; to bless.

         (4)     The use of bârake seems to be, in one sense, an indication that one believes in Jesus Christ. It is as if the person is saying, I am a believer in Jesus Christ; but, in the Old Testament, this would mean I am a believer in Jehovah Elohim, the God of the Jews. And in the time of Abraham, this would ge having faith in the Revealed God, the God of Abraham. The person is expressing praise and adoration toward God, or he is asking for God to bless the one to whom he is speaking, but the implication appears to be that this person is a believer in Jehovah Elohim, and therefore, in a sense, making a public declaration of faith.

(2)     Qal (common) Stem:

         (1)     To bend to knee; to bless

         (2)     When addressed toward God, to celebrate, to praise, to adore; to bend the knee to (Gen. 9:26).

                  (1)     This is found in the Qal passive participle, used in this way because God has answered prayer (Gen. 24:27).

         (3)     The Qal passive participle is used in the phrase blessed of Jehovah (in Gen. 24:31) to indicate that a person is a believer in Jehovah Elohim, witnessed to because Jehovah has blessed him. At the very least, this may be understood that Jehovah has blessed him with salvation.

         (4)     We find the Qal passive participle used with God blessing man, we understand this to mean to bless, to be made prosperous, to be made to have many children. Gen. 26:29.

         (5)     The use of the word bârake could indicate that a person was a believer in Jehovah Elohim. Ex. 18:10–13.

         (6)     When God is the object of this verb, then man is praising or celebrating Him.

(3)     Piel (intensive) Stem:

         (1)     To bless [in the sense of giving creatures the ability and the desire to procreate in abundance] (Gen. 1:22, 28 22:17).

         (2)     To bless [in the sense of man using all his God-given resources to subdue the earth; more generally, to make grand use of God’s provisions] (Gen. 1:28).

         (3)     To make abundant, to make prosperous, (both from Gesenius); and let me suggest to provide for in great abundance (Gen. 1:28 5:2 17:20 22:17 24:1, 31, 35 25:11).

         (4)     To celebrate [i.e., the Sabbath] (Gen. 2:3).

         (5)     To bless; to treat with respect; to give due deference (Gen. 12:3 with reference to Gentiles blessing Jews). This set of meanings can be reasonably derived from the fundamental meaning to bend the knee to; and to extrapolate from this, Gentiles relating to Jews in the sense of blessing them.

         (6)     The Piel is used of man blessing God in the sense that it means to celebrate, to praise, to adore; to bend the knee to (Gen. 24:48).

         (7)     One person blessing another person means to wish a person blessing, happiness, prosperity, and children. See Gen. 24:60. 27:23 however, there is more to this word than one person asking nice things to happen to another. Gen. 27 contains a story about Isaac blessing Jacob (who pretended to be Esau in order to get this blessing). That deceit would be used to get blessing, indicates that Jacob receiving the blessing of Isaac is quite important. Gen. 27:1–29. So, there is more to this than simply to bless; to wish for blessings for someone; to ask God to give special blessings and abundance to another. This story seems to carry with it some sort of exclusivity as well as the expectation of blessing being bestowed. To invoke or enjoin God for blessings [prosperity, happiness] for another.

         (8)     Bârake is used as a greeting and as a goodbye. Ruth 2:4 Gen. 47:10

         (9)     There are problem verses: 1Kings 21:10, 13 Job 1:5, 11 2:5 Psalm 10:3 where bârake (found in the Piel) is translated by some as curse. Others suggest that the common meanings may be applied. Since this word is used in a farewell (Gen. 47:7, 10; and how many people, when they say good bye to you, say, “God bless”), it is suggested that it means to bid farewell to, to greet. Barnes makes this suggestion, affirming that bârake may be rendered to curse: Perhaps the best explanation of the bad sense of the original word is to be found in the practice of blessing by way of salutation, not only on meeting, but also on taking leave (Gen. 47:7, 10). From the latter custom the word came to mean “bidding farewell to,” and so “renouncing,” “casting off,” “cursing.” 1 In the verses named, it is quite difficult to render bârake to mean bless when it clearly appears to mean curse, blaspheme in 1Kings 21:10, 13.

(4)     Niphal (passive) Stem:

         (1)     To be blessed, to receive blessing; to be made prosperous; to be made abundant (Gen. 12:2).

(5)     Hithpael (intensive reflexive; reflexive of the Piel) Stem:

         (1)     To be blessed, to receive blessing; to be made prosperous; to be made abundant. Gen. 26:4, 12.

(6)     The Pual uses are not found in the book of Genesis. The Pual is the passive stem of the Piel, making it the passive, intensive stem.

         (1)     To receive blessing; to receive divine favor; to be given prosperity and/or abundance. See Num. 22:6.

         (2)     This also appears to refer to blessing, prosperity and abundance from God. Deut. 33:13.

                  (1)     This can be used of God by man, and therefore, it means God should receive the bowing of the knees, the worship, and the obeisance from man. Job 1:21.

1 Albert Barnes, Barnes’ Notes on the Old Testament; from e-Sword, 1Kings 21:10.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abraham is the ideal for all Jews and all believers. He was faithful to God; he believed God; and he did what God asked him to do. God also blessed Abraham greatly.


Communism, Socialism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: There are always Satanic and political forces at work, and, if you go to any website with far left leanings, they will both denigrate the Bible but they will very likely, at some point, speak of the rich young ruler, to whom Jesus said, “Sell everything, give the proceeds to the poor and follow Me.” Liberals only know a few passages of Scripture, and this is always one of them. They love that passage. Liberals seem to think that Jesus went around to rich guys all the time and told them to give away all that they had. To them, that is the central message of Jesus, and they attempt to parlay that into higher taxes for the rich, as if it is the government which represents the poor and as if that was the theme of Jesus ministry.

 

When it comes to Scripture, on many occasions, socialists and communists have found out that the approach, “The Bible is wrong and we are right” does not work very well. When they took this approach, they were stymied on many occasions. The people were not with them. So their other approach has been to co-op the Bible—find a few things in the Bible which appear to support their position, and push those things, as if they are central to the message of the Bible. When people do not know much about the Bible, but believe in it, this has the potential to sway them to some degree.

 

People who run such websites have no interest in Who Jesus is, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, or anything like that. In fact, they will, out of the other side of their mouth, denigrate Scripture and some of the things which they find in the Bible.

 

Whereas, socialism and communism took power in the 20th century through violent revolution, they found that it was hard to sell this ideology when their greatest leaders are also the greatest mass murderers from the 20th century (Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung). They have found that massive control by government can also be accomplished by democratic elections and piecemeal taking of power, by making promises to the largest number of people (the 99%; the middle class), which is very much a war of propaganda.

 

Christians are often the most difficult people to get on board with their utopian society, so this is done by distorting Scripture. I have been to many politically liberal websites where they can expound on Jesus and the rich young ruler and they can tell you how many times God talks about the poor in the Bible, and they can make a very compelling case that God is all about taking care of the poor. But the end game is to get more money and more power in the hands of a few autocrats, who, ostensibly, have the best interests of the poor at heart.

 

And all of this is based upon a great lust for power and money in the hearts of some men. That will always be a part of politics and of government. They will talk about the poor, the middle class, about income inequality, global warming, but, when all is said and done, they simply want to convince a population that more money and more power needs to flow from the people to the government. This is why the solution to global warming is, more taxes and more government power. This is why the solution to poverty is, more taxes and more government power. And this is sold on television, in the movies, in newscasts, in newspapers, and, of course, in schools.

 

genesis241.gif

And why do they attack the rich? There are fewer rich; it is easy to make poor people jealous of their wealth; and money represents power and influence—and politicians want this power and influence. Most of them do not want to share it. They get some recalcitrant Christians onboard by convincing them, a socialist government is what Jesus would want.

 

Jesus the Socialist (a graphic) from WordPress, but found all over the internet, on nearly every liberal’s facebook page. Accessed December 17, 2014.

 

I realize that there are times when this examination of the Bible seems to be a little too political. Satan uses politics and Satan distorts Scripture. Most people only understand one side of Satan, this he is this vicious being who brings great harm to millions of people. But that is only one side of Satan. Satan would also like to establish “heaven on earth” (although that would not be how he would phrase it). Satan is a utopian. This is why there are so many ideologues who have this fantasy of establishing a perfect society (which is what socialism and communist are, besides being ideologies used to grab power and money). This ideal society is Satanic evil. Attempts to establish a human paradise is not of God, but of Satan. The Millennium, where Jesus rules, will feature perfect environment, but, more prominently, will feature perfect justice and righteousness. A utopian nation under Satan is not about justice and righteousness. It is all about power and control. It is not about removing income inequality—it is about removing the money (and therefore the power) of their political and social enemies (aka, those who will not go along with their programs).

 

Along these lines, see Liberalism, Conservatism and Christianity (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


You may wonder, where are you going with this? So, let’s go back to our narrative. Abraham is a very rich man and God never comes to him and says, “You know what, Abraham, you just have been blessed with too much material things; I need for you to sell your stuff and give it to the poor.” Abraham, because of his riches, was able to employ a huge staff of people—in the hundreds. Probably most of these men were slaves, but slavery in those days was much different than the slavery which we practiced in the United States (and different from how it is practiced in most places).


Slaves generally came from two places: extreme poverty, which required them to sell themselves into slavery (or their parents sold them into slavery); and from victories in war. When a country was conquered, sometimes its people would be taken in slavery (and sometimes they would be left in their land to pay tribute to those who conquered them).


At no time did God come to Abraham and say, “You make way too much money, and your slaves make only a small percentage of what you make. There is far too much of an income gap here. You need to spread your wealth around.” God never told Abraham that; and God never told that to any man who was wealthy and owned slaves (with the exception of the rich young ruler, but that is a whole different story with a very specific context, which is unknown to the liberals who speak of Jesus and the rich young ruler in reverent terms).


A part of what Abraham did was, he provided for his slaves. They had food, shelter and clothing provided, and this was his responsibility. I have seen liberals protest a variety of fast-food restaurants because they did not pay a living wage. In slavery, a good slave owner had to pay a living wage. He may not have paid his slaves, but he had to provide for all of their needs. That turns out to be, if my calculator is accurate, a living wage.


In this dispensation, we are slaves of Jesus Christ. As we grow spiritually and act as His slaves, then He is obligated to make certain that our basic necessities are provided for. We are all in full-time Christian service, and this may take a variety of forms (a believer is not confined to only being a preacher, an evangelist or a missionary); and God has promised to take care of our basic needs (however, this does not mean that we get to quit our jobs). God expects us to work. That is a part of what our lives are to be about.


What our lives are not supposed to be about? Socialism and encouraging socialism. Demonstration for social and economic justice—those are meaningless terms which only refer to some sort of socialistic state.


Psalm 112:1–3 Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. (ESV; capitalized) The Bible, in several places, speaks of wealth as a sign of blessing from God. This does not mean that every believer will become rich; but for some, this is a part of their blessing from God.


V. 1 reads: Now Abraham had become old; he had advanced in years and Yehowah has blessed Abraham in all things.

Abraham’s Blessings

1.      Abraham was blessed with long life.

2.      He had two wives, and a multitude of children. However, his most important child is Isaac, who is the seed of promise. He has other children because God did promise him that he would be a father of many nations, which he is.

3.      God made Abraham wealthy in all respects.

4.      Abraham, like all of us, faced a variety of struggles—including against the most powerful nation and army of his day—and Abraham was victorious.

5.      But, greatest of all is, Abraham had a great deal of doctrine.

6.      Abraham became the friend of God.

Few men have been blessed as Abraham was.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


——————————


And so says Abraham unto his slave, elderly of his house, the one ruling in all that [was] to him: “Put, please, your hand under my thigh.

Genesis

24:2

Therefore, Abraham said to his slave, the eldest of his house—the one who ruled over all that he had [lit., in all that {was} to him]: “Please place your hand under my thigh.

Therefore, Abraham said to his slave, the one who had the most responsibility over his estate: “Please place your hand under my thigh.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Abraham unto his slave, elderly of his house, the one ruling in all that [was] to him: “Put, please, your hand under my thigh.

Targum of Onkelos                And Abraham said to Eliezer his servant, the senior of his house, who had rule over all his property, Put now thy hand upon the section of my circumcision.

Jerusalem targum                  And Abraham said to his servant, the ruler who had rule over all that was his, Put now thy hand under the thigh of my covenant.

Latin Vulgate                          And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was ruler over all he had: Put your hand under my thigh.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abraham called his eldest servant, the steward of his house, who was in charge of everything that he had; and he said to him, Put your hand under my girdle.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abraham said to his servant the elder of his house, who had rule over all his possessions, Put your hand under my thigh,...

 

Significant differences:           The Jerusalem targum does not include the fact that Abraham’s slave is elderly of his household. The targum of Onkelos calls this man Eliezer.

 

The targum of Onkelos has Abraham’s servant putting his hand under Abraham’s “section of circumcision.” The Jerusalem targum adds of my covenant. The Syriac has girdle instead of thigh.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       One day, Abraham called in his most trusted servant and said to him, "Solemnly promise me...

Easy English                          Abraham's oldest servant had the responsibility for everything that Abraham had. Abraham said to him, `Put your hand under my *thigh.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham’s oldest servant was in charge of everything Abraham owned. Abraham called that servant to him and said, “Put your hand under my leg. This showed that this was a very important promise and that Abraham trusted his servant to keep it.

Good News Bible (TEV)         He said to his oldest servant, who was in charge of all that he had, "Place your hand between my thighs and make a vow.

New Berkeley Version           ...he said to the oldest servant in his household, who was in charge of all his property, “Kindly place your hand under my thigh,...

New Century Version             Abraham said to his oldest servant, who was in charge of everything he owned, "Put your hand under my leg. This showed that a person would keep the promise.

New Life Bible                        Abraham said to the oldest servant in his house and the one who took care of all that he owned, "Place your hand under my hip,... [and let your backbone slip]

New Living Translation           One day Abraham said to his oldest servant, the man in charge of his household, "Take an oath by putting your hand under my thigh.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So AbraHam said to his servant (the elder of his house, who was in charge of all his possessions), 'Put your hand under my thigh,... Abraham was the patriarch of his tribe. This may be a KJV delicate way of alluding to what he was instructing his eldest servant to do. Which was for him to reach down and grasp his (Abraham's) lower manhood, then to swear an oath upon the seed of their tribe, that he would make every effort to adhere to the promise he was to make.

We find similar oath taking in the ancient courts of Rome, where a man was required to take hold of the aforementioned, with his right hand and swear an oath to tell the absolute truth before the court. The appropriate penalty for perjury was castration. It is from this practice that the word "testimony" derives, as the Latin root "testi" refers to the glans from which the seeds of life, and each man's future progeny/legacy, hails.

Thus, as Abraham required his servant not to take hold of his (the servant's own) groin while making his pledge, but that of Abraham's, it symbolically stood for that of every member of their tribe. He was instilling in his servant the grave importance that Abraham himself invested in what was being demanded of his servant. It may be interpreted as implying Abraham was staking the future of his entire tribe on this one oath.

God’s Word                         So Abraham said to the senior servant of his household who was in charge of all that he owned, "Take a solemn oath.

International Standard V        So Abraham instructed his servant, who was the oldest member of his household and in charge of everything he owned, "Make this solemn oath to me [Lit. Place your hand under my thigh; i.e., to make a solemn promise based on the sanctity of the family and commitment to the family line] as a promise to the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you won't acquire a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I'm living. V. 3 is included for context.

NIRV                                      The best servant in his house was in charge of everything he had.

Abraham said to him, "Put your hand under my thigh.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abraham said to the elder servant of his house, ruling all of his, "Please set your hand under my thigh.

Bible in Basic English             And Abraham said to his chief servant, the manager of all his property, Come now, put your hand under my leg:...

Complete Jewish Bible           Avraham said to the servant who had served him the longest, who was in charge of all he owned, "Put your hand under my thigh;...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then Abraham said to his servant, the chief of his household, and steward over all he had:...

HCSB                                     Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his household who managed all he owned, "Place your hand under my thigh,...

NIV – UK                                He said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, `Put your hand under my thigh.


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

New American Bible              Abraham said to the senior servant of his household, who had charge of all his possessions: "Put your hand under my thigh,... Put your hand under my thigh: the symbolism of this act was apparently connected with the Hebrew concept of children issuing from their father's "thigh" (the literal meaning of "direct descendants" in 46:26; Ex 1:5). Perhaps the man who took such an oath was thought to bring the curse of sterility on himself if he did not fulfill his sworn promise. Jacob made Joseph swear in the same way (Gn 47:29). In both these instances, the oath was taken to carry out the last request of a man upon his death. Gn 47:29.

New Jerusalem Bible             Abraham said to the senior servant in his household, the steward of all his property, 'Place your hand under my thigh:...

Revised English Bible            Abraham said to the servant who had been longest in his service and was in charge of all he owned, ‘Give me your solemn oath:...


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and Abraham says to the elder servant of his house

who reigns over all he has,

Put, I pray you, your hand under my flank:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that was his, "Please place your hand under my thigh.

Kaplan Translation                 He said to the senior servant [According to Talmudic tradition, this anonymous servant was Eliezer (Genesis 15:2; Targum Yonathan; Yoma28b; Rashi).] of his household, who was in charge of all that he owned, 'Place your hand under my thigh. This was a form often used for an oath; see Genesis 47:29. According to Biblical idiom, children issue from the 'thigh' of the father (Genesis 46:26, Exodus 1:5, Judges 8:30), and hence, it is a euphemism for the procreative organ. According to Talmudic tradition, the servant was to place his hand near (Saadia; cf. Abarbanel) the holy sign of the covenant, just as in later times an oath would be made on a Torah scroll (Shevuoth 38b; Targum Yonathan; Rashi). According to some, it was a sign of obedience (Ibn Ezra).


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

The Amplified Bible                And Abraham said to the eldest servant of his house [Eliezer of Damascus], who ruled over all that he had, I beg of you, put your hand under my thigh;...

Kretzmann’s Commentary    And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, the senior servant in charge of his entire establishment, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, as that member of the body which symbolized posterity, in this case the promised seed, the promise and the hope of Abraham and Israel.

NET Bible®                             Abraham said to his servant, the senior one [The Hebrew term זָקֵן (zaqen) may refer to the servant who is oldest in age or senior in authority (or both).] in his household who was in charge of everything he had, "Put your hand under my thigh [The taking of this oath had to do with the sanctity of the family and the continuation of the family line. See D. R. Freedman, "Put Your Hand Under My Thigh — the Patriarchal Oath," BAR 2 (1976): 2-4, 42.] 24:3 so that I may make you solemnly promise... A portion of v. 3 was added for context.

Translation for Translators     One day Abraham said to the chief servant of his household, the man who was in charge of all Abraham owned, "Put your hand between my thighs to solemnly promise you will do what I tell you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          And Abraham said to his slave, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I beg of you, your hand under my thigh.

English Standard Version      And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh,...

The Geneva Bible                  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 [Which ceremony declared, the servants obedience towards his master, and the masters power over the servant.]:

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abraham said to his slave, oldest in his house, the one who governed in all that was to him, Please put your hand under my thigh.

NASB                                     Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, "Please place your hand under my thigh,...

Young’s Updated LT             And Abraham says unto his servant, the eldest of his house, who is ruling over all that he has, “Put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh,...

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham called for his longest-serving servant to come to him and take an oath.


Genesis 24:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant; underling; subject

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713


Translation: Therefore, Abraham said to his slave,... Abraham, along with many grace oriented believers, had slaves—not just one, but many. Slavery, for many people, was a way out of debt and/or a way out of bad economic circumstances. Remember that slave owners needed to pay their slaves a living wage. Otherwise, they were squandering the money used to pay for their slaves.


The Mosaic Law codified some practices of the day, which involved paying off your incurred debt by selling yourself into slavery, often to the person you are indebted to. Similarly, people who grew up without means—children of widows or orphans—often sold themselves into slavery in order to insure that they would be housed and fed.


For all intents and purposes, Abraham is the CEO of Abraham’s Ranching Enterprise; and this man who is referred to as a slave is the executive vice president. We do not know how Abraham acquired this man—whether purchased when in Egypt or at a later date—but like many men will intelligence and skills, this slave rose to the top of Abraham’s company. From a human standpoint, this is the highest ranking officer under Abraham and Isaac. And allow me to repeat this, so that you understand—this man is a slave, who, at some point in his life, was bought and sold, and is owned by Abraham. Relative to his time and place, he probably has a higher ranking than you or I, even though he was and still is, a slave.


In repeating this fact, I am not trying to justify all types of slavery; but I am saying that there are legitimate types of slavery and legitimate reasons to practice some types of slavery. This man is a slave, and he has greater power, authority, and responsibility than you or I have. So, no matter what your prejudices are, you ought to be able to concede that this man is not harmed by being a slave. He has risen to a higher position in life because he is a slave.


Later on in Genesis, Joseph (who will be Isaac’s grandson), will start as a slave in Egypt and become the prime minister of Egypt. And Joseph’s brothers were wrong to selling Joseph into slavery; and yet, it is because of his position as a slave that he gained so much power and authority.


genesis242.gif

The Bible is very specific about slavery and how it ought to be handled and how some types of slavery are legitimate and some types are not. Man-stealing (the kind of slavery which was practiced to bring slaves to the southern states of the United States) is wrong; and the Bible says that it is wrong. However, some people, due to poverty, due to circumstances beyond their control, must sometimes sell themselves into slavery. Some people are conquered in war, and the Bible allows for them to be employed as slaves as a result.


Many commentators identify this servant as Eliezer, which is certainly a possibility. Eliezer is the man that Abraham believed would inherit all of his wealth, because he did not have a proper son at that time. You may recall Gen. 15:2, when Abraham complained to God: "O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" Eliezer would be a marvelous choice here, simply because his name means My God [is] a help; or God [is] help. So, this would be apropos. However, we do not know this for a fact, so I will continue to refer to Abraham’s servant as Abraham’s servant (or slave).


Abraham and his Servant (a graphic) from Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984 and accessed January 14, 2015.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 24:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

zâqên (זָקֵן) [pronounced zaw-KANE]

old, elderly, aged

masculine singular adjective; construct form

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

mâshal (מָשַל) [pronounced maw-HAHL]

the ruler, the one ruling, one who has dominion, one who reigns

Qal active participle; with the definite article

Strong’s #4910 BDB #605

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]; also kol (כַּל) [pronounced kol]

all, all things, the whole, totality, the entirety, everything

masculine singular noun without the definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...the eldest of his house—the one who ruled over all that he had [lit., in all that {was} to him]:... This slave is identified here. He is the oldest of the house, which could simply suggest the most senior in rank of all of Abraham’s slaves. You will note that this man had control over all that Abraham owned. So this was a man who Abraham trusted implicitly.


Many have assumed that this is Eliezer, whom Abraham spoke of in Gen. 15:2 But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" Abram, speaking to God, did not see a son on the horizon, and asked God, “Who is my son? Eliezer of Damascus?” It was not unusual for a man of power or wealth to adopt a boy (or a young man)—even a slave—as his heir. Since Abram had no children in Gen. 15, he is asking God, “So, my heir is Eliezer?” As a result, many have assumed that this man was his oldest and most trusted slave.


There is a great deal of logic here—Eliezer was a young man close to Abraham—close enough to consider as his possible heir. The age would be right, as he would be younger than Abraham—young enough to be his heir at this time (not necessarily a youngster); and now old enough to be trusted with the finances of Abraham’s estate. However, there is nothing which confirms this for us.


Genesis 24:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

sîym (שִׂים) [pronounced seem]; also spelled sûwm (שׂוּם) [pronounced soom]

to put, to place, to set; to make; to appoint

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #7760 BDB #962

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

tachath (תַּחַת) [pronounced TAH-khahth]

underneath, below, under, beneath; instead of, in lieu of; in the place [in which one stands]; in exchange for; on the basis of

preposition of location or foundation

Strong’s #8478 BDB #1065

yâreke (יָרֶ) [pronounced yaw-REKe]

thigh, inner thigh; loin, side, base; shaft; uterus, reproductive system

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3409 BDB #437


Translation: ...“Please place your hand under my thigh. This appears to be a way that men took oaths in those days. I do not know how far this was taken; one explanation was that this placed the hand where it could crush the testicles of the other man. If this is the case, then it involved a great deal of personal trust. This does not mean that we need a new way of taking oaths than shaking hands or signing contracts. This is simply something which was apparently done in those days. Whether that is the way that men took oaths in that day is not really clear. The word used here does mean thigh, inner thigh. Does it actually mean more than that? Despite these being possible meanings offered by BDB, we really do not know.

 

J. Vernon McGee: This is the way men took an oath in that day. They did not raise their right hands and put their left hands on a Bible. They didn't have a Bible to begin with, and frankly, I do not think it is necessary for anyone to put his hand on a Bible to swear that he is telling the truth. If he intends to lie, he will lie even if his hand is resting on a Bible. The method in that day was for a man to put his hand under the thigh of the man to whom he was going to make an oath. I think this servant was Eliezer. He was the head servant in the home of Abraham, and he had a son - remember that Abraham had called God's attention to that earlier (see Gen. 15:2-3).


Some writers have suggested that such a vow is related to one’s posterity. Rather than taking a vow on your mother’s head, you are taking a vow on your own children and their children.


Gill goes into great detail about alternate ways to understand this oath. I don’t really see a reason to repeat it here. This same custom is also to be found in Gen. 47:29. However, Scripture is filled with oaths without a reference to this sort of custom (Gen. 21:23 26:28–31 31:44–53 and many others).


In any case, this is a vow; and God is not suggesting that we do this when signing contracts with one another.


You will note how Abraham treated his most faithful servant. This man ruled over all that Abraham had. He controlled Abraham’s wealth and he was a faithful steward to Abraham. Because he had been faithful to Abraham in so many things, Abraham had given him great responsibilities.


Here, Abraham is going to give this servant (slave) one of the most solemn responsibilities of his life—he is going to send this servant out to find a wife for Isaac. There is no next generation unless Isaac has a wife.


This begins with the servant taking a vow to Abraham.


Before the servant does or says anything, Abraham will tell him what the entire oath is.


——————————


And I bind you to an oath in Yehowah, Elohim of the [two] heavens, Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a woman for my son from daughters of the Canaanite, whom I am dwelling in his midst.

Genesis

24:3

Now I bind you to an oath by Yehowah, Elohim of the heavens, Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites, [among] whom I am living.

Now I bind you to an oath by Jehovah, God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son out from the Canaanite women, among whom I presently live.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And I bind you to an oath in Yehowah, Elohim of the [two] heavens, Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a woman for my son from daughters of the Canaanite, whom I am dwelling in his midst.

Targum of Onkelos                And swear to me in the name of the Word of the Lord God, whose habitation is in heaven on high, the God whose dominion is over the earth, that thou wilt not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Kenaanites among whom I dwell;...

Latin Vulgate                          That I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you take not a wife for my son, of the daughters of the Chanaanites, among whom I dwell.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take to my son a wife of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;...

Septuagint (Greek)                ...and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you take not a wife for my son Isaac from the daughters of the Canaanites, with whom I dwell, in the midst of them.

 

Significant differences:           The targum has swear to me as an imperative mood. The other writings are all in the indicative mood.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           By the Lord, God of heaven and earth, give me your word that you won't choose a wife for my son from the Canaanite women among whom I live.

Contemporary English V.       ...in the name of the LORD, who rules heaven and earth, that you won't choose a wife for my son Isaac from the people here in the land of Canaan.

Easy English                          Please make a very serious promise. And declare that the *Lord God of heaven and earth is your witness. I live among the *Canaanites. However, do not choose anyone among their daughters as my son's wife.

Easy-to-Read Version            Now 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.

Good News Bible (TEV)         I want you to make a vow in the name of the LORD, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from the people here in Canaan.

The Message                         ...and swear by GOD--God of Heaven, God of Earth--that you will not get a wife for my son from among the young women of the Canaanites here,...

New Century Version             Make a promise to me before the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Don't get a wife for my son from the Canaanite girls who live around here.

New Life Bible                        ...and I will have you promise by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Promise that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, who live around me.

New Living Translation           Swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not allow my son to marry one of these local Canaanite women.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...because I want you to swear by Jehovah the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you won't take a woman for my son IsaAc from the daughters of the CanaAnites. these [people] among whom I am living.

God’s Word                         I want you to swear by the LORD God of heaven and earth that you will not get my son a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I'm living.

NIRV                                      The Lord is the God of heaven and the God of earth. I want you to make a promise with an oath in his name.

"I'm living among the people of Canaan. But I want you to promise me that you won't get a wife for my son from their daughters.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven, and the God of the land, that you will not take a woman for my son from the daughters of Canaan, in the center of which I dwell.

Bible in Basic English             And take an oath by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not get a wife for my son Isaac from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I am living;...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and take an oath to me by the Ever-living, the God of Heaven, and the God of the Earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the Canaanites, among whom I reside;...


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

Christian Community Bible     2 Abra ham said to his senior servant, who was his steward, “Put your hand under my thigh 3 and you will swear to me by Yahweh, God of heaven and earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom we live; 4 rather it is to my country and my kinsfolk that you will go to choose a wife for my son, Isaac.” Vv. 2–4 are given for context.

The Heritage Bible                 And Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house who ruled over all that was to him, Please put your hand under my thigh, And I will cause you to swear by Jehovah, the God of the heavens, and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I dwell, Because you shall walk to my land and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son, Isaac. Vv. 2 and 4 are included for context.

New American Bible              ...and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not procure a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,...

New American Bible (R.E.)    ...and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live,... Gn 24:37; 28:1-2; Jgs 14:3; Tb 4:12.

Revised English Bible            I want you to swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the women of the Canaanites among whom I am living.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and I oath you by Yah Veh,

Elohim of the heavens and Elohim of the earth,

that you not take a woman to my son

of the daughters of the Kenaaniy,

among whom I settle:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And I will adjure you by the Lord, the God of the heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose midst I dwell.

Kaplan Translation                 I will bind you by an oath to God, Lord of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom I live.


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

The Amplified Bible                And you shall swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I have settled,...

NET Bible®                             ...so that I may make you solemnly promise [Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose.] by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire [Heb "because you must not take."] a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living.

Translation for Translators     Knowing that Yahweh God who created the heavens and the earth is listening, promise that you will not get a wife for my son, Isaac, from the daughters of the Canaan people-group among whom I am now living.

The Voice                               One day, Abraham spoke to his oldest and most-trusted servant, the man in charge of all his affairs.

Abraham: Put your hand here underneath my thigh. Swear by the Eternal One, the God of heaven and earth, that you will not arrange for my son to marry any of the Canaanite daughters here where I am living. Instead promise me you will go to my own country and my own relatives to find a wife for my son Isaac. Vv. 2 and 4 are included for context.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    ...and adjure you will I by Yahweh, the Elohim of the heavens and the Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son Isaac from the daughters of the Canaanite near whom I am dwelling,...

Context Group Version          And I will make you swear by YHWH, the God of the skies { or heavens } and the God of the land { or earth }, that you will not take a woman { or wife } for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.

The updated Geneva Bible    And I will make you swear [This shows that an oath may be required in a lawful cause.] by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:...

Green’s Literal Translation    And I will cause you to swear by Jehovah, God of the heavens and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanite, among whom I dwell.

World English Bible                I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.

Young’s Updated LT             And I cause you to swear by Jehovah, God of the heavens, and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanite, in the midst of whom I am dwelling.

 

The gist of this verse:          The oath is that this servant not take a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac from among the Canaanite women.


Genesis 24:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâbaʿ (שָבַע) [pronounced shawb-VAHĢ]

to swear, to cause to swear, to bind by an oath; to adjure, to charge solemnly, to extract an oath (from someone else)

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #7650 BDB #989

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

shâmayîm (שָמַיִם) [pronounced shaw-MAH-yim]

heaven, heavens, skies; the visible heavens, as in as abode of the stars or as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc.; Heaven (as the abode of God)

masculine dual noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8064 BDB #1029


Translation: Now I bind you to an oath by Yehowah, Elohim of the heavens,... Abraham has his most trusted servant before him and he is binding him to an oath—an oath that is taken before Yehowah, the God of the heavens. As we have seen on several other occasions, those with whom Abraham was associated appear to have believed in his God, Yehowah.


The servants to Abraham were believers as well. They all believed in the God of Abraham, the Revealed Lord. Therefore, swearing an oath before this God is meaningful.


Words of man interlude:

 

There is a fascinating thing of that era, and I don’t believe that it has been fully explained yet—that what men of that era said was extremely important. When they took an oath before God, they meant it. It is nothing like that flippant and blasphemous phrase, I swear to God! that we hear so often today. Both Abraham and the servant understand that God watched over them and what they had agreed to do.

 

We see this in the end-of-life blessings, such as Isaac will give the Jacob a few chapters in the future. This is not just some old guy saying some semi-profound things; but what Isaac said was prophetic in many ways. It is as if these words in themselves have power—or that God gives them power.

 

This is exactly the opposite of someone swearing that they will do this or that in order to get something from you—they can only focus on what they want, and they will say anything to get it. It is pretty much the opposite of anything which comes out of the mouth of a politician, who does great damage to the English language, being careful to say things which sound weighty and profound, and yet manage to keep themselves from taking a stand.

 

God still considers our words to be meaningful and our spiritual growth is all about learning and understanding and believing the Word of God (which is a lot of words).

 

And somehow, this is all related to Jesus saying, Let what you say be simply `Yes' or `No'; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matt. 5:37; ESV); and James later repeats this in James 5:12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (ESV).


Back to Abraham: Now I bind you to an oath by Yehowah, Elohim of the heavens,... This ought to seem slightly unusual to you, that a man who has claimed to have seen God on several occasions—spoken to Him face to face—and has received promises from Him of a son. And finally, nearly 25 years later, this son is born to Abraham and Sarah, two people who are long past being able to bear children. So, some may have doubted Abraham in the past, if they had heard of these meetings and the promises; but there must have come a point with Isaac’s birth that many of these friends, associates, servants and employees reevaluated their thinking.


In any case, whether this man was a believer before Isaac was born, or after, we do not know. My guess is, that as a trusted servant of Abraham, he probably had believed in Yehowah for some time now.


Recall that, even though Abraham is quite old, he still has a few decades of his life remaining.


Genesis 24:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: ...Elohim of the earth,... This is an unusual title for God, because He is rarely spoken of as God of the earth, but He did create the earth and then He restored it.

 

Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary: Abraham does not forget his relation to the kingdom of God. This marriage is not a private and individual matter, but one affecting countless millions who are to be blessed in his seed. Isaac has to sustain a peculiar and a sacred character. He has to inherit and transmit, not simply a family name, importance, or worldly possessions merely, but the hope and promise of salvation. His marriage is significant as pointing to the purity of the kingdom of God, and also to the importance of woman in that kingdom.


So far, we have: Now I bind you to an oath by Yehowah, Elohim of the heavens, Elohim of the earth,...


All translations below from ESV; capitalized. In these various references below, even though the titles for God may seem similar, there are things which are being emphasized in each passage pertinent to the context.

Various Royal Titles and Designations of God and How They are Used

Scripture

Text/Commentary

But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.' (Gen. 14:22–23)

The king of Sodom wanted to give Abram (Abraham) all of the material things that Abram recovered when he defeated the kings of the east.


The title of God emphasizes ownership of heaven and earth, and Abraham was blessed by a God Who owns all things.

And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac." (Gen. 24:2–4)

Abraham is requiring an oath of his servant to get a wife for Isaac from Abraham’s kin.


The title recognizes the sovereignty of God. In such an oath, God’s authority over the earth enforces the oath.

And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: "O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; You have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. (2Kings 19:15–16)

Hezekiah and Israel are being threatened by Sennacherib. God is enthroned above the angels and over all the kingdoms of the earth, as He made heaven and earth.


God’s sovereign power over all—His control of history—is emphasized in these words spoken by Hezekiah, who will entreat God to step in and defeat Hezekiah.

Hiram also said, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, who has discretion and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal palace for himself. (2Chron. 2:12)

Hiram is speaking to Solomon, and is talking to him about sending skilled workers to him to work on the Temple of God.


God’s creation is emphasized by this title.

"You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous. (Neh. 9:6–8)

Nehemiah has returned to the land after the exile and he prays here to God as Creator and Preserver of all things. In this speech/prayer, Nehemiah recognizes God’s personal relationship with the Jews and with this land and how the Jews have not kept the Law or His commandments (Neh. 9:34).

May the LORD give you increase, you and your children! May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth! The heavens are the LORD's heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. (Psalm 115:14–16)

The psalmist calls for the great blessings of God, which God can do, as He created the heavens and earth and He has put man in charge of the earth.

But the LORD is the True God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. Thus shall you say to them: "The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens." It is He Who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom, and by His understanding stretched out the heavens. (Jer. 10:10–12)

Jeremiah is comparing the God of Israel to the gods of the heathen. The God of Israel is the True God and the Eternal Sovereign. The false gods of the heathen cannot lay claim to making the heavens or the earth.

These passages were suggested by Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge; by Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, and others about 1880, with introduction by R. A. Torrey; courtesy of E-sword, Gen. 24:3.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 24:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bath (בַּת) [pronounced bahth]

daughter; village

feminine plural construct

Strong's #1323 BDB #123

Kenaʿănîy (כְּנַעֲנִי) [pronounced ke-nah-ģuh-NEE]

merchant, trader; and is transliterated Canaanite, Canaanites

adjective/nominative gentilic; with the definite article

Strong’s #3669 BDB #489


Translation: ...that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites,... The greatest corrupting influence a person can have is his friends; and greater than that would be his wife. We have already seen that the Canaanites, for the most part, were not terrible people, as of yet. Abraham lived among them in peace, with a few disputes, but nothing similar to what was occurring in Sodom and Gomorrah. However, there would come a time when they became so corrupt that God would have the Jews destroy them.


Abraham is about 139 years old at this time (cp Gen. 17:21, 24 and 25:20). Again, the Bible gives us a safe age at which to refer to someone as old. Abraham recognizes a need to maintain some sort of religious separation. Abraham does not have a direct command from God in this regard, but it is obvious that he intends to find a woman for Isaac who believes in the living God. The Canaanites would be heathen and some (not all) would be worshiping all manner of false gods and deities.


Abraham has had close dealings with the Sodomites, and he has seen how they progressed from a corrupt culture to one of great degeneracy, and he has concerns about the Canaanites as well.


Also, God has promised to give the land of these various Canaanite groups to Abraham and to his seed. Therefore, a marriage alliance would not seem to be appropriate. At the same time, there is no animosity between Abraham and the peoples of the land. As we have seen, he generally has a very good relationship with them.


The reference to Canaanites was very much a geographical reference. Abraham lived in the land of Canaan, along with many other peoples. However, here, they are referred to as Canaanites, not because they were all descended from Canaan, but because they all lived in the land of Canaan. Often, this was a blanket term given to the disparate groups of peoples living in Canaan.

 

The Christian Community Bible: You will not choose a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites among whom we live. Isaac is the “son of the promise,” and faithfulness to this promise is Abraham’s great concern. The marriage of his son to a Canaanite woman, whose people are accustomed to pagan worship, would endanger this faithfulness. To belong to Abraham’s family and to become the mother of the chosen people, Rebekah must also give up her home and her land. Let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. God guides those who seek to do his will, above all when they choose to marry; he will enable them to meet the person best suited to help them realize this desire. Such will also be the subject of the Book of Tobit.


There are interactions between Abraham and the people of the land; and interactions between Isaac and the peoples of the land—and it will be clear that the Philistine rulers understood Abraham and Isaac’s close relationship with God, respected it, and appreciated the benefits to them. See Gen. 21:21–34 26:26–31. Despite this mutual respect and bond between Abraham and Isaac with the leaders of the Philistines, there were problems between them and the people of Philistia (for instance, Gen. 26:12–22).


So, Abraham has seen the downward spiral of the peoples of the land—not all of them, but some of them. And he has seen or known of the great degeneracy in Sodom (Gen. 14, 19). This will become more pronounced over the next few centuries (Ex. 34:16 Deut. 7:3). Abraham has come from a family that believes in the Revealed God, so it would be prudent for him to seek a wife for Isaac from his own clan.

 

Preacher’s Complete Homiletical Commentary: [Abraham had a] determined aversion to idolatry. He will make his servant swear by Jehovah alone. His neighbours were idolators. He was on friendly terms with them and would go far to please them but in this solemn matter he must declare for the true God. The great purpose of that early revelation of which he formed so important a part, was to teach the doctrine of the Divine unity. The voice to the chosen people, rising above all others, ever spake thus, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord." The land was given to Abraham in order that idolatry might be overthrown.

 

Matthew Henry: [Abraham] saw that the Canaanites were degenerating into great wickedness, and knew by revelation that they were designed for ruin, and therefore he would not marry his son among them, lest they should be either a snare to his soul, or at least a blot to his name.


So that there is no misunderstanding, the Bible does not teach purity of the races nor does it forbid racial intermarriage.

The Doctrine of Racial Intermarriage

1.      Even if you believe in evolution, we all had the same origin. And most believers know that we all came from the same man: Adam. And God created man in His own image, in the image of god He created him, male and female, He created them (Gen. 1:27). Gen. 5 gives the descendants of Adam, which includes Noah. Noah and his children and their immediate families, all descended from Adam, will be the only ones who survive the flood Gen. 5–9) and all of mankind will be descended through them (Gen. 10). So, thus, He [God] blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those who were with him in the ark...Now the sons of Noah, who came out of the ark, were Shem, Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was populated (Gen. 7:23 9:18–19). In other words, we cannot marry outside our own family, let alone outside of our own race, since we are all children of Adam. Therefore, race is a nebulous concept and difficult to correctly define.

2.      Furthermore, because Adam sinned knowingly, his sin is passed onto us and we all have his sin imputed to us, as well as carry an old sin nature along with us wherever we go. So all men have sinned and are bound together by their sins and rebellion against God (Rom. 3:23 5:12–21 6:23).

3.      We have all the same blood. This is true medically as well as theologically: He made from one every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined the appointed times and the boundaries of the habitation (Acts 17:26).

4.      That being said, let us define a race as a group of people whose relatively recent ethnic and family background is notably different from the relatively recent ethnic and family background of another group of people. That is, I may be thought to be Caucasian, as opposed to someone else who might be considered to be Hispanic or African American. This means that if our family history is traced back over several hundred years (and, in rare cases, several thousand years) the preponderance of our ancestors would be considered to be of the same background (i.e., my ancestors would also be considered to be Caucasian). However, everyone traces their ancestry back to Noah and ultimately back to Adam.

         1)      The oldest race would be the Jewish race. Now, this does not mean that there has been no racial intermarriage in my background nor does it mean that no racial intermarriage has been in the background of anyone else.

         2)      There has been so much intermarriage among the Jews and the peoples among whom they live, that they are often virtually indistinguishable physically wherever they live from those of their host country.

5.      Part of Satan’s plan is to get us off on a lot of side issues and false issues; to cause dissension among believers; to make believers, or, more specifically, Christianity, look foolish to the outsider; and, discredit Christianity and Bible doctrine through any means possible. The concept of intermarriage and the arguments against it are a part of Satan’s plan.

         1)      If you pay any attention to politics, we see both political parties doing this (although it is primarily the Democrats who do this). They bring up false issues (the war on women) or unimportant issues (raising the minimum wage) and harp on these issues.

         2)      In a recent election (2014), the Republicans essentially ran on, we’re not Obama. However, there were very few promises or platforms which were clearly laid out.

         3)      Why do they do this? For money and power.

         4)      I use this by way of illustration—if you recognize that political parties occasionally raise false or unimportant issues, then you understand Satan’s modus operandi as well.

6.      I was particularly reminded of that last issue when watching the television show Politically Incorrect one evening. Two of the issues raised were homosexuality and racial intermarriage. One person who seemed to know the Bible was there with three others and the host. The point made was that the idea that homosexuality is not forbidden in the Bible and that is just one man’s interpretation of a couple of passages. Although the pastor (or priest; I’ve forgotten who it was), tried to quote the relevant Scripture, he was cut off and the subject of intermarriage was brought up and the illustration was given that some people read the Bible and interpret it to say that intermarriage is forbidden. The passage quoted was from Exodus I believe that had to do with not mixing some materials either in the making of the tabernacle or of the priest’s clothing—I don’t recall which and cannot find the passage quoted. However, the interpretation of such a passage as a forbidding of racial intermarriage is preposterous. It was taken completely out of context. However, since some fringe group (the KKK, which has some sort of connection to Christianity) made this claim, the point of the speaker was that (1) you could make any kind of claim that you wanted to and prove it by the Bible; and, secondarily, (2) if groups like the KKK use the Bible to support their various racist doctrines, that other believers are doing the same thing when they claim the Bible is against homosexuality. The pastor or priest was shouted down before he could make an correct points. Now, do you see how absolutely cleaver Satan is? He associates Bible-believing Christians with racist extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan (they do this themselves because they are Satanically-influenced). He casts doubt on Scripture, showing that if some racist group can quote some Scripture which, by some bizarre kind of exegesis, seemingly forbids racial intermarriage, that this makes all Scripture suspect and open to pretty much any sort of a goofy interpretation. This allowed the audience and the participants in this panel to (1) dismiss the Bible as being filled with goofy ideas or with passages that could be interpreted in accordance with any sort of whim; and, (2) they were able to dismiss the notion that the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin. And, when the pastor or priest tried to give a clear explanation of this, he was shouted down and talked over.

7.      There are some passages, when not examined in context, that seem to indicate that racial intermarriage is forbidden by the Bible.

         1)      Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac from their own clan (Gen. 24). Isaac and Rebekah will send their son Jacob to marry someone from their kin as well (Gen. 28). It is certainly worth noting that the Canaanites had been cursed in Gen. 9:25. Therefore, because of personal observation and because of the Word of God, Abraham insisted that Isaac marry a Semitic woman.

         2)      Ex. 34:16a seems to warn against intermarriage between Israel and the people of the land. However, this is tied directly to the heathen religious practices of the people of the land. Ex. 34:11–16 reads: “Be certain to observe what I am commanding you this day. Observe, I am going to drive out the Amorite before you, and the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Watch yourself that you do not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, so that it does not become a snare in your midst. Instead, you are to tear down their altars and smash their religious pillars and cut down their Asherim. For, you will not worship any other god, for Jehovah, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. So you will not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods and someone invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters fornicate with their gods, and cause your sons to fornicate with their gods.” You will note that the emphasis here is not upon the forbidding of intermarriage, but the forbidding of involvement with the heathenistic religious practices of the population of the Land of Promise. This is the key to every passage which forbids intermarriage between Israelites and anyone else. If you take a wife from a family that worships a heathen god, then she may not easily adhere to worship of the Living God.

         3)      Moses said the following to the people: “When Jehovah your god brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, you will clear away many nations before you—the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites—seven nations greater and stronger than you. Furthermore, when Jehovah your God delivers them before you, you will completely destroy them. You will make no covenant with them and you will show no grace to them. Furthermore, you will not intermarry with them. You will not give your daughters to their sons, nor will you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; then the anger of Jehovah will burn against you, and He will quickly destroy you. Instead, you will do this to them: you will tear down their altars and smash their religious pillars, and you will cut down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.” (Deut. 7:1–5). Again, in context, the problem is not intermarriage but the results of intermarriage with a heathen people.

         4)      Joshua also warned the people against intermarriage during his final message: “So take care to yourselves to love Jehovah your God. For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know with certainty that Jehovah your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you, but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which Jehovah your God has given you.” (Joshua 23:11–13). Now, although Joshua does not mention exactly the problem, this has been mentioned once by God and once by Moses; he simply alludes to the fact that the problem will be one of intermarriage leads to entanglement with the other races in terms of their heathenistic religious practices. It is more implied than stated here.

         5)      Ezra 9–10 deals with intermarriages which have taken place long after the establishment of Israel in the land. Just as above, the key to the sin of intermarriage is not the act of intermarriage, but the influential actions of the heathen who are married to Israelites (Ezra 9:10–14).

         6)      King Solomon’s marriages are clearly denounced in Neh. 13, but the key, as all along, is the influence that these women wielded over him. “Did not Solomon, the king of Israel, sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations, there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless, the foreign women caused even him to sin.” (Neh. 13:26–27).

         7)      Solomon’s sins, which were a result of marriage to foreign women, are enumerated in 1Kings 11:1–8: Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which Jehovah has said to the sons of Israel, “You will not associate with them and neither will they associate with you, for they will certainly turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives—princesses; and three hundred mistresses, and his wives turned his heart away. For it came to pass when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to Jehovah his God, as the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians; and after Milcom, the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Furthermore, Solomon did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah and he did not follow Jehovah fully, as David his father. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech, the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus he also did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their Gods.

         8)      If we focus on these passages alone, it is easy to make a case that the Bible forbids racial mixing.

8.      However, there are specific instances in Scripture where intermarriage occurred and, in some cases, it received God’s stamp of approval.

         1)      A most famous intermarriage was between Rahab and Salmon. Salmon was a Judahite, several generations removed from Judah, and a member of the armed forces which attacked the land of Canaan under Joshua. The first city which Joshua struck was Jericho. Now, God had given very clear instructions to destroy everyone who was a part of Jericho. However, Joshua sent spies to examine Jericho and the lay of the land, and they were welcomed by Rahab, a prostitute who lived in Jericho. She gave her testimony as a believer in Jesus Christ and swore her allegiance to Israel. Not only did she hide the spies, but she was spared her life, along with the lives of most or all of her family, and she apparently married into Israel and was a part of the line of our Lord Jesus Christ. The point here is that intermarriage with the heathen of the Land of Promise was unequivocally forbidden. However, Rahab changed her allegiance from Jericho to Israel, and she thereby became a part of Israel. This was a result of her faith in Jehovah, the God of Israel. My point is this: you cannot use the passages found in Exodus and Deuteronomy to outlaw intermarriage between races, as not only do we have a very famous exclusion, but Rahab is in the line of the humanity of our Lord. Joshua 2:1–24 6:22–25 Matt. 1:4–5 Heb. 11:31

         2)      The next example is not quite as convincing, but is important. Moses married a second time (his first wife is never heard from again after Ex. 18); and he married a Cushite woman. Although Thieme, back in his more racist days, says that this was a white Egyptian; and most authorities say that she is an Ethiopian; we really do not know what color she was, although given the racial makeup of the Ethiopians and Egyptians, it is likely that they were Black or very dark skinned. When Moses marries this woman, Miriam, the sister of Moses, will throw a fit, and bring Aaron into the fray. Although God said nothing one way or the other about the second marriage of Moses, he called Miriam and Aaron out for a visit and chewed them out for questioning the authority of Moses. As a result, Miriam became leprous for several days (Num. 12:1–16).

         3)      Judah, the son of Jacob, married a Canaanite woman, who bore him three children, only one of whom survived (Gen. 38:2–20 1Chron. 2:3).

         4)      In Judges 3, we will read about the Moabites ruling over Israel for eighteen years. However, sometime later, Ruth, a Moabitess, married Boaz, and became a part of the line of Christ (Ruth 1:1–4:22 Matt. 1:5–6).

         5)      Since Ruth’s marriage and Rahab’s marriage would both constitute interracial marriages, this means that both David and our Lord were descended from interracial marriages.

         6)      The first book of Chronicles—particularly the first nine chapters, is filled with references to various interracial unions.

                  (1)     David’s sister, Abigail, married an Ishmaelite, and bore him Amasa (we are assuming they were married—1Chron. 2:15–17).

                  (2)     Sheshan was a Judahite who had no sons, only daughters. What he chose to do was to give his daughter to Jarha, his Egyptian servant in marriage, and they had a son, whose line is followed out (1Chron. 2:34–41).

                  (3)     One marriage is only covered briefly in 1Chron. 4:17–18, and there was some corruption of the passage; however, what appears to be the case is that one of Pharaoh’s daughters—and we are very likely speaking of the pharaoh of the exodus—and Mered, a Judahite, who is likely a member of the generation of promise (it is possible that he was of gen X, and his sons were of the generation of promise). He had two wives, one a Jewess and the other the daughter of pharaoh, and his sons founded several of the cities of Judah. Now timing here is important. Mered, as a slave, would not have married a daughter of Pharaoh. So, we have two possibilities: (1) Mered was an early inhabitant of Egypt, being a recent descendant of Judah when Joseph was a ruler in Egypt; or, (2) Mered was a recently freed man and Bithia, the daughter of Pharaoh, chose to become a part of the mixed multitude who left Egypt with Israel. Since Mered is one of the many groups of men who is listed without a family line which extends very far back (we only know that he is a Judahite by the fact that he is in 1Chron. 4); it would be reasonable to assume that several generations of his ancestors were slaves to the Egyptians (Ex. 1:8–11). If he were a part of the royalty of Egypt, or related to it by virtue of Joseph’s position, then we would expect that we could follow his unbroken line all the way back to Judah. In any case, this is a great, unknown story which the Bible barely mentions in two verses of Scripture.

9.      The general concept is brought into the New Testament in 2Cor. 6:14: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what partnership has righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Although marriage is not directly in view here, the general principal is given: and the problem is not a matter of interracial marriages, but the problem is a marriage or some other sort of union between the believer and the unbeliever. It would be much better, for instance, for a Black and a Caucasian to intermarry, than it would be for a Bible believing Christian and an unbeliever. Now, let me quickly add, if you find yourself in that position right now, you don’t get to use that as an excuse to walk away from your marriage. In fact, here is where we apply: If you are bound to a wife, do not seek to be released (1Cor. 7:27a). If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away. and a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, let her not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise, your children are unclean (1Cor. 7:12b–14a).

10.    In summary, there are no passages anywhere in the entirety of the Scriptures which forbid people of other races marrying one another. In the only passages where intermarriage is forbidden, (1) the reason given is to prevent the Israelites from falling into idolatry; and, (2) there are very important and notable exceptions to the general prohibition. Whereas, a couple might want to take interracial differences into account when thinking about marriage, this should not ever be the deal maker or breaker.

J. Vernon McGee: My Christian friend, if you have a boy or girl in your home who is marriageable, you ought to pray that he will not marry one of the "Canaanites." They are still in the land, and there is always a danger of our young people marrying one of them. If they do, as someone has put it, they are going to have the devil for their father-in-law, and they are always going to have trouble with him.

The complete doctrine (which is not much longer than this one): The Doctrine of Racial Intermarriage (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Since Abraham has refused to allow Isaac to marry a Canaanite, we must take a look at the Canaanites.

What is wrong with the Canaanites

1.      This term Canaanite can refer to those living in Canaan and those with the genes of Canaan.

2.      Abraham has observed the rapid degeneracy of the Sodomites. God warned them with the 4th and 5th cycles of discipline, and yet they continued to exhibit out-of-control sexual behavior. God finally destroyed them all in Gen. 19.

3.      Although Abraham generally had a good relationship with the various rulers which he came into contact with in the land, he did have problems often with the people under them. He would have well disputes as would his son Isaac.

4.      Esau will marry some Hittite women in the land and cause no-end torment of Isaac and Rebekah.

5.      The Canaanites were cursed, going back to the different ways that Shem, Ham and Japheth viewed the nakedness of their father.

6.      The people of Canaan, after time passes, will turn toward idolatry as a whole; and eventually to perverted forms of worship. God will give the go-ahead to destroy them at that point (they would be under the 5th and 6th stage of national discipline at that point).

         1)      The 5th stage of national discipline is when a people are removed from their own homeland and put into slavery.

         2)      The 6th stage of national discipline is when a people are completely destroyed (as happened to Sodom and Gomorrah).

 

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 24:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, so that, in that; for that, since; which; when, at what time; who, whom; where, wherever; the fact that = how; because that, because; as, like as; yea, even, yea even; until that; then, so [in an apodosis]

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER] is actually used in a number of different ways; it can mean that, so that, in that; for that, since; which; when, at what time; who; where, wherever; the fact that = how; in order that, because that, because; as, like as; yea, even, yea even; until that; then, so [in an apodosis].

ʾânôkîy (אָנֹכִי) [pronounced awn-oh-KEE]

I, me; (sometimes a verb is implied)

1st person singular personal pronoun

Strong’s #595 BDB #59

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

inhabiting, staying, remaining, dwelling, sitting

Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qereb (קֶרֶב) [pronounced KEH-rebv]

midst, among, from among [a group of people]; an [actual, physical] inward part; the inner person with respect to thinking and emotion; as a faculty of thinking or emotion; heart, mind, inner being; entrails [of sacrificial animals]

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7130 BDB #899

With the bêyth preposition, it means in the midst of, among, into the midst of (after a verb of motion).


Translation: ...[among] whom I am living. Abraham is reasonable to be discerning, and he knows them because he has lived among them.


V. 3 reads: Now I bind you to an oath by Yehowah, Elohim of the heavens, Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from among the daughters of the Canaanites, [among] whom I am living. This is a choice that Abraham is making. There is no indication that God has come to him with such a requirement. Generally speaking, intermarriage is bad when it involves believers in the True God and those who worship false gods (or revere other things). This appeared to be the direction in which much of Canaan was going.


To whom you are bound, in marriage or even friendship, is very important.


——————————


For unto my land and unto my kindred you will go and so you have taken a woman for my son for Isaac.”

Genesis

24:4

Instead [lit., for, that] you will go unto my country and unto my family, and you will take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Instead, you will go to my old country and to my family there, and you will take a wife from there for my son Isaac.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        For unto my land and unto my kindred you will go and so you have taken a woman for my son for Isaac.”

Targum of Onkelos                ...but that thou wilt go to the land and the house of my kindred, and take a wife for my son, for Izhak.

Latin Vulgate                          But that you go to my own country and kindred, and take a wife from thence for my son Isaac.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But that you will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.

Septuagint (Greek)                But you shall go instead to my country, where I was born, and to my tribe, and you shall take from there a wife for my son Isaac.

 

Significant differences:           The targum, Latin and Greek all has some additional text (underlined).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Instead, go back to the land where I was born and find a wife for him from among my relatives."

Easy English                          Go to my country and my family to choose a wife for my son Isaac. Please promise that to me.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Go back to my country to my own people. There find a wife for my son Isaac and bring her here to him.”

The Message                         ...but will go to the land of my birth and get a wife for my son Isaac."

New Life Bible                        But go to my country and to those of my family. Take a wife for my son Isaac from there."

New Living Translation           Go instead to my homeland, to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Rather, I want you to go to my country - to the place where I was born and to my people - to find a woman for my son IsaAc.'

International Standard V        Instead, you are to go to my country and to my family and acquire a wife for my son Isaac."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Go into my land and into my kindred, and take a woman for my son Isaac."

Bible in Basic English             But that you will go into my country and to my relations and get a wife there for my son Isaac.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...but that you will go to my old family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

NIV – UK                                ...but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.'


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

New American Bible              ...but that you will go to my own land and to my kindred to get a wife for my son Isaac."

Revised English Bible            You must go to my own country and to my own kindred to find a wife for my son Isaac.’


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ...but that you will go to my homeland, to my kinsmen, to choose a wife for my son Yitz'chak."

Judaica Press Complete T.    But you shall go to my land and to my birthplace, and you shall take a wife for my son, for Isaac."

Kaplan Translation                 Instead, you must go to my native land, to my birthplace, and obtain a wife for my son Isaac.'


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    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; but thou shalt go unto my country and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. Abraham demanded a solemn oath from Eliezer, in order that this most important mission would be carried out, even if he himself should die soon. By Jehovah, the God of heaven and earth, he had his servant swear, for this was not an ordinary marriage which was contemplated, but a matter of the greatest importance for the kingdom of God, since Isaac was the heir of the divine promise. For that reason also a heathen woman from among the daughters of the Canaanites would not have been acceptable, just as today the marriage of a Christian with an enemy of Christ is always ill-advised, to say the least. V. 3 is included for context.

Lexham English Bible            And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all he had, "Please put your hand under my thigh that I may make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose midst I am dwelling, but that you will go to my land and to my family, and take a wife for my son, for Isaac." Vv. 2–3 are included for context.

NET Bible®                             You must go instead to my country and to my relatives [Heb "for to my country and my relatives you must go."] to find [Heb "and take."] a wife for my son Isaac."

Translation for Translators     Instead, go to my country and to my relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac from among them."



Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    ...for to my land whence I came, and to my kindred should you go, and take a wife for my son, for Isaac, thence.

The updated Geneva Bible    But you will go unto my country [He did not want his son to marry out of the godly family: for the problems that come from marrying the ungodly are set forth in various places throughout the scriptures. ], and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

World English Bible                But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac."

Young’s Updated LT             But unto my land and unto my kindred will you go, and have taken a wife for my son, for Isaac.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham tells his servant to go eastward and to take a wife from his extended family for Isaac.


Genesis 24:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

BDB gives this list of definitions: 1) that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since; 1a) that; 1a1) yea, indeed; 1b) when (of time); 1b1) when, if, though (with a concessive force); 1c) because, since (causal connection); 1d) but (after negative); 1e) that if, for if, indeed if, for though, but if; 1f) but rather, but; 1g) except that; 1h) only, nevertheless; 1i) surely; 1j) that is; 1k) but if; 1l) for though; 1m) forasmuch as, for therefore.

Kîy, like many of the small words in Hebrew, has a large number of uses: ➊ It is used as a relative conjunction, particularly after the verbs seeing, hearing, speaking, knowing, believing remembering, forgetting and in such cases means that. ➋ Although kîy is used for consecution and effect and rendered to that, that; it sometimes has an intensifying force and is rendered so that, so even, even. This is how it is used in this context. ➌ The connective can be used of time and be rendered at that time, which, what time, when. ➍ Kîy can be used of time, but in such a way that it passes over to a demonstrative power where it begins an apodosis (then, so). ➎ It can be used as a relative causal particle: because, since, while, on account that. When we find it several times in a sentence, it can mean because...and or for...and. ➏ It can also have a continuous disjunctive use here and be rendered for...or...or (when the second two kîy’s are preceded by conjunctions). ➐ After a negative, it can mean but (the former must not be done because the latter is to be done).

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #776 BDB #75

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

môwledeth (מוֹלְדֶת) [pronounced mohle-DETH]

birth, origin, native; kindred, family; progeny, [female] offspring, children; circumstances of birth

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #4138 BDB #409

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229


Translation: Instead [lit., for, that] you will go unto my country and unto my family,... Here, the kîy preposition is a little tricky in the previous verse, we have a negative, describing what the servant would not do. In this verse, that begins with the kîy preposition, there is a description for what the servant would do. In such a case, the kîy preposition can be translated but; here, instead better fits the bill.


Similarly, although ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets] is generally translated earth or land; it may be understood here to mean my homeland, my country, my native country. So, Abraham’s servant will be directed to go on a very long trip back to Haran where there are still members of Abraham’s family living.


How do we know that Abraham is referring to Haran; could this not be understood as Ur, where he was born.

Land of Birth or Land of Kindred?

1.      The word translated kindred is môwledeth (מוֹלְדֶת) [pronounced mohle-DETH], and it can mean birth, origin, native; kindred, family; progeny, [female] offspring, children; circumstances of birth. Strong’s #4138 BDB #409.

2.      So, how do we know that this refers to kindred, family rather than to birth, origin? How does the servant know that Abraham is talking about Haran rather than about Ur?

3.      Abraham would not have had a servant since his birth. So, it is possible that his servant is aware of and possibly served Abraham when he was in Haran but not in Ur. So the servant would have identified Abraham’s country as being Haran. But, bear in mind, this is speculation.

4.      V. 4 has Abraham telling his servant to go to my country and to my kindred. We may reasonably assume that the servant understood Abraham’s country to refer to Haran and not to Ur. Again, this is speculation, but it does strengthen the case.

5.      In v. 7, Abraham will talk about God taking him from his father’s house and from his kindred. That would be Haran in Mesopotamia, because Abraham did not separate from his father in Ur.

6.      Finally, v. 10, tells us exactly where the servant goes. Since he goes to Haran, quite obviously, the servant understood to which place Abraham was referring.

7.      Finally, we have many passages which refer to Abraham’s family living in Haran. We have no passages of his family living in Ur after they all left. Therefore, it is logical to understand this to refer to Haran.

This is not some great doctrinal point. We are simply determining to what place Abraham is referring.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Abraham had originally come from the fertile crescent; that land through which two rivers ran: the Tigris and the Euphrates. We do not think of this land as being fertile, but, at one time, it was beautiful and lush (not as nice as the land of Canaan, but it was not then the desert that it is today). He lived there for sometime with his family, to a point where he called it, my country. Furthermore, this is where most of his family lives now—there does not appear to be close relatives of his left back at Ur of the Chaldees.


We discussed this earlier. This is where Noah and his descendants were after the flood, in the mountains to the east and north of the fertile crescent. If the water from the flood is drying up, and the Tigris and the Euphrates are roaring rivers, this would be a very fertile area indeed. It would look nothing like it does today; and the same can be said for the land of Canaan, which was even more lush in this period of time.


However, unlike many rivers in the United States which are fed by melting snowfall, the amount of water which goes into these rivers has become less and less as time goes on. This does not mean that it cannot be dealt with. Much of the Middle East, rich in oil, could have poured that money into desalination plants. There are some in the Middle East, but not as many as there needs to be. They had the money to make hundreds of these plants; but, because of the drive of their sin natures, they chose to fund terrorism instead.


Desalinization plants (graphic) from Hitachizosen; accessed December 18, 2014.


genesis243.gif

Abraham still has family in that area of the fertile crescent. It appears that many of them, either with Abraham or at a later time, moved out to Haran (Charan). We do not find this out in Gen. 24, but in Gen. 27:43 and 28:10. This appears to be the country to which Abraham is referring, even though he was originally brought up in Ur of the Chaldees.


Genesis 24:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yisechâq (יִשְׂחָק) [pronounced yihse-KHAWK]

he laughs; laughing; transliterated Isaac

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3327 & #3446 BDB #850

This is also spelled Yitsechâq (יֹצְחָק) [pronounced yihyse-KHAWK]. When you hear about manuscript discrepancies in the Old Testament, many of them simply involve alternate spellings.


Translation: ...and you will take a wife for my son Isaac.” From this remaining family, the servant is to find a suitable wife for Isaac. This is essential because Isaac must carry on the seed of Abraham.


30 was a common age for a man to marry (Gen. 11:14, 18, 22, 24); and Isaac would have been around 39 at this time (I am assuming that this trip to secure him a wife takes 6 months to a year—he will marry at age 40).

 

J. Vernon McGee: There are two institutions that God has given to the human family: one is marriage, and the other is human government (God permits man to rule himself today). These are two universal and very important institutions. When these are broken, a society will fall apart. The home is the backbone of any society - God knew that - and He established marriage, intending that it give strength and stability to society. The same thing is true relative to human government - a government must have the power to take human life in order to protect human life - that is the purpose of it. Because human life is sacred, God gave such laws.


Finding a woman with the proper breeding is something which has been a part of human history, going back to at least this time and before. One of the themes of Downton Abbey is finding proper marriage partners, and when one goes outside of her station in life, there is great concern amongst some members of her family.


What appears to be a call for racial purity here (and particularly much later in Israel's history) is not for racial reasons but for reasons of faith. There is only one true God and He will reveal Himself to anyone who desires to know Him. It does not matter how sincere a worshiping heathen happens to be or to how much thought they have put into their religion. Most religions have a god made in the image of man or after the views and prejudices of man. This god is a legalistic god who saves and blesses only on the basis of human works. Abraham recognizes the kind of havoc which can be created in Isaac's life if he marries someone who does not worship the living and true God.


I am not saying that those of Abraham’s family were as clearly in the faith as he is—clearly, they were not, as we read in Gen. 31:30 and Joshua 24:2. However, they were closer to the real faith that the Canaanites were.


There are some places today—let’s use the example of Egypt—where you have the choice between Muslims and a very ritualistic form of Christianity (Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox or Coptic Christians). If you are a doctrinal believer, and in need of a wife, would you choose a woman who is a Muslim or a Coptic Christian? This explains Abraham’s decision on behalf of Isaac.


The exact same thing is taught to Christians in the epistles of Paul: do not become unequally yoked. You cannot make a worse mistake than to marry an unbeliever, if you are a believer; or to marry a believer who has no interest in God's Word if you have an insatiable appetite for God's Word. If you find yourself in that position, about to get married, then Paul's advice is to remain just as you are, unmarried, for awhile. A year or two (or 10 or 20) of waiting is nothing compared to 10-30 years of misery; or, worse yet, the bearing of children and divorce. The United States has become a nation which takes the vows of permanence in marriage lightly and we are paying the piper with our youth being out of control, greedy and misdirected. Abraham wisely understands the importance of finding a wife for Isaac who believes in God. It will be clear that Isaac’s wife will teach her son Jacob the importance of the promises of God and the blessing from Isaac (although she will go about this in the wrong way).


Genesis 24:4 But you will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife to my son Isaac.”


You will notice what is on Abraham’s mind. He does not talk to his servant about a better wealth redistribution. He does not discuss whether or not his slaves ought to be able to unionize. Abraham is concerned that his son Isaac has a wife; and Abraham does not want the heathen influences of the women in their general area.


There are possibly two things on Abraham’s mind: (1) a continuation of the covenant made to him by God and (2) his own age. On the former, Abraham understands that he must have a child, the person must have a child, etc. etc. If Isaac is going to continue his line, then he must be married. Now, just because God has promised to Abraham to make his descendants like the sand of the sea and the stars of the heavens, does not mean that Abraham and Isaac have nothing else to do in their lives. Isaac needed to be married; it was reasonable for him to marry someone who worshiped the same Revealed God; and it was culturally normal for the parents (or the father) to arrange the marriage. Therefore, it is about time that Abraham has done something about it. God has given Abraham a promise; but that does not mean that Abraham sits back and waits for God to do everything.


Application: God has promised to take care of us for the rest of our lives. This does not mean that we find a comfortable place to sit on a park bench in a nice part and remain there until death. We have certain functions in life, one of which is work. If you are an adult believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you should not be sitting on your duff watching television every day and collecting money from taxpayers.


Application: A believer needs to know when to act and when to exercise faith (and when to do both). A physician who believes in Jesus Christ continues to practice medicine. He might pray before the day begins; he might pray before doing an operation; he might even pray with a patient. But, when it is time to do his work, he does his work always to the best of his ability. A Christian physician does not simply lay hands on a sick person and prayer for them to be well. He participates in the healing process, evaluating and diagnosing the illness, and then determining the best course of action.


So, even though God has promised to bless Abraham with descendants like the sand of the seashore and like the stars of the heavens, that does not mean that Abraham ignores the fact that Isaac needs to be married.


The second thing on Abraham’s mind might be his own mortality. His last interaction with God was around age 110 or so, when he offered Isaac on the altar. It is 30 years later and, although Abraham continues to have a good life, he might realize that he will grow old (older) and die. Nearly every person, at some point in their lives, recognizes that they will get old and die. When you are a child, you know that there are adults and you know that there are old adults, but you do not really relate to them. You don’t see yourself as a part of either group—and few young people, if any, realize that, some day, they will be a part of those two groups. However, at some point in time, most people realize that life is only going in one direction. So, it is possible that Abraham realizes that he is going to die (perhaps he realizes this after the death of his wife Sarah), but that he has some responsibilities still—one of those being, to see to it that Isaac marries the right girl. My point is, the recognition of his own mortality, causes Abraham to seriously consider what must be done on behalf of his son, Isaac.


Application: You might have an unmarried son who is 40 years old, and, although you may have mixed feelings about it, you do not tend to interfere. He is an adult; that is up to him to think about the future and the next generation. But, in the time of Abraham, the culture was quite different. Given what occurs in this chapter, it is clear that the Abraham, the father, takes a lot of responsibility when it comes to finding a wife for Isaac. He sees this as his job to do; not Isaac’s.


There are 5 divine institutions designed for the human race; and marriage is one of those institutions.

The 5 Divine Institutions

1.      The function of the human soul—every believer and unbeliever is given a human soul with volition, mentality, norms and standards, a conscience, and self-consciousness. We need to respect the human freedom of those around us. Our volition ends when it begins to infringe on the volition of others.

2.      Work is designed for the believer and unbeliever alike. Not only is it necessary in order to live (apart from those who depend upon others), but it is important to a person’s mental health. Everyone has come home from a hard day at work, where effort was expended and things were done, and there is some personal satisfaction in having done a good job. Those who live off of others (e.g., welfare recipients) rarely have the same personal satisfaction with their own lives. God’s first commandment to mankind included the phrase “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.” (Gen. 1:28b). In the next chapter, we read: And Jehovah God planted a garden eastward in Eden. And there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground Jehovah God caused to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. The tree of life also was in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden. And from there it was divided and became four heads. And Jehovah God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and protect it (Gen. 2:8–10, 15). Subduing the earth is work. After Adam and the woman sinned, God levied punishment upon them both, including: "Because you listened to your wife's voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'Do not eat from it': The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of difficult labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it. For you are dust, and you will return to dust." (Gen. 3:17b–19). Difficult work becomes a part of our judgment. Work is a necessity in the believer’s life, Paul tells Timothy, If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat (1Tim. 3:10b).

3.      Marriage between one man and one woman is designed for the human race. Men and women are dramatically different in makeup, and they are designed to be in balance with one another—yin and yang, if you will. Just as work was fundamental to Adam’s life, before he sinned and after he sinned, so is the institution of marriage. Adam had the woman before the fall and Adam had the woman after the fall. You will note that the first 3 divine institutions existed in perfect environment and in a fallen world. That is how fundamental they are to human existence.

4.      Closely related to marriage is family; and children have been shown to be far better off when raised by 2 parents as opposed to one. Children from a nuclear family (1 husband and 1 wife) are shown to be better adjusted, less likely to become criminals, drug users, alcohol abusers, or pregnant at an early age. This is a matter of statistics. You have heard over and over again, how there is an inordinate number of Blacks in prison. If you took the number of whites and Blacks in prison and chose from a similar sample with respect to the divine institution of marriage, there is virtually no difference between Blacks and whites. The strongest determining factor in criminal behavior is not race but parentage. A Black from a home with a mother and father is no more likely to enter into a life of crime than a Caucasian from a home with a mother and a father. The reason there is a disproportionate number of Blacks in prison, is because there are a disproportionate number of Black single parent families.

5.      The institution of separate national entities preserves freedom, isolates depravity, and best allows for evangelization and spiritual growth. The Declaration of Independence got this point exactly right: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.

The maintenance of these institutions is fundamental in the preservation of any group of people.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We have studied already that many people in Canaan worship the same God that Abraham does; but there were obviously some distortions which were seeping into their practice of Yehowah worship. Abraham believed that there was a purer form taught to him and his family (by a more purer form, I mean an understanding which is more doctrinally accurate). Abraham does not ever say, “Find a Canaanite woman who believes in Yehowah; if she believes in Yehowah and Isaac believes in Yehowah, then it’s all good.”


Abraham comes from a very strange era. You may recall that the ages that men lived to began to decrease after the floor, going from the 900's down to the 200's or so. However, the way that this worked out is, the eldest patriarchs remained alive for a very long time, down to the time of Abraham. So, while Abraham was alive, Shem, who had been on the ark, was also still alive, and his son, his son’s son, and a couple of other generations. Having these generations all alive at the same time provided stability to Yehowah worship; there was stability in their understanding of God.


Ages of the Patriarchs Chart; from Church Ages.com and accessed December 23, 2013. Here is what is so strange—nearly every patriarch in Abraham’s line is live at the time of Abraham’s birth. 3 or 4 of his ancestors die right about the time that Abraham is born and Eber might be the only one to outlive Abraham (they appear to die about the same time). So, all of Abraham’s ancestors going back to the flood are alive when Abraham is born; none of them are alive at his death. So, assuming that Shem and his sons try to correctly retain Yehowah in their

ages-of-the-patriachs.jpg

thinking; this keeps coming on down to generation after generation—and then suddenly, every one of them begins to die out.


We will reasonably assume, therefore, that those in Abraham’s family, understood and practiced Yehowah worship, because so many of them were still alive at this time.


My generation, at one time, understood and believed that homosexual acts were wrong; however, 2 or 3 generations later, there are young people who believe that homosexuality rights is the civil rights issue of their err. Furthermore, they will cut off all communication from anyone who thinks differently.


This was not the case with Yehowah worship. When 7–10 generations are all alive at the same time, there is no brand new generation making up its own rules and its own morality, but they would adhere to the accepted systems of belief of the consensus generations.


Somehow, this remained steady in the line of Shem; not so much in the line of Canaan, who came from Ham. In the line of Ham, there seemed to be less interest in Yehowah worship. Clearly those men who interacted with Abraham believed in the Revealed God of Abraham and understood blessing by association; but this was a minority position (we will see other regular citizens given the Abrahamic line a rough time).


Application: Let me also point out that, in all of this, God allows for us to live a normal life here on earth, which includes a family and work. Although some people function without these things, both are generally a part of every person’s life; and it is God’s plan for family and work to be great blessings to all men. Although there are a few people who appear to be involved in God’s work for most of their working hours, that is not necessary for all people, despite the fact that all believers are in full-time Christian service. God gives us time to live a normal life. God does not deny us marriage or family or good food or work—things which take up a great deal of time. But God expects for us to have balance and priorities in our life; and, for most people, this means an hour of Bible teaching a day (which is your bulwark against human viewpoint thinking, which surrounds you and envelops you for the rest of your waking hours). That hour of Bible teaching provides you divine viewpoint and guidance. The more doctrine that you have in your soul, the less difficulty that you will have with divine guidance.


Abraham is going to send his servant back east to speak with Abraham’s family members to bring back a wife for Isaac. The servant is logical and has a few concerns.

 

Bruce Goettsche: Abraham based his request on God's promise to Him. He knew that God intended to give this land to his children. He knew that it was God's intention to judge the Canannites. Certainly there were many beautiful woman in that area. But Abraham knew that God had called the Jews as His special people. Isaac could not marry a Canannite woman because it would lead to a compromise of faith. So, right at the beginning this servant had certain parameters to work with. He knew that he was looking for a woman that was from Abraham's family and one that would return to the Canann with him. God's promise had given the servant a good start.


Goettsche teaches this chapter with the application of God’s will in view. Essentially, Abraham is about to make a momentous decision—mostly on behalf of Isaac—and his first consideration is the Word of God. What has God said to him that provides him with some clear guidelines?

Cole in precepts

——————————


And so says unto him the servant, “Perhaps is not willing the woman to come after me unto the land the this—should a returning I return your son unto the land which you have come from there?”

Genesis

24:5

The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman is unwilling to come after me to this land—[in] returning, should I return [with] your son to the land from which you have come?”

The servant said to him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come with me back to this land? Should I return with your son to the land of your birth?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says unto him the servant, “Perhaps is not willing the woman to come after me unto the land the this—should a returning I return your son unto the land which you have come from there?”

Targum of Onkelos                And the domestic said to him, the woman may not be willing to come after me to this land; will I, returning make your son return to the land from whence you came?

Latin Vulgate                          The servant answered: If the woman will not come with me into this land, must I bring your son back again to the place from where you came?

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the servant said to him, Suppose the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from whence you came?

Septuagint (Greek)                And the servant said to him, Shall I carry back your son to the land from which you came from, if the woman should not be willing to return happily with me to this land?

 

Significant differences:           The ancient translations are all quite similar. The Greek seems to have the extra adjective happily.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The servant said to him, "What if the woman doesn't agree to come back with me to this land? Shouldn't I take your son back to the land you left?"

Contemporary English V.       But the servant asked, "What if the young woman I choose refuses to leave home and come here with me? Should I send Isaac there to look for a wife?"

Easy-to-Read Version            The 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?”

Good News Bible (TEV)         But the servant asked, "What if the young woman will not leave home to come with me to this land? Shall I send your son back to the land you came from?"

The Message                         The servant answered, "But what if the woman refuses to leave home and come with me? Do I then take your son back to your home country?"

New Century Version             The servant said to him, "What if this woman does not want to return with me to this land? Then, should I take your son with me back to your homeland?"

New Life Bible                        The servant said to Abraham, "What if the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land? Should I take your son to the land you came from?"

New Living Translation           The servant asked, "But what if I can't find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And his servant replied, 'But if the woman isn't happy and willing to return with me to this land, then should I carry your son back to the land that you came from?'

Beck’s American Translation “Suppose the woman doesn’t want to come away with me to this country,” the servant asked him. “Should I then take your son back to the country you came from?”

International Standard V        "What if the woman doesn't want to come back with me to this land?" the servant asked. "Shouldn't I have your son go to the land from which you came?"

NIRV                                      The servant asked him, "What if the woman doesn't want to come back with me to this land? Then should I take your son back to the country you came from?"

New Simplified Bible              The servant asked: »What if the young woman will not leave home to come with me to this land? Shall I send your son back to the land you came from?«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman will not go after me into this land: Do I ||return|| your son to the land you proceeded from?"

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But the servant asked him, “If a woman does not desire to come along with me to this country, shall I return and take your son to the land from which you came?”


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 And the servant said to him, Perhaps the woman does not breathe in agreement to walk after me to this land; returning, shall I return your son to the land from where you came out?

New American Bible              The servant asked him: "What if the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I then take your son back to the land from which you migrated?"

New RSV                               The servant said to him, `Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land; must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?

Revised English Bible            What if the woman is unwilling to come with me to this country?’ the servant asked ‘Must I take your son back to the land you came from?’


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The servant replied, "Suppose the woman isn't willing to follow me to this land. Must I then bring your son back to the land from which you came?"

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               And the servant said to him, “What if the woman does not consent to follow me to this land, shall I then take your son back to the land from which you came?”

Kaplan Translation                 'But what if the girl does not want to come back with me to this land?' asked the servant. 'Shall I bring your son back to the land that you left?'


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

The Amplified Bible                The servant said to him, But perhaps the woman will not be willing to come along after me to this country. Must I take your son to the country from which you came?

Kretzmann’s Commentary    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? The caution of Eliezer in not swearing lightly is to be commended highly, although he did not have the same measure of faith as Abraham, who trusted implicitly in the promise of the Lord.

Lexham English Bible            And the servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman will not be willing {to follow} me to this land--must I then return your son to the land from whence you came?"

NET Bible®                             The servant asked him, "What if the woman is not willing to come back with me [Heb "to go after me."] to this land? Must I then [In the Hebrew text the construction is emphatic; the infinitive absolute precedes the imperfect. However, it is difficult to reflect this emphasis in an English translation.] take your son back to the land from which you came?"

Translation for Translators     The servant asked him, "If I find a woman among your relatives, what if she is not willing to come back with me to this land? Shall I take your son back there to the country you came from, so he can find a wife and live there?"

The Voice                               Servant: But what if the woman is not willing to follow me here to this unfamiliar land? Do you want me then to take Isaac back to your homeland?


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And saying to him is the servant, "Perhaps the woman will not be willing to go after me to this land. Shall I restore, yea restore your son to the land whence you fared forth?

Darby updated Translation     And the servant said to him, Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land: must I, then, bring your son again in any case to the land from which you have removed?

Green’s Literal Translation    And the slave said to him, Perhaps the woman will not be willing to go after me to this land; shall I indeed bring back your son into the land from out of which you came?

NASB                                     The servant said to him, "Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?"

World English Bible                The servant said to him, "What if the woman isn't willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?"

Young’s Updated LT             And the servant says unto him, “It may be the woman is not willing to come after me unto this land; do I at all cause your son to turn back unto the land from where you came?”

 

The gist of this verse:          The servant asks Abraham, if the woman refuses to come to Canaan, should he then take Isaac there to meet her?


Genesis 24:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant; underling; subject

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713


Translation: The servant said to him,... The servant is very respectful, using most of the words which Abraham has used, so as not to suggest any drastic changes. This is how an authority orientated person responds to an order.


Genesis 24:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾûwlay (אוּלִַי) [pronounced oo-LAHY]

perhaps, unless, suppose; if peradventure

adverb/conjunction

Strong’s #194 BDB #19

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

ʾâbâh (אָבָה) [pronounced awb-VAWH]

to be willing, to consent

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #14 BDB #2

ʾâbâh with the negative means to choose not to, not to be willing to, to be unwilling to, to refuse consent, to refuse, to refuse to do.

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #802 BDB #61

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʾachar (אַחַר) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind; afterwards, after that

preposition/adverb with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

zôʾth (זֹאת) [pronounced zoth]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

feminine of singular zeh; demonstrative pronoun, adverb; with the definite article

Strong’s #2063 (& 2088, 2090) BDB #260


Translation:...“Perhaps the woman is unwilling to come after me to this land—... Quite obviously, when this guy shows up back where Abraham was raised, speaking to a family that Abraham has come from over 50 years ago, there is the possibility that there will be an offer made and the woman will not be interested in traveling to meet a man for marriage whom she has never met. Now, the relatives will know Abraham and I am certain that some communication has remained open; but making such a trip to meet a stranger for marriage, this is expecting a lot.


You note how this is all phrased. The servant does not tell Abraham that this is a bad idea, and here is why. He merely points out the most obvious objection, but without suggesting there is a problem with Abraham’s plan.


From human viewpoint, the servant’s objection makes perfect sense.


Genesis 24:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied. This can be used in an indirect interrogation and translated whether.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

Hiphil infinitive absolute

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

The infinitive absolute has four uses: ➊ when found alone, it sometimes acts as an English gerund, so that we may add ing to the end of the verb; ➋ When found directly before its verbal cognate, it serves to intensify or strengthen the action or the meaning of the verb which follows; ➌ When it follows its cognate verb, it emphasizes the duration or the continuation of the verbal idea; and, ➍ it is sometimes used as a substitute for a finite verb form.

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation:...[in] returning, should I return [with] your son to the land... The servant asks that, if the woman won’t come with him, then should he come back, get Isaac and head back there. Note how all of this is phrased. It is apparent that the servant wants to take Isaac with him in the first place, as Isaac will sell himself to the woman. She will look at him and go with him. This will make the servant’s job much easier, in his own estimation.


The servant would still essentially do everything; but he thinks it more prudent to have the husband-to-be right there with him.


Notice that the servant does not say, “Look, the woman is probably not going to come all the way here with me to marry a stranger; so, why don’t I just take Isaac with me from the get-go?” He does not suggest this, because that is not Abraham’s order. Abraham’s order is for him to go to Haran, find a woman who is a relative of theirs, and bring her back for Isaac to marry. Nothing was said or suggested about Isaac going on this trip. So the servant gingerly suggests that, given that the woman may not want to return with him, does he come back, grab Isaac, and go back to Abraham’s relatives?


By phrasing the question in this way, the servant both lets his intention be known (to take Isaac with him in the first place), but without contradicting what Abraham has told him to do.


Genesis 24:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027


Translation: ...from which you have come?” Haran was not Abraham’s original homeland; he was not born there. He was born much deeper into Iraq than that. However, his family moved from his original birthplace, following the Euphrates northeast, until they came to Haran, where they stopped. This is where the servant is to go.


This servant is quite logical. He is going to go a very long distance and speak to people whom he has never met before. They don’t know him from Adam.


The servant did not have an array of photographs of Isaac to take with him. He did not carry an ipad filled with high resolution photos of Isaac growing up. He is going to go to meet a family of strangers and try to talk one of their daughters into coming back with him on a long journey to meet and marry someone she has never seen before. Abraham wants to bind this servant to an oath, and the servant is doubting that he can fulfill the requirements of that oath.


“Better I should take Isaac along, so she can look over the goods first,” is what he is saying, but without actually saying that.


This is a bright and prepared servant. He is not questioning Abraham's orders nor is he attempting to supercede Abraham’s authority; he is simply asking about plan B (if the woman does not come with him, should he then take Isaac to the woman) or should he modify plan A instead: take Isaac with him in the first place. My guess is, the servant has logically come to this conclusion that, when he goes to some foreign land and asks a woman to come back and marry his master’s son—he could see the average woman balking at this. “You did not even bring me a picture of him on your iPhone?” she would say. To the servant, he expects that they will have to go to plan B. This being a very long trip with a lot of valuables, this is not a trip the servant wants to make twice.


Notice how cleverly the servant puts it. He is going to make this great journey and what if the family says, “You want us to send our daughter all the way to Canaan to meet someone, and without even seeing photos of him on your ipad?” So he asks, “On the second trip, that’s when I take Isaac along?” But that isn’t really what he is asking. By asking if he should be prepared to take Isaac for the second trip, the servant is implying, “Look, this is silly, me traveling all of that distance without taking the bridegroom with me. Why don’t I save us a lot of trouble and take Isaac with me the first time?” This is what he means, even though this is not what he says. The servant cannot say to Abraham, “Look, this is a good idea, BUT,...” and then tell him how it ought to be done. So, he talks about a second trip, after he is rebuffed by the young woman’s family on the first.


To the servant, this makes a lot more sense to let the future wife and her family actually meet the bridegroom. Interestingly enough, even though this seems logical, this is not Abraham’s plan and it is not God’s plan.


Application: There are times in your life when you will make a decision in accordance with God’s will which profoundly affects your life, but a decision where you have no way of knowing the repercussions of that decision. Moving, changing jobs, getting married—these are big life-changing decisions. Quite obviously, most of the things which will result from such decisions are not known to us up front. However, if we are in God’s will, then we can be assured that He has worked out all of these future details. This thing for Isaac and Rebekah—they have never met before, and yet they will marry, based on a handful of decisions made by Abraham and his servant. The greatest blessing of Isaac’s life, apart from God, will be Rebekah.

 

The Pulpit Commentary: [I]t was a natural and reasonable hypothesis that the bride elect should demur to undertake a long and arduous journey to marry a husband she had never seen; accordingly, the ancient messenger desires to understand whether he might not be at liberty to act upon the other alternative. Should I bring your son again to the land from where you came? In reply to which the patriarch solemnly interdicts him from attempting to seduce his son, under any pretext whatever, to leave the land of promise.


V. 5: The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman is unwilling to come after me to this land—[in] returning, should I return [with] your son to the land from which you have come?” We can also understand this to mean, the servant is thinking over the various outcomes, and he simply wants to come to an understanding of what his obligations are, if he is refused by the women from the east. In other words, he does not take this oath lightly.


Furthermore, Abraham has no idea how many years he has left. He could die before his servant returns. Or, at least the servant considers this. So the servant is exploring all of the options here. If he is going to take an oath, then he needs to be certain of all the terms of that oath.


——————————


And so says unto him Abraham, “Take heed to yourself lest you return my son there-ward.

Genesis

24:6

Abraham then answered him, “Take care to yourself so that you do not return my son there.

Abraham then answered him, “Do not, under any circumstance, take my son back there.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says unto him Abraham, “Take heed to yourself lest you return my son there-ward.

Targum of Onkelos                Abraham said to him, Beware, lest you make my some return there!

Latin Vulgate                          And Abraham said: Beware you never bring my son back again there.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Abraham said to him, Beware that you do not take my son there again.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Abraham said to him, See that you do not carry my son back there.

Brenton’s updated LXX         And Abraam said to him, Take heed to thyself that you carry not my son back there.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Abraham said to him, "Be sure you don't take my son back there.

Contemporary English V.       "No!" Abraham answered. "Don't ever do that, no matter what.

Easy-to-Read Version            Abraham said to him, “No! Don’t take my son to that place.

The Message                         Abraham said, "Oh no. Never. By no means are you to take my son back there.

New Berkeley Version           Abraham told him, “Beware of taking my son back there.

New Living Translation           "No!" Abraham responded. "Be careful never to take my son there.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And AbraHam said to him, 'Make sure that you don't carry my son back there.

God’s Word                         "Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said to him.

International Standard V        "Make sure not to take my son there," Abraham replied.

NIRV                                      "Make sure you don't take my son back there," Abraham said.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Abraham said to him, "You keep my son, otherwise he will return there.

Bible in Basic English             And Abraham said, Take care that you do not let my son go back to that land.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 When Abraham, in reply to him, said, “Be careful not to take my son there.

NIV, ©2011                             "Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said.



Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

Christian Community Bible     Abraham said to him, “In no way will you take my son back.

The Heritage Bible                 And Abraham said to him, Hedge it about that you do not turn my son back there.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Abraham told him, "Never take my son back there for any reason!

New Jerusalem Bible             Abraham replied, 'On no account are you to take my son back there.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Kaplan Translation                 'Be most careful in this respect,' replied Abraham. 'Do not bring my son back there!


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son there again! That would have been a step backward and would have shown mistrust in the words of the Lord.

Lexham English Bible            Abraham said to him, "{You must take care} that you do not return my son there.

NET Bible®                             "Be careful [Heb "guard yourself."] never to take my son back there!" Abraham told him [The introductory clause "And Abraham said to him" has been moved to the end of the opening sentence of direct discourse in the translation for stylistic reasons.].

Translation for Translators     Abraham replied to him, "No! Be certain that you don't take my son there!

The Voice                               Abraham: Absolutely not! Isaac's future is here. Do not take my son back there.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          And Abraham said to him, You be careful not to bring my son there again.

English Standard Version      Abraham said to him, "See to it that you do not take my son back there.

The updated Geneva Bible    And Abraham said unto him, Beware you that you bring not my son there [Lest he should love the inheritance promised.] again.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Abraham said to him, Take heed for yourself that you not take my son back there.

World English Bible                Abraham said to him, "Beware that you don't bring my son there again.

Young’s Updated LT             And Abraham says unto him, “Take heed to thyself, lest you cause my son to turn back there.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham makes it clear that Isaac is not to be taken to the east where he is from.


Genesis 24:6

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾAberâhâm (אַבְרָהָם) [pronounced ahbve-raw-HAWM]

father of a multitude, chief of a multitude; transliterated Abraham

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #85 BDB #4

shâmar (שָמַר) [pronounced shaw-MAR]

to be kept, to be preserved; to be careful; to abstain oneself [from anything]; to beware [of anything]; to care [for something]; to take heed

2nd person masculine singular, Niphal imperative

Strong's #8104 BDB #1036

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb with the directional hê

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

This simply means there; hê acts almost like a demonstrative.


Translation: Abraham then answered him, “Take care to yourself so that you do not return my son there. One minor word needs to be explained: to return; this word is applied properly to Abraham’s servant. Some translations make it sound as if Isaac cannot be returned to Haran (the Lexham Bible reads: Abraham said to him, "{You must take care} that you do not return my son there.). However, Isaac has never been to Haran. The verb is a 2nd person masculine singular verb. That means Abraham is speaking about the servant. The servant specifically has asked, “Okay, I go there, but let’s say no woman wants to come back here with me. What then? Do I return to there with Isaac this time?” And Abraham then answered him, “Take care to yourself so that you do not return my son there.”


This is the first time that Abraham uses an imperative, so that his servant knows that this is an important point and nonnegotiable. Abraham warns the servant directly, the imperative telling him to personally take heed or to be careful. Now Abraham uses his servant’s exact words, except appropriate to the servant’s person. “You will not return my son there.” What Abraham is saying here is emphatic and cannot be misinterpreted. Whether or not we have all of their conversation recorded, it is doubtful that this long-time servant asked Abraham, “Now, are you sure?”


Abraham gives the servant an unequivocal no. Abraham does not want to take this chance. God has given him the land upon which he stands, and this will be passed down to Isaac and to his descendants. Abraham does not want to confuse the issue. Abraham stands where he stands based upon the promises of God.


Remember, Abraham left the land to go to Egypt because of a drought, and there were all kinds of problems which occurred because of that. Furthermore, God did not tell Abraham, “Look, why don’t you send Isaac to Charan to get himself a wife.” Therefore, the servant will go to Charan; Isaac will not. Abraham will trust God to work out the details.


Isaac will never leave the Land of Promise.


This is a decision which Abraham is making, based upon the promises of God. God has not required this of him; nor has God recently spoken to Abraham—regarding finding a wife for Isaac or anything else. God gives us a great deal of freedom on this earth. The last direct interaction between God and Abraham was Gen. 22.


This decision not to allow Isaac to leave the land is completely Abraham’s.

Abraham’s reasoning about not letting Isaac leave the Land of Promise

1.      This is a decision that Abraham is making on his own. God has not pulled Abraham aside at any time and said, “Your son Isaac cannot leave this land of Canaan.” In fact, God has not directly communicated with Abraham for 25–30 years now.

2.      God gave this land to Abraham and to his seed; therefore, Abraham sees no reason to remove his son (his seed) from this land.

3.      Abraham has left Canaan once to go to Egypt, and there were a number of problems which arose out of that. Therefore, why subject his son Isaac to something which is probably a mistake?

4.      Abraham will send many of his subsequent sons outside of the land (yes, he will have more sons). They are not sons of promise; and Isaac is.

5.      Because of God’s specific promises (and bear in mind, Abraham has not heard any of these promises from God directly for over 20 years), his son of promise will remain in the land; his other sons will be sent elsewhere.

6.      God specifically told Abraham to leave Haran and to come to this land of Canaan. Abraham is reasonably applying this to his son.

7.      Abraham does not want to take the chance that Isaac meet a woman outside of the land and then decide to remain with her there. When Abraham sends his servant to Haran, it is only to bring a woman for Isaac back into the land.

8.      This is also where Abraham’s faith kicks in—God gave him this land, his line must continue, and there should not be any intermarriage with those who worship other gods. Therefore, Abraham is confident that he can send his servant back east to find and wife and that his servant will be successful. Obviously, God’s promises cannot be fulfilled if Isaac has no wife.

9.      Abraham will therefore reason that God will send an angel ahead of his servant in order to prepare things for him (v. 7 below).

10.    Thus, most of Abraham’s reasoning here is based upon the promises of God.

Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, will leave the land for a period of 20 years. Although God will speak to Jacob, He will not require that Jacob remain in the land.

Paul provides us with an interesting analogy: For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1; ESV)

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Let’s conclude this verse with a passage from Hebrews: These all [referring back to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as to Sarah] died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city. (Heb 11:13; ESV; capitalized) All of them had faith that this land had been given to them.


——————————


Yehowah, Elohim of the [two] heavens, Who took me from a house of my father and from a land of my birth, and Who spoke to me and Who swore to me, to say, ‘To your seed I will give the land the this.’ He will send His messenger [or, angel] to your faces and you have taken a woman for my son from there.

Genesis

24:7

Yehowah, Elohim of heaven, Who took me out of my father’s house and out from the land of my kindred, and Who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your seed.’ He will send His angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there.

Jehovah, the God of heaven—the One Who took me out of my father’s house and Who took me away from the land of my kindred, and the One Who swore to me, “I will give this land to your seed;’ it is He Who will send His angel before you so that, as a result, you can bring a wife for my son from there.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Yehowah, Elohim of the [two] heavens, Who took me from a house of my father and from a land of my birth, and Who spoke to me and Who swore to me, to say, ‘To your seed I will give the land the this.’ He will send His messenger [or, angel] to your faces and you have taken a woman for my son from there.

Targum of Onkelos                And Abraham said to him, Beware, lest you make my some return there! The Lord God, whose seat is in heaven on high, who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth; and who spake to me, and swore to me, saying, To your son will I give this land; He will seasonably send His angel, and you will take a wife for my sone from there.

Latin Vulgate                          The Lord God of heaven, who took me out of my father’s house, and out of my native country, who spoke to me, and swore to me, saying: To your seed will I give this land: he will send his angel before you, and you will take from there a wife for my son.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    The LORD God of heaven, who took me from thence, from my father's household and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me, and who made a covenant with me, saying, To your descendants will I give this land; he shall send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife to my son from there.

Septuagint (Greek)                The Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, who took me out of my father's house, and out of the land from which I sprang, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, I will give this land to you and to your seed, He shall send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife to my son from there.

 

Significant differences:           The targum expands the phrase of the heavens. The Greek has which I sprang rather than of my birth (these are close in meaning). The targum has son rather than seed.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The LORD who rules heaven brought me here from the land where I was born and promised that he would give this land to my descendants forever. When you go back there, the LORD will send his angel ahead of you to help you find a wife for my son.

Easy English                          The *Lord God of heaven took me from my father's house. And he took me from that country where I was born. He spoke to me and he promised this. "I will give this country to your *descendants." He will send his *angel ahead of you. You shall choose a wife for my son. You shall choose her from the place where my relatives are.

Good News Bible (TEV)         The LORD, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my father and from the land of my relatives, and he solemnly promised me that he would give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel before you, so that you can get a wife there for my son.

New Century Version             The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my father and the land of my relatives. And he promised me, `I will give this land to your descendants.' The Lord will send his angel before you to help you get a wife for my son there.

New Living Translation           For the Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants [Hebrew seed; also in 24:60.]. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

International Standard V        "The LORD God of heaven, who brought me from my father's house and from my family's land, who spoke to me and promised me `I will give this land to your descendants,' will send his angel ahead of you, and you are to acquire a wife for my son from there.

NIRV                                      "The Lord, the God of heaven, took me away from my father's family. He brought me out of my own land. And he made me a promise with an oath. He said, `I will give this land to your family after you.' The Lord will send his angel ahead of you. So you will be able to get a wife for my son from there.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Yahweh, the God of heaven, took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred. He spoke to me and swore to me, saying, 'To your seed I will give this land.' He will send his messenger there in front of you to take a woman for my son.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Ever-living, the God of heaven, who took me from my Father’s home, and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and also took oath to me, saying, ‘I will give this country to your race,’ He will send His Messenger before you; and you will bring a wife for my son from there.

New Advent Bible                  "The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and the land of my relatives [Or "the land of my birth."], promised me with a solemn oath [Heb "and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying."], `To your descendants I will give this land.' He will send his angel [Or "his messenger."] before you so that you may find [Heb "before you and you will take."] a wife for my son from there.


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

The Heritage Bible                 Jehovah God of the heavens, who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, I will give this land to your seed, he shall send his heavenly messenger before your face, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

New American Bible              "The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and the land of my kin, and who confirmed by oath the promise he then made to me, 'I will give this land to your descendants' - he will send his messenger before you, and you will obtain a wife for my son there.

New American Bible (R.E.)    The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and the land of my relatives, and who confirmed by oath the promise he made to me, `I will give this land to your descendants'-he will send his angel before you, and you will get a wife for my son there.

New Jerusalem Bible             Yahweh, God of heaven and God of earth, who took me from my father's home, and from the land of my kinsfolk, and who promised me on oath, "I shall give this country to your descendants"-he will now send his angel ahead of you, so that you can get a wife for my son from there.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ADONAI, the God of heaven - who took me away from my father's house and away from the land I was born in, who spoke to me and swore to me, 'I will give this land to your descendants'- he will send his angel ahead of you; and you are to bring a wife for my son from there.

Kaplan Translation                 God, the Lord of heaven, took me away from my father's house and the land of my birth. He spoke to me and made an oath. 'To your offspring I will give this land [See Genesis 12:7, 15:18 (Rashi).].' He will send His angel before you, and you will indeed find a wife there for my son.


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    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. That was the argument of faith: Jehovah had brought Abraham into the land in which he was now sojourning as a stranger; Jehovah had, with a solemn oath, promised this land to his descendants; therefore Jehovah would crown the servant's venture in Abraham's name with success, through the guidance and protection of His angel.

Lexham English Bible            Yahweh, the God of heaven who took me from the house of my father and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, 'to your offspring I will give this land,' he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

Translation for Translators     Yahweh God, who created the heavens, brought me here. He brought me from my father's household, and from the land where my relatives lived. He spoke to me and made a solemn promise to me, saying, `I will give this land of Canaan to your descendants.' He will send an angel who will go there ahead of you and enable you to get a wife for my son and bring her to live here.

The Voice                               The Eternal One, the God of heaven, the God who led me from my father's house and from the land of my birth long ago, the God who spoke to me and swore to me, "I am going to give this land to your future generations"-that God will send His messenger to guide and help you find a wife for my son from there.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Yahweh, the Elohim of the heavens and the Elohim of the earth, Who took me from my father's household and from the land of my kindred, whence I came, and Who spoke to me, and Who swore to me, saying, `To you and your seed will I give this land,' He will send His messenger before you, and you take a wife for my son, Isaac, thence.

Context Group Version          YHWH, the God of the skies { or heavens }, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, To your seed I will give this land { or earth }. He will send his messenger before you, and you shall take a woman { or wife } for my son from there.

Green’s Literal Translation    Jehovah, God of Heaven, who took me from the house of my father and from the land of my birth, and who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, I will give this land to your Seed; He shall send His Angel before you, and you shall take a wife from there for my son.

New King James Version       The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, `To your descendants [Literally seed] I give this land,' He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

World English Bible                Yahweh, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, 'I will give this land to your seed.' He will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

Young’s Updated LT             Jehovah, God of the heavens, who has taken me from the house of my father, and from the land of my birth, and who has spoken to me, and who has sworn to me, saying, To your seed I give this land, He does send His messenger before you, and you have taken a wife for my son from there.

 

The gist of this verse:          Abraham explains to his servant how a wife for Isaac is a part of God’s plan; and therefore, God will send an angel before him preparing the way.


Genesis 24:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

shâmayîm (שָמַיִם) [pronounced shaw-MAH-yim]

heaven, heavens, skies; the visible heavens, as in as abode of the stars or as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc.; Heaven (as the abode of God)

masculine dual noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8064 BDB #1029

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: Yehowah, Elohim of heaven, Who took me out of my father’s house... Abraham will now explain, building doctrine upon doctrine, why there is a woman for Isaac, in the land of Abraham’s birth. Abraham will speak all about Jehovah, the God of heaven, and what He has done so far. First thing is, He took Abraham out of his father’s house. God delivered these marching orders to Abraham about 50 years ago, when He said to him, "Get out of your country, and from your relatives, and from your father's house, to the land that I will show you.” (Gen. 12:1b).


Genesis 24:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

môwledeth (מוֹלְדֶת) [pronounced mohle-DETH]

birth, origin, native; kindred, family; progeny, [female] offspring, children; circumstances of birth

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #4138 BDB #409

Somewhere, there appears to be a numbering problem. In the e-sword KJV+ that I have, this is listed as Strong’s #4138. However, when I go to the proper BDB page, it is Strong’s #4038. So I look up Strong’s #4138 in the index, and I am taken to this word, on a different page, with a reference back to BDB #409! However, Gesenius has only Strong’s #4138, with an entirely different word of Strong’s #4038 (the same for the BDB in e-sword). Therefore, the mistake appears to be with my edition of BDB.


Translation: ...and out from the land of my kindred,... God told Abraham to leave his father’s house, and the land of his kindred, and Abraham complied.


Application: It is sometimes necessary, in the life of the believer, to allow God to move you from point A to point B. The more doctrine that you have in your soul, the easier it is to figure out when this is occurring. However, Abraham could not have been that dramatically mature when God moved him to Canaan.


Genesis 24:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...and Who spoke to me... As we have seen, God has spoken to Abraham on 5 or 6 occasions. So Abraham has been guided by the Word of God.


Genesis 24:7d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

shâbaʿ (שָבַע) [pronounced shawb-VAHĢ]

to swear, to imprecate, to curse, to swear an oath, to take a solemn oath, to swear allegiance

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #7650 BDB #989

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...and who swore to me,... God also swore a solemn promise to Abraham. We have already studied all of these back in Gen. 22 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD) and we will look at them again in Gen. 26 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Genesis 24:7e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zeraʿ (זֶרַע) [pronounced ZEH-rahģ]

a seed, a sowing; an offspring, progeny, descendant; posterity

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2233 BDB #282

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

1st person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

zôʾth (זֹאת) [pronounced zoth]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

feminine of singular zeh; demonstrative pronoun, adverb; with the definite article

Strong’s #2063 (& 2088, 2090) BDB #260


Translation: ...saying, ‘I will give this land to your seed.’ There are two ways that this promise is to be understood: God would give the Land of Promise to his descendants. Under Joshua, they would take the land, and they would hold it up until the 1st advent and the beginning of the Church Age, at which point they would lose it. This promise also references our Lord’s millennial rule, when He will reign over Israel.


Abraham has already received God’s promises concerning the future of his descendants. Therefore, Abraham knows that he must have descendants. That means, Isaac must have a wife.


Genesis 24:7f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one)

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb is, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

maleʾâke (מַלְאָ) [pronounced mahle-AWKe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) and priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before you, before your face, in your presence, in your sight, in front of you. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in Your judgment.


Translation: He will send His angel before you... Now Abraham puts some doctrines together. When God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He sent His angels there first, and that was to rescue Lot and his family. Therefore, if God wants this land to go to Abraham’s descendants, then God must make certain that Abraham has descendants. Abraham cannot have descendants unless Isaac marries a woman. Abraham also realizes that Isaac cannot simply adopt a slave child or something along those lines, as that was not an option for Abraham.


Therefore, Abraham can conclude that his trusted servant will not return to the Tigris-Euphrates valley sort of willy-nilly, cross-my-fingers and hope this works out. If this land is going to be given to Abraham and his descendants and taken from the Canaanites, then it is logical that Abraham’s descendants will be born apart from the Canaanite seed (at least in the main; there will be some intermingling, as there always is). However, at this point, Abraham knows that Isaac must get a wife from his general family.


Abraham knows that God will provide here. He has great faith in God and he knows that what he is asking his servant to do is within God’s plan. Therefore, it has to work out.


Application: If you pray for that which is clearly the will of God, then God will answer that prayer. Abraham knows enough doctrine to know that his request is within God’s plan.


Abraham has thought this out. He knows that he must find a wife for Isaac from his same stock; one who believes in the living God; and Abraham trusts God to have this wife there waiting for Isaac. Isaac is about 39 years old now. One concern that I believe that Abraham has is that Isaac will go back to Abraham's family and remain there. God has given this land to the descendants of Abraham, therefore, Abraham and his descendants must remain in the land.


It’s like this: Abraham knows that God’s promises will be fulfilled in his descendants. Therefore, Isaac cannot be childless. Therefore, Isaac needs a wife. It is only reasonable for Isaac to take a wife who not only believes in the same God, but knows Who that God is.


Now, this also appears to be a cultural norm of this era, which was probably related to the language barrier which God had established back in Gen. 10.


In several of these short doctrines, I approach these people, their thinking, their motivations, and their reasoning in a logical fashion. When they say something, there is a reason why they say it. Many times, there is enough information in context to determine the thinking of the characters of this historical narrative.

Abraham’s logical conclusion, based upon the promises of God

1.      God swore to Abraham that He would give this land to Abraham and to his seed.

2.      Problems ensued when Abraham and Sarah left the land.

3.      This land cannot be given to Abraham’s descendants unless he has descendants.

4.      Therefore, Isaac must have a wife.

5.      If you put all of this together, it would be unwise, in Abraham’s view, to have Isaac leave the land that God has given him; but Isaac cannot have children without a wife.

6.      Therefore, God must provide Isaac a wife—and a wife of proper breeding (that is, she is brought up to believe in the Revealed God).

7.      If all of this must come to pass, then God must provide.

8.      Therefore, just as God sent angels into Sodom, to both save Lot and to destroy Sodom; logically, He will send an angel to Haran to prepare the heart of one young woman.

This might help you to see the difference between Abraham’s thinking and the servant’s thinking. Logically, the servant recognizes that him going to a family he has never met and to bring back a wife to a place she has never seen and to a man she has never seen—that approach allows reasonably for a woman to say, “No, I’ll pass.” But, from Abraham’s perspective, God must provide; as this is in accordance with His clear promises to Abraham.

J. Vernon McGee: Abraham is really a man of faith. He demonstrates it again and again, and here he is magnificent. He says to this servant, "You can count on God to lead you. God has promised me this." Abraham is not taking a leap in the dark - faith is not a leap in the dark. It must rest upon the Word of God. Many people say, "I believe God, and it will come to pass." That's fine. It is wonderful for you to believe God, but do you have something in writing from Him? Abraham always asked for it in writing, and he had it in writing from God. God had made a contract with him. Abraham is really saying, "God has promised me that through my seed Isaac He is going to bring a blessing to the world. You can be sure of one thing: God has a bride back there for Isaac." You see, Abraham rests upon what God has said. We need to not be foolish today. Faith is not foolishness. It is resting upon something. It is always reasonable. It is never a leap in the dark. It is not betting your life that this or that will come to pass. It is not a gamble; it is a sure thing. Faith is the real sure thing. Abraham is sure.

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Genesis 24:7g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027


Translation: ...and you will take a wife for my son from there. Abraham nearly repeats exactly what he said originally. He is not mad; it is not a problem that he had to explain himself; Abraham simply explained divine viewpoint to his servant, who took it all in.


Abraham’s seed is Isaac, and the land is passed on to him. So, logically, Isaac stays on the land which God has given him. God would prepare the way for Abraham’s servant.


God has set aside the land of Canaan for Abraham and his seed. God will take care of the details in the east when it comes to finding a wife for Isaac. Just as God sent an angel before Abraham to prepare the land for him; God will send an angel before Abraham’s servant, to prepare the heart of his future bride.


As an aside, we do not know the exact mechanics of this. How exactly do angels work? What do they do in preparing the way for Abraham’s servant? How do Satan and his demons work? Just exactly how are they allowed to obstruct the plan of God. None of this is clearly laid out. The most information we have ever received about this topic was in Gen. 19, where angels to into Sodom and fetch Lot and his family (Job 1–2 also give us an idea). In Gen. 19, Lot and his family can obviously see and touch these angels (remember, the angels grab the members of Lot’s family and literally pull them along to get them out of there). But, as for the rest of it, we have no idea. What exactly was done to bring a rain of burning sulphur upon Sodom, we don’t know. Similarly, we do not know how angels will prepare the way for this servant to run into Rebekah. We are simply told that this is done.


We will study the Doctrine of Angels later in this chapter.


And so Abraham says to his servant: “Yehowah, Elohim of heaven, Who took me out of my father’s house and out from the land of my kindred, and Who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying, ‘I will give this land to your seed.’ He will send His angel before you and you will take a wife for my son from there.” To look at this in a slightly different light, Abraham is saying: “It is God’s will to give this land to me and to my seed. Therefore, it is God’s will for my son Isaac to have a wife who worships God. Therefore, it is God’s responsibility to see to it that hearts and minds in the east are prepared for your coming. God knows you are going to go there; God knows what must be done. Therefore, we will depend upon God to work out the details.” And Abraham reasonably supposes that God will send an angel forth to prepare the heart of one young woman to come to Canaan. As the writer of Hebrews notes: Are angels not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Heb 1:14) There are many passages which reveal that angels do the will of God and prepare the way for us: Ex. 23:20–23 33:2 Psalm 32:8 34:7 73:24 103:20 Prov. 3:5–6 Isa. 63:9.

 

Matthew Henry: The confidence he put in a good God, who, he doubts not, will give his servant success in this undertaking (Gen. 24:7). He remembers that God had wonderfully brought him out of the land of his nativity, by the effectual call of His grace; and he therefore does not doubt that God will make his servant successful without needing to bring his son there again. He remembers also the promise God had made and confirmed to him that he would give Canaan to his seed, and there infers that God would own him in his endeavours to match his son, not among those devoted nations, but to one that was fit to be the mother of such a seed. “Fear not therefore; he will send his angel before you to make your way prosperous.” 


——————————


And if not willing to come the woman to go after you, and you have been acquitted of my oath the this. Only my son you will not return there-ward.”

Genesis

24:8

But if the woman is not willing to follow after you, then you are freed of this oath of mine, provided [that] you do not return my son there.”

However, if no woman is willing to follow you back to here, then you are freed of this oath, provided that you do not take my son back there.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And if not willing to come the woman to go after you, and you have been acquitted of my oath the this. Only my son you will not return there-ward.”

Targum of Onkelos                But if the woman be not willing to come after you, you will be innocent from this my oath; only make not my son return there.

Latin Vulgate                          But if the woman will not follow thee, thou shalt not be bound by the oath: only bring not my son back there again.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And if the woman will not be willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this my oath; only you must not take my son there again.

Septuagint (Greek)                And if the woman should not be willing to come with you into this land, you shall be clear from my oath, only do not carry my son there again.

 

Significant differences:           No serious differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           If the woman won't agree to come back with you, you will be free from this obligation to me. Only don't take my son back there."

Contemporary English V.       If the woman refuses to come along, you don't have to keep this promise. But don't ever take my son back there."

Easy English                          You have made this *oath to me. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you are free from it. But never take my son back to the country that I came from.'

Easy-to-Read Version            But 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.”

New Century Version             If the girl won't come back with you, you will be free from this promise. But you must not take my son back there."

New Living Translation           If she is unwilling to come back with you, then you are free from this oath of mine. But under no circumstances are you to take my son there."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          However, if the woman isn't willing to come with you into this land, you will be free from this oath. Just don't carry my son back there.'

Beck’s American Translation And if the woman doesn’t wnat to come back with you, you’re not bound anymore by what you swear to me; only do’t take my son back there.”

God’s Word                         If the woman doesn't want to come back with you, then you'll be free from this oath that you swear to me. But don't take my son back there."

International Standard V        If the woman isn't willing to follow you, then you'll be free from this oath to me. Just don't take my son back there!"

NIRV                                      "The woman may not want to come back with you. If she doesn't, you will be free from your oath. But don't take my son back there."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      If the woman will not go after you, you are pardoned from this oath: Only do not return my son there."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But if a woman does not desire to come along with you, then you shall be free of this oath; except that you must never take my son there.”

New Advent Bible                  But if the woman will not follow you, you shall not be bound by the oath: only bring not my son back there again.


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

Christian Community Bible     But if the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be free of this oath. In any case you are not to take my son down there.”

The Heritage Bible                 And if the woman does not breathe in agreement to walk after you, then you shall be clear from this my oath; only do not turn my son back there.

New American Bible (R.E.)    If the woman is unwilling to follow you, you will be released from this oath to me. But never take my son back there!"

New Jerusalem Bible             If then the girl refuses to follow you, you will be quit of this oath to me. Only do not take my son back there.'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   And if the woman wills not to go after you,

then you are exonerated from this my oath:

only return not my son there.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And if the woman will not wish to go after you, you will be absolved of this, my oath; only do not return my son back there."

Kaplan Translation                 If the girl does not want to come back with you, then you shall be absolved of my oath. But [no matter what,] do not bring my son back there!'


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

The Amplified Bible                And if the woman should not be willing [The Holy Spirit does not win unwilling souls, only "whosoever will."] to go along after you, then you will be clear from this oath; only you must not take my son back there.

Kretzmann’s Commentary    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 there again. This was for the sake of reassuring the timid servant. If believers, in the name of God, undertake a matter which pleases God, then they may and should trust in the assistance and blessing of the Lord.

Lexham English Bible            And if the woman is not willing {to follow} you, then you shall be released from this oath of mine--only you must not return my son there."

NET Bible®                             But if the woman is not willing to come back with you [Heb " to go after you."], you will be free [You will be free. If the prospective bride was not willing to accompany the servant back to Canaan, the servant would be released from his oath to Abraham.] from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!"

Translation for Translators     But if the woman you find will not come back with you, you are free to disregard the promise you are making. The only thing that you must not do is to take my son to live there."

The Voice                               If for some reason the woman is not willing to follow you, then I free you from the obligation of my oath. But you must never take my son back there!


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you shall be free from this my oath. Only you shall not bring my son there again.

English Standard Version      But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there."

Green’s Literal Translation    And if the woman will not be willing to go after you, then you shall be clear from this oath of mine; only do not take my son back there.

New King James Version       And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there."

Young’s Updated LT             If the woman isn’t willing to follow you, then you will be clear from this my oath. Only you will not bring my son there again."

 

The gist of this verse:          If the woman is unwilling to come to the country of Canaan with this servant, then he will be released from this oath.


Genesis 24:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

Together, ʾîm lôʾ (לֹא ם ̣א) [pronounced eem low] act as an emphatic affirmative and they mean if not, surely, unless.

ʾâbâh (אָבָה) [pronounced awb-VAWH]

to be willing, to consent

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #14 BDB #2

ʾâbâh with the negative means to choose not to, not to be willing to, to be unwilling to, to refuse consent, to refuse, to refuse to do.

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #802 BDB #61

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʾachar (אַחַר) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind; afterwards, after that

preposition/adverb with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #310 BDB #29


Translation: But if the woman is not willing to follow after you,... Abraham admits to this possibility. Many times, he thought that he knew how to proceed in God’s plan, but he was mistaken (e.g., having a child by means of a surrogate mother). So Abraham admits that it is possible that his servant will not have any luck.


Or, Abraham could simply be saying, “Let’s say that happens (I am 99% certain that it won’t), then...”


Genesis 24:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâqâh (נָקָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to be acquitted, unpunished, declared free or declared guiltless

2nd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong #5352 BDB #667

This is the first occurrence of this word in Scripture.

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shebûʿâh (שֶבֻעָה) [pronounced sheb-voo-ĢAH]

a solemn oath, a curse

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #7621 BDB #989

zôʾth (זֹאת) [pronounced zoth]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

feminine of singular zeh; demonstrative pronoun, adverb; with the definite article

Strong’s #2063 (& 2088, 2090) BDB #260


Translation: ...then you are freed of this oath of mine,... If Abraham’s servant does not have any luck whatsoever finding a women for Isaac, then he will no longer be bound by this oath.


So the servant will take an oath to go back to Abraham's relatives, whom the servant probably has never seen and whom Abraham has not seen for almost a century. Abraham does not want the servant to just pick up some young waif from anywhere and bring her back, claiming to be from the same family. Abraham does not expect this, but he has his servant take an oath to indicate how important this is.


Genesis 24:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

raq (רַק) [pronounced rahk]

only, provided, altogether, surely—this adverb carries with it restrictive force

adverb

Strong’s #7534 & #7535 BDB #956

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb with the directional hê

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

This simply means there; hê acts almost like a demonstrative.


Translation: ...provided [that] you do not return my son there.” Again, at least one commentator wondered about the verb to return. This refers to the servant specifically (it is a 2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect verb) and not to Isaac.


Abraham, under no circumstances, wants his son to travel to that region. The fulfillment of God’s covenants are here in the land of promise, not in the Tigris-Euphrates valley.


The servant is concerned that he will not be able to convince any woman to come back with him, and this is a reasonable concern. Abraham tells the servant that he is freed from his oath if that is the case.


Why is Abraham so adamant about this? He has learned, by experience, that God has a geographical place where He wants us. For Abraham, that is the land of Canaan. For his son, who will inherit all that he has, that is the land of Canaan. Isaac’s future wife will be brought to him.


In a later chapter, Jacob, Isaac’s son, himself will leave the Land of Promise and go to the east to find this same family and to find a bride for himself. Because of this, he will be out of the Land of Promise for 14+ years.


So Abraham stepped out of the land of Canaan once (when he and his wife went to Egypt), and that was a bad idea. Therefore, he will make certain that will not be the case for Isaac.


Why is Abraham so certain about this angel thing? Insofar as we know, God has not come to him and said, “Look, you need to get Isaac a bride. I’ve got a couple of angels preparing the way for your servant to go to Charan.” The deal is, Abraham knows that all of his promises are fulfilled through his genealogical line. Therefore, Isaac need to have children; and therefore, Isaac needs a wife. So, of course God is going to provide for him in this way. God’s character requires Him to fulfill his promises to Abraham.


——————————


And so places the servant his hand under a thigh of Abraham, his adonai. And so he swears to him upon the word the this.

Genesis

24:9

Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord [lit., his adonai]; and he swore this thing to him.

Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, swearing this oath to him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so places the servant his hand under a thigh of Abraham, his adonai. And so he swears to him upon the word the this.

Targum of Onkelos                And the servant put his hand upon the circumcised part of Abraham his lord, and sware to him according to this thing.

Latin Vulgate                          The servant, therefore, put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and swore to him upon his word.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So the servant put his hand under the girdle of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham, and swore to him concerning this matter.

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew has thigh, rather than girdle or circumcised part. This word can be translated this thing or this matter.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           So the servant put his hand under his master Abraham's thigh and gave him his word about this mission.

Contemporary English V.       So the servant gave Abraham his word that he would do everything he had been told to do.

Easy English                          So the servant put his hand under his master Abraham's *thigh. Then he made a very serious promise.

Easy-to-Read Version            So the servant put his hand under his master’s leg and made the promise.

Good News Bible (TEV)         So the servant put his hand between the thighs of Abraham, his master, and made a vow to do what Abraham had asked.

The Message                         So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn oath.

New Berkeley Version           The servant then placed his hand under his master Abraham’s thigh and swore to him to that effect.

New Living Translation           So the servant placed his hand under the hip of Abraham, and he promised to do this.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          So, the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master AbraHam, and swore this to him.

God’s Word                         So the servant did as his master Abraham commanded and swore the oath to him concerning this.

International Standard V        So the servant made a solemn oath [Lit. servant placed his hand under Abraham's thigh; i.e., to make a solemn promise based on the sanctity of the family and commitment to the family line] to his master Abraham regarding this matter.

NIRV                                      So the servant put his hand under Abraham's thigh. He promised with an oath to do what his master wanted.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the servant put his hand under Abraham's leg, and gave him his oath about this thing.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Abraham’s servant accordingly put his hand under the thigh of his master, and took an oath to him upon this matter.

New Advent Bible                  The servant, therefore, put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and swore to him upon his word.


Catholic Bibles (those having the imprimatur):

 

Christian Community Bible     So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his master, and swore to him that he would do it.

The Heritage Bible                 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and swore to him concerning this word.

New American Bible              So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore to him in this undertaking.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore to him as bidden [lit. “About this matter.”].

Kaplan Translation                 The servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he took an oath regarding this.


Expanded/Embellished Bibles:

 

Kretzmann’s Commentary    And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. Eliezer now knew that he would not be held responsible in case the woman selected by him would refuse to come, and so he no longer hesitated about rendering his oath in this important matter.

Lexham English Bible            Then the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and he swore to him concerning this matter.

NET Bible®                             So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes [Heb "and he swore to him concerning this matter."].

Translation for Translators     So the servant put his hand between Abraham's thighs and made a solemn promise about the matter.

The Voice                               The trusted servant took the oath, holding in his hand Abraham's power to give life. He swore to do what his master required.

This solemn oath, sworn with the servant's hand beneath Abraham's thigh, binds the servant to carry out the request.