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Old 6th January 2017, 06:30 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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Default Genesis 24

[Genesis 24]
{24:1} Now Abraham was old and of many days. And the Lord had blessed him in all things.

Like said previously, he was around 137 years old, after the passing of his wife, Sarah.

{24:2} And he said to the elder servant of his house, who was in charge of all that he had: “Place your hand under my thigh,
{24:3} so that I may make you 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 live.
{24:4} But that you will proceed to my land and kindred, and from there take a wife for my son Isaac.”

His elder servant was a faithful and obedient man.

{24:5} The servant responded, “If the woman is not willing to come with me into this land, must I lead your son back to the place from which you departed?”
{24:6} And Abraham said: “Beware that you never lead my son back to that place.
{24:7} The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my nativity, who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ himself will send his Angel before you, and you will take from there a wife for my son.
{24:8} But if the woman is not willing to follow you, you will not be held by the oath. Only do not lead my son back to that place.”

This chapter is also good for those who feel that marriage is their vocation. In order to find a good partner, it is advisable to discern if the person who they are looking for, freely accepts the proposed friendship which could further develop into a relationship.

{24:9} Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and he swore to him on his word.
{24:10} And he took ten camels from his lord’s herd, and he went forth, carrying with him things from all of his goods. And he set out, and continued on, to the city of Nahor, in Mesopotamia.
{24:11} And when he had made the camels lie down outside of the town, near a well of water, in the evening, at the time when women are accustomed to go out to draw water, he said:
{24:12} “O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, meet with me today, I beg you, and show mercy to my lord Abraham.
{24:13} Behold, I stand near the fountain of water, and the daughters of the inhabitants of this city will go forth to draw water.
{24:14} Therefore, the girl to whom I will say, ‘Tip your pitcher, so that I may drink,’ and she will respond, ‘Drink. In fact, I will give your camels a drink also,’ the same one is she whom you have prepared for your servant Isaac. And by this, I will understand that you have shown mercy to my lord.”

Prayer is also key for discernment of a good potential spouse. See how this servant has a conversation with the Lord, he doesn't just look for a woman for his master's son, but he consults and has a conversation with the Lord first in order to see who could be the right woman (in another particular case, could be the right man).

{24:15} But he had not yet completed these words within himself, when, behold, Rebekah went out, the daughter of Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, having a pitcher on her shoulder.
{24:16} She was an exceedingly elegant girl, and a most beautiful virgin, and unknown by man. And she descended to the spring, and she filled her pitcher, and then was returning.

This lady, Rebekah, as described here, may have been in her late teens or early twenties the most.

{24:17} And the servant ran to meet her, and he said, “Provide me with a little water to drink from your pitcher.”
{24:18} And she responded, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly brought down the pitcher on her arm, and she gave him a drink.

This lady was humble and respectful of her elders, see how she calls "lord" this stranger (Abraham's servant).

{24:19} And after he drank, she added, “In fact, I will draw water for your camels also, until they all drink.”
{24:20} And pouring out the pitcher into the troughs, she ran back to the well to draw water; and having drawn, she gave it to all the camels.

This was a sign that this was this woman, a humble virtuous woman, was right for Isaac.

{24:21} But he was contemplating her silently, wanting to know whether the Lord had caused his journey to prosper or not
{24:22} Then, after the camels drank, the man took out gold earrings, weighing two shekels, and the same number of bracelets, ten shekels in weight.
{24:23} And he said to her: “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, is there any place in your father’s house to lodge?”
{24:24} She responded, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, to whom she gave birth for Nahor.”
{24:25} And she continued, saying, “There is very much straw and hay with us, and a spacious place to stay.”

Her virtuosity exceeded this servant's expectations and she was also close to Abraham's family.

{24:26} The man bowed himself down, and he adored the Lord,
{24:27} saying, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has not taken away his mercy and truth from my lord, and who has led me on a direct journey to the house of the brother of my lord.”
{24:28} And so the girl ran, and she reported all that she had heard in the house of her mother.
{24:29} Now Rebekah had a brother, named Laban, who went out quickly to the man, where the spring was.
{24:30} And when he had seen the earrings and bracelets in his sister’s hands, and he had heard all the words being repeated, “This is what the man spoke to me,” he came to the man who stood by the camels and near the spring of water,
{24:31} and he said to him: “Enter, O blessed of the Lord. Why do you stand outside? I have prepared the house, and a place for the camels.”

We see how the Lord, by His Providence, was preparing everything, the events going so smoothly.
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26
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Old 6th January 2017, 06:34 PM
Brother Brother is offline
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{24:32} And he brought him into his guest quarters. And he unharnessed the camels, and he distributed straw and hay, and water to wash his feet and that of the men who arrived with him.

This servant was not alone, for he brought with him other servants, so the house or establishment where Rebekah was had to be big.

{24:33} And bread was set out in his sight. But he said, “I will not eat, until I have spoken my words.” He answered him, “Speak.”
{24:34} Then he said: “I am the servant of Abraham.
{24:35} And the Lord has blessed my lord greatly, and he has become great. And he has given him sheep and oxen, silver and gold, men servants and women servants, camels and donkeys.
{24:36} And Sarah, the wife of my lord, has given birth to a son for my lord in her old age, and he has given him all that he had.
{24:37} And my lord made me swear, saying: ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell.
{24:38} But you shall travel to my father’s house, and you shall take a wife of my own kindred for my son.’
{24:39} But truly, I answered my lord, ‘What if the woman is not willing to come with me?’

This verse 24:39 is respecting the person's free will.

{24:40} ‘The Lord,’ he said, ‘in whose sight I walk, will send his Angel with you, and he will direct your way. And you shall take a wife for my son from my own kindred and from my father’s house.
{24:41} But you will be innocent of my curse, if, when you will arrive at my close relatives, they will not grant this to you.’
{24:42} And so, today I arrived at the well of water, and I said: ‘O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, if you have directed my way, in which I now walk,
{24:43} behold, I stand next to the well of water, and the virgin, who will go forth to draw water, will hear from me, “Give me a little water to drink from your pitcher.”
{24:44} And she will say to me, “You drink, and I will also draw for your camels.” Let the same be the woman, whom the Lord has prepared for the son of my lord.’

This happened even better than this servant expected and this all includes the free wills of the persons.

{24:45} And while I thought over these things silently within myself, Rebekah appeared, arriving with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder. And she descended to the spring and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Give me a little to drink.’
{24:46} And she quickly let down the pitcher from her arm, and said to me, ‘You drink, and to your camels I will also distribute drinking water.’ I drank, and she watered the camels.
{24:47} And I questioned her, saying, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she responded, ‘I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.’ And so, I hung the earrings on her, to adorn her face, and I put the bracelets on her hands.
{24:48} And falling prostrate, I adored the Lord, blessing the Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, who has led me along the straight path so as to take the daughter of my lord’s brother to his son.
{24:49} For this reason, if you would act according to mercy and truth with my lord, tell me so. But if it pleases you otherwise, say that to me also, so that I may go either to the right, or to the left.”

After this servant tells his experience with this welcoming family, he asks them if they still see him (this stranger, Abraham's servant) with good eyes. In other words, this servant still test them to see if whether they change their opinion over him (again, respecting their free will) and if he is in the right path.

{24:50} And Laban and Bethuel responded: “A word has proceeded from the Lord. We are not able to speak anything else to you, beyond what pleases him.
{24:51} Lo, Rebekah is in your sight. Take her and continue on, and let her be the wife of the son of your lord, just as the Lord has spoken.”
{24:52} When Abraham’s servant had heard this, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.
{24:53} And bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, as well as garments, he gave them to Rebekah as a tribute. Likewise, he offered gifts to her brothers and her mother.
{24:54} And a banquet began, and they feasted and drank together, and they lodged there. And rising up in the morning, the servant said, “Release me, so that I may go to my lord.”

They all seem to be happy and in communion.

{24:55} And her brothers and mother responded, “Let the girl remain for at least ten days with us, and after that, she will continue on.”
{24:56} “Do not be willing,” he said, “to delay me, for the Lord has directed my way. Release me, so that I may journey to my lord.”
{24:57} And they said, “Let us call the girl, and ask her will.”
{24:58} And when, having been called, she arrived, they wanted to know, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”

Rebekah freely wanted to go with these strangers (servant men) to the house of her proposed future husband in order to meet him.

{24:59} Therefore, they released her and her nurse, and the servant of Abraham and his companions,

She went with her "nurse" (and later we'll see, with other maids) so she did not go alone with strangers.

{24:60} wishing prosperity for their sister, by saying: “You are our sister. May you increase to thousands of thousands. And may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies.”
{24:61} And so, Rebekah and her maids, riding upon camels, followed the man, who quickly returned to his lord.

{24:62} Then, at the same time, Isaac was walking along the way that leads to the well, whose name is: ‘of the One who lives and who sees.’ For he dwelt in the southern land.
{24:63} And he had gone out to meditate in the field, as daylight was now declining. And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw camels advancing from afar.
{24:64} Likewise, Rebekah, having seen Isaac, descended from the camel.
{24:65} And she said to the servant, “Who is that man who advances to meet us through the field?” And he said to her, “That is my lord.” And so, quickly taking up her cloak, she covered herself.

"Covering herself before revealing her face to her groom"

{24:66} Then the servant explained to Isaac all that he had done.
{24:67} And he led her into the tent of Sarah his mother, and he accepted her as wife. And he loved her so very much, that it tempered the sorrow which befell him at his mother’s death.
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26
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Old 6th January 2017, 07:33 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,628

The holy persons of Biblical times tended to live simple humble lives, of loving service to others and prayer to God.

Abraham in particular is an example of faithfulness to us all.

{11:8} By faith, the one called Abraham obeyed, going out to the place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
{11:9} By faith, he stayed in the Land of the Promise as if in a foreign land, dwelling in cottages, with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs of the same promise.
{11:10} For he was awaiting a city having firm foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
{11:11} By faith also, Sarah herself, being barren, received the ability to conceive offspring, even though she was past that age in life. For she believed him to be faithful, who had promised.
{11:12} Because of this, there were also born, from one who himself was as if dead, a multitude like the stars of heaven, who are, like the sand of the seashore, innumerable.
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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