ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 44


So Abraham bought the plot of land belonging to Ephron at Machpelah,
near Mamre. This included the field itself, the cave that was in it, and all
the surrounding trees. It was transferred to Abraham as his permanent possession in the presence of the Hittite elders at the city gate. Then A
­ braham
buried his wife, Sarah, there in Canaan, in the cave of Machpelah, near
Mamre (also called Hebron). So the field and the cave were transferred
from the Hittites to Abraham for use as a permanent burial place.
Abraham was now a very old man, and the Lord had blessed him in every
way. 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. 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. Go instead to my homeland,
to my relatives, and find a wife there for my son Isaac.”
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?”
“No!” Abraham responded. “Be careful never to take my son there. 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. He
will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife
there for my son. 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.”
So the servant took an oath by putting his hand under the thigh of his
master, Abraham. He swore to follow Abraham’s instructions. Then he
loaded ten of Abraham’s camels with all kinds of expensive gifts from his
master, and he traveled to distant ­Aram-­naharaim. There he went to the
town where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled. He made the camels
kneel beside a well just outside the town. It was evening, and the women
were coming out to draw water.
“O Lord, God of my master, Abraham,” he prayed. “Please give me
success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham. See, I
am standing here beside this spring, and the young women of the town
are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them,
‘Please give me a drink from your jug.’ If she says, ‘Yes, have a drink, and
I will water your camels, too!’—­let her be the one you have selected as
Isaac’s wife. This is how I will know that you have shown unfailing love
to my master.”
Before he had finished praying, he saw a young woman named Rebekah
coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter
of Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife,

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