When Sarah was 127 years old, she died. Both Abraham and Isaac mourned her death for they had loved her very much. Abraham had no burial place, so he purchased a field from some neighboring people. On this field was a cave where he buried his beloved Sarah. This burial place was called Machpelah. Later, both he and Isaac would be buried here.
Both Abraham and Isaac missed Sarah. They had loved her very much. Isaac was now a man and it was time for him to become married. However, there were not any women living nearby who believed in the true and living God. Abraham thought that it was very important for Isaac to marry a woman who believed as they did. Additionally, it was the custom of the day for the parent to take the responsibility of choosing the husbands and wives for their children. Abraham wanted Isaac to stay in Canaan but marry a woman who served God. He wanted to choose a good wife for Isaac. Because it was common for a son to marry within the family, Abraham thought about his brother Nahor who lived in Haran. He was the father of twelve sons. Each of them had married and had children of their own. Certainly, in Haran there would be a wife for Isaac.
Abraham was too old to make the trip to Haran himself. Since he had many servants, he decided to send the one whom he trusted over all the others. This servant's name was Eliezer. One day, he called Eliezer to him and said, "Place your hand under my thigh, and promise me that you will go to the land where my relatives live and find a wife for Isaac." In Abraham's culture, placing a hand under the thigh was how an agreement was made.
Eliezer knew the journey would be long and hard. He was afraid that he might fail. He asked, "What if the woman I find is not willing to come to a strange land to become the wife of a man she has never seen? May I take Isaac there to live among your relatives?"
Abraham replied, "No. Do not take my son to the land of my relatives. The Lord, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my relatives. He promised He would give this land to my descendants. He will send His angel ahead of you to find a wife for my son. If she refuses to come back with you, I will not blame you, but never take Isaac there."
Eliezer realized how much Abraham trusted him when he asked him to do this important task. Faithful Eliezer placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham. He said, "I will do as you have asked."
Eliezer took with him ten of Abraham's camels, many beautiful presents, and several servants to help on the long journey. For many days, they traveled across wide valleys, steep hills, and running rivers. They also went through the hot and dusty desert. At last, they came to the city of Haran. Eliezer had the camels kneel down at the water well just outside the city gate.
It was almost evening. This was the time when the women of the city would go to the well and fill their pitchers with water. Abraham had taught Eliezer to trust in God. As he rested at the well, he prayed that God would show him a good woman for Isaac to marry. He prayed, "O Lord, please be kind to my master Abraham. I am beside this well. Let the young woman whom I shall ask to give me a drink, also offer to water the camels. In this way, I will know that she is the one you have chosen to become Isaac's wife."
Even before Eliezer had finished praying, a beautiful young woman, carrying a pitcher on her shoulder came to the well to get water. When she had filled the pitcher, Eliezer asked her for a drink. Quickly, she lowered the pitcher to her hands and gave him a drink. When Eliezer had finished drinking she said, "I'll get water for your camels too." She hurried to empty her pitcher into the stone trough, and then ran back to the well to get more water. The young woman continued to do this until all the camels had finished drinking.
When she was finished, Eliezer took two gold bracelets and an earring and gave them to her as presents. Then he asked, "Whose daughter are you? Would there be room at your father's house for us to spend the night?"
She answered, "I am Rebekah, the granddaughter of Nahor." Then she added, "We have plenty of straw for your camels as well as room for you to spend the night." Quickly, she hurried off to tell her family about the man at the well, and to show them the beautiful presents he had given her.
At once, Eliezer knew God had answered his prayer. He bowed his head and worshipped the Lord.
When Laban, Rebekah's brother, heard her story and saw the beautiful jewelry Eliezer had given her, he ran to meet the strangers standing by the camels near the well. He said, "Come with me. I have prepared a place for you and the camels to stay."
At once they went to the house and unloaded the camels. Laban brought straw for the camels and water for the men to wash their feet. Food was set before them, but Eliezer said, "I will not eat until I have told you why I am here."
Eliezer explained, "I am Abraham's servant. God has greatly blessed my master. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, and many servants. God has also given him and his wife Sarah a son in their old age. Abraham has given everything he owns to his son, Isaac. Because Isaac is not married, Abraham has sent me here to find a wife for him." Then, Eliezer told of how God had answered his prayer by sending Rebekah to offer water to him and to the thirsty camels.
Rebekah's father and brother Laban were willing to let her go with Eliezer because they believed God had sent him. They said, "This is from the Lord. Take Rebekah and let her become Isaac's wife."
When Eliezer heard their words, he bowed his head once more to worship the great God who had helped him. Then, he brought out the beautiful gold and silver jewelry along with the rich clothing to give to Rebekah. In addition, Eliezer had other presents, which he gave to Laban and Rebekah's mother. After handing out all of the presents, everyone enjoyed the feast that had been prepared. The next morning, Eliezer said, "Now, let me return to my master."
Laban and his mother did not want Rebekah to leave them so soon. They said, "Let her stay for a few more days." However, Eliezer insisted that he must return to Abraham at once.
Together, they called Rebekah. When Rebekah was asked what she wanted to do, she said, "I will go." Rebekah's family said goodbye, and sent her away with her nurse and other maids.
They began the long journey back home. Rebekah and her maids rode the camels, while Eliezer led the way.
After several days, they came near the place where Abraham and Isaac lived. It was evening and Isaac was in the fields thinking about God. From a distance, he saw the caravan of camels coming towards him. Rebekah looked and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked Eliezer, "Who is the man coming to meet us?"
"That is my master Isaac," Eliezer replied. At once Rebekah covered her face with a veil.
When Isaac met them, Eliezer told him how God had answered his prayer. He then brought Rebekah to him. Isaac took her to the tent that his mother had lived in and she became his wife. Isaac loved Rebekah and was comforted by her after the loss of his mother.
Many years passed, and Abraham died. He was 175 years old. Ishmael learned about his death and helped Isaac bury their father in the cave where Sarah was buried. All through his life, Abraham had faithfully served the Lord and diligently worshipped Him. God remembered Abraham and kept His promise that Abraham would become the father to great nations and his descendants would become as many as the stars in the sky.
Read more about "Choosing a Wife for Isaac" Genesis 23:1 - 25:11.
"Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother's tent and she became his wife. He loved her very much, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother." Genesis 24:67