Gen 24-25; Psalm 4; Mark 9
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the LORD had blessed Abraham in 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.”
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?”
Abraham said to him, ”See to it that you do not take my son back there.
The LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘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.
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.”
So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor.
And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water.
And he said, ”O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham.
Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’–let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder.
The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up.
Then the servant ran to meet her and said, ”Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.”
She said, ”Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink.
When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, ”I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.”
So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels.
The man gazed at her in silence to learn whether the LORD had prospered his journey or not.
When the camels had finished drinking, the man took a gold ring weighing a half shekel, and two bracelets for her arms weighing ten gold shekels,
and said, ”Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”
She said to him, ”I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.”
She added, ”We have plenty of both straw and fodder, and room to spend the night.”
The man bowed his head and worshiped the LORD
and said, ”Blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his steadfast love and his faithfulness toward my master. As for me, the LORD has led me in the way to the house of my master’s kinsmen.”
Then the young woman ran and told her mother’s household about these things.
Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban. Laban ran out toward the man, to the spring.
As soon as he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and heard the words of Rebekah his sister, ”Thus the man spoke to me,” he went to the man. And behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring.
He said, ”Come in, O blessed of the LORD. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
So the man came to the house and unharnessed the camels, and gave straw and fodder to the camels, and there was water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
Then food was set before him to eat. But he said, ”I will not eat until I have said what I have to say.” He said, ”Speak on.”
So he said, ”I am Abraham’s servant.
The LORD has greatly blessed my master, and he has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, camels and donkeys.
And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old, and to him he has given all that he has.
My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell,
but you shall go to my father’s house and to my clan and take a wife for my son.’
I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’
But he said to me, ‘The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son from my clan and from my father’s house.
Then you will be free from my oath, when you come to my clan. And if they will not give her to you, you will be free from my oath.’
‘I came today to the spring and said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you are prospering the way that I go,
behold, I am standing by the spring of water. Let the virgin who comes out to draw water, to whom I shall say, ”Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,”
and who will say to me, ”Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,” let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’
‘Before I had finished speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her water jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the spring and drew water. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels drink also.
Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her arms.
Then I bowed my head and worshiped the LORD and blessed the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to take the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son.
Now then, if you are going to show steadfast love and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, ”The thing has come from the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good.
Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the LORD has spoken.”
When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the LORD.
And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments.
And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, ”Send me away to my master.”
Her brother and her mother said, ”Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.”
But he said to them, ”Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”
They said, ”Let us call the young woman and ask her.”
And they called Rebekah and said to her, ”Will you go with this man?” She said, ”I will go.”
So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men.
And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, ”Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your offspring possess the gate of those who hate them!”
Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb.
And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming.
And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel
and said to the servant, ”Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, ”It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself.
And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.
Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.
She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.
The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Abraham gave all he had to Isaac.
But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.
These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years.
Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre,
the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife.
After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.
These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.
These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
Mishma, Dumah, Massa,
Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes.
(These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.)
They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled over against all his kinsmen.
These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham fathered Isaac,
and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to be his wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean.
And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
The children struggled together within her, and she said, ”If it is thus, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.
And the LORD said to her, ”Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb.
The first came out red, all his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau.
Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.
Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.
And Esau said to Jacob, ”Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” (Therefore his name was called Edom. )
Jacob said, ”Sell me your birthright now.”
Esau said, ”I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”
Jacob said, ”Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.
There are many who say, ”Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!”
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
And he said to them, ”Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.
And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
And Peter said to Jesus, ”Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ”This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”
And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean.
And they asked him, ”Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”
And he said to them, ”Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them.
And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.
And he asked them, ”What are you arguing about with them?”
And someone from the crowd answered him, ”Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute.
And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
And he answered them, ”O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”
And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
And Jesus asked his father, ”How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, ”From childhood.
And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
And Jesus said to him, ”If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ”I believe; help my unbelief!”
And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ”You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ”He is dead.”
But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, ”Why could we not cast it out?”
And he said to them, ”This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know,
for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ”The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, ”What were you discussing on the way?”
But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.
And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, ”If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
John said to him, ”Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.”
But Jesus said, ”Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.
For the one who is not against us is for us.
For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,
where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’
For everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”