Genesis 24:17
And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray you, drink a little water of your pitcher.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
24:10-28 Abraham's servant devoutly acknowledged God. We have leave to be particular in recommending our affairs to the care of Divine providence. He proposes a sign, not that he intended to proceed no further, if not gratified in it; but it is a prayer that God would provide a good wife for his young master; and that was a good prayer. She should be simple, industrious, humble, cheerful, serviceable, and hospitable. Whatever may be the fashion, common sense, as well as piety, tells us, these are the proper qualifications for a wife and mother; for one who is to be a companion to her husband, the manager of domestic concerns, and trusted to form the minds of children. When the steward came to seek a wife for his master, he did not go to places of amusement and sinful pleasure, and pray that he might meet one there, but to the well of water, expecting to find one there employed aright. He prayed that God would please to make his way in this matter plain and clear before him. Our times are in God's hand; not only events themselves, but the times of them. We must take heed of being over-bold in urging what God should do, lest the event should weaken our faith, rather than strengthen it. But God owned him by making his way clear. Rebekah, in all respects, answered the characters he sought for in the woman that was to be his master's wife. When she came to the well, she went down and filled her pitcher, and came up to go home with it. She did not stand to gaze upon the strange man his camels, but minded her business, and would not have been diverted from it but by an opportunity of doing good. She did not curiously or confidently enter into discourse with him, but answered him modestly. Being satisfied that the Lord had heard his prayer, he gave the damsel some ornaments worn in eastern countries; asking at the same time respecting her kindred. On learning that she was of his master's relations, he bowed down his head and worshipped, blessing God. His words were addressed to the Lord, but being spoken in the hearing of Rebekah, she could perceive who he was, and whence he came.The answer is immediate and direct. "He had not yet done speaking," when the answer came. A damsel "very fair to look upon," satisfying the taste of the old man, appears. He thereupon prefers his request, with which she promptly complies. The old man waits in wonder and silence to see if the Lord's approval will follow.15-21. before he had done speaking … behold, Rebekah came out—As he anticipated, a young woman unveiled, as in pastoral regions, appeared with her pitcher on her shoulder. Her comely appearance, her affable manners, her obliging courtesy in going down the steps to fetch water not only to him but to pour it into the trough for his camels, afforded him the most agreeable surprise. She was the very person his imagination had pictured, and he proceeded to reward her civility. No text from Poole on this verse. And the servant ran to meet her,.... He did not stop her as she went to the well, but stayed till she had been there and filled her pitcher, and then he made all the haste he could to meet her, in order to have the sign and token answered he had requested, which could not be done until she returned:

and said, let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher; or taste a little of it, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; or suffer me to swallow a little of it; for it was not so much to quench his thirst that he asked for this, for he could have got, and perhaps had had water out of the well before this time, or however could easily have supplied himself; but this was done to try whether she was the person, and whether her conduct and carriage would answer the token. Josephus (x) says, he asked other virgins and they refused him, for which churlishness Rebekah rebuked them, and gave him water liberally.

(x) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 16. sect. 2.

And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 17-19. - And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher (a request which was at once complied with). And she said, Drink (and with the utmost politeness), my lord (and with cheerful animation): and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. "Rebekah's address to the servant will be given you in the exact idiom by the first gentle Rebekah you ask water from; but I have never found any young lady so generous as this fair daughter of Bethuel" ('Thomson, Land and Book,' p. 592). And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking - thus proving that the kindly disposition within her bosom was "not simply the reflex of national customs, but the invisible sun beaming through her mind, and freely bringing forward the blossoms of sterling goodness" (Kalisch). The servant then went, with ten camels and things of every description belonging to his master, into Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor, i.e., Haran, where Nahor dwelt (Genesis 11:31, and Genesis 12:4). On his arrival there, he made the camels kneel down, or rest, without the city by the well, "at the time of evening, the time at which the women come out to draw water," and at which, now as then, women and girls are in the habit of fetching the water required for the house (vid., Robinson's Palestine ii. 368ff.). He then prayed to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, "Let there come to meet me to-day," sc., the person desired, the object of my mission. He then fixed upon a sign connected with the custom of the country, by the occurrence of which he might decide upon the maiden (הנּער puella, used in the Pentateuch for both sexes, except in Deuteronomy 22:19, where נערה occurs) whom Jehovah had indicated as the wife appointed for His servant Isaac. הוכיח (Genesis 24:14) to set right, then to point out as right; not merely to appoint. He had scarcely ended his prayer when his request was granted. Rebekah did just what he had fixed upon as a token, not only giving him to drink, but offering to water his camels, and with youthful vivacity carrying out her promise. Niebuhr met with similar kindness in those regions (see also Robinson, Pal. ii. 351, etc.). The servant did not give himself blindly up to first impressions, however, but tested the circumstances.
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