The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 24:1–67

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And Abraham was old, well stricken in age; and YHWH had blessed Abraham in all things.

And Abraam was old, advanced in days, and the Lord blessed Abraam in all things.

Now Abraham was old and of many days. And the Lord had blessed him in all things.

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And Abraham said unto his servant, the elder of his house, that ruled over all that he had: 'Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh.

And Abraam said to his servant the elder of his house, who had rule over all his possessions, Put thy hand under my thigh,

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And I will make thee swear by YHWH, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.

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.

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But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son, even for Isaac.'

But thou shalt go instead to my country, where I was born, and to my tribe, and thou shalt take from thence a wife for my son Isaac.

But that you will proceed to my land and kindred, and from there take a wife for my son Isaac.”

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And the servant said unto him: 'Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land; must I needs bring thy son back unto the land from whence thou camest?'

And the servant said to him, Shall I carry back thy son to the land whence thou camest forth, if haply the woman should not be willing to return with me to this land?

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?”

And Abraham said unto him: 'Beware thou that thou bring not my son back thither.

And Abraam said to him, Take heed to thyself that thou carry not my son back thither.

And Abraham said: “Beware that you never lead my son back to that place.

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YHWH, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my nativity, and who spoke unto me, and who swore unto me, saying: Unto thy seed will I give this land; He will send His angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife for my son from thence.

The Lord the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, who took me out of my father’s house, and out of the land whence I sprang, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, I will give this land to thee and to thy seed, he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife to my son from thence.

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.

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And if the woman be not willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath; only thou shalt not bring my son back thither.'

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.”

And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.

Therefore, the servant placed his hand under the thigh of Abraham, his lord, and he swore to him on his word.

10  And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed; having all goodly things of his master's in his hand; and he arose, and went to Aram-naharaim, unto the city of Nahor.

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.

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11  And he made the camels to kneel down without the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.

11  And he rested his camels without the city by the well of water towards evening, when damsels go forth to draw water.

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

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12  And he said: 'O YHWH, the God of my master Abraham, send me, I pray Thee, good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham.

12  “O Lord, the God of my lord Abraham, meet with me today, I beg you, and show mercy to my lord Abraham.

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13  Behold, I stand by the fountain of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water.

13  Lo! I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of them that inhabit the city come forth to draw water.

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14  So let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say: Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say: Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also; let the same be she that Thou hast appointed for Thy servant, even for Isaac; and thereby shall I know that Thou hast shown kindness unto my master.'

14  And it shall be, the virgin to whomsoever I shall say, Incline thy water-pot, that I may drink, and she shall say, Drink thou, and I will give thy camels drink, until they shall have done drinking—even this one thou hast prepared for thy servant Isaac, and hereby shall I know that thou hast dealt mercifully with my master Abraam.

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.”

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15  And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

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.

16  And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her; and she went down to the fountain, and filled her pitcher, and came up.

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.

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17  And the servant ran to meet her, and said: 'Give me to drink, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher.'

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18  And she said: 'Drink, my lord'; and she hastened, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink.

18  and she said, Drink, Sir; and she hasted, and let down the pitcher upon her arm, and gave him to drink, till he ceased drinking.

18  And she responded, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly brought down the pitcher on her arm, and she gave him a drink.

19  And when she had done giving him drink, she said: 'I will draw for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.'

19  And she said, I will also draw water for thy camels, till they shall all have drunk.

19  And after he drank, she added, “In fact, I will draw water for your camels also, until they all drink.”

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20  And she hastened, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.

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.

20  So she hastened and emptied her pitcher into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew water for all his camels.

21  And the man looked stedfastly on her; holding his peace, to know whether YHWH had made his journey prosperous or not.

21  But he was contemplating her silently, wanting to know whether the Lord had caused his journey to prosper or not

21  And as the man watered his camels he scrutinized her, and waited to know whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.

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22  And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;

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.

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23  and said: 'Whose daughter art thou? tell me, I pray thee. Is there room in thy father's house for us to lodge in?'

23  And he asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? Tell me if there is room for us to lodge with thy father.

23  And he said to her: “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, is there any place in your father’s house to lodge?”

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24  And she said unto him: 'I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore unto Nahor.'

24  She responded, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, to whom she gave birth for Nahor.”

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25  She said moreover unto him: 'We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in.'

25  And she said to him, We have both straw and much provender, and a place for resting.

25  And she continued, saying, “There is very much straw and hay with us, and a spacious place to stay.”

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26  And the man bowed his head, and prostrated himself before YHWH.

26  The man bowed himself down, and he adored the Lord,

27  And he said: 'Blessed be YHWH, the God of my master Abraham, who hath not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master; as for me, the YHWH hath led me in the way to the house of my master's brethren.'

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.”

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28  And the damsel ran, and told her mother's house according to these words.

28  And so the girl ran, and she reported all that she had heard in the house of her mother.

28  Then the damsel ran, and related these things to her father's household.

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29  And Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban; and Laban ran out unto the man, unto the fountain.

29  And Rebecca had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran out to meet the man, to the well.

29  Now Rebekah had a brother, named Laban, who went out quickly to the man, where the spring was.

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30  And it came to pass, when he saw the ring, and the bracelets upon his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying: 'Thus spoke the man unto me,' that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the fountain.

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,

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31  And he said: 'Come in, thou blessed of YHWH; wherefore standest thou without? for I have cleared the house, and made room for the camels.'

31  And he said to him, Come in hither, thou blessed of the Lord, why standest thou without, whereas I have prepared the house and a place for the camels?

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32  And the man came into the house, and he ungirded the camels; and he gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men that were with him.

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.

32  So the man came into the house and ungirded the camels and gave straw and hay for the camels, and was given water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.

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33  And there was set food before him to eat; but he said: 'I will not eat, until I have told mine errand.' And he said: 'Speak on.'

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.”

34  And he said: 'I am Abraham's servant.

34  Then he said: “I am the servant of Abraham.

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35  And YHWH hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great; and He hath given him flocks and herds, and silver and gold, and men-servants and maid-servants, and camels and asses.

35  and the Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he is exalted, and he has given him sheep, and calves, and silver, and gold, servants and servant-maids, camels, and asses.

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36  And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and unto him hath he given all that he hath.

36  And Sarrha my master’s wife bore one son to my master after he had grown old; and he gave him whatever he had.

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.

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37  And my master made me swear, saying: Thou shalt not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell.

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.

38  But thou shalt go unto my father's house, and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son.

38  But you shall travel to my father’s house, and you shall take a wife of my own kindred for my son.’

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39  And I said unto my master: Peradventure the woman will not follow me.

39  And I said to my master, Haply the woman will not go with me.

39  But truly, I answered my lord, ‘What if the woman is not willing to come with me?’

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40  And he said unto me: YHWH, before whom I walk, will send His angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father's house;

40  And he said to me, The Lord God to whom I have been acceptable in his presence, himself shall send out his angel with thee, and shall prosper thy journey, and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my tribe, and of the house of my father.

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.

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41  then shalt thou be clear from my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give her not to thee, thou shalt be clear from my oath.

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.’

41  Then you shall be clear from my oath, when you go to my kindred; and if they do not give you a bride, you shall be clear from my oath.

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42  And I came this day unto the fountain, and said: O YHWH, the God of my master Abraham, if now Thou do prosper my way which I go

42  And having come this day to the well, I said, Lord God of my master Abraam, if thou prosperest my journey on which I am now going,

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,

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43  behold, I stand by the fountain of water; and let it come to pass, that the maiden that cometh forth to draw, to whom I shall say: Give me, I pray thee, a little water from thy pitcher to drink;

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.”

43  Behold, I am standing by the well of water, and it shall come to pass that when the damsel comes forth to draw water, and I say to her, Let me drink a little water from your pitcher,

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44  and she shall say to me: Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels; let the same be the woman whom YHWH hath appointed for my master's son.

44  and she shall say to me, Both drink thou, and I will draw water for thy camels, this shall be the wife whom the Lord has prepared for his own servant Isaac; and hereby shall I know that thou hast wrought mercy with my master Abraam.

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.’

45  And before I had done speaking to my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the fountain, and drew. And I said unto her: Let me drink, I pray thee.

45  And it came to pass before I had done speaking in my mind, straightway Rebecca came forth, having her pitcher on her shoulders; and she went down to the well, and drew water; and I said to her, Give me to drink.

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.’

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46  And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said: Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also. So I drank, and she made the camels drink also.

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.

47  And I asked her, and said: Whose daughter art thou? And she said: The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore unto him. And I put the ring upon her nose, and the bracelets upon her hands.

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.

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48  And I bowed my head, and prostrated myself before YHWH, and blessed the YHWH, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter for his son.

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.

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49  And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.'

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.”

49  And now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me; so that I may know what to do.

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50  Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said: 'The thing proceedeth from YHWH; we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.

50  And Laban and Bathuel answered and said, This matter has come forth from the Lord, we shall not be able to answer thee bad or good.

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51  Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as YHWH hath spoken.'

51  Behold, Rebecca is before thee, take her and go away, and let her be wife to the son of thy master, as the Lord has said.

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.”

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52  And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth unto YHWH.

52  When Abraham’s servant had heard this, falling down to the ground, he adored the Lord.

53  And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah; he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

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.

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54  And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said: 'Send me away unto my master.'

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.”

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55  And her brother and her mother said: 'Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go.'

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.”

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56  And he said unto them: 'Delay me not, seeing YHWH hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.'

56  But he said to them, Hinder me not, for the Lord has prospered my journey for me; send me away, that I may depart to my master.

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.”

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57  And they said: 'We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.'

57  And they said, “Let us call the girl, and ask her will.”

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58  And they called Rebekah, and said unto her: 'Wilt thou go with this man?' And she said: 'I will go.'

58  And when, having been called, she arrived, they wanted to know, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”

58  So they called Rebekah, and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go.

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59  And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men.

59  So they sent forth Rebecca their sister, and her goods, and the servant of Abraam, and his attendants.

59  Therefore, they released her and her nurse, and the servant of Abraham and his companions,

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60  And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her: 'Our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let thy seed possess the gate of those that hate them.'

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.”

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61  And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man. And the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

61  And Rebecca rose up and her maidens, and they mounted the camels and went with the man; and the servant having taken up Rebecca, departed.

61  And so, Rebekah and her maids, riding upon camels, followed the man, who quickly returned to his lord.

62  And Isaac came from the way of Beer-lahai-roi; for he dwelt in the land of the South.

62  And Isaac went through the wilderness to the well of the vision, and he dwelt in the land toward the south.

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.

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63  And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide; and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.

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.

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64  And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel.

64  And Rebecca lifted up her eyes, and saw Isaac; and she alighted briskly from the camel,

64  Likewise, Rebekah, having seen Isaac, descended from the camel.

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65  And she said unto the servant: 'What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?' And the servant said: 'It is my master.' And she took her veil, and covered herself.

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.

66  And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.

66  Then the servant explained to Isaac all that he had done.

67  And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for his mother.

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.