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REBEKAH AT THE WELL.
ABRAHAM being now "well stricken in age," for he had reached the patriarchal term of a hundred and forty years, was anxious to see his son Isaac settled before his death; and being apprehensive lest the "child of promise," through whom "all the families of the earth were to be blessed," should enter into a domestic alliance with the daughters of the heathen, he sent a confidential servant, probably the superintendent of his household, to Bethuel, his brother's son, to propose for his daughter Rebekah on Isaac's behalf. When this faithful delegate approached the abode of the proposed bride, he saw the object of his mission advancing with a pitcher on her shoulder. "And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink." This is the action represented in the picture. Rebekah is dressed in a light linen robe, with a veil thrown back upon her shoulders, the general costume of her tribe and of her country. The patriarch's envoy wears a short linen tunic, with sandals strapped round the leg, and a staff in his hand, representing his pastoral occupation. Two of the camels which bare"the jewels of silver and jewels of gold and raiment," sent by Abraham as a portion for the bride, are seen behind him in charge of a menial. Just beneath Rebekah's feet is the well hollowed out of a rock, to which there is a descent by steps. Beyond the principal figures are three palm-trees which indicate the locality, this tree being always found most abundant in a level country like Mesopotamia, Rebekah's native province, situated between the two great rivers Tigris and Euphrates, and every year partially inundated by the latter.