Genesis 24:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 24:5, NIV: "The servant asked him, 'What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?'"

Genesis 24:5, ESV: "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?”"

Genesis 24:5, KJV: "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 again unto the land from whence thou camest?"

Genesis 24:5, NASB: "The servant said to him, 'Suppose the woman is not willing to follow me to this land; should I take your son back to the land from where you came?'"

Genesis 24:5, NLT: "The servant asked, 'But what if I can't find a young woman who is willing to travel so far from home? Should I then take Isaac there to live among your relatives in the land you came from?'"

Genesis 24:5, CSB: "The servant said to him, "Suppose the woman is unwilling to follow me to this land? Should I have your son go back to the land you came from?""

What does Genesis 24:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham has asked his most trusted servant to swear to find a wife for his son Isaac. This man is explicitly charged with finding a woman of Abraham's extended family, in his old homeland outside of Canaan. Before swearing to do so, however, the servant responds with a reasonable objection: What if I find a girl, but she doesn't want to travel away from her family to a strange land to marry a man she's never seen? Should I then take Isaac back to your people to live among them?

The servant's question is very reasonable. He needs to know if marrying a girl from Abraham's people is so critical that Isaac should be taken to live in Abraham's former old homeland, if no woman will agree to come to Canaan. Abraham's response will fully resolve that question—his absolutely forbids the servant to allow Isaac to return to Mesopotamia. Abraham does not want to jeopardize, in any way, his descendants' possession of the Promised Land.