By now Avraham was old, advanced in years; and Adonai had blessed Avraham in everything. 2 Avraham said to the servant who had served him the longest, who was in charge of all he owned, “Put your hand under my thigh; 3 because I want you to swear by Adonai, God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not choose a wife for my son from among the women of the Kena‘ani, among whom I am living; 4 but that you will go to my homeland, to my kinsmen, to choose a wife for my son Yitz’chak.” 5 The servant replied, “Suppose the woman isn’t willing to follow me to this land. Must I then bring your son back to the land from which you came?” 6 Avraham said to him, “See to it that you don’t bring my son back there. 7 Adonai, the God of heaven — who took me away from my father’s house and away from the land I was born in, who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants’ — he will send his angel ahead of you; and you are to bring a wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is unwilling to follow you, then you are released from your obligation under my oath. Just don’t bring my son back there.” 9 The servant put his hand under the thigh of Avraham his master and swore to him concerning the matter.
Today’s passage brings the audience back to the outset of Avraham’s journey by reminding us of his status as a sojourner in Canaan. Yitzhak the child of promise, must not behave as if he is a resident in Canaan, especially as regards his choice of a wife, but must build the community of sojourners, the community under God, by marrying a woman from Avraham’s clan. But if no bride is found willing to make the journey, Yitzakh must certainly not return to Harran.
The journey with God is all-important.
This sense of individual and family life as a God – shaped journey is strong in the Abrahamic faiths, and is one of their gifts to the world. A sense of where one has come from and where one has arrived can become the most important factor in choosing one’s future. The journey has forged an identity to which one desires to be true. I think I know this in my own life, although unlike Avraham I’ve had no visions: the shape of my journey has however encompassed my weaknesses as well as my strengths, which I take a sign of God ‘s presence.