God made it to live in just such countries as it does, for it can go a great many days
camel they could not travel; so you see how kind God is to them.
The foot of the camel is curious. It is very broad, having two divisions with a horny tip
at the end of each; and underneath is a sort of elastic cushion, like a sponge, on which
the animal treads. It is very strange to see a dozen or twenty large and heavy camels
pass along almost without any noise; so still that you would hardly know they were
coming if you did not look up.
There is a very beautiful story in the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis, in which there
is something about camels. I will tell you part of it. In the country where it happened
a man does not generally choose a wife for himself, but his father or some other friend
custom for females to go for it, and they usually carry it in pitchers on their heads.
Eliezer made his camels lie down by this well, because they had come to the end of
their journey and were very tired. But how was he to know who would be a good wife
for Isaac, among all the women of this large city? He did not know; but he was a good
man, and he prayed to God to choose one for him, and let him know which she was.
And he asked God to let him know in this way which I will tell you. When the young
women came out to the well, he was going to ask them for some water, and he prayed
that the one who answered him kindly, and gave him drink, might be the right one for
Isaac's wife. Pretty soon he saw a young woman coming with her pitcher on her head,
and she was very fair and handsome; but this alone did not satisfy Eliezer. He waited
till she had drawn some water and placed it upon her head. Then he said to her, "I
pray thee let me drink a little water from thy pitcher;"-and she took it down and
resting it on her hand, answered very pleasantly and kindly, "Drink, my lord." While he
was drinking, she saw that he looked like a stranger, and that his camels seemed tired
with the journey, and she was sorry from them. So she said, "I will draw water for the
camels too;"- and she did draw enough for all the ten camels, though she must have
been pretty tired when it was done, for these animals drink a great deal. From all
these circumstances Eliezer felt sure that God had heard his prayer; and it gave him
pleasure to think that if this young woman was willing to take so much trouble for a
traveller whom she did not know, she would be a very kind and good wife.
I cannot tell you all; but Eliezer found that the young woman, whose name was
Rebekah, was willing to go with him to be Isaac's wife. When all was ready for the
journey she was seated upon one of the ten camels, and her nurse upon another, and
some of her female servants upon others. After they had been riding some days, they
came, just at evening, near the place where Isaac lived, and saw him walking in the
field. He came to meet Rebekah, and was very glad to see her, and when she became
his wife he loved her very much.