The Guardian Angel
ויאמר אברהם אל-עבדו זקן ביתו וגו’ ואשביעך וגו’ לא-תקח אשה לבני מבנות הכנעני וגו’ ויאמר אליו העבד אולי לא-תאבה האשה ללכת אחרי וגו’ ויאמר אליו אברהם וגו’ יקוק אלקי השמים וגו’ הוא ישלח מלאכו לפניך ולקחת אשה לבני משם
Avraham said to his servant, the elder of his household…I command you through an oath…do not take a wife for my son from the Canaanite women…The servant said to him: “Perhaps the woman will not want to go with me…” Avraham said to him: “…Hashem, the G-d of Heaven…will send His Angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there
Avraham tasked his trusted servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak. Avraham didn’t want Yitzchak to marry one of the local Canaanite women, so he sent Eliezer to Avraham’s homeland. Perhaps a distant relative would be better suited for his son. Eliezer was concerned his mission would prove unsuccessful, and expressed his doubts. Avraham responded that Hashem would send an Angel to help him on his mission. In the end, Eliezer successfully found a wife for Yitzchak. He met the family of Besuel and his wife, the latter being Avraham’s niece, and found that their daughter was a perfect match for Yitzchak. Yet, we don’t see any mention of an Angel throughout his journey. Where was the Angel?
Despite Eliezer’s success, his mission wasn’t without potential setbacks. Our Sages tell us that he was almost murdered. When Eliezer sat down with Rivka’s family to attain their consent to the marriage, they gave him some food to eat. It turns out that there was some poison in the food. It would seem that they were less than keen for Eliezer to take their daughter away. Eliezer somehow noticed their ploy, and avoided eating the food. He gave them an excuse: “I will not eat until I have explained why I am here”. He proceeded to tell them the whole story of his mission and journey, and managed to evade a sure death. Rivka was interested in the marriage, and the family could do nothing to stop it. How did our Sages know that Rivka’s family tried to kill Eliezer?
It could be it was implied by the way the Torah expresses that they placed food before Eliezer. Although the word is read ויושם, they placed, it is spelled ויישם. This could be read as וייסם, that they gave him poison. Another possible source is the word ויישם appears only twice in Tanach. One is here, and the other is in regards to Yosef. When he died, it says that he was placed in a coffin. The fact that this word appears in only these two contexts teaches us that Rivka’s family also desired, in a way, to put Eliezer in a coffin. Namely, by poisoning him.
Another possibly for how our Sages knew that they wanted to kill Eliezer is just from a careful reading of the story. Imagine you invite a guest for Shabbos. You greet them, walk them in, and serve them a bowl of cholent. The thing is, no one else is eating. Wouldn’t that seem suspicious? Why is the guest the only one eating? The verse says that they placed food before Eliezer. This implies that no one else was eating. Our Sages saw from here that they intended to poison him. Eliezer noticed the fishy situation, and avoided getting killed.
A final suggestion comes from an interesting law regarding a houseguest. Our Sages teach usכל מה שיאמר לך בעל הבית עשה (חוץ מצא), everything the host says to do, the guest must obey (except to leave). The Vilna Gaon understands that this obligation to listen to the host is as binding as any other commandment. Therefore, when Rivka’s family told Eliezer to eat, he really should have listened to them. Why did he say he wouldn’t eat until he’s said what he has to say? Our Sages picked up on this and deduced that he must have realized his life was in danger. He has to listen to the host, but not if his life is at stake.
Getting back to our original question, where was this Angel that Avraham mentioned? Our Sages pick up on the fact that Besuel, Rivka’s father, mysteriously disappears towards the end of the story. They tell us that an Angel switched the poisoned food with Besuel’s food. He unknowingly ate it, and died. It turns out then that Avraham’s promise came true. If Eliezer would experience any difficulty in his quest, an Angel would be there to help him. Not only did the Angel help him fulfill his mission, it saved his life as well.
 Based on various ideas shared by Rav Daniel Glatstein at the end of a shiur titled “The Shidduch of Yitzchak and Rivka – Behind the Scenes”, which can be listened at https://www.torahanytime.com/#/lectures?a=165918
 Genesis 24:2,3,5-7
 Ibid 24:2, Yoma 28b, and Taanis 4a; Targum Yonasan ad. loc.; See Rashi to Genesis 24:39 who assumes this as well
 This would make Rivka Yitzchak’s first cousin twice removed, as Milka, Besuel’s mother, was Yitzchak’s first cousin. As well, Milka married Avraham’s brother, Nachor. This would make Besuel Yitzchak’s first cousin through his father, making Rivka Yitchak’s first cousin once removed. Additionally, according to those who say Yiscah, Milka’s sister, was really Sarah (Megillah 14a and Sanhedrin 69b, brought by Rashi to Genesis 11:29), that means Besuel was also Yitzchak’s first cousin through his mother. That would make Rivka his first cousin once removed in two different ways. Cf. Rambam in his Mishneh Torah Hilchos Melachim 9:5, with Radvaz and Kesef Mishneh, who holds, based on Sanhedrin 58b, that the simple reading of the verses tells us that Sarah was Avraham’s half-sister and not Yiscah (Genesis 20:12)
 Bereishis Rabbasi by Rav Moshe HaDarshan to Genesis 24:30 and v. 33; Yalkut Shimoni Chayei Sarah § 109 from “Midrash Avkir”; Midrash Aggadah, Midrash Lekach Tov, Sechel Tov, and Midrash HaGadol ad. loc. See also Torah Sheleimah ad. loc. § 141. Rashi to v. 55, based on Bereishis Rabbah 60:12, and Lekach Tov and Sechel Tov ad. loc., just say רוצה לעכב
 Rashi in the previous note and the sources that follow say it was Besuel who wanted to stop the marriage. Some say it was Lavan, and that’s the intent of what we say in the Haggadah: לבן בקש לעקור את הכל (Rav Eliezer Tzvi Naiman in Chiddudei Torah to Genesis 24:33; Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita, quoted in Derech Sichah parshas Bo p. 244, in the name of “Rav Heschel”)
 Genesis 24:33
 Yalkut Shimoni loc. cit. brings from an unknown Midrash (see Midrash Aggadah loc. cit. with Rav Buber’s note § 21, who says he has no doubt it’s also from “Midrash Avkir”) that they saw his riches and wanted to kill him. Rabbeinu Bachayei to v. 33 also says this. I don’t understand this since he gave all his riches to Rivka, so what would be the point in killing him? I suppose this way they could keep their daughter and the riches as well
 Targum “Yonasan” ad. loc., presumably based on Midrash HaGadol loc. cit.
 Genesis loc. cit.
 Bereishis Rabbasi loc. cit., brought by Ba’al HaTurim ad. loc. See also Lekach Tov, Sechel Tov to v. 33, and Midrash HaGadol loc. cit. This could also be the intent of Midrash Aggadah loc. cit.
 Ba’al HaTurim loc. cit.
 Genesis 50:26
 Rav Daniel Glatstein didn’t cite anyone for this explanation. Perhaps he thought of it on his own.
 Pesachim 86b; brought in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 170:5. See the following note
 The gemarra has these last words in parentheses, indicating they don’t belong there. The Shulchan Aruch loc. cit. also left it out of the halacha. The Be’ur Halacha ad. loc. brings these words, noting that this exception does appear in some texts of the gemarra. The simple meaning seems to be that if the homeowner demands that their guest leave, they don’t have to listen. This on the surface doesn’t make sense (see Maharsha ad. loc.). The Be’ur Halacha brings the explanation of the Bach ad. loc., that it means if the homeowner asks you to do errands outside the house, you don’t have to listen. However, the Meiri ad. loc. maintains that these words in the gemarra are a mistake, and were added in by jokesters, as they clearly can’t be true
 This comes from a story brought in the introduction to Be’ur HaGra on Shulchan Aruch, written by his sons, s.v. ואספר. The Vilna Gaon was traveling on the road with some of his students, and they became the guests of a generous person. He prepared them a meal and served it to them. The Vilna Gaon wasn’t feeling well, but ate the food anyways. He had to excuse himself in order to vomit up the food, and afterwards returned to his seat. The homeowner noticed that the Vilna Gaon’s plate was empty, and insisted he eat more. The Vilna Gaon ate it, and had to excuse himself again. This happened three or four times. One of the students asked the Gaon, why was he torturing himself? He responded that anytime Chazal say something with the words עשה, it must be followed עד שתצא נפשו (although not inclusively). He therefore couldn’t refuse his “master’s” command to eat more food
 Bereishis Rabbasi, Midrash Lekach Tov, and Sechel Tov loc. cit.; Cf. Bereishis Rabbah loc. cit., brought by Rashi loc. cit., and Lekach Tov and Sechel Tov to v. 55, which say נגיף בלילה, that he died that evening in a plague. Although, Sechel Tov to v. 33, which says that he ate from the poisoned food, says he died that evening, unlike the other Midrashim which say this idea. Perhaps this indicates that they all mean the same thing and נגיף just means he was killed
 This is suggested by the Alshich to Genesis 24:33. Rav Daniel Glatstein cited this explanation from Rav Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik zt”l