JEWISH MARRIAGE CUSTOMS

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February 24, 2015 by James Lindquist

Part Two of Eight: Arranged Marriages

In our last lesson, we left Christ in front of Pontius Pilate waiting for the Governor to pass judgment upon Him. He was just hours away from going to the Cross. It would soon be time for Christ to die.

As Jesus hung on the Cross, one of His final phrases [1] to the world was, “It is finished [2].” Although Christ came to Earth in bodily form to accomplish many things, the main reason He came was for His Bride [3].

At the zero hour, Christ’s death on the Cross forgave Adam’s sin, laid the groundwork for the redemption of mankind, and paid the bride price in full. His physical stay here on Earth was truly finished.

According to Jewish marriage customs, the Mohar was mandatory by law and had to be of high value [4]. No doubt about it, Christ had just paid the ultimate price for His Bride on the Cross. This says allot about Christ’s love for us [5].

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s [1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV].

We do not want to get ahead of ourselves so let’s temporarily digress and first ask a few questions. For instance, what brought Christ to the Cross to suffer the worst kind of death known to man? Where did this all start? Where did His love begin? Of course, the biggest question right now for our study is what did any of this have to do with Christ’s last words to His Disciples in the upper room?

In other words, what are the mansions that Christ talked about in John 14:2? Again in John 14:2, where did Christ go to prepare a place for them [6]? When is He coming back as in John 14:3? How can man even be a bride in the first place? There are so many questions.

God gave His written Word to show us how to live, how to grow, and how we figured into His plan. So, how do we figure into God’s plan for mankind? To learn the answer, we first need to learn what that plan is, and the best insight as to how we figure in is by studying the Jewish marriage customs and traditions.

As I studied the Bible in terms of Jewish marriage customs and traditions, certain parallels became very clear and evident to me throughout God’s Word. Studying those customs and traditions of ancient days can help us better understand the Bible, its meaning, and context. God’s Word will then begin to take on a completely different perspective when you look at it in the context in which God inspired the text. We must keep all scripture in the proper context because context is everything.

The Old Testament scriptures [7] refers to Israel as the Bride of the Lord [8] and the New Testament characterizes the church as the bride of Christ [9]. Many parallels exist in the Old and New Testament scriptures concerning the Bride. Here is where things get interesting and fun. So, if this is interesting to you, please keep reading as we learn together about the Jewish Marriage Customs and the Bride of Christ.

ARRANGED MARRIAGES (Shiddukhin)

It was customary according to Jewish marriage customs and traditions that the father of the groom arranged the marriages [10]. However, the Jewish people sometimes used other avenues in which to initiate and arrange a marriage. Sometimes an interested man would just ask his father to seek out a particular woman for her hand of marriage [11]. It was always possible that the father considered the choice of the bride [12], although not necessary. Mothers could even play a role in the choice [13], but the father could act alone [14].

New Testament Parallel. . .

Today, Christ acts at the behest of His Father [15] and the Holy Spirit is His agent [16]. The Father is the one that draws all men to Jesus Christ and all who are born again are born through the power of the Holy Spirit [17].

Just as they did not discount the personal feelings of the bride [18] and groom [19] with regards to choice, neither is our feelings discounted when it comes to that same free will choice. God has given us free will to choose with whom we will follow and serve [20]. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord [21].

Jesus wants us to love Him of our own volition; otherwise, we would be nothing more than puppets or robots, just waiting for God to pull our strings. Put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. Would you want your spouse to live with you if he or she did not love you? It would be a life of nothing but conflict, bitterness, and resentment. Without choice, you render love meaningless.

We can feel lucky in the world today because most of us can arrange our wedding and make our own match as to whom we want to marry. In biblical times when Christ physically roamed the Earth, the father, mother, or matchmaker made the matches for them either at birth, or by request.
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[1] According to the Gospels, Jesus said seven things on the Cross
[2] John 19:2
[3] Ephesians 1:9-14
[4] This was to compensate the family for her upbringing. Inheritance went to the son.
[5] John 10:18
[6] Let me direct you to my Website where you can find my book, Back to Eden. There it tells of how and why God created man and explains in more detail John 14:1-4. You have the choice of a printed copy and an Ebook copy formatted for Kindle (.mobi for Amazon) and Nook (.epub for Barnes and Noble).
[7] Same as the Jewish Tanakh
[8] The Bible has many scriptures to this affect but here’s just a few of them: Jeremiah 3:14; 31:31; Isaiah 54:5
[9] Again, there are many scriptures but here are a few examples for study: Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 6:15; Ephesians 5:23-33; Revelation 19:7-9; Revelation 21:2
[10] Jeremiah 29:6; Children were under the complete control of the parents.
[11] Genesis 34:3-6
[12] Genesis 24:5, 58
[13] Genesis 21:21; 27:46; 28:1
[14]Genesis 38:6
[15] John 5:30
[16] 1 Corinthians 2:10; Galatians 4:6
[17] John 6:44
[18] 1 Peter 1:8
[19] John 15:16
[20] Genesis 2:7c; Deuteronomy 30:19, 20
[21] Joshua 24:15

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