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The Jewish Wedding
by PJ

When the Brit Chadesh / New Covenant was written, Jewish wedding customs were a bit different than today.  There was a betrothal period before the wedding ceremony.  This betrothal lasted about a year.

When the bride gave her consent,  the parties involved established the terms of the marriage and wrote a contract also known as a ketubah.  The ketubah is still a part of the modern Jewish wedding.  It outlines the terms and price of the marriage and is witnessed normally by members of each family.  This covenant was sealed with the bride and groom drinking from a cup of wine and they were betrothed.  

Both the perspective bride and groom had special preparations to make for their marriage.

The bride took ritual baths, prepared her clothing and literally practiced with her make-up for a year.  It was no small task for the bride to prepare as she paid attention to every detail of her appearance.   She was to be prepared without spot or blemish.  Additionally the bride-to-be would wear a veil in public.

The groom had to prepare the bridal chamber, often by adding a room in his father's house.  This was the place the couple would consumate their marriage and honeymoon for seven days following the ceremony.  This room was very special and was work of quality although it did not have to be beyond his means.  The perspective groom's father would give the final approval and made the decision when the bride and groom could enter the chamber.

The groom or his father normally would pay a price for the bride.  This is known as a "mohar."  Examples of this would be Jacob working seven years for Rachel and King Saul giving one of his daughters to whoever might slay Goliath.  This price was a requirement.  Today it's normally a wedding ring.  It's a symbol of exchange of the giver's life for his bride.  Giving of one's work is giving of one's life.

When the father gave his approval, the groom and his escorts would conduct a torch-lit procession to the bride's home.  Since no one knew precisely when the father would give his approval, the arrival of the groom would be heralded by a shout warning the bride to be ready for the groom's arrival. 

The bride waited expectantly for the groom each day and night.  She would keep her oil lamp ready in case he came after dark.  She would listen for the shofar that would signal her intended's arrival. 

It's easy to see that Yeshua was thinking about the Jewish wedding when He told the parable of the wise and foolish virgins.  In this parable Yeshua spoke of five wise virgins who were ready for the bridegroom's arrival and the five foolish ones who were not ready.  (Matit'yahu/Matthew 25)

If you stop and study the symbolism of the Jewish wedding you can easily see the parallel of Yeshua and His bride.  G-d paid the mohar by sending His Son.  The Ketubah was sealed by the blood of Yeshua on the Cross.  According to Yochanan/John 14, Yeshua has gone to prepare a place for us and plans to return as a thief in the night with a shout and the sound of a shofar.  The bride is to be ready without spot or wrinkle with oil in her lamp.  Only the Father knows the day and the hour of Yeshua's return.  In Heaven we shall enjoy a week of days with the L-rd.

It shall be a glorious time for those who have believed and accepted the Bridegroom, HaShem, Yeshua HaMashiach. Will you be there?

I heard the LORD say, "Get ready!  We are about to play in a different league, far superior!" - PJ

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