ANCIENT JEWISH WEDDING CUSTOMS & JESUS CHRIST, HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH
See the correlation between these customs and the Rapture.
Did you know, that there is a distinct correlation, between ancient Jewish wedding customs and practices, to the Coming of the Lord? There will even be a Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven which is similar to ancient custom also. Please read through these verses and commentary and watch the beautiful correlation unfold. If you are already aware of it, there still might be an avenue or two that you might find enlightening.
Selection of the Bride
In ancient times, the Hebrew Father of the Groom would choose the Son's Bride. The Son would honor his Father's choice and the arrangement plans would begin.
Jesus made it very clear, that we did not choose Him, but we were chosen.
"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and I placed you so that you would go and you would bear fruit and your fruit would remain, so that whatever you would ask the Father in My Name He would do for you."
The Bride Price/The Mohar
It was considered that the husband and his family were gaining an asset and the bride's family were losing one. And the price was according to the wealth of the Groom's Father. The choice of whom the Bride would be and the Bride price or Mohar as it was called, was to reflect the Father of the Groom's honor, integrity and stature; His future generations were at stake. Even if the Bride's family was not wealthy, if the Groom's Father was, the price was to reflect his wealth. Considering the stature and wealth of the heavenly Father, what would be a fitting price for the Bride of Christ, the Church?
I Corinthians 6:19-20
"Or do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit in you, which you have from God, and you do not belong to yourselves? For you were bought with a price: now, you must glorify God with your body."
I Peter 1:18-19
"knowing that you have been redeemed, not with corruptible things like silver or gold from futile living handed down from your fathers but by the precious blood of Messiah, as of the unblemished spotless Lamb."
The Agreement/The Ketubah
The wedding agreement was called a Ketubah. After the terms of the Ketubah were accepted, a cup of wine was shared to seal the marriage covenant. From that time forth, the couple was considered to be married, even though the marriage was not consummated yet. The Bride resided with her family until the time of the wedding. One especially interesting part of the Ketubah was that the Groom committed to complete provision for the Bride from that time forth as the couple began their covenant relationship.
Matthew 26: 27-28
"Then having taken a cup, after He gave thanks He gave the cup to them saying, “You must all drink from this, for this is My blood of the covenant, which is being poured out on behalf of many for forgiveness of sins."
“This is the cup of the New Covenant in My blood which is being poured out on your behalf.”
This Ketubah has 2 parts involving a shared cup of wine, with one at the initiation of the agreement and the other at the consummation. The first part happens at the initial acceptance of the agreement with the sharing of the first cup of wine. The second part happens when the wedding actually happens with the sharing of the second cup of wine.
Notice how Jesus says to do the New Covenant, Communion, in remembrance of Him. He is the Groom going away. But He will return for His Bride and bring her unto Himself.
I Corinthians 11:25-26
"Likewise also the cup after supper saying, “This cup is the New Covenant by means of My blood: you must regularly do this, as often as you would drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you would eat this bread and you would drink the cup, you are proclaiming publicly the death of the Lord until He would come.""
"And He said to them “This is My blood of the covenant which is being poured out on behalf of many. Truly I say to you that never again am I drinking from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of God.”
When we take the Cup, Communion, we are remembering Him, the price He paid with His Body and His Blood; this is symbolic of the first cup of the Ketubah. We should also stop, pause and rejoice in that: The next time the Lord takes the wine again, it will be with us, His Bride. This will be symbolic of the second cup of the Ketubah. We should take Communion in honor of Him as He has asked, but also with the comfort and intent of someday, being with and sharing the Wedding Cup with Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
The Bride did have the choice of refusal. If she disagreed with what was being presented to her, she could refuse the wine cup and the deal was off. If she drank from the cup of wine, the Covenant was sealed. The only way out of it after this for either of them, would be death or divorce. The engagement made them as legally married, but without sexual union.
When we choose to accept the offer of the Lord, as Lord and Savior, we enter into a covenant relationship. We are betrothed to the Lord spiritually and we reject all other gods and idols and stay faithful to Him. We are like the Bride of those days, in that we have all the legal rights of being betrothed, even though the marriage is not complete until the final ceremony.
Having been bought with a price, the Bride now keeps herself for him.
While Betrothed/Preparations for the Future
The Groom then began to build the new home, usually on family property, for the couple. It was important that this new home would meet the honor of the Father's stature as it would be the continuing of His family. Neither Bride nor Groom knew when the Father would say it was “good enough” so they both needed to be ready.
Jesus left to prepare a place for His Bride, the Church.
"In My Father’s house are many dwelling places: and if it were not so, would I tell you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I would go, then I shall prepare a place for you. I am coming again and I shall take you along with Me, so that where I am you would also be."
When they felt they were getting close, the Bride would go through the ritual of immersion, called a Mikvah. It signified the passing of the old and the forthcoming of the new. The person has to be strictly clean and be completely immersed. Mikvah is the same word as baptism (immersion). Pictures here are of ancient ruins of a Mikvah bath and a modern one.
Call for the Wedding
When the Father decided that all was in order, he would have his servants start putting together the things needed. Have the shofars blown, and send the word out that the wedding was about to happen. It was customary for one of the Groom's party to go ahead of the Groom, leading the way to the Bride's house - and shout - "Behold, the bridegroom comes." And Father would say to his Son, Go and get your Bride! This would usually happen at night, and when the Bride got the word, she would run to meet the Groom and together they would head for the ceremony.
“But no one knows about that Day and hour, and neither do the angels of the heavens nor the Son, except the Father only.”
“But concerning that Day and the hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven and not the Son, only the Father.”
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
"The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a command, with a voice of an archangel and with a shofar of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first then we, the living, those who are left behind, will be taken away together with them into the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air: and thus we will always be with the Lord."
There would be a short ceremony, and then the Bride and Groom retired to the place he had prepared (Huppa/Wedding Chamber), and the friend of the groom, the best man, stood by the door. When the marriage had been consummated, the Groom would shout in his joy and the friend of the groom would relay the good news to the guests. This was the beginning of a week-long celebration and the first week of the couple being alone together in the bridal chamber.
"The one who has the bride is the bridegroom: and the friend of the bridegroom is the one who stands by, then when he hears his joy he rejoices because of the voice of the bridegroom. Therefore this joy has been fulfilled in me. It is necessary for that One to increase, and for me to decrease.”
The Ceremonial Second Cup of Wine/The Simcha
This 2nd cup of wine was shared during the marriage ceremony with the Bride drinking after the Groom, thus the Ketubah has been completed. (the first cup of wine having been drank at the acceptance of the Ketubah)
"And I say to you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink this with you anew in My Father’s kingdom.”
The Marriage Supper
Following the ceremonial proceedings of the Huppa, is the marriage banquet, also sometimes called the wedding feast or marriage festival. This was the joyful celebration of the union of the couple with all their family and friends. For us as Christians, after the Rapture, we have one very important banquet to look forward to with our Lord and King. All the church, the bride of Christ, will join the Lord at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb for this incredible special celebration. The Lord will take the long awaited cup of wine and we will all share it together with Him and enjoy the heavenly festivities He has planned.
"Let us rejoice and be glad and we will give Him the glory, because the marriage festival of the Lamb has come and His wife has prepared herself and it was given to her that she would be clothed in brilliant pure fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” Then he said to me, “You must now write: ‘Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
End of Article.
Let's take a closer look at this parable.
The Ten "Betrothed" Virgins
“Then the Kingdom of the Heavens will be like ten virgins, who, having taken their lamps, came out to meet the (bride)groom. And five of them were foolish and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take olive oil with them. But the wise took olive oil in the containers with their own lamps. And when the (bride)groom delayed they all grew drowsy and they were sleeping. Then in the middle of the night there had come a cry, ‘Behold the bridegroom, you must come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their own lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘You must now give us from your olive oil, because our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones answered saying, ‘Then there would not be enough for us and for you: you must rather go to the sellers and buy oil for yourselves.’ And while they were gone to buy it, the bridegroom came, and the prepared ones entered the bridal chamber with him and the door was locked. And later the remaining virgins came saying, ‘Lord. Lord! You must open to us now!’ But he said, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore you must habitually be watchful, because you do not know the Day or the hour.”
As betrothed brides, they were supposed to be preparing for their wedding, sewing the various garments, purifying, learning, etc in anticipation of the Big Day... but 5 grew drowsy and were sleeping.
They were to keep a light in the window during all nighttime and have more oil on hand, to make the journey to meet the Groom.
Without a light in the night, how would they find their way to meet the Groom? They would stumble and fall, get off the path, being unable to navigate in the dark.
They were to “meet up” with the Groom and head for the Wedding Ceremony, Honeymoon and Marriage Supper.
Five of the betrothed made it, Five did not.... All Ten had the opportunity.
Five had their heart in it and kept to their purpose. These stayed on course with well supplied lamps, trimmed wicks and fresh oil on hand. This is how we must be as the betrothed Church waiting for our Groom, Christ Jesus. Only the “prepared ones” will make it. There will not be any second chances. Those arriving late will be locked outside the door. We must burn passionate for our Lord and be able to stay on course through the darkness, and possibly very heavy darkness. We must set our hearts and live our lives as the prepared Bride of the Lord.
The Bridegroom is Coming!
Other interesting notes:
As Eve was created from the 1st Adam, as so is the body of Christ, His bride, is created from the 2nd Adam, Jesus Christ.
"And He built the rib, which the LORD* God had taken from man, into a woman and brought her to the man. And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She will be called Wife (Ishah), because she was taken out of Husband (Ish)."
In John, Chapter 1, notice here the word “take” whereas most versions say “receive,”
"He came among His own people, but His own did not take* Him. And so many as did receive Him, He gave them authority to become children of God, to those who believed in His name, they are not from blood and not from the desire of flesh and not from the will of man but were begotten from God. "
*take: This word means to take as your betrothed, speaking of the intimate relationship Y’shua came to seal.
The version of the Bible used for this particular study, the One New Man Bible, is one of the most literal translations there is. In many versions, these verses lose impact going from one language to another. The One New Man Bible shows in its commentary that Jesus did not come just to be lightly received. He came from the Father to bring us back to Him. To "take Jesus, to receive Him," meant to "believe in His Name in a life changing manner." It was (and is) entering into a Covenant relationship with our Holy God. Because He called us out, chose us. Note it says, He gave them authority to become children of God, not just became children of God.
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Copyright 2014 E. Cockrell May be used for personal study or instruction but shall not be copied and/or distributed in whole or part without permission or for financial profit.