This is a four part series
I found another excellent description of Jewish wedding customs. The Jewish Wedding: in it the author lists the 9 things that happen BEFORE the groom comes to fetch his bride, he also lists the various things AFTER that event. It is profound reading. If you print it out, it is 14 pages long.
This is my summary:
The betrothal is a parallel to the engagement in most ways except that in the ancient Jewish custom, it was binding! It was so binding that it could not be broken without a orthodox divorce. You were considered bound together from the period you entered the betrothal contract until the wedding day. When Joseph discovered that his betrothed wife Mary was with child he had real grounds to obtain a orthodox divorce and would have if the angel had not appeared unto him and explained what was going on.
So I hope you can see that what has happened between you and not only your groom – Jesus – is binding, it is legal, it cannot be reversed unless you go with another God (which is what idolatry is).
1. The Bridegroom’s Father chooses the Bride, the Groom in most cases does not. He sends a friend or a trusted servant to come to terms with the parents of the prospective Bride, and makes all the arrangements. The Bride may not have any idea of what this person looks like or even know his age. All she knows is she will spend her whole life with him if she says yes to this marriage!
All I can say is, I hope you said YES to this marriage. If not, you can still do so now. It’s never too late.
2. The price was secured for the Bride, and was usually something of great value. Lands, livestock, silver or gold. In the Believers instance the supreme price was paid, the precious Blood of Yeshua Messiah. Yeshua left His Home and the Glory of Heaven to come to earth to pay the ultimate price for a Bride.
The payment was His own life!
3. The Betrothal ritual is like an engagement party. The promise was made and it was binding. The man and wife do not live together or have sexual intercourse at this time. A cup of wine is lifted up and drunk by the Bride to seal the Betrothal.
The cup contained red wine. When she drinks, they are bound together. Do you see it now? Jesus taught this at the last supper (Matt 26:27-28). He poured his blood as an offering to CLEANSE you, to PURCHASE you from your old father the devil.
His offering – If you choose to accept His sacrifice – is that you are bought, you are freed from your old father, you have a new family, you have a new surname.
4. The written marriage contract is drawn up and in it the Bride is promised that she will be provided and cared for in every way. It states that all of her needs will be fulfill by the Bridegroom. The Hebrew term for Bridegroom is “Hatan” meaning: “one who enters Covenant.”
I know that you might be thinking, “I WANT THIS” but you don’t know how to get it. Without knowing it, I created my own contract and drank. Too easy! In my journal I wrote how I felt the Holy Spirit and I felt as if I was being given the words to write.
6. At this point the cup was drunk from. This cup is also called the shared cup of the Brit, i.e. Covenant. The two are now really married. The betrothed secured, i.e. sealed. Gifts are now given to the Bride… Every time we share in the cup of Communion we are re-affirming our marriage Covenant with our Bridegroom
Did you see that? When she (that’s you!) drink, the two are MARRIED. the marriage has begun. To get out of this “betrothal” the groom will need to file for a divorce!
If you can get your head around this truth, you will suddenly see WHO YOU ARE. WHO you are married to. WHOSE Family you belong to. And especially you will see whose child you are NOT and you will send him away.
As I read out the contract I wrote, I took my first sip of the cup and I definitely heard something in Heaven – I was told very clearly that I was a part of His family now.
7. In Hebrew the word for the Jewish Bride is the word “Kallah,” meaning: “complete,” and some teach it means: “enclosed one.” … The Bride went through a ritual immersion, i.e. washing, to symbolize her turning aside from all the former things and starting a new life with her Beloved. We are given water baptism for the purification of our old ways
“Enclosed one” – it so interesting that the author would use that word. I have it in my diary that I felt a covering come over me, like a half-enclosed bubble. I drew a picture of it
8. At this point the Bridegroom would depart and go back to his Fathers house to prepare a place for the wedding and his new Bride.
Jesus taught exactly this!
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – John 14:1-3
9. The Bride would prepare herself making all the preparations to be the best Bride she could be.
I mentioned that I saw a bubble, but it was only half enclosed. I knew that the key thing for me was to disengage from anything from my old past, to send away distracting things, to resist the devil – on the basis of who I now am, whose Name I have, whose Family I belong to, whose Father is now mine – and in this way the bubble closes entirely over me – as I end my involvement with other distractions.
I am not about to run around doing a million things like Martha, I know that it is Jesus – through His Holy Spirit – who actually cleanses me. We saw that in the Eph 5 verses. We can also see it in Isaiah 61:10
I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Is 61:10
He promised to cleanse you, so believe that He DID (on the cross 2000 years ago). Don’t believe he will, believe He DID.
What do you have to do? Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7)
10. When the Bridegroom comes to get His Bride it is more of a willing kidnapping. It could be called a snatching in the middle of the night. The Bridegroom and His friends would sneak up on the Bride suddenly. However, not without a shout first! Then there was a blast of the shofar sounding out, she must be ready to run to her Beloved, to flee with him with no hesitation or procrastination. (Matt 25:6)
The author lists all 12 steps – but for me I am figuring out what to expect from Jesus BEFORE the ceremony. I want to know how to enter into all He has for me before some future and obscured date. I’m living now. I’m here now. I have needs now – just like a bride does.
And as I drew up my own contract and drank to join in, my experience of things certainly changed. So will yours.