Ancient Paths - Jewish Wedding Customs
9) The bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the bridegroom was away building the house
•Before the bridegroom could go and get the bride, the groom's father had to be satisfied that every preparation had been made by the son.
•Only then could he give permission to the son to go and get the bride.
bridegroom did not know when his father would declare the bridal chamber fit and send him to go get his bride.
•This is what Jesus was referring to in Mark 13:32-37.
•Different levels of understanding…literal
and deeper meaning
Q – Did Jesus really not know?...answer: Yes He knew, because is God manifest in the flesh...the Father was in Him (John 14)...He was identifying Himself as the Bridegroom of Israel and and such related
to them using the language of their own customs and culture.
9) The bride was consecrated and set apart for a period of time while the bridegroom was away building the house (II Cor 6:17-18)
•Meanwhile, the bride was to wait eagerly for the return of the bridegroom.
•In the mind of the bride, the bridegroom could come at any time, even in the middle of the night (midnight)
•Therefore, she had
to be ready at all times. Jesus referred to this in Mark 13:32-37 and Matthew 25:1-13.
•While waiting for her bridegroom to come, the bride may be thinking, "Is he really coming back for me? “It’s been such a long time…why
is he taking so long to come?”.
•This was the thought that Peter answered in Second Peter 3:3-4, 8-9.
•Matt 25:1-13 –
•According to Jewish tradition, the bride in waiting would keep a lamp burning in her home until the bridegroom returned! Keep the “oil” (type of Holy Ghost) burning…so let your light shine…in
anticipation of His coming (usually at mid-nite)!
10) The bridegroom would return with a shout!
"Behold, the bridegroom comes" and the sound of the ram's horn (shofar) would be blown.
•When the bridegroom did come, he came with a shout (Matthew 25:6)…normally “the bridegroom cometh” and
the blowing of a shofar (trumpet) (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 4:1).
…The bridegroom would return with a shout
•The marriage between the bride and the groom will take place under the chupah or wedding canopy (see picture) – type of heaven
•Heaven is a type of chupah, we can see that when Jesus gives a shout for His bride, accompanied
by the blowing of a shofar (trumpet), the marriage between Jesus and His bride will take place in Heaven
The Honeymoon Suite (chupah)
•Chupah, Cheder, Sukkah
•2646 (Strong's Hebrew) chupah, khoop-paw'; from 2645; a canopy:-chamber, closet, defense.
•2314 cheder – inner room, bed chamber
•5520 Soke or Sukkah –
hut or booth
•This word, chupah, is used in only a few places in scripture:
•(Psalms) 19:5 In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. Ps 27:5 - 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion (sukkah): in the secret of his tabernacle (sukkah) shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
The morning sun's a new husband, leaping from his honeymoon bed, (Message Bible)
•Yoel (Joel) 2:16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room (Cheder) and the bride her chamber (chupah).
•Amplified Bible (AMP)
Isaiah 26:20-21 tells us of this time: "Come my people, enter our chambers (cheder) and shut the door behind you, hide yourself as it were, for a little moment until the indignation is past. For behold the Lord comes out of His place to punish the
inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity."
•16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation; assemble the elderly people, gather the children and the nursing infants; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber and the bride out of her closet.
•Psalm 27:5 - For in the time of trouble He
shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
Jewish Wedding Customs in Light of the Scriptures
•The marriage ceremony will have a sacred procession. For this reason, the bridegroom (Jesus) will be led to the chupah first (I Thess 4:16)
•When the bridegroom approaches the chupah, the cantor chants, "Blessed is he who comes."
"Blessed is he who comes" is an idiomatic expression meaning "welcome."
•Jesus said that He would not return for His bride until these words were said (Matthew 23:39).
•The groom is greeted like a king under the chupah.
11) He would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night, to go to the bridal chamber where the marriage would be consummated. This is the full marriage, known in Hebrew as nesu'in
We see this happening in several key passages in the Bible. At this point, it would be good to point out that the Hebrew language has a depth of meaning not found in any other language. Certain key words and phrases often point to specific
events and timeframes...they are considered idioms that can carry within them volumes of understanding and symbolism. Kind of like an artist using a painting to convey a multitude of thoughts and ideas.
For example, in the following scriptures
you see a common theme running thru them...namely that there is a door, window or gate opening. The Hebrew understanding of this not only points to a certain event but also a certain timeframe. It is the day when the righteous are resurrected...both
the dead and the living. Hebrews would also recognize that this also speaks of an important part of the Wedding custom.
The following scriptures speak of the Bride entering into the Wedding chamber!
– Relate to Isaiah 26:2 - 2 Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful (righteous) to enter.
Isaiah 26:19-20 Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise.Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs,And the earth shall cast out the dead
my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you;
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past.
•Rev 4 – 1After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven…
–Genesis 8:13 - 13Noah was now six hundred one years old. And by the first
day of that year, almost all the water had gone away. Noah made an opening in the roof of the boat [a] and saw that the ground was getting dry.
The following scriptures speak of the time the Bride and Groom
are in the wedding chamber or chadar (Hebrew)...then come out together.
Revelations 6-18 - Bride is hidden
Psalms 27:5 - For in the time of trouble, He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle; He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
•They will stay in that wedding chamber for seven days, or a week. At the end of the seven days, the bride and groom will come out from the wedding chamber:
be seen in Joel 2:16 and Revelation 19
•Joel 2:16 - 16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children,….: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the
bride out of her closet.
–Where else in scripture can this picture be seen?
•11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness
he doth judge and make war.
• 12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
• 13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood:
and his name is called The Word of God.
• 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean
12) Finally, there
would be a marriage supper for all the guests invited by the father of the bride.
•The bride and the groom would be in the wedding chamber for seven days. When the bride and the groom initially went into the wedding chamber,
the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door. All the assembled guests of the wedding gathered outside, waiting for the friend of the bride-groom (Mal 3:1) to announce the consummation of the marriage, which was relayed to him by the groom. John the
Baptist referred to this in John 3:29. At this signal, great rejoicing broke forth (John 3:29) - 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.
Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. The marriage was consummated on the first night (Genesis 29:23).