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Wedding Vows at a Jewish Wedding Ceremony

April 23, 2015

The Jewish Wedding Ceremony is full of significant rituals and is a perfect prophetic parallel of the coming of Yeshua to take his church to be his Bride, a dress rehearsal for The Rapture.  Several elements are present at every ceremony, including a ketubah [from kathab כְּתָב H3791] (a written contract or marriage agreement), a mikvah [מקווה H4723] (the place of cleansing and preparation), a chuppah [חֻפָּה‎ H2646] (a covering or canopy), and a sign [אוֹת- H226] (a visible, tangible expression of the love – the calling up of the bride).

The general progression starts at the house of the groom’s father, goes to the house of the bride’s father, and a proposal is made.  The groom then goes back to his father’s house, builds an addition for himself and his new bride, then goes to get the bride when the addition is ready.  Once there they shut and lock the doors and stay within for seven days.  After the seven days the bride is brought forth and shown to all. Let’s examine these steps in detail:

The Expedition
John 6:51 – “I am the living bread which came down from heaven . . .
In a Jewish marriage, the husband-to-be (groom) would consult with his father regarding the woman he wished to take as a bride.  If the father agreed to the groom’s plan, then the groom would leave his father’s home and travel to his betrothed’s (bride) home and speak with her father. Yeshua left His heavenly home, where his father dwells, and traveled to the Earth, the home of his betrothed, the Church, called the Bride of Christ.

The Proposal And The Ketubah
Matthew 26:27Yeshua took a cup and gave it to his disciples, saying,Drink from it, all of you . . .
Once the groom reached the bride’s home, he would establish and pay the purchase price for the bride, guaranteeing that he was serious about the marriage.  Yeshua paid the ultimate price by being crucified and shedding his blood.

The groom would compose and verify a written marriage contract, the Ketubah, with the bride’s father, then offer the cup of covenant to his prospective bride, thereby pledging his life to and for his bride. If the bride accepted this promise, she would then drink of the cup confirming that she, too, would pledge her life to and for her betrothed. Yeshua offers us the cup at every communion – you either accept his offer or reject it.

The Leaving
John 14:1-3 – “Yeshua said, ‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in Yahweh, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am’.”
Once the proposal had been given and accepted, the groom would say to his bride, “I go to prepare a place for you” then go back to his father’s home.  He would build an addition for himself and his bride and wait for his father’s approval.  The new addition had to be exceptional, stocked with all the newlyweds would need for their seven days of honeymoon.  It was customary for the groom to be gone for a long time and for the bride to wait in anticipation of his return.  At the end of the separation, the groom would show up unannounced to take his bride home, but only after his father had given him permission to do so. Yeshua has returned to Heaven and promises to return for His Bride. Yeshua will show up when we do not expect Him to do so, and only the Father in Heaven knows the date and time!

The Mikvah, A Sign, And The Return
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – “For Yeshua Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of Yahweh.”
The bride now keeps herself pure while she waits for her husband-to-be to return, for she is now considered to be “set apart”,  “consecrated”, and “bought with a price”.  Her Mikvah is her father’s home. She expects her husband-to-be to come at midnight and surprise her!  And what a noisy celebration that is. The groom’s party arrives with loud shouts, often accompanied by the blowing of a shofar or trumpet.  When the groom gets to his bride’s home, he will wait outside for the bride to join him. When Yeshua returns, he will shout, the archangel will shout, and Yahweh’s voice will sound like a trumpet. Yeshua will not come all the way to the Earth, but will wait for us to join him in the clouds.

Once the groom and bride are together, they proceeded to the groom’s new home, which is the addition to the same home as his father’s.   People would know that a wedding was in under way because of all the laughing and partying of the bridegroom and his friends as they carried the veiled bride through the streets to her new home.  The bride is “lifted up” and carried to the new home.  When the Bride of Christ is raptured, she meets Yeshua in the air, is covered by the clouds, and is taken to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:7).

The Chuppah, The Ketubah, And The Hiding
Matthew 25:10 – “The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.”
The groom and bride go to his fathers house and the wedding ceremony takes place under the Chuppah (marriage canopy).  The Chuppah is generally open on all sides, The reading of the ketubah text is given, outlining the groom’s responsibilities – to provide his bride with her daily physical needs (daily bread) as well as her emotional needs.  The couple is then concealed in the marital chamber.  Once inside they shut and lock the doors and stay within for seven days.

In English thinking, we get the idea that you simply go into a bedroom and shut the door. However, in Hebrew, the picture is one of concealment – the husband and wife go into the chamber and are hidden away for seven days.  Matthew 25:10 tells us the door is “closed and locked.”  Isaiah 26:19-21 gives us the image of those who come into their chambers, “lock the doors, and hide for a little while . . .”  This is repeated in Song of Solomon 2:8 and 13:10 – “My lover spoke and said to me, ‘Get up, my darling; let’s go away, my beautiful one’.”  These three patterns are perfect pictures of the concealment of the Bride of Christ in Heaven for seven years during the time of Yahweh/Yeshua’s indignation or wrath ( i.e.; the tribulation period).

The Revealing And The Supper
Revelation 19:7-10 – “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Yahweh, for the marriage of Yeshua has come and his wife has made herself ready.  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean . . . Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper . . .”
At the end of the seven day period, after the concealment and consummation of the marriage, the husband and wife exit for the marriage supper or celebration meal.  Everyone’s works have been evaluated and rewarded at the Bema Seat of Yeshua.  The husband brings forth his wife so that everyone can see her, and the marriage supper begins.  At the end of the tribulation period Yeshua will come with all His saints and every eye will see Heaven opened and his wife adorned in fine, pure, white linen! After the supper is over, both will reign throughout the millennial kingdom. 

Conclusions
The Jewish Wedding Ceremony is, indeed a dress rehearsal for The Rapture.  Yeshua came down from Heaven,  gave his life as a ransom for his bride and offered her eternal life.  He returned to heaven to prepare a place for his bride and will return to take her home.  His return will be a noisy, celebratory event.  The bride will be concealed while he pours out his wrath upon those still living upon the earth, culminating in his return, the revealing of his wife, and their millennial reign.

Final Thought
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets.  Today we are one day closer to the return of Yeshua than we were yesterday and tomorrow we will be even one day closer.  For almost two thousand years the Jews would proclaim “Next year in Jerusalem!”  I now proclaim “Next Yom Teruah in the clouds!”  Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.

Related Links
Aish Jewish Wedding Article
Wriston Jewish Wedding Article
Hebrew-4-Christians Jewish Wedding Article

Wedding Vows Series
Wedding Vows at Mt Sinai
Wedding Vows at a Jewish Wedding Cerremony

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