©1995 - 2019

Mary Pinkney Parnell


The Jewish Wedding
A parallel To Jesus and the Church:
A Biblical study of the Bride and the Bridegroom
Mary Pinkney Parnell
= covenant (sealed in blood)
B'rit Hadashah = New Covenant
Tanakh = Old Testament
B'rit kidushin = betrothal period (think of Mary & Joseph)
Chadar (Kadar) = chamber"
Da'at = I do
Ketubah = contract"
Mohar = bride price
Ka'lal = bride
Type: = to present beforehand as a type-to prefigure"
a person or event or institution in the OT that relates
to a corresponding person or event or institution in the NT.

The core chapter is Genesis 24 which contains many types and shadows of Messiah as the bridegroom of the church. But we must also study the Jewish wedding for the full picture.

Ephes. 5.25 Paul first explains this relationship.
Rom 7.4: - -"We are married to Christ"
Matt.22.2-5: Jesus speaks of the wedding feast by parable

The Typology of Abraham, Isaac, and Rebecca The Father (typified by Abraham) selects a bride for his beloved son.
John 6. 43-44
John 15.16 - -"You did not choose me . . . - -"

Abraham sends a trusted servant (Eliezer) to find the bride.

Eliezer is a type of the Holy Spirit. The HS is at work wooing and drawing the bride to the bridegroom. He is the one who nudges our hearts as he did with Rebekah. Becoming a believer depends on our being wooed. We are pursued by the lord for quite awhile before we begin to acknowledge his presence.
He makes all the arrangements. The Bride may have no idea what the groom looks like" all she knows is that she will spend her whole life with him if she says - - "yes" to this marriage. ( 1 Peter 1.8) This is the case with the bride of Messiah. We have not seen Yeshua, but God's servant the Holy Spirit has revealed him to us.

Genesis 24. In this chapter will be found many types and shadows of Messiah as the bridegroom of the Church. But we must also study the Jewish wedding for a full picture.

1. What standout scriptures are found in Genesis 24?

2. What types are readily apparent to you? Notice all of the actions of Rebekah and see if you can see Rebekah as a type of the church?
3. What do you see in verse 8? What does Rebekah's willingness have to do with the church. See the servant as a type of the Holy Spirit.
4. Notice the meeting of the bride and the bridegroom. It happens with a supernatural sign and force because the Holy Spirit draws. John 3.8. According to Rabbinical tradition, Rebekah is so overwhelmed when she sees Isaac, that she falls from her camel.

5. 1 John 4.19 We love the bridegroom because He first loved us and chose us.
6. If Eliezer is a type of the Holy Spirit: What begins to flow from him immediately? Compare to 1 Cor. 12.The gifts of the Spirit are a powerful accompaniment to our relationship with our heavenly bridegroom.
7. What happens when Rebekah does not resist the power of Eliezer's prayer?
New covenant: John 15.16
8. What types may be seen in verses 35 and 36?
9 Verse 41 God will not be satisfied or cleared of his oath until a bride is prepared for the bridegroom. (See Matt.25).
See John 3.29" John 3.35" Matt. 9.15, Mk. 2-18-20" Lk. 5. 34-35. Rev. 22.2-9" 1 Peter 1.18" Matt.24.43-44"

The Arrangements:

The Mohar: The price paid for the bride" money was paid to the father as well as to the bride.
Sometimes it was paid in service as in Jacob and Rachel. The price was usually something of great value: lands, livestock, silver or gold. The Bride was allowed to keep her monies to go into business or to keep.
Prov.31 shows a woman who was industrious in business as well as at home. The price was paid to show how the bridegroom loved and valued the bride Be'ulah: means - -"owned one." The Mohar raised the standard: A woman had value She was to be acquired in the presence of witnesses. If he wished to separate, even during the betrothal period, a divorce was required.

The Bride of Messiah has also been purchased:

A very high Mohar was paid for us" the blood of Y'shua himself. The bridegroom wrestled with that price in the Garden of Gethesemane" - -"Father do you know what they are asking for her" (Jamie Lash). 1 Cor. 7.23 Phil.2.5 Lk 22.19-20 (Jesus mentions the Bride Price) 1 Peter 1.18 Hebrews 12.2 Jesus paid the price for: The joy that was set before him.The joy of seeing each one of us redeemed.
Ka'lal: On the cross he said, - -"it is finished." Or Ka'lal" the same root as for - -"bride."

The Betrothal Ceremony

The B'rit Kidushin: The Betrothal is for 12 months during this time the bride is set apart for sanctification and beautification. This engagement covenant is binding and they are considered legally married except for the union. At The Betrothal ceremony a Ketubah was presented to the father.

The Ketubah: Ketubah comes from - -"kadosh" meaning holy. The B'rit Kidushin is holy. This contract is altogether in favor of the bride. The bridegroom promises to work for, honor, support and maintain his bride in truth, provide food, clothing, necessities and to live with her after the ceremony. The bride is promised that she will be cared for in every way. All of her needs will be fulfilled by the bridegroom. This contract is read and signed before 2 witnesses if the Bride agrees.

The Holy Scriptures are Our Wedding Document.

Matt. 6.28" Phil 4.19 Look at any scripture and know that the scripture is the holy covenant and inalienable right of the believer. - -"God is not a man that He should lie." He will never break the covenant. This Ketubah was read publicly. Today, the reading of our Ketubah takes place during Christian services.

The ketubah elevated the woman to a new status in society. Our Ketubah gives us rights and privileges that are found in no other religion or philosophy. Why would we reject our heavenly Ketubah, our holy scriptures, the Bible?
Hebrews 8.6 our B'rit Hadashah contains even better promises! This marriage contract was first promised to the House of Israel then to who-so-ever will (Jer.31.31-34). - -"The time is coming," declares the Lord when I will cut a New Covenant (B'rit) with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. . . ."

The Da'at: Is the consent literally means - "I do" Gen. 24-57-58.
The prospective girl had something to say. She had to consent, Da'at. Judaism says that marriage can only take place by mutual consent. In an age where child marriage was common the sages ordained : - -"it is forbidden for a man to betroth his minor daughter until she attains her majority and says, - -"I love this man."
Spiritual betrothal to Yeshua Ha Messiach is the same: God never forces us to say - -"I do." to his son. He created us with free will. We must respond or say - -"I do" (Romans 10.9-10) in the presence of 2 witnesses!

You may say the following and thereby give your consent or da'at:
I do believe that God raised Yeshua, Jesus from the dead.
I do repent of all my sin and desire to turn from it.
I do give you my heart, my love, and my whole life.
I do trust you with my future.
And, like a bride, I do desire intimacy with you.
I do believe that Yeshua's death atoned for my sin.
I do receive his forgiveness and gift of eternal life.
I do receive your love and my salvation today. (Jamie Lash)

The 1st cup of the Covenant
Baruch ata adonai eloheinu melech ha olam borey pre hagafen.
(Blessed are you O LORD, King of the Universe who creates the fruit of the vine.)

The blessing of the cup of wine is an important element of the ancient and modern Jewish wedding. The Bride and groom share the cup, symbolizing the shared life that would be theirs. A second cup of wine will be shared many months later. This is the cup of joy! According to Mayim Hayim, this cup is lifted UP in the right hand (signifying power) and parallels the forthcoming lifting up of Jesus on the cross.

Luke 22.30 - -"Likewise He also took the cup after supper saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is shed for you." Yeshua and His disciples were celebrating the anniversary of God's wedding to Israel (the Exodus). He is telling them that the New Marriage Covenant (the one promised in Jeremiah 31) would be sealed in his blood. Yeshua and His disciples drank from a common cup in an upper room in Jerusalem. They became one as they drank wine together.

When we partake of that cup at the Lord's Seder (communion) we remember our Heavenly Bridegroom, the mohar paid for us, and our covenental relationship with Yeshua. Just as two cups of wine were used as part of the ancient Jewish wedding, the second at the actual homemaking of the bride, Messiah's bride will one day drink a cup with Yeshua in person at the second part of our marriage ceremony. Matt 26.29

Until that day we have the communion cup to remind of our covenant with our Heavenly Bridegroom. We are to remember his love more than wine. Song 1.4 We need to drink often of the cup and remember our engagement to the king of Kings.

The Gifts: begin to flow even before the da'at and the betrothal. Gen. 24.53 We have already studied the gifts of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the great gift that Jesus gave to us during our betrothal period as we wait for his return (2 Peter 3.3). James 1.16" Cor. 12, Romans 12.

The Chadar: The departure of the groom: After the Betrothal Ceremony, the groom left to prepare the Chadar (chamber).The bridegroom in ancient Israel left his beloved to go to his father's house to prepare a Chadar.
(A bridal house) He would be gone up to 12 months (John 14.2-3) with the promise to return. Yeshua the heavenly bridegroom, left his bride to prepare a wedding chamber for her and he promises to return. His promise is still good and his return is near (Acts. 1.8-11).

1. Israel returned as a nation in 1948.
2. Hebrew was resurrected as a language.
3. Jerusalem has become a stone of stumbling,
4. Many nations are arranging themselves against Israel, including the United States,
5. Anti-Semitism is on the rise.
6. The destruction of Israel is promised by Islamic militants,
7. There are wars and rumors of wars. These and many other signs explained in Matt. 23 and Lk. 21 say, - -"Behold the Bridegroom cometh."

The Consecrated Bride:
The first act of the bride was a Mikvah: Hebrew for baptism (more precisely, immersion).
This is her time of beautification. For 12 months she takes beauty treatments.
While waiting for the bridegroom to return, she finds in him perfect contentment.
She fills her heart with songs. They think constantly of one another. Our heavenly bridegroom
is filled with intercession on our behalf.
Isaiah 61.10, Esther 2.12 shows the preparation of the Bride.
Esther (Hadassah) in Hebrew means hidden. She was hidden until the King held out his golden scepter to her.

The Hebrew bride (Ka'lah in Hebrew) was set apart, consecrated, separated from her bridegroom while he was away preparing her wedding chamber.
Song of Songs 4.12 Kallah literally means secluded or enclosed one.
The bride belonged to her beloved, the one who had purchased her. She was to have eyes for none other she had doves eyes: Song of songs 1.15. Doves have no peripheral vision so they symbolize faithfulness, singleness of vision, gentleness and loving commitment (Jamie Lash).
Paul says that we are hidden with God in Christ (Col 3.3). Hidden in the clift in the rock: Song of Songs 2.14.

The Bridegrooms return: The Trump of God
The sound of the Shofar!
A bride in ancient Israel had no idea what day or hour her bridegroom would return to take her to the wedding chamber. The bridegroom would come - -"like thief in the night." Only the groom's father knew. In the fullness of time, when the bridal chamber was complete" with no man knowing the day or the hour, the heavenly bridegroom will return. In reference to Yeshua's return: Mark 13.32.
The event was usually late at night. The shofar would break the silence of night. There would be shouts in the night and a torch procession. Song of songs 2.10 - -"Arise my love, my fair one and come away."
Matt 25. This parable simply means to be ready" Be thinking of Him always, the Bridegroom! When the shofar sounds, she must be willing to run to him. Her lamp must be lit!

The Aperion:
The Bride prepared to enter a bridal litter or aperion.
Song of Songs 3.9-10 The Bride is CARRIED in the aperion accompanied by musicians, singers, family and friends and attendants carrying torches. The voice of the bride and the bridegroom are heard in the streets.
Jer 33.11.
II Thes. 4.16-17
Matt 24.27

The Huppah
Jamie Lash writes: - -"The second half of the ceremony is called the - -"home-taking"
the Bride and bridegroom will meet at the Huppah, a special room built in the bridegrooms' Father's house.. The Bridegroom arrives before the bride. It is mentioned in verses Psalm 19.5 and Joel 2.15.
They will be alone for 7 days. The best man waits outside of the Huppah to see if the marriage is consummated. (John 3.29).
This 7 day period is also called the - -"week of the bride."
The Huppah was gradually replaced by a bridal canopy supported by 4 poles.
Both the bride and bridegroom are carried in the Huppah.
Blessings are pronounced to the bride and groom.

The Second Cup:
After the emergence from the Huppah (The Second cup is drunk) The marriage is complete! And sealed forever.
The Spiritual parallel of the huppah is the rapture. Following the Huppah is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and life everlasting in the chadar prepared by God.
The Huppah: The original meaning of the huppah was - -"room" or - -"covering."
The spiritual parallel to the huppah for the bride of Christ begins as we are (raptured)lifted up off the earth to be taken to our heavenly wedding chamber where we will spend &lsquo"one week' (seven years), with our Bridegroom/King. While the Bride of Christ is in the Bridal Chamber with Yeshua (Jesus). At this time the rest of the world will be in a time of great tribulation.

Isaiah 26:20-21 tells us of this time: "Come my people, enter our chambers 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." While the wrath of God is poured out on the earth, the bride of Christ will be hidden away with her Bridegroom.

The Final Step:
" The Second cup is drunk followed by the marriage supper. Following the seven days in the huppah or bridal chamber, the bride and bridegroom joined their guests for a joyous marriage feast. Playing of music and dancing was a regular part of the celebration.

Revelation 19:6-9: "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.' Then he said to me, Write: &lsquo"Blessed are those who are called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!' And he said to me 'These are the true sayings of God.'"

Just like the ancient Jewish wedding, there will be shouts of joy and dancing. The time of the second cup will be a time of great joy. Our intimacy with our heavenly bridegroom is complete and eternal. The Bride will dance for joy with her Bridegroom/King, Yeshua. (Jesus) We will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years during the millennium! For those of us who look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb, we must go out to the highways and byways and extend an invitation to others to come.
Revelation 2:17: "And the spirit and the bride say Come! And let him who hears say, Come! And let him who thirsts, Come" and whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely."
Revelation 22:20: "'Surely I am coming quickly.' Even so, Come Lord Jesus, Come!"

From Marvin R. Wilson: “In modern Hebrew, nissu’in is one of the several words translated “marriage.” Nissu’in and the related form nasu, “married,” derive from the verb “nasa, “to lift up”, “to bear,.” “to carry.” Nissu’in suggests exactly the opposite of putting someone down. Indeed, marriage is graphically portrayed as lifting the other up. This concept is beautifully dramatized at traditional Jewish Weddings. After the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom are lifted up on chairs by their guests to the accompaniment of exuberant singing and dancing. Furthermore,’nissu’in recalls a period in Jewish history when the people of a town would carry (nasa) the bride on a carriage from the home of her parents to her new home with her groom” (Our Father Abraham. Erdmans: 1989, p. 213).
Other cited references are to Jamie and Neil Lash’s televised series on "The Jewish Wedding:"
Jewish Jewels. 2000.