Ancient Jewish Customs and Parallel to the Church

by William P. Risk

Ancient Jewish Custom

Parallel to the Church


The Match

  • Initiated by the father of the groom
  • Agent may be used
  • Choice of groom considered
  • Consent of the bride
  • Christ acted at the initiative of the Father, John 5:30
  • Holy Spirit acts as agent of Father in the world today, 1 Cor. 2:10; Gal. 4:6.
  • Christ chose His disciples, John 15:16
  • We respond to Christ's love and accept Him, 1 Pet. 1:8


The Bride Price

  • Required by law
  • Paid by the father of the groom
  • Reflects the value of the bride
Our mohar was the life of the Son
  • The price was required by the Law, Rom. 8:3,4
  • The mohar was paid, as required, l Cor. 6:20, 1 Pet 1:18
  • The value placed on the bride was high, John 3:1


Love Gifts

Given by the groom to the bride.

Not required, an expression of love.

Believers are given gifts by the Lord out of love:
  • Eternal Life, John 10:22-28.
  • Anything, John 14:13-14
  • Peace, John 14:27



Given to the bride by her father to equip her for her new life, part of her inheritance. Believers are given gifts by the Father to equip them for their new life:
  • The Holy Spirit, John 14:16, 17
  • Spritual Gifts, 2 Cor. 1:21-22


The Marriage Contract

Written document stating the mohar, the Rights of the bride, the promises of the groom. Our written contract stating the mohar, the rights of the Bride, and the promises of the Groom is the New Testament,
  • 2 Cor. 3:5-6
  • Heb. 8:6


The Betrothal

Sealed with the 'cup of acceptance'

Groom: Preparation of huppah


  • Purificatlon (Mikveh)
  • Undistracted devotion
  • Anticipation
  • Cup of the New Covenant, Matt. 26:27-29
  • Chrlst goes to prepare a place for us, John 14:1-3
  • We are 'set apart', 2 Cor. 11:2, 1 Pet 15:1
  • Purified by 'washing,' l Cor. 6:11
  • We are not to be distracted by:

False Teachers, 2 John 7-11

Worldly Things, l John 2:15

  • We anticipate Christ's return, Matt. 24:42-44


The Nuptials

Groom's father decides when he may return for the bride.

Arrival unexpected by the bride

Abductlon of the bride.

Finely dressed and crowned.

Marriage Feast

Bride and Groom dwell together in happiness

Only the Father knows when the Son will return, Matt. 13:32

We do not know when He will return Mark 1 3:32

We will be 'abducted,' I Thess. 4:16-18, Luke 17:34-36

We will be crowned, l Pet 5:4, James 1:12. 2 Tim. 4:8

He will be crowned, Rev. 14:14

We will take part in the marriage feast of the Lamb, Rev. 19:6-9

We will dwell forever with the Groom in happiness, I Thess. 4 :17, Rev. 2 1:3.

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Bill Risk (

Last update: May 8, 1996