Wednesday, November 30, 2011



Cup of Acceptance

The groom then traveled from his house to the house of the prospective bride [1]. Once all the negotiations had taken place, the bride price given, and everything was settled, the groom would offer a cup of wine to the prospective bride. If she drank of the cup, it would signify that she accepted his proposal of marriage [2]. Once they drank from the cup of acceptance, Jewish law [3] considered the marriage ceremony legally sealed.

Parallels to the Church…

When Jesus offered the cup at the Last Supper He was proposing to all of the saints. When we take communion and drink of that cup, we are saying, "Yes Lord, I accept your proposal and wish to become your bride. I accept everything that you are to me and I put my trust in you. I believe in you Lord. Your death my husband, will not be in vain because I recognize and covet everything that you have done for me and everything that you are to me."

Once we accept that cup of communion, we are betrothed and have accepted His proposal of marriage. Our marriage to Christ is sealed.

v29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom [4].

Matthew 26:29 tells us of the second cup, which we will drink at the marriage ceremony with Christ. We will cover this in a moment.

[3] Halaka
[4] Matthew 26:29


Monday, November 21, 2011




The bridegroom gave gifts to the bride. However, the Mattan (love gifts) were not mandatory or prescribed by law. It was only customary and was a gesture to show the
love that the bridegroom had for the bride.

Parallels to the Church. . .

Jesus gave His bride the gifts (Mattan) of eternal life [1], peace [2], and anything else that she might ask Him for in His name [3]. Christ gave us so much more, too numerous to list.


The father of the bride also gave a dowry (Shiluhim) to the daughter to take with her into the marriage as a part of her inheritance to help equip her in her new life.

The idea behind the Shiluhim (dowry) was a settlement in lieu of the daughter's inheritance because Jewish customs dictated that the sons would succeed their fathers.

Parallels to the Church. . .

The Father’s dowry to us is the giving of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the spirit, a pledge of the spirit in our hearts, a measure of faith, grace, five-fold ministry, and the ability to speak and minster through the manifold grace of God. The Father has given us so much more as well.

We can find and study the dowry gifts (Shiluhim) in some of the following scriptures: John 14:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Romans 12:1-8; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:8-11.

I highly recommend that all believers take a spiritual gift class, no matter how old we are in the Lord. It might even be interesting to take the test periodically to see how the Lord is working in our lives and in what direction He is leading us. I would guess that there are many "on fire" Christians out there who have become unmotivated because they are not serving in an area of gifting or passion. Plus:

v29 . . .the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [4].

v21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
v22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts [5].

[1] John 10:27, 28
[2] John 14:27
[3] John 14:13
[4] Romans 11:29
[5] 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22


Monday, November 14, 2011



The Marriage Contract (Ketubah)

The Ketubah is a written contract between the bride and the bridegroom and was the groom’s responsibility to draft. It contained the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride. The covenant's purpose was to lay down the terms of the union. The Ketubah is the Old Testament scriptures.

Parallels to the Church…

The New Testament Ketubah is the New Covenant prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-33, revealed in Matthew 26:28 and fulfilled when Jesus hung on the Cross in Matthew 27:45-50. The New Covenant is the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ that He paid for His bride when He died on the Cross. The new covenant gave us access to the Holy of Holies and the presence of God.

It is important that we list Jeremiah 31:31-33 because it is a promise from God to us toward the coming of the Lord and a new covenant.

v31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

v32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

v33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people [1].

You might say, wait a minute; didn’t God already make a marriage covenant with His bride through Abraham? Yes He did. However, one of the reasons that Jesus could make a new covenant with Israel is that He had divorced her from the old covenant. Israel had broken the covenant a number of times and the Lord put her away [2].

This is one of the main scriptures that have split the Jewish people from Christianity. They argue that when entering into a marriage contract, if there are any changes, it takes the signature of both parties to make it legal. Since Abraham was dead when Christ fulfilled the New Covenant, they postulated that the new covenant was “null and void.”

However, without going into a complete Greek word study, suffice it to say that the term “will make” means “to complete that which already is,” and the word "new" means "to make better in quality," not to “make better in time.” The new covenant was not changed. Christ made it better.


[1] Jeremiah 31:31-33
[2] Jeremiah 3:8


Monday, November 7, 2011



Betrothal (Kiddushin)

Jewish marriages hinged upon two ceremonies: the betrothal (Kiddushin) and the marriage ceremony (Nissu’in). The betrothal [1], is less than a marriage but more than an engagement. The Kiddushin means sanctification or set apart.

When a Jewish couple entered into a betrothal, they considered the marriage to be legal and binding. In fact, when they entered into a betrothal, it was so strong and binding that if the bridegroom died, they considered the woman to be a widow.

The bridegroom brought three things to the house of the prospective bride: a marriage contract (Ketubah), gifts for the bride (Mattan), and the bride price (Mohar).

The father of the bride also gave his daughter a dowry (Shiluhim). When they agreed upon the terms, the groom offered the bride the cup. If she drank from it, this meant that she accepted his proposal. They called this the cup of acceptance. This sealed their marriage.

The groom would then leave and prepare a place for them to live and the bride would prepare herself by taking a ceremonial Mikvah, veil herself until his return, and anticipate his return with fervor. His return is now her only focus.

Parallels to the Church…

Just like the groom left his father's house and traveled to the bride's house for the purpose of betrothal, so did Christ travel from heaven to the earth for the purpose of betrothal and marriage to His prospective bride. The reason behind Christ’s coming was forgiveness from Adam’s sin [2] and to establish a marriage covenant with His bride, the church [3],

The next eight steps happen during the betrothal period: marriage contract, gifts for the Bride, the Father’s dowry, the cup of acceptance, the Bride price, the veil, the preparation of the Bride, and the preparation of the Groom.


[1] Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 2:19, 20
[2] 1 John 1:9
[3] Ephesians 1:9-14


Tuesday, November 1, 2011




Bloodlines were (are) very important to the Jewish people. It was highly discouraged, and in many cases, forbidden to marry outside the Jewish faith [1]. Bloodlines, traditions, customs, and faith remained uncorrupted and pure when covenanted marriages took place within the tribe. Israel was worried about the absorption of other faiths, because there were tribes that did not serve the God of Abraham, but instead, served Baal and other gods.

Parallels to the Church…

Jesus holds an importance to bloodlines as well. His Word exhorts us not to unequally yoke with unbelievers.

v14 Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness [2]?
[1] Numbers 36:6; Nehemiah 13:27; John Gills Exposition of the Entire Bible, Jeremiah 29:6 commentary
[2] 2 Corinthians 6:14