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Traditional Jewish Wedding Festival 

 

FOUNDATIONS 

•  Goal for class:   

♦  To love Jesus more 

♦  To stir up more passion in our hearts for Jesus 

♦  To prepare ourselves as His Bride 

♦  To see His faithfulness in fulfilling the Law 

•  Jewish (Middle Eastern) concept of time: 

♦  Spiral vs. linear 

♦  Day starts with 6 pm in evening 

•  Jewishness of Jesus – fulfilled the law, studied 

•  De-semitization of the Church (during 4

th

 century w/Constantine 325 AD) 



•  We’re not bound to celebrate the festivals, BUT… 

•  God is author of true, holy romance.   

♦  The whole story is about the love a bridegroom has for his 

beloved. 

♦  Again, the whole story is about Him coming to get His bride, and 

just what it cost Him 

♦  As Robyn says, “It’s not a war story, with a love story in it; it’s a 

Love Story with a War in it…” 

♦  The Song of Songs 

♦  Numerous Psalms, especially  Ps 45 

♦  Book of Ruth is a beautiful picture of the Bride/Kinsman 

Redeemer 

♦  The story of Esther 

•  God’s covenants still hold…   the New is the fulfillment of the Old; He 

didn’t get rid of the old… 

•  Festivals and marriage feast are reflections of Prophecy fulfilled and 

prophecy yet to come 

•  This is from a Messianic Jewish perspective 



 

 

 

 

 

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A JEWISH TRADITION OF THE MARRIAGE CEREMONY OR “ONCE 

UPON A TIME…” 

•  No dating!!! 

♦  Young man expected to  

!

  Marry (from Bar Mitzvah on;   ~13-20 yrs old) 



!

  Bear children 

!

  Fulfill his responsibility to the Jewish community 



♦  No teen years;  they went from childhood to adulthood 

•  Marriage was a practical, legal matter 

♦  Father could arrange as Samson’s dad  

!

  Jgs 14:10:  



10

Then his father went down to see the woman; 

and Samson made a feast there, for the young men 

customarily did this. 

♦  An agent could arrange as Eliezer did for Isaac in Gen 24 

♦  The young man could arrange it for himself as Jacob did in Gen 29 

•  Bride price (mohar),  the written betrothal covenant (shitre erusin)



and a skin of wine 

♦  Shows his love in a tangible way 

!

  He’s inquired as to the cost of the Bride 



♦  Pay-off the father for raising a very worthwhile woman 

•  If terms are suitable, a cup of wine is drunk to seal agreement 

♦  Betrothal is fully binding 

♦  Showed his willingness to sacrifice for her 

♦  Showed her willingness to accept the terms of the covenant 

•  Groom pays bride price (a costly sum) and then departs saying, “I go to 

prepare a place for you!” 

•  At his father’s house, he builds: 

♦  A chadar (bridal chamber) 

♦  Or chupah (honeymoon bed/canopy, AKA mansion) 

!

  This is the mansion for their honeymoon to come 



!

  Big undertaking – must be beautiful – fit for a bride, fit for a 

queen 

!

  Stocked with 7 day’s worth of provisions 



!

  Took at least 1 year to build normally, sometimes 2 years 

!

  Father of groom is the determining factor for… 



♦  When the chadar is finished 

♦  When it is the time to get the bride 

!

  When asked the day, the groom says, “Only my father 



knows the day or the hour.” 

 

 

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•  Meanwhile, back at the bride’s home: 

♦  She’s gathering her trousseau 

♦  She’s prepared an oil lamp in case he comes at night 

!

  Psalm 119:105:  



105

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a 

light unto my path “  

!

  No home ever went without a lamp lit 



!

  Lamp on a rod 

!

  Outer darkness 



!

  Rocky terrain 

♦  She’d wear a veil henceforth to discourage anyone else from 

approaching with another covenant 

♦  She’s called, “consecrated”, “set apart”, “bought with a price 

(mohar) 

!

  Gen 34:12: 



12

“Ask me ever so much bridal payment and 

gift, and I will give according as you say to me; but give me 

the girl in marriage.”  

!

  Ex 22:17:  



17

“If her father absolutely refuses to give her to 

him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.” 

!

  1 Sam 18:25:  



25

Saul then said, “Thus you shall say to 

David, ‘The king does not desire any dowry except a 

hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on 

the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul planned to make David 

fall by the hand of the Philistines. 

♦  She’d assembly her sister and maidens to escort her to the groom’s 

father’s house 

!

  They also must prepare their lanterns 



!

  Knowing that the time was approaching for the bridegroom 

to come for his bride, they would stay with her nightly, just 

in case the groom comes 

•  Finally, the day arrives!!!  The Father gives his permission to get the Bride!! 

♦  The groom has his friends (2 friends are especially important!) and 

they return to get the bride 

♦  Here’s the passionate part:  each bride was considered “stolen”  

!

  Not by a stranger 



!

  But by the one who paid such a great price for her 

♦  Close to her house, one of the friends shout and blow the shofar 

and much clapping: 

!

  To give warning to the bride and her maidens 



!

  After all, her feelings should be considered 

♦  The girls only have enough time to: 


 

 

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!

  Trim their lanterns 

!

  Get the honeymoon clothes 



!

  Put the veil on the bride 

♦  The groom and his men rush into her house: 

!

  Like a thief in the night, and… 



!

  Steal her out from underneath the eyes of her father 

♦  The wedding party makes their way 

!

  With lanterns, laughing, clapping 



!

  To escort the bride and groom to his father’s house 

♦  In this way, the village knew a wedding was about to start, 

!

  Yet they still couldn’t see the face of the bride 



•  They would reach the father’s house 

♦  The groom is wears the kittel (white linen robe) 

♦  The Kittel, worn by the bridegroom under the chupah, is also used 

as his shroud for his burial upon his death 

♦  They would sign the 2

nd

 contract, the kettubah, witnessed by the 



groom’s friend 

♦  They bride and groom would then enter the bridal chamber, the 



chadar, and CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!!!! 

♦  There, they would consummate the marriage; learning deepest 

intimacy 

♦  The 2


nd

 friend of the groom would wait outside the chamber to 

hear the voice of the groom tell him that the marriage was 

consummated! 

♦  The friend would announce this and the celebration would begin 

!

  The guests were the friends of the father & groom & bride 



♦  The bride and groom would be separated by themselves for 7 days 

!

  The groom would present her with gifts and her wedding 



clothes 

♦  Finally, on the last day, they would withdraw from the chadar and 

enter the party as one 

♦  The culmination of the week was the Marriage Feast with the 

bride and groom attending as “King and Queen”!! 

•  After the marriage feast, the couple would not stay in the father’s house, but 

adjourn to their own home, prepared by the groom 

 

SEVEN PARTS TO THE MARRIAGE CELEBRATION/COVENANT 

Part 1:  Covenant 



 

 

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Part 2:  Cup 

Part 3:  Price 

Part 4:  Departure 

Part 5:  Return 

Part 6:  Bridal Chamber 

Part 7:  Marriage Supper 

 

HOW THE MARRIAGE TRADITION IN FULFILLED IN MESSIAH 

PART 1:  THE COVENANT 

•  The groom has taken the initiative and has come to woo the bride 

!

  Jesus left heaven to come to earth to gain a bride for Himself 



•  We ARE the Bride; we’ve been: 

♦  Given a new covenant 

!

  Jer 31:31-34 (read) (see below)  



!

  Heb 8:8-12 (repeated in the NT) 

♦  Bought with a price     

!

  1 Cor 7:23:  



23

“You were bought with a price; do not 

become slaves of men.” 

♦  Set apart/holy 

!

  Rom 12:1: 



1

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies 

of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, 

acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of 

worship.” 

!

  1 Cor 3:17:  



17

“If any man destroys the temple of God, God 

will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is 

what you are.” 

!

  Eph 1:4: 



4

“…just as He chose us in Him before the 

foundation of the world, that we should be holy and 

blameless before Him.” 

!

  Col 1:22: … 



22

yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly 

body through death, in order to present you before Him 

holy and blameless and beyond reproach

— 

!



  2 Tim 1:9: 

9

“… who has saved us and called us with a holy 

calling, not according to our works, but according to His 

 

 

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own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ 

Jesus from all eternity” 

 

•  Covenant vs. contract: 



Covenant 

Contract 

Based on trust between parties 

Based on distrust 

Based on unlimited responsibility 

Based on limited liability 

Cannot be broken if new circumstances 

occur; binding 

Can be voided by mutual consent 

Initiated by bridegroom 

Initiated by either party 

Original Hebrew word is b’riyth:  in the 

sense of cutting; a compact made by 

passing between pieces of flesh; One of 

original root words means “to feed” 



 

 

 

 

 

Old Testament/Covenant 

New Testament/Covenant (fulfillment 

of OT) 

Written on tablets of stone 

Written on soft, pliable tablets of our 

hearts 


Obeyed because of fear 

Obeyed not out of fear/obligation, but 

out of love 

 

•  This covenant is spoken of Jer 31:31-37:   



♦  Terms made, price paid, and parties identified.  

!

  Jer 31:31-34



 31

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the 

LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house 

of Israel and with the house of Judah, 

32

not like the 

covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took 

them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, 

My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband 

to them,” declares the LORD. 

33

“But this is the covenant 

which I will make with the house of Israel after those 

days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them 

and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, 

and they shall be My people. 

34

They will not teach again, 

 

 

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each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 

‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the 

least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, 

“for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will 

remember no more.” 

♦  Signed and dated. 

!

  Jer 31:35-36:  



35

Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun 

for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the 

stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its 

waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:  

36

“If this 

fixed order departs From before Me,” declares the LORD, 

“then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a 

nation before Me forever.” 

♦  Cannot ever cease  

!

  Jer 31:37:  



37

Thus says the LORD, “If the heavens above 

can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched 

out below, then I will also cast off all the offspring of 

Israel for all that they have done,” declares the LORD.  

♦  Unbreakable by the Bride  

!

  Jer 31:34b:  



34b

“For I will forgive their iniquity, and their 

sin I will remember no more.” 

!

  No matter how she sins!! 



!

  Once she’s in the covenant!! 

!

  He continues to forgive her!! 



!

  No matter what!! 

!

  Our deeds are going to be judged, but 



!

  We ARE saved!!!! 

!

  Hallelujah!!!!!! 



!

  The price was VERY high!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 

PART 2:  THE CUP 

•  Signed in blood 

♦  OT:  Gen 15 (story of the Abrahamic Covenant);  and Ex 29:10-

21 (describes the consecration of the Aaronic Priesthood) 

♦  NT:  Heb 9:22:



  22

“And according to the Law, one may almost 

say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of 

blood there is no forgiveness.” 

 

 

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•  Matthew 26:27-28:  

27

And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He 

gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 

28

for this is My blood of 

the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 

♦  One Jewish blessing over the wine 

♦  “Baruch a-tah Adonai, E-lo-hay-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam Boh-ray 

Pree Ha-gaw-fen 

♦  “Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator 

of the fruit of the vine.” 

♦  The blood was sprinkled to ratify the covenant 

•  John 15:5:  

5

“I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me 

and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” 

♦  WE are the fruit of the Vine!! 

♦  WE are the Bride! 

♦  In essence, Jesus is giving thanks for the Bride 

♦  “Drink of the cup, therefore, and be betrothed to Me!” 

•  NT is our copy of the bridal covenant 

♦  Let us prepare ourselves properly 

♦  Wear the veil of purity 

♦  Honor the covenant we’ve made 

♦  Await the promised Bridegroom 

♦  Abide, Abide, ABIDE!!!!!  It’s the proof of our love! 

•  No new sacrifices are needed to please God 

♦  This one cup did it for all, forever 

♦  We ARE responsible to God for good works 

♦  Those good works won’t do for salvation 

 

PART 3:  THE PRICE 

•  The cross 

♦  Luke 22:39-44:  

39

And He came out and proceeded as was His 

custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed 

Him. 

40

When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that 

you may not enter into temptation.” 

41

And He withdrew from 

them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to 

pray, 

42

saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from 

Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 

43

Now an angel from 

heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 

44

And being in 

agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like 

drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 


 

 

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♦  Crucifixion passages: 

!

  Matthew 27 



!

  Mark 15 

!

  Luke 23 



!

  John 19 

♦  Hebrews 12:2

2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and 

perfecter of faith, who for the joy [Bride] set before Him endured 

the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right 

hand of the throne of God. 

•  “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”   

♦  Lk 22:39-40:  

39

And He came out and proceeded as was His 

custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed 

Him. 

40

When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that 

you may not enter into temptation.” 

♦  Like the bridegroom is saying, “Don’t be tempted, wait for Me; 

I’m coming back soon.” 

•  Lk 22:42:  



42

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not 

My will, but Yours.”   

♦  Like the bridegroom is seeking counsel from His Father to see if 

the Bride price, the mohar, is too high; and waiting to do only the 

Father’s will 

•  Lk 22:43:  

43

“An angel appeared to strengthen Him and He prayed more 

earnestly, His sweat becoming blood.” 

♦  The pain was so high; the cost was so great 

♦  Every man’s sin, every person’s hurt, injustice, betrayal, of all 

time, of all peoples 

♦  His Father’s answer was, “Yes, pay it.” 

♦  Jesus obeyed. 

•  Normally it took approximately 3 days to die in a crucifixion 

♦  Jesus took 6 hours 

♦  He had to. 

♦  He was a law-abiding Jew 

♦  He had a feast to keep! 

•  He paid the full price thereby accepting His Father’s decision 

♦  Shouldn’t we now live up to the expectation of a groom and keep 

ourselves pure, longing and awaiting His return? 

♦  A Bride, if tempted to not keep her part of the covenant, needed 

only to read the covenant often to see the price that He had paid for 

her 


 

 

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♦  We, also, should read our copy of  the covenant often to remember 

the price He paid for us 



 

PART 4:  THE DEPARTURE 

•  The bridegroom would return to his father’s house after the covenant, the 



cup, and the price 

•  So too, with Jesus 

♦  John 14:1-4:  

1

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, 

believe also in Me. 

2

In My Father’s house are many dwelling 

places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare 

a place for you. 

3

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come 

again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may 

be also. 

4

And you know the way where I am going.” 

♦  Also, Luke 24:51:  



51

“And it came about that while He was 

blessing them, He parted from them.” 

♦  Mark 16:19:  



19

“So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to 

them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right 

hand of God.”  

♦  Acts 1:9:  



9

“…and after He had said these things, He was lifted 

up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of 

their sight.” 

•  He’s there right now, preparing our place 

•  We, the Bride, are waiting 

♦  We are expectant 

♦  We are longing 

♦  We are lovesick 

♦  We are impatient, like the bride  

!

  Especially as we don’t even get to see Him  



!

  Peter 1:8-9:  



8

“...and although you have not seen Him, you 

love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe 

in Him, You greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full 

of glory, 

9

obtaining as the outcome of your faith the 

salvation of your souls.” 

!

  John 20:29: 



29

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have 

seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not 

seen and yet have believed.” 

•  We must not lose patience or hope 

♦  We need to keep our eyes focused on Him 


 

 

11  



♦  Continue to wear that veil in a pleasing manner to our Groom 

♦  As we are THE Bride, we need to remember: 

!

  “We’ve been bought with a price, we’re no longer our 



own”  (ref. 1 Cor 6:19-20; 1 Cor 7:23) 

!

  “We’ve been set apart/ holy” (ref.  1Peter 2:11 “aliens & 



strangers”;  1 Peter 1:13-16, esp. vv15-16) 

•  He IS coming back!!! 

♦  He paid the most tremendous price for us!!!! 

♦  We sometimes act as though He’s never coming back, like the evil 

servant (Matthew 24:45-51) 

♦  We are to watch  

!

  Matthew 26:41:  



41

“keep watching and praying, that you 

may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the 

flesh is weak.” 

!

  Matthew 24:4:  



4

“…and Jesus answered and said to them, 

‘See to it that no one misleads you.’” 

!

  1 Tim 4:16:  



16

Pay close attention to yourself and to your 

teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you 

will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who 

head you. 

♦  Wait   

!

  Philippians 3:20:  



20

For our citizenship is in heaven, from 

which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus 

Christ. 

♦  Pray   

!

  Mark 14:38:  



38

Jesus said, “Keep watching and praying, 

that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, 

but the flesh is weak.” 

!

  Luke 22:40: 



40

And when He arrived at the place, He said to 

them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 

♦  Be on the alert   

!

  Matthew 25:13:  



13

“Be on alert then, for you do not know 

the day nor the hour.” 

!

  Luke 21:8:  



8

And He said to them, “See to it that you not 

be misled; for many will come in My Name, saying, ‘I am 

He’, and ‘the time is at hand’; do not go after them.” 

 



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