When studying the Scriptures it becomes evident that intimacy between Yeshua and His E’dah (Congregation), is no better illustrated than in the ancient Jewish wedding customs. The L-rd gave us these things so that we could and would understand His attributes. This is His propose for every Believer. Yeshua, Himself, made several references to the Church, i.e. Congregation, in being like a Bride waiting for her Bridegroom. I will not site them here however they will be found throughout this study. Let's take a look at it:
The marriage consists of two parts. First, the betrothal - Erusin or Kidushin. Then about one or two years later, the second part took place. This is the wedding ceremony called, Nisuin or Huppah.
The betrothal is a parallel to the engagement in most ways except that in the ancient Jewish custom, it was binding! It was so binding that it could not be broken without a orthodox divorce. You were considered bound together from the period you entered the betrothal contract until the wedding day. When Joseph discovered that his betrothed wife Mary was with child he had real grounds to obtain a orthodox divorce and would have if the angel had not appeared unto him and explained what was going on. From that point on Joseph knew it was the hand of G-d that was upon her. He had no more reason to put her away. The whole marriage rite is laid out in a series of steps, twelve in all. I will give them numbers and Hebrew Letters, then try to tie in the Hebrew understanding of these letters with the steps of the marriage. I say try because there is so much to this teaching, that I’m still finding wonderful things in the Scriptures. Only Messiah can tells us all we need to know!
1. Aleph, meaning: Father, strong leader, Ox or Bull.
The Bridegroom's Father chooses the Bride, the Groom in most cases does not. He sends a friend or a trusted servant to come to terms with the parents of the prospective Bride, and makes all the arrangements. The Bride may not have any idea of what this person looks like or even know his age. All she knows is she will spend her whole life with him if she says yes to this marriage!
This representative can be seen as a portrait of the Fathers Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. It is He who nudges our hearts, and calls us to enter into this union with our Bridegroom Messiah.
"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Messiah Yeshua answered. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them, and I will raise them up at the determined day."
(Adah Guzman’s Interpretation)
I Peter 1:8
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you Believe in Him and are filled with marvelous and festive joy," AGI
2. Bet, meaning: Household, House or Tent.
The price was secured for the Bride, and was usually something of great value. Lands, livestock, silver or gold. In the Believers instance the supreme price was paid, the precious Blood of Yeshua Messiah. Yeshua left His Home and the Glory of Heaven to come to earth to pay the ultimate price for a Bride. This was so He might return once again to prepared for us a place, a Home with Him in the Glory of Heaven. What an awesome Bridegroom we have precious ones. Praise His Holy Name!!!
I Peter 1:18-19
"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the superficial way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious Blood of Messiah, the Lamb without blemish or defect." AGI
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Messiah Yeshua: Who, being in the form of G-d, did not affect to appear in divine majesty; but divested Himself, taking upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" AGI
Read my Lamentations study for more insight into the word "form."
3. Gimel, meaning: To lift up, into, a camel.
The Betrothal ritual is like an engagement party. The promise was made and it was binding. The man and wife do not live together or have sexual intercourse at this time. A cup of wine is lifted up and drunk by the Bride to seal the Betrothal.
We will say more about the cup when we come to the 6th step - the Vav. Just remember that the cup is lifted in the right hand. The right hand is a place of power in the Jewish understanding.
"And Yeshua took the cup in His right hand, lifted it, blessed it, and gave it to His followers, saying, 'Drink ye all of it; For this is My Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. 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.'"AGI
Yeshua, when lifting the cup at the Passover understood that in just a short time from that moment, He would also be lifted up on a CROSS. It would be for His Bride that He would suffer and do this! Over and over again we will see that He "alone cuts this Covenant," we have no part, other then to accept what He has done for us.
4. Dalet, meaning: Door, a pathway, entrance, enter.
The written marriage contract is drawn up and in it the Bride is promised that she will be provided and cared for in every way. It states that all of her needs will be fulfill by the Bridegroom. The Hebrew term for Bridegroom is "Hatan" meaning: "one who enters Covenant." This contract is always signed before two witnesses, then given to the Bride and her Father. The Holy Scriptures are our Wedding document. It tells us all that our Bridegroom has done for us and will do for us - and so much more!
Over and over Yeshua Messiah declares His love for us! He promised to provide for all our needs and our necessities, and so we should never be fearful. It is Messiah who will make our way straight. It is Messiah who will accomplish His Word in our lives! He is the Door, our Pathway by which we can enter into the Fathers House. His cover dresses us, just as He spoke about it in Matthew’s Gospel.
" So why do you worry about your garments? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if G-d so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the furnace, shall He not much more cover you, O you of little faith?" AGI
"And my G-d will provide, fulfill and meet all your needs according to His excellent riches in Messiah Yeshua." AGI
"Looking unto Yeshua the Author and Finisher of our Faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, disdaining the shame, and has conquered all and is at the right hand of the Throne of G-d." AGI
What more can I say, He will provide for His Bride all things, and His word is True!
5. Hey, meaning: to reveal, window.
As I said before, the Bride had to be in agreement with this marriage, and so it is with us. By our free will do we enter into this contract. Even the Saints of old were looking ahead to this wonderful place and event. The writer of Hebrews tells us:
"By conviction Abraham, when he was called to go out into a location which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed G-d; and he went out, not aware where he went. By conviction Abraham abided in the land of promise - as in a foreign country, dwelling in tabernacles with his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For Abraham looked for a City which has foundations, whose designer and creator is G-d." AGI
Today to enter into this Covenant I must accept Messiah Yeshua, and confess Him with my mouth to be L-RD of my life. When the Messiah is revealed to us it is by the Servant, the Holy Spirit. We must say "I do" in Hebrew it is the word ‘daat,’ or I could say, "I do not" which is not a good answer to give Him. However, making this decision is our choice.
Making this selection is really our first act of intimacy. Exclusively ours because, G-d has given to us free will to choose our Bridegroom. However, He knew from the beginning what our answer would be!
"Observe, I will bring them health and preserve them. I will cure them and I will reveal unto them the fullness of My Peace and My Truth." AGI
This act of choosing our Bridegroom reveals to our L-rd how intimate we want Him to be with us, and this revealing works both ways. It is a form of worship, "yada" in Hebrew, and this same word is used for an intimate encounter in the Word of G-d.
"And Cain knew (was intimate with), his wife; and she conceived, and birthed Enoch: and he founded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." AGI
6. Vav, meaning: to secure, a peg or nail.
At this point the cup was drunk from. This cup is also called the shared cup of the Brit, i.e. Covenant. The two are now really married. The betrothed secured, i.e. sealed. Gifts are now given to the Bride and her family from the Bridegroom or His Servant, as in the case of Abraham sending his servant Eliezer. Eliezer came with 10 camels filled with gifts to secure a Bride for Isaac. Eliezer means: comforter, helper, and is a picture of the Holy Spirit of G-d.
Every time we share in the cup of Communion we are re-affirming our marriage Covenant with our Bridegroom Yeshua. We should always remember what it was that Messiah Yeshua our Bridegroom achieved for us personally, with the Covenant of "Communion in His Blood." His wine is the best wine, and it is wine, not grape juice! Wine is a symbol of joy to the Hebrew mind, and it should be to His Church as well.
"The time is coming," declares the L-RD, "when I will cut a New Covenant (Brit) with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the Covenant I made with their forefathers (those who died in Mt. Sinai) when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke My Covenant, though I was a Husband to them, declares the L-RD. This is the Covenant I will cut with the house of Israel after that time," declares the L-RD. "I will put My Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their G-d, and they will be My people. (This is the Promise from Deut 30:6) No longer will a man instruct his neighbor, or a mankind his brother or sister, saying, ‘Know the L-RD,’ they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the L-RD. For I will forgive their iniquity and will recall their sins no more." AGI
Yeshua Messiah also gave us many gifts. The blessed Holy Spirit with all of His gifts. Prophecy, Messiah’s Peace, His Joy, His Knowledge, Eternal Life, His Righteousness which is our Cover, and best of all His Love Everlasting.
The shared cup of Communion secured by the nails of the Covenant of the Cross makes us partakers with Him in everything, and it's all His doing!!!
7. Zayin, meaning: cut, to cut off, a weapon.
In Hebrew the word for the Jewish Bride is the word "Kallah," meaning: "complete," and some teach it means: "enclosed one." This brings to my mind a Scripture from Song Of Songs:
Song of Solomon 4:12
"A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring of living water shut up, a fountain sealed." AGI
The Bride went through a ritual immersion, i.e. washing, to symbolize her turning aside from all the former things and starting a new life with her Beloved. We are given water baptism for the purification of our old ways and to make us ready for our L-rd Heavenly home. When the Hebrews came out from Egypt and prepared to enter into the Covenant with Elohim, the whole Congregation had to be cleansed with water. She was to be set apart, enclosed before they could come close to the L-RD G-d. We must also do the same? And sometimes for some of us, more then once. They had to do it before meeting G-d, we now do it after we receive His Son! I asked the L-rd why? He told me that this washing was for me, so that I could identify with His Son in all things. I wept when He told me that.
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were immersed into Yeshua Messiah were immersed into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been seeded together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." AGI
When we obey the L-rd and follow His example of immersion, we are embarking on our new life by departing and saying, farewell to the old ways. This is a cutting off or a putting off of the old, and this pleases both the Father, and the Bridegroom. Really it is a signpost for ourselves to remind us we are dead to trespasses, and alive unto G-d.
Again the choosing is ours to obey or not to obey Him. I have been sprinkled as a baby, and immersed once in 1973 when I did not really understand what I was doing. Then again in 1986 with full understanding I was immersed with the Holy Sprit of God. Then in 1989 immersed in water once again, bit this time I really knew what was taking place in my life. I hope to be immersed again in the Jordan River someday when I get to Israel.
"He said unto them, Have you received the Holy Spirit since you Believed? And they answered him, We have not even heard whether there be any Holy Spirit. And he said unto them, Then what were you immersed into? And they said, Into John's ritual immersion. Then said Paul, John verily immersed with the immersion of repentance, saying unto all the people, that they should Believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Messiah Yeshua. When they heard this, they were immersed in the Name of the L-rd Yeshua. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied." AGI
There is water immersion, and there is a immersion of the Holy Spirit, and they are for whosoever will.
8. Chet, meaning a chamber, separate, private.
At this point the Bridegroom would depart and go back to his Fathers house to prepare a place for the wedding and his new Bride. My understanding is that a pledge is made by the Bridegroom affirming to his Bride that he will indeed return for her. Yeshua did the same! We read Yeshua’s pledge in St. John’s Gospel:
"Do not let your hearts be distressed. Trust in G-d; trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many chambers; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to make ready a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and catch you up to be with Me that you also may be where I am." AGI
These words above are the same words spoken in the ancient Jewish Wedding rite. Yeshua speaks to His followers as a Bridegroom, affirming to them that He would come to take them to Himself.
This is when Messiah will come to sequester us in a chamber made ready for His Bride. A time of separation and intimacy, privacy with our L-rd. I believe it will be for 7 years. One to match each day that the Bride and Bridegroom spends in the wedding chamber, alone and separated from the rest of the world.
"Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers (chadar), and shut thy doors about thee: conceal thyself as it were for a little moment, until the wrath be overpast. For observe, the L-RD cometh out of His dwelling to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her dead." AGI
The time frame is after the 7 years of the indignation, the L-RD’s wrath has passed, not before.
9. Tet, meaning: to surround, a snake, to twist.
Now the time of waiting comes! The Bride would prepare herself making all the preparations to be the best Bride she could be. She waits with baited breath for the Bridegroom to come. I know how anxious she is! She doesn’t know the exact time when her Beloved will come for her, this time is "only" known by the Bridegroom's Father. When the Father sees that all of His Son's preparations for the wedding chambers (chadar) is ready, then He will allow His Son to transport His Bride to His home.
"At that time the kingdom of Heaven will be like ten undefiled maidens who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were insightful. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The Bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became sleepy and fell asleep." AGI
This parable, i.e. midrash is a teaching about "readiness," it is plain and it is simple. Many of use have looked for a deeper hidden meaning to Matthew 25, but I believe the right Hebraic understanding of this is the simple teaching of our L-rd of "readiness."
Readiness speaks of many things to each of us. To me it speaks of a predisposition towards eagerness or zeal for the coming of the L-rd. I am full of zeal when I ponder that it could be this year!
At this point in the Bride's life she is surrounded by her family and friends who she will be leaving very soon. She is filled with emotions. She may be going on a long journey to the land of her Husbands home far from her families home.
She is occupied with feelings twisting inside of herself. Maybe even doubt if her Bridegroom will come for her, cool feet so to speak! Filled with these emotions the serpent speaks to her mind:
"You are not a worthy Bride, look at all of your flaws. Who would really what you with all your spots? You are full of wrinkles."
When the enemy of our well being speaks to us we usually listen to his lies. How foolish we are to listen to him. We are already married to the Bridegroom, and the Covenant is sealed!
Rebecca was a zealous Bride, enthusiastic to go meet her Beloved Isaac. She did not vacillate at all, she is the perfect picture of Messiah’s Bride.
He is coming for a Bride who is without spot or wrinkle.
2 Peter 3:13-14
"Nevertheless we, according to His Promise, look for New Heavens and a New Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. For what reason, beloved, seeing that your looking for such things, be diligent that you may be found of Him in Peace, without spot, and undefiled." AGI
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Messiah also loved the Congregation, and gave himself for it; that He might hollow and absolve it with the washing of water by the Word. That He might present it to Himself a glorious Temple, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be sanctified and without blemish."AGI
It was said by the Jewish Sages of old, and even today’s Rabbis teach this truth. That on the day of your wedding the Bride and Bridegroom stand before G-d without spot, and without blemish. I believe that, what about you? It is only the devil, the enemy of soul who tells us otherwise. We must remember the words of our Beloved Bridegroom, and resist the lies of the devil and his fallen angels.
"I will greatly rejoice in the L-RD, my soul shall delight in my G-d; for He has clothed me with the garments of Salvation (Yeshua). He has covered me with the Robe of Righteousness, as a Bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a Bride adorneth herself with her jewels."AGI
It is Yeshua who makes her that way, not herself. He gives us our robe, and crowns.
10. Yod, meaning: a deed, to make, hand.
When the Bridegroom comes to get His Bride it is more of a willing kidnapping. It could be called a snatching in the middle of the night. The Bridegroom and His friends would sneak up on the Bride suddenly. However, not without a shout first! Then there was a blast of the shofar sounding out, she must be ready to run to her Beloved, to flee with him with no hesitation or procrastination. I can’t wait till I hear His shout, and the sound of His shofar, how about you?
"At midnight the shout went out: "Here's the Bridegroom! Come out to encounter him!" AGI
It is interesting and certainly worth remembering that one of the names for the Feast of Trumpets according to Jewish literature, is "The wedding day of Messiah." This whole marriage feast is a picture of the L-RD coming for His Bride before Yom Kippur, the day of Judgment. Maybe even this year!
Messiah has a "deed" for you, its the Ketubah - the Betrothal Covenant. He is now our Master and our Husband. He has the rights to come to take us to His home because He paid the "Mohar" - the Bridal Price. When He comes He will come from the place of Power, i.e. the Father's right hand. This is the perfect picture of the Yod!
11. Kaf, meaning: to cover, to allow, open hand, arm.
The Bridegroom with His strong open hand takes His Bride away to the place that he has prepared, and the marriage is now consummated. The Tallit (the Jewish prayer Shawl) serves many times today as the Huppah. Made of silk or fine wool it is raised over the couple. It can also be held up by poles or trees that may have been planted at the birth of the Bride or Bridegroom. If he’s a rich Bridegroom he may give her all of her wedding garments before hand, which she gladly receives as part of his price. Messiah has given use all of our garments as well!
Blessings are said over the couple, this is call the Birkot Nisuin, the 7 blessings. The second cup of wine is now drunk, and this sets the second seal to the marriage Covenant. We are waiting to drink this cup with our Bridegroom Yeshua.
Now the new couple will spend 7 days together in the wedding room, the "Huppah." This starts the honeymoon cycle, this is were the Bridegroom will cover her with Himself. This part takes place in the Huppah. This is also called the "Nisuin" or the "hometaking." Jewish Bridegrooms do this part today at the wedding by placing their Tallit over their Brides so all can witness it.
The new couple will now become one flesh - Echad. This is also called "Kidushin" meaning: sanctification or ratification. They will get to know each other like never before, this more than a face to face encounter. This also has a ancient name, "Yihud" or the "Knowing." The act of sexual intimacy takes place between the Bride and the Bridegroom. The bed sheets with her blood on it were given to the Brides family. This was so they could never say she was not pure before the wedding day. It was in a sense, her insurance policy. I believe it will be Messiah’s bloody garments that will be our insurance policy. It is His covering that dresses me, not my own. His hand is open to me!
I Cor. 13:12
"Now we see but it is a poor reflection as in a brass mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." AGI
12. L - Lamed, meaning: prod, toward, staff.
And now it is time for the wedding feast to begin! Our Wedding Feast will be in the place that Yeshua has prepared. Some say in Heaven, and others say on the earth after His return. I think it may be on the earth but I’m not real sure about it. I do know one thing, that were ever it is, I’ll be there with my Beloved Messiah.
Right after the 7 days of the Huppah, the couple come out of the room and join their guests. These guests have a special name, they are called the B’nai Huppah, "children of the Bridal Chamber." They will join the Bride and Bridegroom to a very festive marriage feast. This is the meal that the couple share with their guest after the 7 days of being alone is over. This meal is called Seudat Mitzyah, a festive meal! Also at the end of the 7 days Yeshua will be crowned King, and we shall be His Queen. We will rule and reign with our Beloved forever. This is for Israel and all who are grafted into her.
Messiah has now been given a Staff, i.e. "The Rod of G-d" to rule with, just like all the past kings of Israel. The one thousand year begins, this is the Millennial reign of Messiah on earth. This is the time of peace we read about in the book Isaiah. This is when the Bridegroom will rejoice over His Bride.
"For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall thy sons marry you: and as the Bridegroom rejoiceth over the Bride, so shall your G-d rejoice over you." AGI
Isn’t this enough to make you want to shout out to the L-RD, Great is our G-d, and greatly to be praised, Halleluyah!
"Let us rejoice and be delighted and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has fashioned herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (For the fine linen stands for the legal rights of the Saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true Words of Elohim - G-d."AGI
We will dance and play our tambourine like Miriam did, and maybe even with Miriam! We will hear ourBridegroom rejoicing over us, what a sensation day this will be!!! A Feast like no other we have ever seen or heard about, phenomenal to say the least! The proposal is made and we have accepted. Now the invitations are being sent out to all Believers who are part of His Bride. Are you ready and waiting for your Beloved Bridegroom? I am. I’m waiting with a fire in my heart longing for His return. Messiah gave me a little song years ago about my lamp. Here are some of the words.
You O’L-RD keep my fire burning, You O’L-RD keep it burning bright.
You O’L-RD keep my fire burning, You O’L-RD keep it burning bright.
My G-d has turned my darkness
My G-d has turned my darkness
My G-d has turned my darkness ~ into Light.
I will answer my Beloved Bridegroom with "His Word."
Song of Solomon 1:2-4
"Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for His love is better than wine. Because of the savour of thy good ointments your Name is as ointment poured forth. And accordingly do the virgins love thee. Draw me, we will run after thee: the King has brought me into His chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee." AGI
My Betrothal is past...
I’m Waiting for him...
Part II will
be fulfilled by Messiah in second
1. - Aleph, meaning: Father, strong leader, Ox or Bull.
Our Bridegroom Yeshua is a strong leader,
2. - Bet, meaning: Household, House or Tent.
We have a place in His household because
3. - Gimel, meaning: To lift up, into, a camel.
He was lifted up, and in turn lifts us up with Him.
4. - Dalet, meaning: Door, a pathway, entrance, enter.
He made a pathway by reason of the fact that He is the "Door" by which we can enter the Fathers House.
5. - Hey, meaning: To reveal, window.
He reveals all things to us by His Holy Spirit!
6. - Vav, meaning: To secure, a peg or nail.
He secured a place at Fathers table for us by the nails in His body, and His shed blood.
7. - Zayin, meaning: To cut off, cut, a weapon.
The enemy of our soul is cut off by His weapon of Love.
8. - Chet, meaning: Separate, a chamber, private.
We are separated from the world surrounding us
9. - Tet, meaning: to surround, a snake, to twist.
Kept from the serpents twisted ways because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
10. - Yod, meaning: a deed, to make, hand.
In His right hand is the deed to make an end of the evil one, and his ways.
11. - Kaf, meaning: to cover, to allow, open hand, arm.
His cover spreads to all who will reach out for His open hand of Love.
12. - Lamed, meaning: prod, toward, staff.
He will rule for 1000 years with the staff of G-d, and it will be very very good.
"Our Bridegroom Yeshua is a strong leader, and we have a place in His household because He was lifted up, and in turn He lifts us up with Him. He made a pathway by reason of the fact that He is the "Door" by which we can enter the Fathers House. He reveals all things to us by His Holy Spirit! He secured a place at Fathers table for us by the nails in His body and His shed blood. The enemy of our soul is cut off by His weapon of Love. We are separated from the world surrounding us, kept from the serpents twisted ways because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. In His right hand is the deed to make an end of the evil one and his evil ways. His cover spreads to all who will reach out for His open hand of Love. He will rule for thousand years with the staff of G-d, and it will be very very good."
(Rev. Barbara Di Gilio)
Here is Poetry pertaining to The Wedding of Messiah by Rev. Dee Sadler
Mayim Hayim Ministries
A Mayim Hayim Ministries Teaching Tool
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