Jump to: Smith'sATSISBEEaston'sWebster'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekHebrewLibrarySubtopicsTerms
Smith's Bible Dictionary

  1. Its origin and history . --The institution of marriage dates from the time of man's original creation. (Genesis 2:18-25) From (Genesis 2:24) we may evolve the following principles: (1) The unity of man and wife, as implied in her being formed out of man. (2) The indissolubleness of the marriage bond, except on; the strongest grounds, Comp. (Matthew 19:9) (3) Monogamy, as the original law of marriage (4) The social equality of man and wife. (5) The subordination of the wife to the husband. (1 Corinthians 11:8,9; 1 Timothy 2:13) (6) The respective duties of man and wife. In the patriarchal age polygamy prevailed, (Genesis 16:4; 25:1,8; 28:9; 29:23,26; 1 Chronicles 7:14) but to a great extent divested of the degradation which in modern times attaches to that practice. Divorce also prevailed in the patriarchal age, though but one instance of it is recorded. (Genesis 21:14) The Mosaic law discouraged polygamy, restricted divorce, and aimed to enforce purity of life. It was the best civil law possible at the time, and sought to bring the people up to the pure standard of the moral law. In the Post-Babylonian period monogamy appears to have become more prevalent than at any previous time. The practice of polygamy nevertheless still existed; Herod the Great had no less than nine wives at one time. The abuse of divorce continued unabated. Our Lord and his apostles re-established the integrity and sanctity of the marriage bond by the following measures: (a) By the confirmation of the original charter of marriage as the basis on which all regulations were to be framed. (Matthew 19:4,5) (b) By the restriction of divorce to the case of fornication, and the prohibition of remarriage in all persons divorced on improper grounds. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Romans 7:3; 1 Corinthians 7:10,11) (c) By the enforcement of moral purity generally (Hebrews 13:4) etc., and especial formal condemnation of fornication. (Acts 15:20)
  2. The conditions of legal marriage . --In the Hebrew commonwealth marriage was prohibited (a) between an Israelite and a non-Israelite. There were three grades of prohibition: total in regard to the Canaanites on either side; total on the side of the males in regard to the Ammonites and Moabites; and temporary on the side of the males in regard to the Edomites and Egyptians, marriages with females in the two latter instances being regarded as legal. The progeny of illegal marriages between Israelites and non-Israelites was described as "bastard." (23:2) (b) between an Israelite and one of his own community. The regulations relative to marriage between Israelites and Israelites were based on considerations of relationship. The most important passage relating to these is contained in (Leviticus 18:6-18) wherein we have in the first place a general prohibition against marriage between a man and the "flesh of his flesh," and in the second place special prohibitions against marriage with a mother, stepmother, sister or half-sister, whether "born at home or abroad," granddaughter, aunt, whether by consanguinity on either side or by marriage on the father's side, daughter in-law, brother's wife, stepdaughter, wife's mother, stepgranddaughter, or wife's sister during the lifetime of the wife. An exception is subsequently made, (26:5-9) in favor of marriage with a brother's wife in the event of his having died childless. The law which regulates this has been named the "levirate," from the Latin levir , "brother-in-law."
  3. The modes by which marriage was effected . --The choice of the bride devolved not on the bridegroom himself, but on his relations or on a friend deputed by the bridegroom for this purpose. The consent of the maiden was sometimes asked (Genesis 24:58) but this appears to have been subordinate to the previous consent of the father and the adult brothers. (Genesis 24:51; 34:11) Occasionally the whole business of selecting the wife was left in the hands of a friend. The selection of the bride was followed by the espousal, which was a formal proceeding undertaken by a friend or legal representative on the part of the bridegroom and by the parents on the part of the bride; it was confirmed by oaths, and accompanied with presents to the bride. The act of betrothal was celebrated by a feast, and among the more modern Jews it is the custom in some parts for the bride. groom to place a ring on the bride's finger. The ring was regarded among the Hebrews as a token of fidelity (Genesis 41:42) and of adoption into a family. (Luke 15:25) Between the betrothal sad the marriage so interval elapsed, varying from a few days in the patriarchal age, (Genesis 24:55) to a full year for virgins and a month for widows in later times. During this period the bride-elect lived with her friends, and all communication between herself and her future husband was carried on through the medium of a friend deputed for the purpose, termed the "friend of the bridegroom." (John 3:29) She was now virtually regarded as the wife of her future husband; hence faithlessness on her part was punishable with death, (22:23,24) the husband having, however, the option of "putting her away." (24:1; Matthew 1:19) The essence of the marriage ceremony consisted in the removal of the bride from her father's house to that of the bridegroom or his father. The bridegroom prepared himself for the occasion by putting on a festive dress, and especially by placing on his head a handsome nuptial turban. (Psalms 45:8; Solomon 4:10,11) The bride was veiled. Her robes were white, (Revelation 19:8) and sometimes embroidered with gold thread, (Psalms 45:13,14) and covered with perfumes! (Psalms 45:8) she was further decked out with jewels. (Isaiah 49:18; 61:10; Revelation 21:2) When the fixed hour arrived, which was, generally late in the evening, the bridegroom set forth from his house, attended by his groomsmen (Authorized Version "companions," (Judges 14:11) "children of the bride-chamber," (Matthew 9:15) preceded by a band of musicians or singers, (Genesis 31:27; Jeremiah 7:34; 16:9) and accompanied by persons hearing flambeaux, (Jeremiah 25:10) 2 Esdr. 10:2; (Matthew 25:7; Revelation 18:23) and took the bride with the friends to his own house. At the house a feast was prepared, to which all the friends and neighbors were invited, (Genesis 29:22; Matthew 22:1-10; Luke 14:8; John 2:2) and the festivities were protracted for seven or even fourteen days. (Judges 14:12; Job 8:19) The guests were provided by the host with fitting robes, (Matthew 22:11) and the feast was enlivened with riddles, (Judges 14:12) and other amusements. The last act in the ceremonial was the conducting of the bride to the bridal chamber, (Judges 15:1; Joel 2:16) where a canopy was prepared. (Psalms 19:5; Joel 2:16) The bride was still completely veiled, so that the deception practiced on Jacob, (Genesis 29:23) was not difficult. A newly married man was exempt from military service, or from any public business which might draw him away from his home, for the space of a year, (24:5) a similar privilege was granted to him who was betrothed. (20:7)
  4. The social and domestic conditions of married life . --The wife must have exercised an important influence in her own home. She appears to have taken her part in family affairs, and even to have enjoyed a considerable amount of independence. (Judges 4:18; 1 Samuel 25:14; 2 Kings 4:8) etc. In the New Testament the mutual relations of husband and wife are a subject of frequent exhortation. (Ephesians 5:22,33; Colossians 3:18,19; Titus 2:4,5; 1 Peter 3:1-7) The duties of the wife in the Hebrew household were multifarious; in addition to the general superintendence of the domestic arrangements, such as cooking, from which even women of rank were not exempt. (Genesis 18:8; 2 Samuel 13:5) and the distribution of food at meal times, (Proverbs 31:13) the manufacture of the clothing and of the various fabrics required in her home devolved upon her, (Proverbs 31:13,21,22) and if she were a model of activity and skill, she produced a surplus of fine linen shirts and girdles, which she sold and so, like a well-freighted merchant ship, brought in wealth to her husband from afar. (Proverbs 31:14,24) The legal rights of the wife are noticed in (Exodus 21:10) under the three heads of food, raiment, and duty of marriage or conjugal right.
  5. The allegorical and typical allusions to marriage have exclusive reference to one object, viz., to exhibit the spiritual relationship between God and his people. In the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:19) In the New Testament the image of the bridegroom is transferred from Jehovah to Christ, (Matthew 9:15; John 3:29) and that of the bride to the Church, (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7; 21:2,9)
ATS Bible Dictionary

The union for life of one man and one woman, is an ordinance of the Creator for the perpetuity and happiness of the human race; instituted in Paradise, Genesis 1:27-28 2:18-24, and the foundation of no small part of all that is valuable to human society. By promoting parental love and the sense of responsibility, marriage most effectually promotes the health and happiness of children, and their careful education to virtue, industry, and honor, to right habits and ends, and to all that is included in the idea of home. God made originally but one man and one woman. The first polygamists were Lamech and those degenerate "sons of God," or worshippers of Jehovah, who "took them wives of all that they chose," Genesis 4:17 6:2. On the other hand, Noah and his three sons had each but one wife; and the same appears to be true of all his direct ancestors' back to Adam. So also was it with Job, Nahor, Lot, and at first with Abraham. See CONCUBINE. In after-times a plurality of wives became more common among the Hebrews, and the Scriptures afford numerous illustrations of its evil results, Genesis 16:16 Jud 8:30 2 Samuel 3:3-5 1 Kings 11:18 2 Chronicles 11:18-21 13:21. In the time of Christ there is no mention of polygamy as prevalent among the Jews.

The Israelites were forbidden to marry within certain specified degrees, Le 18:1-30,1-27 De 27:1-26. Marriage with Canaanites and idolaters was strictly forbidden, Exodus 34:16; and afterwards with any of the heathen nations around them, especially such as were uncircumcised, Nehemiah 13:1-31. By the Levirate law, as it is termed, if a Jew died without children, his nearest brother or kinsman was bound to marry the widow, that her firstborn son after this marriage might be reckoned the son and heir of the first husband, Genesis 38:1-30 De 25:5-10 Matthew 22:23-26. The Savior set his seal to marriage as a divine and permanent institution, aside from all the civil laws which guard and regulate, or seek to alter or annul it; forbidding divorce except for one cause, Matthew 5:32 19:3-6,9; and denouncing all breaches of marriage vows, even in thought, Matthew 5:28. Compare Hebrews 13:4 Revelation 21:8.

Jewish parents were wont to arrange with other parents as to the marriage of their children, sometimes according to the previous choice of the son, and not without some regard to the consent of the daughter, Genesis 21:21 24:1-67 34:4-6 Jud 14:2-3. The parties were often betrothed to each other long before the marriage took place. See BETROTHING. A dowry was given by the suitor to the parents and brethren of the bride, Exodus 22:13 De 22:29 2 Samuel 13:11. The nuptials were often celebrated with great pomp and ceremony, and with protracted feasting and rejoicing. It was customary for the bridegroom to appoint a Paranymphus, or groomsman, called by our Savior "the friend of the bridegroom," John 3...29. A number of other young men also kept him company during the days of the wedding, to do him honor; as also young women kept company with the bride all this time. The companions of the bridegrooms are expressly mentioned in the history of Samson, Jud 14:11,20 So 5:1:8:13 Matthew 9:14; also the companions of the bride, Psalm 45:9,14 So 1:5 2:7 3:5 8:4. The office of the groomsman was to direct in the ceremonies of he wedding. The friends and companions of the bride sang the epithalamium, or wedding song, at the door of the bride the evening before the wedding. The festivities of the wedding were conducted with great decorum, the young people of each sex being in distinct apartments and at different tables. The young men at Samson's wedding diverted themselves in proposing riddles, and the bridegroom appointed the prize to those should could explain them, Jud 14:14.

The Jews affirm, that before Jerusalem was laid in ruins, the bridegroom and bride wore crowns at their marriage. Compare Isaiah 61:10 So 3:11, "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother, crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart." The modern Jews, in some places, throw handfuls of wheat on the newly married couple, particularly on the bride, saying "Increase and multiply." In other places they mingle pieces of money with the wheat, which are gathered up by the poor. The actual ceremony of marriage was very simple, consisting of little more than the reading of the marriage contract, Proverbs 2:17 Malachi 2:14, and the nuptial blessing invoked by the friends, Genesis 24:60 Ruth 4:11,12.

The wedding festivities commonly lasted seven days for a maid, and three days for a widow. So Laban says to Jacob, respecting Leah, "Fulfill her week," Genesis 29:27. The ceremonies of Samson's wedding continued seven whole days, Jud 14:17,18. These seven days of rejoicing were commonly spent in the house of the woman's father, after which they conducted the bride to her husband's home.

The procession accompanying the bride from the house of her father to that of the bridegroom, was generally one of more or less pomp, according to the circumstances of the married couple; and for this they often chose the night, as is tell the custom in Syria. Hence the parable of the ten virgins that went at midnight to meet the bride and bridegroom, Matthew 25:1-46. "At a Hindoo marriage, the procession of which I saw some years ago," says Mr. Ward, "the bridegroom came from a distance, and the bride lived at Serampre, to which place the bridegroom was to come by water. After waiting two or three hours, at length, near midnight, it was announced, as if in the very words of Scripture, ?Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.- All the persons employed now lighted their lamps, and ran with them in their hands to fill up their stations in the procession; some of them had lost their lights, and were unprepared; but it was then too late to seek them, and the cavalcade moved forward to the house of the bride, at which place the company entered a large and splendidly illuminated area, before the house, covered with an awning, where a great multitude of friends, dressed in their best apparel, were seated upon mats. The bridegroom was carried in the arms of a friend, and placed in a superb seat in the midst of the company, where he sat a short time, and them went into the house, the door of which was immediately shut, and guarded by sepoys. Others and I expostulated with the doorkeepers, but in vain. Never was I so struck with our Lord's beautiful parable as at this moment; ?and the door was shut.-"

Christianity invests the family institution with peculiar sacredness; makes true love its basis, and mutual preference of each others' happiness its rule; and even likens it to the ineffable union between Christ and his church, Ephesians 5:22-33. Nowhere in the world is woman so honored, happy, and useful as in a Christian land and a Christian home. Believers are directed to marry "in the Lord," 1 1 Corinthians 7:39. No doubt the restrictions laid upon the ancient people of God contain a lesson for all periods, and the recorded ill results of forbidden marriages among the Jews, if heeded, would prevent the serious evils which often result form union between a Christian and a worldling. As to the mutual duties of husband and wife, see Ephesians 5:22-23 1 Timothy 2:11,12 1 Peter 3:1-7.

The Romish church puts dishonor on what the Holy Spirit describes as "honorable in all." It not only extols celibacy and virginity in the laity, but also strictly refuses marriage to all its priests, bishops, etc., and in thus "forbidding to marry," fixes upon itself the name of anti-Christ, 1 Timothy 4:3. See BETROTHING, CONCUBINE, DIVORCE, GARMENTS, etc.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Genesis 2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matthew 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Genesis 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Genesis 16:1-4; 22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.

It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Genesis 24:3; 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Exodus 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Genesis 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Exodus 22:16, 17; 1 Samuel 18:23, 25; Ruth 4:10; Hosea 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change.

In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Genesis 24:63-67). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22, 27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home.

Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matthew 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18, 19; 1 Peter 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be "honourable" (Hebrews 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the Marks of degenerate times (1 Timothy 4:3).

The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:1-14; Hosea 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Ephesians 5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 19:7-9).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony.

2. (n.) The marriage vow or contract.

3. (n.) A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.

4. (v. t.) Any intimate or close union.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia



Scope and Viewpoint of the Present Article

1. Marriage among the Hebrews

2. Betrothal the First Formal Part

3. Wedding Ceremonies

4. Jesus' Sanction of the Institution

5. His Teaching concerning Divorce


It would be interesting to study marriage biologically and sociologically, to get the far and near historical and social background of it as an institution, especially as it existed among the ancient Jews, and as it figures in the teaching of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament. For, like all social institutions, marriage, and the family which is the outcome of marriage, must be judged, not by its status at any particular time, but in the light of its history. Such a study of it would raise a host of related historic questions, e.g. What was its origin? What part has it played in the evolution and civilization of the race? What social functions has it performed? And then, as a sequel, Can the services it has rendered to civilization and progress be performed or secured in any other way? This, indeed, would call for us to go back even farther-to try to discover the psychology of the institution and its history, the beliefs from which it has sprung and by which it has survived so long. This were a task well worth while and amply justified by much of the thinking of our time; for, as one of the three social institutions that support the much challenged form and fabric of modern civilization, marriage, private property and the state, its continued existence, in present form at least, is a matter of serious discussion and its abolition, along with the other two, is confidently prophesied. "Marriage, as at present understood, is an arrangement most closely associated with the existing social status and stands or falls with it" (Bebel, Socialism and Sex, 199, Reeves, London; The Cooperative Commonwealth in Its Outline, Gronlund, 224). But such a task is entirely outside of and beyond the purpose of this article.

Neither the Bible in general, nor Jesus in particular, treats of the family from the point of view of the historian or the sociologist, but solely from that of the teacher of religion and morals. In short, their point of view is theological, rather than sociological. Moses and the prophets, no less than Jesus and His apostles, accepted marriage as an existing institution which gave rise to certain practical, ethical questions, and they dealt with it accordingly. There is nothing in the record of the teachings of Jesus and of His apostles to indicate that they gave to marriage any new social content, custom or sanction. They simply accepted it as it existed in the conventionalized civilization of the Jews of their day and used it and the customs connected with it for ethical or illustrative purposes. One exception is to be made to this general statement, namely, that Jesus granted that because of the exigencies of the social development Moses had modified it to the extent of permitting and regulating divorce, clearly indicating, however, at the same time, that He regarded such modification as out of harmony with the institution as at first given to mankind. According to the original Divine purpose it was monogamous, and any form of polygamy, and apparently of divorce, was excluded by the Divine idea and purpose. The treatment of the subject here, therefore, will be limited as follows: Marriage among the Ancient Hebrews and Other Semites; Betrothal as the First Formal Part of the Transaction; Wedding Ceremonies Connected with Marriage, especially as Reflected in the New Testament; and Jesus' Sanction and Use of the Institution, Teaching concerning Divorce, etc.

1. Marriage among the Hebrews:

With the Hebrews married life was the normal life. Any exception called for apology and explanation. "Any Jew who has not a wife is no man" (Talmud). It was regarded as awaiting everyone on reaching maturity; and sexual maturity comes much earlier indeed in the East than with us in the West-in what we call childhood. The ancient Hebrews, in common with all Orientals, regarded the family as the social unit. In this their view of it coincides with that, of modern sociologists. Of the three great events in the family life, birth, marriage and death, marriage was regarded as the most important. It was a step that led to the gravest tribal and family consequences. In case of a daughter, if she should prove unsatisfactory to her husband, she would likely be returned to the ancestral home, discarded and discredited, and there would be almost inevitably a feeling of injustice engendered on one side, and a sense of mutual irritation between the families (Judges 14:20 1 Samuel 18:19). If she failed to pass muster with her mother-in-law she would just as certainly have to go, and the results would be much the same (compare customs in China). It was a matter affecting the whole circle of relatives, and possibly tribal amity as well. It was natural and deemed necessary, therefore, that the selection of the wife and the arrangement of all contractual and financial matters connected with it should be decided upon by the parents or guardians of the couple involved. Though the consent of the parties was sometimes sought (Genesis 24:8) and romantic attachments were not unknown (Genesis 29:20; Genesis 34:3 Judges 14:1 1 Samuel 18:20), the gift or woman in the case was not currently thought of as having a personal existence at her own disposal. She was simply a passive unit in the family under the protection and supreme control of father or brothers. In marriage, she was practically the chattel, the purchased possession and personal property of her husband, who was her ba`al or master (Hosea 2:16), she herself being be`ulah (Isaiah 62:4). The control, however, was not always absolute (Genesis 26:34 Exodus 2:21).

The bargaining instinct, so dominant among Orientals then as now, played a large part in the transaction. In idea the family was a little kingdom of which the father was the king, or absolute ruler. There are many indications, not only that the family was the unit from which national coherence was derived, but that this unit was perpetuated through the supremacy of the oldest male. Thus society became patriarchal, and this is the key of the ancient history of the family and the nation. Through the expansion of the family group was evolved in turn the clan, the tribe, the nation, and the authority of the father became in turn that of the chief, the ruler, and the king. The Oriental cannot conceive, indeed, of any band, or clan, or company without a "father," even though there be no kith or kinship involved in the matter. The "father" in their thought, too, was God's representative, and as such he was simply carrying out God's purpose, for instance, in selecting a bride for his son, or giving the bride to be married to the son of another. This is as true of the far East as of the near East today. Accordingly, as a rule, the young people simply acquiesced, without question or complaint, in what was thus done for them, accepting it as though God had done it directly. Accordingly, too, the family and tribal loyalty overshadowed love-making and patriotism, in the larger sense. Out of this idea of the solidarity and selectness of the tribe and family springs the overmastering desire of the Oriental for progeny, and for the conservation of the family or the tribe at any cost. Hence, the feuds, bloody and bitter, that persist between this family or tribe and another that has in any way violated this sacred law.

Traces of what is known as beena marriage are found in the Old Testament, e.g. that of Jacob, where Laban claims Jacob's wives and children as his own (Genesis 31:31, 43), and that of Moses (Exodus 2:21; Exodus 4:18). This is that form of marriage in which the husband is incorporated into the wife's tribe, the children belonging to her tribe and descent being reckoned on her side (compare W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, 94). In Samson's case we seem to have an instance of what is known among Arabs as tsadqat marriage (from tsadaq, "gift"), the kid here being the customary tsadaq (Judges 14; Judges 15:1; Judges 16:4). There is no hint that he meant to take his wife home. It is differentiated from prostitution in that no disgrace is attached to it and the children are recognized as legitimate by the tribe. Such marriages make it easier to understand the existence of the matriarchate, or the custom of reckoning the descent of children and property through the mothers. The influence of polygamy would work in the same direction, subdividing the family into smaller groups connected with the several wives. There is, however, no clear evidence in the Old Testament of polyandry (a plurality of husbands), though the Levirate marriage is regarded by some as a survival of it. In other words, polygamy among the Hebrews seems to have been confined to polygyny (a plurality of wives). It is easy to trace its chief causes: (1) desire for a numerous offspring ("May his tribe increase!"); (2) barrenness of first wife (as in Abraham's case); (3) advantages offered by marital alliances (e.g. Solomon); (4) the custom of making wives of captives taken in war (compare Psalm 45:3, 9); (5) slavery, which as it existed in the Orient almost implied it.

2. Betrothal the First Formal Part:

Betrothal with the ancient Hebrews was of a more formal and far more binding nature than the "engagement" is with us. Indeed, it was esteemed a part of the transaction of marriage, and that the most binding part. Among the Arabs today it is the only legal ceremony connected with marriage. Genesis 24:58, 60 seems to preserve for us an example of an ancient formula and blessing for such an occasion. Its central feature was the dowry (mohar), which was paid to the parents, not to the bride. It may take the form of service (Genesis 29 1 Samuel 18:25). It is customary in Syria today, when the projected marriage is approved by both families, and all the financial preliminaries have been settled, to have this ceremony of betrothal. It consists in the acceptance before witnesses of the terms of the marriage as contracted for. Then God's blessing is solemnly asked on the union thus provided for, but to take place probably only after some months, or perhaps some years. The betrothal effected, all danger from any further financial fencing and bluffing now being at an end, happiness and harmony may preside over all the arrangements for the marriage day. Among the Jews the betrothal was so far regarded as binding that, if marriage should not take place, owing to the absconding of the bridegroom or the breach of contract on his part, the young woman could not be married to another man until she was liberated by a due process and a paper of divorce. A similar custom prevails in China and Japan, and in cases becomes very oppressive. The marriage may have been intended by the parents from the infancy of the parties, but this formality of betrothal is not entered on till the marriage is considered reasonably certain and measurably near. A prolonged interval between betrothal and marriage was deemed undesirable on many accounts, though often an interval was needed that the groom might render the stipulated service or pay the price-say a year or two, or, as in the case of Jacob, it might be seven years. The betrothed parties were legally in the position of a married couple, and unfaithfulness was "adultery" (Deuteronomy 22:23 Matthew 1:19).

Polygamy is likely to become prevalent only where conditions are abnormal, as where there is a disproportionate number of females, as in tribal life in a state of war. In settled conditions it is possible only to those able to provide "dowry" and support for each and all of the wives.

The fact of polygamy in Old Testament times is abundantly witnessed in the cases of Abraham, Jacob, the judges, David, Solomon, etc. It was prevalent in Issachar (1 Chronicles 7:4); among the middle class (1 Samuel 1:1 f). But it is treated, even in the Old Testament, as incompatible with the Divine ideal (Genesis 2:24), and its original is traced to deliberate departure from that ideal by Lamech, the Cainite (Genesis 4:19). Kings are warned against it (Deuteronomy 17:17; compare Genesis 29:31; Genesis 30). Noah, Isaac and Joseph had each only one wife, and Bible pictures of domestic happiness are always connected with monogamy (2 Kings 4; Psalm 128; Pr 31; compare Sirach 25:1; 26:1, 13). Marriage is applied figuratively, too, to the union between God and Israel, implying monogamy as the ideal state. Nevertheless, having the advantage of precedent, it was long before polygamy fell into disuse in Hebrew society. Herod had nine wives at one time (Josephus, Ant, XVII, i, 2). Justin Martyr (Dial., 134, 141) reproaches Jews of his day with having "four or even five wives," and for "marrying as many as they wish" (compare Talm). It was not definitely and formally forbidden among Jews until circa 1000 A.D. It exists still among Jews in Moslem lands. Side by side with this practice all along has been the ideal principle (Genesis 2:18) rebuking and modifying it. The legal theory that made the man "lord" of the wife (Genesis 3:16; Tenth Commandment) was likewise modified in practice by the affection of the husband and the personality of the wife.

The difference between a concubine and a wife was largely due to the wife's birth and higher position and the fact that she was usually backed by relatives ready to defend her. A slave could not be made a concubine without the wife's consent (Genesis 16:2).

3. Wedding Ceremonies:

There is a disappointing uncertainty as to the exact ceremonies or proceedings connected with marriage in Bible times. We have to paint our picture from passing allusions or descriptions, and from what we know of Jewish and Arabic customs. In cases it would seem that there was nothing beyond betrothal, or the festivities following it (see Genesis 24:3;). Later, in the case of a virgin, an interval of not exceeding a year came to be observed.

The first ceremony, the wedding procession, apparently a relic of marriage by capture (compare Judges 5:30 Psalm 45:15), was the first part of the proceedings. The bridegroom's "friends" (John 3:29) went, usually by night, to fetch the bride and her attendants to the home of the groom (Matthew 9:15 John 3:29). The joyousness of it all is witnessed by the proverbial "voice of the bridegroom" and the cry, "Behold the bridegroom cometh!" (Jeremiah 7:34 Revelation 18:23). The procession was preferably by night, chiefly, we may infer, that those busy in the day might attend, and that, in accordance with the oriental love of scenic effects, the weird panorama of lights and torches might play an engaging and kindling part.

The marriage supper then followed, generally in the home of the groom. Today in Syria, as Dr. Mackie, of Beirut, says, when both parties live in the same town, the reception may take place in either home; but the older tradition points to the house of the groom's parents as the proper place. It is the bringing home of an already accredited bride to her covenanted husband. She is escorted by a company of attendants of her own sex and by male relatives and friends conveying on mules or by porters articles of furniture and decoration for the new home. As the marriage usually takes place in the evening, the house is given up for the day to the women who are busy robing the bride and making ready for the coming hospitality. The bridegroom is absent at the house of a relative or friend, where men congregate in the evening for the purpose of escorting him home. When he indicates that it is time to go, all rise up, and candles and torches are supplied to those who are to form the procession, and they move off. It is a very picturesque sight to see such a procession moving along the unlighted way in the stillness of the starry night, while, if it be in town or city, on each side of the narrow street, from the flat housetop or balcony, crowds look down, and the women take up the peculiar cry of wedding joy that tells those farther along that the pageant has started. This cry is taken up all along the route, and gives warning to those who are waiting with the bride that it is time to arise and light up the approach, and welcome the bridegroom with honor. As at the house where the bridegroom receives his friends before starting some come late, and speeches of congratulation have to be made, and poems have to be recited or sung in praise of the groom, and to the honor of his family, it is often near midnight when the procession begins. Meanwhile, as the night wears on, and the duties of robing the bride and adorning the house are all done, a period of relaxing and drowsy waiting sets in, as when, in the New Testament parable, both the wise and the foolish virgins were overcome with sleep. In their case the distant cry on the street brought the warning to prepare for the reception, and then came the discovery of the exhausted oil.

Of the bridegroom's retinue only a limited number would enter, their chief duty being that of escort. They might call next day to offer congratulations. An Arabic wedding rhyme says:

"To the bridegroom's door went the torch-lit array,

And then like goats they scattered away."

With their dispersion, according to custom, the doors would be closed, leaving within the relatives and invited guests; and so, when the belated virgins of the parable hastened back, they too found themselves inexorably shut out by the etiquette of the occasion. The opportunity of service was past, and they were no longer needed.

At the home all things would be "made ready," if possible on a liberal scale. John 2 gives a picture of a wedding feast where the resources were strained to the breaking point. Hospitality was here especially a sacred duty, and, of course, greatly ministered to the joy of the occasion. An oriental proverb is significant of the store set by it:

"He who does not invite me to his marriage

Will not have me to his funeral."

To decline the invitation to a marriage was a gross insult (Matthew 22).

It was unusual in Galilee to have a "ruler of the feast" as in Judea (John 2). There was no formal religious ceremony connected with the Hebrew marriage as with us-there is not a hint of such a thing in the Bible. The marriage was consummated by entrance into the "chamber," i.e. the nuptial chamber (Hebrew chedher), in which stood the bridal bed with a canopy (chuppah), being originally the wife's tent (Genesis 24:67 Judges 4:17). In all lands of the dispersion the name is still applied to the embroidered canopy under which the contracting parties stand or sit during the festivities. In Arabic, Syriac, and Hebrew the bridegroom is said to "go in" to the bride.

A general survey of ancient marriage laws and customs shows that those of the Hebrews are not a peculiar creation apart from those of other peoples. A remarkable affinity to those of other branches of the Semitic races especially, may be noted, and striking parallels are found in the Code of Hammurabi, with regard, e.g., to betrothal, dowry, adultery and divorce. But modern researches have emphasized the relative purity of Old Testament sexual morality. In this, as in other respects, the Jews had a message for the world. Yet we should not expect to find among them the Christian standard. Under the new dispensation the keynote is struck by our Lord's action. The significance of His attending the marriage feast at Cana and performing His first miracle there can hardly be exaggerated. The act corresponds, too, with His teaching on the subject. He, no less than Paul, emphasizes both the honorableness of the estate and the heinousness of all sins against it.

4. Jesus' Sanction of the Institution:

The most characteristic use of marriage and the family by our Lord is that in which He describes the kingdom of God as a social order in which the relationship of men to God is like that of sons to a father, and their relation to each other like that between brothers. This social ideal, which presents itself vividly and continuously to His mind, is summed up in this phrase, "Kingdom of God," which occurs more than a hundred times in the Synoptic Gospels. The passages in which it occurs form the interior climax of His message to men. It is no new and noble Judaism, taking the form of a political restoration, that He proclaims, and no "far-off Divine event" to be realized only in some glorious apocalyptic consummation; but a kingdom of God "within you," the chief element of it communion with God, the loving relation of "children" to a "Father," a present possession. Future in a sense it may be, as a result to be fully realized, and yet present; invisible, and yet becoming more and more visible as a new social order, a conscious brotherhood with one common, heavenly Father, proclaimed in every stage of His teaching in spite of opposition and varying fortunes with unwavering certainty of its completion-this is the "kingdom" that Jesus has made the inalienable possession of the Christian consciousness. His entire theology may be described as a transfiguration of the family (see Peabody, Jesus Christ, and the Social Question, 149;; Holtzmann, New Testament Theology, I, 200; Harnack, History of Dogma, I, 62; B. Weiss, Biblical Theol. of the New Testament, I, 72, English translation, 1882).

Beyond this Jesus frequently used figures drawn from marriage to illustrate His teaching concerning the coming of the kingdom, as Paul did concerning Christ and the church. There is no suggestion of reflection upon the Old Testament teaching about marriage in His teaching except at one point, the modification of it so as to allow polygamy and divorce. Everywhere He accepts and deals with it as sacred and of Divine origin (Matthew 19:9, etc.), but He treats it as transient, that is of the "flesh" and for this life only.

5. His Teaching concerning Divorce:

A question of profound interest remains to be treated: Did Jesus allow under any circumstances the remarriage of a divorced person during the lifetime of the partner to the marriage? Or did He allow absolute divorce for any cause whatsoever? Upon the answer to that question in every age depend momentous issues, social and civic, as well as religious. The facts bearing on the question are confessedly enshrined in the New Testament, and so the inquiry may be limited to its records. Accepting with the best scholarship the documents of the New Testament as emanating from the disciples of Jesus in the second half of the 1st century A.D., the question is, what did these writers understand Jesus to teach on this subject? If we had only the Gospels of Mark and Luke and the Epistles of Paul, there could be but one answer given: Christ did not allow absolute divorce for any cause (see Mark 10:2;; Luke 16:18 Galatians 1:12 1 Corinthians 7:10). The Old Testament permission was a concession, He teaches, to a low moral state and standard, and opposed to the ideal of marriage given in Genesis (2:23).

"The position of women in that day was far from enviable. They could be divorced on the slightest pretext, and had no recourse at law. Almost all the rights and privileges of men were withheld from them. What Jesus said in relation to divorce was more in defense of the rights of the women of His time than as a guide for the freer, fuller life of our day. Jesus certainly did not mean to recommend a hard and enslaving life for women. His whole life was one long expression of full understanding of them and sympathy for them" (Patterson, The Measure of a Man, 181).

Two sayings attributed to Christ and recorded by the writer or editor of the First Gospel (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9) seem directly to contravene His teaching as recorded in Mark and Luke. Here he seems to allow divorce for "fornication" (ei me epi porneia, save for fornication"), an exception which finds no place in the parallels (compare 1 Corinthians 7:15, which allows remarriage where a Christian partner is deserted by a heathen). The sense here demands that "fornication" be taken in its wider sense (Hosea 2:5 Amos 7:17 1 Corinthians 5:1). Divorce to a Jew carried with it the right of remarriage, and the words `causeth her to commit adultery' (Matthew 5:32) show that Jesus assumed that the divorced woman would marry again. Hence, if He allowed divorce, He also allowed remarriage. A critical examination of the whole passage in Matthew has led many scholars to conclude that the exceptive clause is an interpolation due to the Jewish-Christian compiler or editor through whose hands the materials passed. Others think it betrays traces of having been rewritten from Mark or from a source common to both Matthew and Mark, and combined with a semi-Jewish tradition, in short, that it is due to literary revision and compilation. The writer or compiler attempted to combine the original sayings of Jesus and His own interpretation. Believing that our Lord had not come to set aside the authority of Moses, but only certain Pharisaic exegesis, and supported, as doubtless he was, by a Jewish-Christian tradition of Palestine, he simply interpreted Mark's narrative by inserting what he regarded as the integral part of an eternal enactment of Yahweh. In doing this he was unconsciously inconsistent, not only with Mark and Luke, but also with the context of the First Gospel itself, owing to his sincere but mistaken belief that the Law of Moses must not be broken. The view implied by the exception, of course, is that adultery ipso facto dissolves the union, and so opens the way to remarriage. But remarriage closes the door to reconciliation, which on Christian principles ought always to be possible (compare Hosea; Jeremiah 3; Hermas, Mand iv.1). Certainly much is to be said for the view which is steadily gaining ground, that the exception in Matthew is an editorial addition made under the pressure of local conditions and practical necessity, the absolute rule being found too hard (see Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), extra vol, 27b, and The Teaching of our Lord as to the Indissolubility of Marriage, by Stuart Lawrence Tyson, M.A. Oxon., University of the South, 1912).

The general principle expanded in the New Testament and the ideal held up before the Christians is high and clear. How far that ideal can be embodied in legislation and applied to the community as a whole all are agreed must depend upon social conditions and the general moral development and environment.

Seefurther DIVORCE.


Material from Mishna in Selden, Uxor Heb, London, 1546; Hamberger, Real. Encyclopedia f. Bibel und Talmud, Breslau, 1870; Benzinger, Hebraische Archaologie; Nowack, Lehrbuch der hebraischen Archaologie; McLennan, Primitive Marriage; Westermarck, History of Human Marriage, London, 1891; W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, Cambridge, 1895; Tristram, Eastern Customs, London, 1894; Mackie, Bible Manners and Customs, London, 1898; Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Social Question, III, concerning the family.

George B. Eager

1061a. gamizo -- to give in marriage
... 1061, 1061a. gamizo. 1061b . to give in marriage. Transliteration: gamizo
Short Definition: marriage. Word Origin from gamos Definition ...
// - 5k

1547. ekgamizo -- give in marriage.
... 1546, 1547. ekgamizo. 1548 . give in marriage. Part of ... marriage, marry.
Word Origin variant reading for gamizo, qv. give in marriage. ...
// - 6k

1548. ekgamisko -- give in marriage.
... 1547, 1548. ekgamisko. 1549 . give in marriage. Part of ... in marriage. Word
Origin variant reading for gamisko, qv. give in marriage. ...
// - 6k

1061. gamisko -- to give in marriage
... to give in marriage. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: gamisko Phonetic Spelling:
(gam-is'-ko) Short Definition: I give in marriage Definition: I give in ...
// - 6k

1061b. gamisko -- to give in marriage
... 1061a, 1061b. gamisko. 1062 . to give in marriage. Transliteration: gamisko
Short Definition: marriage. Word Origin from gamos Definition ...
// - 5k

718. harmozo -- to fit, join, hence to join oneself to (in ...
... to fit, join, hence to join oneself to (in marriage). Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: harmozo Phonetic Spelling: (har-mod'-zo) Short Definition: I fit ...
// - 6k

1062. gamos -- a wedding
... a wedding. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: gamos Phonetic Spelling:
(gam'-os) Short Definition: a marriage, wedding, wedding-feast Definition ...
// - 7k

4801. suzeugnumi -- to yoke together
... 4801 ("closely-yoked") is only used for marriage in the NT -- a in which a
husband and wife , . ["The word for 'joined together' means ...
// - 7k

3423. mnesteuo -- to espouse, betroth
... to espouse, betroth. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: mnesteuo Phonetic Spelling:
(mnace-tyoo'-o) Short Definition: I ask in marriage Definition: I ask in ...
// - 7k

2845. koite -- a bed
... a bed. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: koite Phonetic Spelling:
(koy'-tay) Short Definition: a bed, marriage bed Definition: (a) a bed, (b) a ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
2861. chathunnah -- a marriage, wedding
... 2860b, 2861. chathunnah. 2862 . a marriage, wedding. Transliteration: chathunnah
Phonetic Spelling: (khath-oon-naw') Short Definition: wedding. ...
/hebrew/2861.htm - 6k

2859. chathan -- make oneself a daughter's husband
... Word Origin denominative verb from chathan Definition make oneself a daughter's
husband NASB Word Usage allied himself by marriage (1), become the son-in-law (4 ...
/hebrew/2859.htm - 6k

5772. ownah -- guilt
... 5771, 5772. ownah. 5772a . guilt. Transliteration: ownah Phonetic Spelling:
(o-naw') Short Definition: marriage. duty of marriage ...
/hebrew/5772.htm - 5k

802. ishshah -- woman, wife, female
... 1), each (3), each one (1), each woman (1), every (1), everyone (1), female (3),
girls* (1), harem* (5), harlot's* (2), harlot* (3), marriage (9), married (3 ...
/hebrew/802.htm - 6k

5702. agan -- to shut oneself in or off
... root Definition to shut oneself in or off NASB Word Usage refrain (1). stay. A
primitive root; to debar, ie From marriage -- stay. 5701, 5702. agan. 5703 . ...
/hebrew/5702.htm - 5k

1984. halal -- to shine
... make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool(- ish, -ly), glory, give
(light), be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, (sing, be ...
/hebrew/1984.htm - 5k

4376. makar -- to sell
... A primitive root; to sell, literally (as merchandise, a daughter in marriage, into
slavery), or figuratively (to surrender) -- X at all, sell (away, -er, self ...
/hebrew/4376.htm - 6k

1167. baal -- owner, lord
... leaders (6), lords (1), man (3), married* (2), master's (1), masters (1), men (14),
owner (15), owners (2), possessors (2), relative by marriage (1), schemer ...
/hebrew/1167.htm - 6k

3259. yaad -- to appoint
... by implication, to meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in
a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage) -- agree,(make an ...
/hebrew/3259.htm - 6k

2860. chathan -- daughter's husband, bridegroom
... From chathan; a relative by marriage (especially through the bride); figuratively,
a circumcised child (as a species of religious espousal) -- bridegroom ...
/hebrew/2860.htm - 5k


On the Good of Marriage
On the Good of Marriage. <. On the Good of Marriage St. Augustine. Rev. CL
Cornish, MA Table of Contents. Title Page. On the Good of Marriage. ...
// the good of marriage/

The Adornment of the Spritual Marriage
The Adornment of the Spritual Marriage. <. The Adornment of the Spritual Marriage
John of Ruysbroeck. Table of Contents. Title Page. INTRODUCTION. ...
// adornment of the spritual marriage/

The Marriage of the Lamb.
... The Marriage of the Lamb. ... Let us rejoice and exult, and give glory up him: for the
marriage of the Lamb hath come, and his wife hath prepared herself! ...
/.../bliss/a brief commentary on the apocalypse/the marriage of the lamb.htm

On Marriage.
... VII. ON MARRIAGE. TEXT: Ephesians 5:22-31. IN completing lately the annual
round of our Christian holy-days, I expressed to you ...
/.../schleiermacher/selected sermons of schleiermacher/vii on marriage.htm

The Marriage of Cana
... The Marriage of Cana. John 2 ... him.". The miracle here spoken of, is that of
our Lord's turning water into wine at a marriage feast. I ...
/.../whitefield/selected sermons of george whitefield/the marriage of cana.htm

Whether a Second Marriage is a Sacrament?
... OF SECOND MARRIAGES (TWO ARTICLES) Whether a second marriage is a sacrament? Objection
1: It would seem that a second marriage is not a sacrament. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether a second marriage is 2.htm

Whether the Consent that Makes a Marriage is a Consent to Carnal ...
... OF THE OBJECT OF THE CONSENT (TWO ARTICLES) Whether the consent that makes
a marriage is a consent to carnal intercourse? Objection ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the consent that makes.htm

Marriage and Celibacy.
AND CELIBACY. "But this I say, brethren, the time ...
/.../robertson/sermons preached at brighton/xiv marriage and celibacy.htm

On Marriage.
... The Stromata, or Miscellanies. Book II. Chapter XXIII."On Marriage. Since pleasure
and lust seem to fall under marriage, it must also be treated of. ...
/.../clement/the stromata or miscellanies/chapter xxiii on marriage.htm

Whether the Marriage Act is Excused by the Aforesaid Goods?
... OF THE MARRIAGE GOODS* (SIX ARTICLES) [*"Bona matrimonii," variously rendered marriage
goods, marriage blessings, and advantages of marriage.] Whether the ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the marriage act is 3.htm

Marriage (74 Occurrences)
... by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matthew
19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matthew ...
/m/marriage.htm - 62k

Marriage-feasts (6 Occurrences)
Marriage-feasts. Marriagefeasts, Marriage-feasts. Marriages . Easton's Bible
Dictionary ... (see CANA.). Multi-Version Concordance Marriage-feasts (6 Occurrences ...
/m/marriage-feasts.htm - 10k

Marriage-feast (4 Occurrences)
Marriage-feast. Marriage, Marriage-feast. Marriagefeasts .
Multi-Version Concordance Marriage-feast (4 Occurrences). ...
/m/marriage-feast.htm - 7k

Marriage-song (1 Occurrence)
Marriage-song. Marriages, Marriage-song. Married . Multi-Version
Concordance Marriage-song (1 Occurrence). Psalms 78 ...
/m/marriage-song.htm - 6k

Jezebel (20 Occurrences)
... This was the "first time that a king of Israel had allied himself by marriage with
a heathen princess; and the alliance was in this case of a peculiarly ...
/j/jezebel.htm - 26k

Espouse (2 Occurrences)
... The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties
then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage. ...
/e/espouse.htm - 9k

Samson (37 Occurrences)
... The first recorded event of his life was his marriage with a Philistine woman of
Timnath (Judges 14:1-5). Such a marriage was not forbidden by the law of Moses ...
/s/samson.htm - 37k

... 1. (n.) The act of espousing or betrothing; especially, in the plural, betrothal;
plighting of the troths; a contract of marriage; sometimes, the marriage...
/e/espousal.htm - 7k

Marry (48 Occurrences)
... NIV). Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given
in marriage, but are like God's angels in heaven. (WEB ...
/m/marry.htm - 22k

Brother's (46 Occurrences)
... inherit the widow soon became a duty to marry her if the deceased had left no sons,
and in case there was no brother-in-law, the duty of marriage devolved on ...
/b/brother's.htm - 23k

Bible Concordance
Marriage (74 Occurrences)

Matthew 1:18 The circumstances of the birth of Jesus Christ were these. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they were united in marriage, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 19:12 There are men who from their birth have been disabled from marriage, others who have been so disabled by men, and others who have disabled themselves for the sake of the Kingdom of the Heavens. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."

Matthew 22:2 "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son,

Matthew 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast, but they would not come.

Matthew 22:4 Again he sent out other servants, saying,'Tell those who are invited, "Behold, I have made ready my dinner. My cattle and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the marriage feast!"'

Matthew 22:9 Go therefore to the intersections of the highways, and as many as you may find, invite to the marriage feast.'

Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God's angels in heaven.

Matthew 24:38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship,

Matthew 25:10 While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.

Mark 12:25 For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Luke 2:36 And there was one, Anna, a woman prophet, the daughter of Phanuel, of the family of Asher (she was very old, and after seven years of married life

Luke 12:36 Be like men watching for their lord, when he returns from the marriage feast; that, when he comes and knocks, they may immediately open to him.

Luke 14:8 "When you are invited by anyone to a marriage feast, don't sit in the best seat, since perhaps someone more honorable than you might be invited by him,

Luke 17:27 They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Luke 20:34 Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry, and are given in marriage.

Luke 20:35 But those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.

John 2:1 The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus' mother was there.

John 2:2 Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage.

Romans 7:2 for the married woman to the living husband hath been bound by law, and if the husband may die, she hath been free from the law of the husband;
(See NIV)

1 Corinthians 7:1 I now deal with the subjects mentioned in your letter. It is well for a man to abstain altogether from marriage.

1 Corinthians 7:9 If, however, they cannot maintain self-control, by all means let them marry; for marriage is better than the fever of passion.

1 Corinthians 7:27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to get free. Are you free from the marriage bond? Do not seek for a wife.

1 Corinthians 7:38 So then both he who gives his own virgin in marriage does well, and he who doesn't give her in marriage does better.

1 Timothy 4:3 forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready."

Revelation 19:9 He said to me, "Write,'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" He said to me, "These are true words of God."

Genesis 29:26 And Laban said, In our country we do not let the younger daughter be married before the older.
(See NIV)

Genesis 34:8 Hamor talked with them, saying, "The soul of my son, Shechem, longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife.

Genesis 34:9 Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves.

Genesis 34:12 Ask me a great amount for a dowry, and I will give whatever you ask of me, but give me the young lady as a wife."

Genesis 34:21 "These men are peaceful with us. Therefore let them live in the land and trade in it. For behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.

Genesis 41:45 Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-Paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
(See RSV)

Exodus 2:21 Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter.
(See NIV)

Exodus 21:10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.

Exodus 22:16 "If a man entices a virgin who isn't pledged to be married, and lies with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife.
(See RSV)

Exodus 22:17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
(See RSV)

Leviticus 21:4 He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

Deuteronomy 7:3 neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son, nor shall you take his daughter for your son.

Deuteronomy 22:16 and the young lady's father shall tell the elders, "I gave my daughter to this man to wife, and he hates her;
(See NIV)

Deuteronomy 23:2 One whose father and mother are not married may not come into the meeting of the Lord's people, or any of his family to the tenth generation.
(See NIV)

Joshua 15:16 Caleb said, "He who strikes Kiriath Sepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife."
(See NIV)

Joshua 15:17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.
(See NIV)

Judges 1:12 Caleb said, "He who strikes Kiriath Sepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife."
(See NIV)

Judges 1:13 Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.
(See NIV)

Judges 3:6 and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.
(See NIV)

Judges 12:9 He had thirty sons; and thirty daughters he gave in marriage outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.

Judges 21:1 Now the men of Israel had sworn at Mizpah, "No one of us shall give his daughter in marriage to Benjamin."

Judges 21:7 They said, "What one is there of the tribes of Israel who didn't come up to Yahweh to Mizpah?" Behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh Gilead to the assembly.

1 Samuel 17:25 The men of Israel said, "Have you seen this man who is come up? He has surely come up to defy Israel. It shall be, that the man who kills him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel."
(See NIV)

1 Samuel 18:17 Saul said to David, "Behold, my elder daughter Merab, I will give her to you as wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight Yahweh's battles." For Saul said, "Don't let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him."
(See NIV)

1 Samuel 18:19 But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul's daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as wife.
(See NIV)

1 Samuel 18:25 Saul said, "You shall tell David,'The king desires no dowry except one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies.'" Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
(See RSV)

1 Samuel 18:27 and David arose and went, he and his men, and killed of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full number to the king, that he might be the king's son-in-law. Saul gave him Michal his daughter as wife.
(See NIV)

1 Kings 2:21 She said, "Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife."
(See NIV)

1 Kings 3:1 And Solomon allied himself by marriage with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had ended building his own house, and the house of Jehovah, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.

1 Kings 7:8 His house where he was to dwell, the other court within the porch, was of the like work. He made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter (whom Solomon had taken as wife), like this porch.
(See RSV)

1 Kings 11:2 of the nations concerning which Yahweh said to the children of Israel, "You shall not go among them, neither shall they come among you; for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods." Solomon joined to these in love.
(See RSV)

1 Kings 11:19 Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.

2 Kings 8:27 He walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did the house of Ahab; for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab.
(See NIV)

2 Kings 14:9 Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, "The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying,'Give your daughter to my son as wife. Then wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by, and trampled down the thistle.

1 Chronicles 2:35 Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant as wife; and she bore him Attai.

1 Chronicles 5:1 The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn; but, because he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
(See NIV)

2 Chronicles 18:1 And Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance; and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.

2 Chronicles 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.

Ezra 9:12 now therefore don't give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever; that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.
(See NIV)

Ezra 9:14 shall we again break Thy commandments, and make marriages with the peoples that do these abominations? wouldest not Thou be angry with us till Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?
(Root in JPS YLT)

Nehemiah 10:30 and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons;
(See NIV)

Nehemiah 13:25 I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves.
(See NIV)

Psalms 78:63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.

Jeremiah 29:6 Take wives, and father sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there, and don't be diminished.

Daniel 2:43 Whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cling to one another, even as iron does not mingle with clay.
(See RSV)

Daniel 11:17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and with him equitable conditions; and he shall perform them: and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her; but she shall not stand, neither be for him.
(See NIV)

Malachi 2:14 Yet you say,'Why?' Because Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.
(See NIV)


Biracial Marriage

Interracial Marriage


Marriage After Death

Marriage After Divorce

Marriage and Divorce

Marriage and Finances

Marriage and Love

Marriage Covenant

Marriage in Heaven

Marriage Reconciliation

Marriage Relationship

Marriage Separation

Marriage Vows

Marriage: A Benediction Pronounced After

Marriage: A Covenant Relationship

Marriage: A Dowry Given to the Woman's Parents Before

Marriage: A Herald Preceded the Bridegroom

Marriage: Advised

Marriage: Betrothal a Quasi-Marriage

Marriage: Betrothal Made With the Spirit

Marriage: Bridal Ornaments

Marriage: Bridal Presents

Marriage: Celebrated for Seven Days

Marriage: Celebrated with Feasting

Marriage: Celebrated with Great Rejoicing

Marriage: Celibacy Deplored

Marriage: Ceremony Attested by Witnesses

Marriage: Christ's Union With his Church

Marriage: Consanguinous, Abraham and Sarah

Marriage: Consent of the Parties Necessary To

Marriage: Contracted at the Gate and Before Witnesses

Marriage: Contracted in Patriarchal Age With Near Relations

Marriage: Daughters Given In, As Rewards of Valor

Marriage: David Gave One Hundred Philistine Foreskins for a Wife

Marriage: Designed For: Increasing the Human Population

Marriage: Designed For: Preventing Fornication

Marriage: Designed For: Raising up Godly Seed

Marriage: Designed For: The Happiness of Man

Marriage: Divinely Instituted

Marriage: Early Introduction of Polygamy

Marriage: Elder Daughters Usually Given In, Before the Younger

Marriage: Expressed by Giving Daughters to Sons, and Sons to Daughters

Marriage: Expressed by Joining Together

Marriage: Expressed by Making Affinity

Marriage: Expressed by Taking to Wife

Marriage: Figurative

Marriage: Garments Provided for Guests At

Marriage: Given by Kings

Marriage: God's Union With the Jewish Nation

Marriage: Honorable for All

Marriage: Indissoluble During the Joint Lives of the Parties

Marriage: Infidelity of Those Contracted In, Punished As If Married

Marriage: Isaac and Rebekah

Marriage: Jacob and his Wives

Marriage: Jesus Present At

Marriage: Lawful in All

Marriage: Levirate (The Brother Required to Marry a Brother's Widow)

Marriage: Modes of Demanding Women In

Marriage: Not Binding After Death

Marriage: Nuptial Feasts

Marriage: Obligations Under, Inferior to Duty to God

Marriage: Often Contracted by Parents for Children

Marriage: Parables From

Marriage: Parents' Consent Requires in the Mosaic Law

Marriage: Parents Contract for Their Children: Abraham for Isaac

Marriage: Parents Contract for Their Children: Hagar Selects a Wife for Ishmael

Marriage: Parents Contract for Their Children: Laban Arranges for his Daughters' Marriage

Marriage: Parents Contract for Their Children: Samson Asks his Parents to Procure Him a Wife

Marriage: Parents Might Refuse to Give Their Children In

Marriage: Presents Given to Parents to Secure Their Favor

Marriage: Priest not to Contract, With Divorced or Improper Persons

Marriage: should be Only in the Lord

Marriage: should be With Consent of Parents

Marriage: The Bride: Adorned With Jewels For

Marriage: The Bride: Attended by Bridesmaids

Marriage: The Bride: Called to Forget Her Father's House

Marriage: The Bride: Given a Handmaid At

Marriage: The Bride: Gorgeously Apparelled

Marriage: The Bride: Received Presents Before

Marriage: The Bride: Stood on the Right of Bridegroom

Marriage: The Bridegroom: Adorned With Ornaments

Marriage: The Bridegroom: Attended by Many Friends

Marriage: The Bridegroom: Crowned With Garlands

Marriage: The Bridegroom: Presented With Gifts

Marriage: The Bridegroom: Rejoiced Over the Bride

Marriage: The Bridegroom: Returned With the Bride to his House at Night

Marriage: The Expectation of the Promised Seed of the Woman An

Marriage: The Groom Exempt One Year from Military Duty

Marriage: The High Priest not to Contract, With a Widow or a Divorced

Marriage: The Jews were Allowed Divorce From, Because of Hardness of Their

Marriage: The Jews: Betrothed Themselves some Time Before

Marriage: The Jews: Careful in Contracting for Their Children

Marriage: The Jews: Considered Being Debarred From, a Cause of Grief

Marriage: The Jews: Considered Being Debarred From, a Reproach

Marriage: The Jews: Contracted when Young

Marriage: The Jews: Exempted from Going to War Immediately After

Marriage: The Jews: Forbidden to Contract With Idolaters

Marriage: The Jews: Forbidden to Contract, With Their Near Relations

Marriage: The Jews: Obliged to Contract With a Brother's Wife Who Died Without

Marriage: The Jews: Often Contracted With Foreigners

Marriage: The Jews: Often Contracted, in Their own Tribe

Marriage: The Jews: Often Punished by Being Debarred From

Marriage: The Jews: Sometimes Guilty of Polygamy

Marriage: Unclassified Scriptures Relating To

Marriage: Wedding Robes Adorned With Jewels

Marriage: Wives Among the Israelites Must be Israelites

Marriage: Wives Obtained by Kidnapping

Marriage: Wives Obtained by Purchase

Marriage: Wives Taken by Edict



Related Terms

Marriage-feasts (6 Occurrences)

Marriage-feast (4 Occurrences)

Marriage-song (1 Occurrence)

Jezebel (20 Occurrences)

Espouse (2 Occurrences)

Samson (37 Occurrences)


Marry (48 Occurrences)

Brother's (46 Occurrences)

Isaac (127 Occurrences)

Wedding (24 Occurrences)

Banquet (58 Occurrences)

Invited (49 Occurrences)


Match (4 Occurrences)

Betroth (5 Occurrences)

Affinity (4 Occurrences)



Brother (402 Occurrences)

Anaharath (1 Occurrence)

Brethren (528 Occurrences)

Dowry (5 Occurrences)

Betrothed (19 Occurrences)

Bidden (25 Occurrences)

Cana (4 Occurrences)

Ahab (85 Occurrences)

Feast (209 Occurrences)

Ruth (19 Occurrences)

Women (328 Occurrences)

Bride-chamber (3 Occurrences)

Sarah (38 Occurrences)

Divorce (18 Occurrences)

Lord (59401 Occurrences)

Join (70 Occurrences)

Abstinence (2 Occurrences)

Woman (4043 Occurrences)

Alliance (12 Occurrences)

Wife (437 Occurrences)


Purity (16 Occurrences)

Virginity (12 Occurrences)

Keturah (4 Occurrences)

Kindred (41 Occurrences)

Nuptial (1 Occurrence)

Veil (67 Occurrences)

Noe (6 Occurrences)

Unpolluted (1 Occurrence)

Undefiled (7 Occurrences)

Laban (52 Occurrences)

Giveth (378 Occurrences)

Wedlock (1 Occurrence)

Intermarry (5 Occurrences)

Flood (70 Occurrences)

Father (11359 Occurrences)

Fornicators (8 Occurrences)


Refrains (3 Occurrences)

Reclining (25 Occurrences)

Ready (451 Occurrences)


Marrying (7 Occurrences)

Messengers (182 Occurrences)

Prepared (246 Occurrences)

Bid (35 Occurrences)

Betrothal (1 Occurrence)

Clothes (208 Occurrences)

Abstain (13 Occurrences)

Achsah (5 Occurrences)

Allied (13 Occurrences)

Slaves (119 Occurrences)

Relationships (1 Occurrence)

Taste (46 Occurrences)

Code (6 Occurrences)

Choose (116 Occurrences)

Angels (99 Occurrences)

Chosen (197 Occurrences)

Sojourner (81 Occurrences)

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Top of Page
Top of Page