He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him…
No simile could have been more beautiful and true. In the drama of Syrian love and marriage, the friend of the bridegroom plays a conspicuous part, doing kindly, unselfish service; yet earning no other reward than that of feeling how much he has added to the happiness of a man whom he loves. Sometimes this friend of the bridegroom has to select the bride. At all times he has had to take the oaths of espousal, and to present the mohar, the bridal gift. For the virgin's year, separating the act of betrothal from that of the bringing home, he is the only messenger between youth and maid. With many a laugh and jest., with many a sign and token, he had to pass from the unknown husband to the unknown wife; watching over their common rights, and feeding with his praises their mutual love; for during that virgin's year, the husband, though he may possess much of a husband's power, and may even put his wife to death for wrongs against his bed, is never allowed to see her face. His married joy and sorrow come to him only through his chosen friend. Until the day of bringing home, when the veil of the bride is to be lifted up, and with a cry of rapture the husband is allowed to gaze into her eyes and kiss her on the mouth, the function of the bridegroom's friend knows no pause. Then the bridegroom's heart is glad, and the friend rejoices when he hears the bridegroom's voice.
(Dixon's "Holy Land.")
Parallel VersesKJV: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.