The groom would abduct his bride, usually in the middle of the night, to go to the bridal chamber where the marriage would be consummated. This is the full marriage.
Upon arrival the groom would abduct his bride while her father pretended to look the other way.
The bride together with her female bridesmaids and the enlarged wedding party consisting of her family and friends that had been invited and were anticipating the arrival of the groom, Together they would return with the groom from the bride's home to the groom's father's house. 23 There would be quite a large processional that accompanied the bride on their travels back to the groom’s home. In ancient times the bride was carried upon a carriage that was lifted up by poles.
Today the bride and sometimes the groom is lifted up on chairs. This stems from the ancient custom of the bride being lifted up in the processional to the father’s house. Once, they arrived there the wedding party would find that the wedding guests that had been invited by the father of the groom were assembled and waiting. 24
On the couples wedding day the groom is seen as the king and the bride as the queen. When the time arrived for the wedding festivities to begin, the groom was dressed as much like a king as possible. If he were rich enough to afford it, he wore a gold crown. Otherwise it would be a garland of fresh flowers.
Song. 3:11 (NKJV) Go forth, O daughters of Zion, and see King Solomon with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding.
His garments would be scented with frankincense and myrrh, his girdle would be a silken one that was brilliantly colored, and his sandals would be figured and carefully laced. All of this complimented the flowing garments of the day. It was a time of celebration and during this special time, even a peasant seemed like a prince among his brothers, and all paid him the honor that was due to this exalted rank of king. 25
The adorning of the bride was then as it is now a very costly and elaborate affair. Much time was given to the preparation of her person. We know that Queen Esther bathed in oil for twelve months in preparation to go before the king.
Est 2:12 (NKJV) Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months' preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
Every effort was put forth to make her complexion glossy and shining with a luster that could be compared to marble. The words of David must have been their ideal for her: "that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace". Her dark long hair was often braided with gold and pearls. She was decked with all the precious stones and jewels that the family had inherited from previous generations. Those who were too poor to afford much would borrow what they could from their friends. 26 Often she wore a crown as did the bridegroom. Her garments were sewn with the artistry of an embroider sometimes with gold threads running through the fabric. Precious jewels and coins were adorned on her headgear and often on her wedding garment. The Lord uses bridal imagery in the following scripture when speaking about Jerusalem.
Ezek 16:8-14 (NKJV) When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD. 9 Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. 14 Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD.
Shortly after their arrival the bride and groom would be escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids would wait outside, the bride and groom would enter the bridal chamber alone. There in the privacy of that intimate place they would enter into physical union for the first time. The friend of the bridegroom stands outside the door waiting for the groom to announce the consummation of the marriage. The blood stained linen is waved for all the guests to see. They, when they see it, rejoice, dance and sing in celebration of the bride’s virginity. The blood stained linen is given to the father of the bride as proof of her virginity in the event that at some later date she should be accused of not being a virgin when she married.
Deut 22:13-19 (NKJV) "If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, 14 and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, 'I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,' 15 then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman's virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 And the young woman's father shall say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man as wife, and he detests her. 17 Now he has charged her with shameful conduct, saying, "I found your daughter was not a virgin," and yet these are the evidences of my daughter's virginity.' And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him; 19 and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
The bride and groom consummate the marriage and spend the next seven days in the bridal chamber. During this seven day period the bride is hidden in the bridal chamber and her identity is not known until the married couple leaves the bridal chamber together. After the seven days the bride and groom come out of the bridal chamber and join their guests. The bride meets with her invited guests unveiled and her identity is now known to everyone.
The Jewish marriage is a picture of the marriage of the bride of Messiah and the bridegroom Yeshua. Likewise the bride of Messiah is invited into His bridal chambers.
Isa26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Some would say that the lifting up of the bride is representative of Yeshua’s bride being lifted up in the rapture. The covenant of marriage was initiated by God. It is a covenant that is ratified by blood. The ratification of this blood covenant between a man and a woman is a picture of the blood covenant between Yeshua and His bride. The blood stained linen is proof of the bride’s virginity. She has not been intimate with any one else. Yeshua will present to himself a virgin bride. This virginity speaks not only of intimacy, but it also speaks of total faithfulness to the bridegroom. Yeshua’s bride is to have but one husband that is Yeshua only. She shall have no other gods before him.
It is important to understand the Hebrew word for a week or seven days. It is the word shavuah. When used in scripture, it can be referring to seven days or seven years. The week that is referred to in Daniel 9:27 is known to us as the seven year tribulation.
Dan 9:27 (NKJV) Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
The believers in the Messiah will be in heaven for His wedding and the people that are left on the earth will be experiencing the seven year tribulation period. 27 The bride of Messiah is also veiled and hidden in Messiah and her identity is not known to the rest of the world. Her identity will continue to be hidden in Messiah during this seven year period. Just as the Jewish groom brought his bride out of the bridal chamber at the end of the seven days with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was, so Yeshua will bring His Bride out of heaven in His Second Coming at the conclusion of the seven year Tribulation Period in full view of all who are alive, so that all can see who His glorious bride is
Col. 3:3-5 (NKJV) For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
23 The thief in the night, Zola Levitt
24 Manners and Customs of Bible Lands
27 The Seven Festivals of the Messiah, Edward Chumney
In His Service,
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.