The bridegroom departed, going back to his father’s house to prepare the bridal chamber.
It is understood that it was the man’s duty to go away to be with his father and build a house for his bride and prepare for the eventual wedding.
Yeshua our Bridegroom, made this very same statement to us before He ascended into Heaven and to His Father’s house. He said:
John 14: 1-3 (NKJV) "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
John 20:16-17 (NKJV) Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "
The groom would remain separated from his bride for a period of at least twelve months. 15 This period of separation afforded the bride time to gather her trousseau and to prepare for married life.
Yeshua is using a Jewish style of communication called remez 18 in His statement that is recorded in John. He is hinting at the fact that He is our Bridegroom and that just as it is pictured in the Jewish custom, He is going to his Fathers house to prepare the bridal chamber for his bride to be. He further makes a promise that there will be a wedding and just as it is with the picture God painted with the Jewish wedding ceremony, so shall the fulfillment of that picture come to pass when he returns for us in the air. Until then He does consider himself to be a husband to us and we are referred to in scripture as His wife.
14 The seven festivals of the Messiah, Edward Chummey
15 Manners and Customs of Bible Lands
17 The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Marriage
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It is at this point, that the bridegroom leaves for his father’s house to prepare for his bride a bridal chamber.
Before he goes though, this is the statement that he makes to his bride: “I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you.” 14
The bride’s wardrobe consisted of clothing and elaborate headgear that had coins and jewels sewn to them.
The reason for this was because in case of a divorce she was allowed to leave with her clothing. Should that happen, all of the wealth that she came into the marriage with was on her clothes, and her clothes remained in her possession. 16
Even though the marriage at this point had not yet been consummated; the bride and groom are considered to be husband and wife. 17