JEWISH WEDDING TRADITIONS (Nov 17/06..revised Oct 9/08)
THE LOVE STORY OF EXODUS
The Book of Exodus is a love story between Elohim and His bride, His people who accept His marriage covenant. This love story can be divided up into four parts:
1) We see the promises He makes to His bride to be in: Exod. 6:6-8 “Therefore, say to the people of Isra’el: ‘I am ADONAI. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians, rescue you from their oppression, and redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgements. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am ADONAI, who freed you from the forced labor of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov — I will give it to you as your inheritance. I am ADONAI.’”
2) In Exod. 19:5-6 we see His proposal or engagement to His bride. “Now if you will pay careful attention to what I say and keep my covenant, then you will be my own treasure from among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you will be a kingdom of cohanim for me, a nation set apart.’ These are the words you are to speak to the people of Isra’el.”
3) In Exodus 20 the bride appears under the huppah (canopy..her husbands prayer shawl) of clouds, smoke, and thunder, and the ketubah (marriage contract) is read. Then a sign is given for all His brides to prove that they await His coming back for them. Exod. 31:13 clearly tells the sign: “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘You are to observe my Shabbats; for this is a sign between me and you through all your generations; so that you will know that I am ADONAI, who sets you apart for me.”
4) The love story concludes with the building of the Tabernacle, where the bride and groom enjoy an intimate relationship in the holy of Holies. As in Gen. 2:23 when Adam declared Eve to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, so did the Israelites become one with the flesh of the Almighty. Gen. 2:23 “The man-person said, “At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She is to be called Woman [Hebrew: ishah], because she was taken out of Man [Hebrew: ish].”
Exodus 19:5 and 8 make it clear as a bell, we are to obey His commandments, the covenant of marriage. The people back then accept, like we are to now, His commandments as given to us, exclusively. We are to share them with the rest of the world. We are to act as agents for the Most High, revealing the words of that marriage covenant. All those who obey His Torah are the chosen ones, not just the Jews. By living out the written words in the Torah we embody in our lives the living image of Yah. By living the Torah others can see who Yah is.
The Jewish Wedding ceremony is a picture of what happened at Mt. Sinai. Once it has been pointed out, it is a most beautiful living love story.
Comparing the traditional Jewish wedding with our walk with Yeshua, the Feast Of Trumpets, and The Last Supper.
In days of old it was the Groom who was the main focus at any wedding, not the bride. In today’s wedding traditions it is customary to have all the focus on the beautiful bride and everything pertaining to her and her brides maids, gown, ring, etc., but until not that many years ago everything centred around the groom. The focus of our spiritual wedding was back then and should still be today, on the Groom to be.
The chuppah, (huppah) or canopy, used at many Jewish weddings is a talit, which the bride and groom take their wedding vows under. This canopy is representative of the cloud covering of Exod. 19:5-7 where Yah tells Israel that she will be His “treasured possession”. For many Jewish weddings there is a contract signed by the bride and groom, called a “ketubah”. This contract-covenant sets out the terms of their marriage just like Yah’s covenant with His people. As it was at Mt. Sinai, (Exod. 20), Yah provided one copy for the people and one copy of the covenant for Himself in the ark of the covenant. As in any wedding, we likewise find Yahveh’s wedding ring for the people who take on His covenant, in Exod. 31:12-17. The wedding ring may be considered an ”outward sign” for those who follow the covenant was like “the keeping of His sabbath”-Shabbat, throughout the ages for all to see.
The bride/bridegroom theme is repeated throughout the book of Exodus. The subject is first addressed when Yah promises Israel that He would "take you to be My people." In essence, He was formally entering into a betrothal or engagement relationship with His intended bride, Israel. This is based on the use of the Hebrew word, jek (take). This word, though most often meaning simply to “take something”, has also been used in the Tanakh in reference to a man "taking" a woman to be his bride. Thus, in chapter six, Yah promised to marry Israel. The next step in the revelation of the bride/bridegroom theme is revealed in chapter 19. The location was Mt. Sinai. The event was the giving of the Torah.
It is possible to interpret this scene as a divine wedding according to several pieces of evidence. The first was the mikveh, or immersion, that Jewish people customarily have before their wedding. In this account there are two places in which Israel, like a bride, went into a mikveh. First, according to the Brit Hadasha (Renewed Testament). 1Cor. 10:1-2 "our fathers all passed under the cloud and all passed through the sea and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" . Thus, according to Rabbi Sha’ul of Tarsus, the bride Israel was immersed under the cloud while passing through the sea. Second, according to Exodus 19, Yah instructed Moshe to tell the people to be consecrated and wash their garments. Many interpret this to mean that here they also were immersed in a mikveh. Another symbol of the wedding was the cloud over the mountain functioning as a canopy or chupah to which the groom was beckoning His bride.
Finally, the document that legalized the wedding was the ketubah, the marriage contract. This is the written document, which in essence, defines the terms of the marriage and describes how the marriage can be a blessed one. The bride then took on the NAME of the groom. Accordingly, it is my belief that the Torah itself served as the marriage ketubah. The Torah summed up on two sets of two tablets of stone. One for the husband and one for the wife. This ketubah was secured for eternity in a special place called the Ark Of The Covenant. The husband promised to provide and take care of the bride forever, and the bride promised to obey and forsake all others. The two witnesses called forth to witness the covenant were the Heaven and the earth. They witnessed the wife make her vows: “all the words which Yahveh has spoken we will do” (Exod. 24:3). Then the 70 elders of Israel (the Sanhedrin at that time), ate and drank with the Husband, Bridegroom, and Creator. The wife provided her contribution to her marriage covenant, a type of property brought by a bride to her husband at a marriage: the gold, silver, bronze, fabrics, oils, and precious stones for the construction of the ark and the dwelling of the husband among them.
As for "cup" used in Jewish weddings, there are actually two cups of wine used. The first is used in the betrothal part of the wedding ceremony. After the rabbi recites the benedictions over this first cup, the bride and groom sip from it. A second cup is filled after the Ketubah has been read. It is over this cup that the rabbi recites the seven blessings. The bride and groom are then given of this cup to sip from. The first cup seals the marital agreement and the second, the actual union. As a final act of the wedding ceremony, a final cup is used, but this one is empty. It is wrapped in a napkin and placed under the groom's foot. The rabbi signals the groom, the groom crushes the glass, and everyone shouts “Mazaal tov”!
Yahveh called out His bride from Egypt and invited them to His wedding. He gave them the wedding contract (ketubah) on Mt. Sinai which they all accepted and promised to honor. One copy for Him, one copy for them. Their copy was put in the ark of the covenant. They took on His name and were headed for the “Promised Land” where He would look after them. The Name of the Husband was taken by His wife; and so they were/are called Yahudim. This name was corrupted over the years by translators and was changed to “Judah”, then “Jude”, and then “Jew”. Yahveh speaks of His covenant never ceasing, reminding His wife of the marriage: Isa. 54:5 “For your husband is your maker, Yahveh Tzva’ot (Yah of Hosts), is His name”
Years later they abandoned Him by going into Babylon and taking on the sins (idols) of the pagans. According to Jewish law, the only way a bride could get a divorce was if the groom died. Yeshua died at Calvary so the bride had another chance to become His again. His ketubah was His Torah, same as before, and He promised them eternal life in His Kingdom of Heaven, if they were obedient. Again they took on His name (Nazarenes) and were to follow Torah forever. Those brides who have been following His Torah will be gathered up when the groom returns again for the second time. Like at all weddings, there is a rehearsal. The first wedding it seems was a rehearsal, the second wedding is the real thing.
Our God is a jealous God. He is similar in a way, to any groom. He wants His bride safe and protected, kept pure and holy.
When we take a close look at the Jewish Wedding traditions of old, we will see some amazing analogies in regards to many passages and prophesies in our Hebrew Bible. If and when we can understand the traditions of old, we will see a new light shine on many scriptures most of us are familiar with. We will see prophesies that have already happened and we will see others that are about to happen. A close look at the customs involved in the traditional Jewish wedding will reveal many new things to those willing to allow the holy spirit to work threw them. In this teaching I will show you how the customs involved in the Jewish wedding ceremony of old relate to words spoken in many parts of our Good book, especially prophetic words.
Let us start out by familiarising ourselves with some very well know verses that many people use regularly yet don’t truly understand their full meaning. Most of us are familiar with many verses that I will use in this teaching, yet few of us have ever had revealed the deeper meanings that stare us in the face.
Matt. 24:42-44 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day Yah is coming. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. “For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. In Matt. 24:42-44 Messiah tells us to be alert and ready because we don’t know the hour of His return.
Let us begin. In Old Testament times, parents chose the mate for their son. The primary reason for this was that the bride became part of the clan. The parents chose someone who would best fit into their clan and work harmoniously with her mother-in-law and sisters in law. Frequently people married at a very early age, a fact that made the parents choice a practical matter. The age for marriage was usually as early as 13 for boys and 12 for girls.
The first step to a Jewish wedding is the period called the shiddukhin. This initial first step was the arrangements made before the betrothal. Next, a ketubah was written explaining the conditions and provisions proposed for the marriage; this would have been the marriage contract. Once both parties agreed to the contract it was time for the betrothal ceremony. To prepare for the betrothal ceremony, it was common for the bride and groom to separately take a ritual immersion in water (mikveh). After the mikveh the couple met publicly under a huppah to declare their engagement. The huppah was a canopy like structure made out of the grooms tallit (prayer shawl). Located on the corners of the tallit are the tzitzit (fringes, Num.15:37-41). When the woman placed herself under the huppah, she was placing herself under the care of her future husband, her spiritual authority. It was also symbolic of being under the blood of the lamb, for marriage is a blood covenant.
If the young wife lost her husband in war or in an accident, she remained in the family and was sometimes wed to her brother-in-law, or next of kin. This arrangement was known as “Levirate Marriage”. Levirate marriage was the basis upon what was written in the story of Ruth and Boaz. Let’s have a look at this custom as revealed to us in the Book of Deuteronomy and Ruth.
Deut. 25:5-10 “When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. “And it shall be that the first-born whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out from Israel. “But if the man does not desire to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’  “Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, ‘I do not desire to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, ‘Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ “And in Israel his name shall be called, ‘The house of him whose sandal is removed.’
Ruth 3:13-14 “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as Yah lives. Lie down until morning.” So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”
Ruth 4:1-12 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Turn aside, friend, sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the closest relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. “So I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.’” And he said, “I will redeem it.”  Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.” And the closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.” Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel.  So the closest relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” And he removed his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. “Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today.” And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May Yah make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem.  “Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which Yah shall give you by this young woman.”
Although romance before marriage was not unknown in Old Testament times, it played a minor role in the life of teen-agers of that era. They did not marry the person they loved; they loved the person they married. Love began at marriage.
The groom would offer a PRICE for the bride. The payment was made as compensation for a worker. If the bride, and the mother and father of the groom agreed to the PRICE, and all the other things spoken in the contract, they would give their approval.
Gen. 34:12 “Ask me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give according as you say to me; but give me the girl in marriage.” The father of the bride and the groom would often negotiate the price they were to receive for their daughter. The more the father loved his daughter, the higher the price that was expected. When the price was agreed upon the bride and groom would be notified that the wedding was approved. Usually the bride would agree with the choice of her older, wiser parents.
Exod. 22:16-17 “And if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. “If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins. Even in the case of what we would arguably call rape, a price had to be paid for the virgins dowry rites.
Then we are reminded of just how important dowry rites were as recorded in the Book of Samuel. 1Sam. 18:25 Saul then said, “Thus you shall say to David, ‘The king does not desire any dowry except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to take vengeance on the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul planned to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
1Cor. 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify Yah in your body.” As clearly stated in this very popular verse, Yah has paid a price for all His brides to be. He paid the ultimate price of His own Son’s death.
1Cor. 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
Prov. 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
Matt. 13:45-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Those who follow the Grooms instructions are like fine pearls in the eyes of our groom to come.
Let’s get back on track. The groom was then invited to the home of the bride where she would be alone. The bride would prepare a BETROTHAL meal if she wanted to marry him. The groom would appear at the GATE (door) of the house and knock. If the potential bride was ready, the door would open slightly, it meant he could come in (Rev. 3:20, Luke 11:9-10). He could not come in unless she opened the door slightly.
Rev. 3:20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
Luke 11:9-10 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
The bride would prepare a feast for the two of them. The groom would then pour a cup of wine and offer it to her. If she accepted the cup, it meant she agreed upon the conditions of the marriage (Matt. 26:27-29).
Matt. 26:27-29 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave [it] to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
At this point, the couple were legally betrothed. They would then feed each other of the feast and drink of the same cup of wine. Then they made arrangements for the wedding.
After the meal the groom would always leave GIFTS with his bride to be. They were not allowed to see each other again until the appointed time of the wedding ceremony. The reason he gave her gifts was because he was to be gone away for a long time (perhaps one to two years) until their home was prepared. These gifts were a constant reminder to her of him. The gifts were to keep the bride focused on the groom in his absence.
Acts 2:38 Peter [said] to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Yeshua Hamashiach for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Every time the bride would look at or use these gifts she would be reminded of her groom.
THE WEDDING COMPARED TO OUR SALVATION WALK
It is easy to see how our salvation walk compares to the initial step in the Hebrew wedding tradition. When we accept Yeshua into our lives we drink of the cup of the betrothal meal and accept Yeshua as our groom. He offer's us salvation if we have faith in His Torah, the wedding contract and follow it a sour instruction manual. The previously listed verses are symbolic of our individual Salvation walk as potential brides for our groom Yeshua. He stands at the door and knocks on the hearts of all His children, waiting to see if they will allow Him to come in and offer His wedding proposal (Rev. 3:20). Yeshua offers us His wedding contract (ketubah) and if we agree to the terms He laid out at Mt. Sinai, we will open the door of our heart to Him when He knocks. We open the door and we sup with Him the glass of wine, making us officially betrothed to Him. We drink the wine and are engaged, as it is commonly called today. He leaves us with His gifts of the Spirit and goes away to prepare a place for us. Every day of our lives we are reminded of our groom by the beautiful gifts of the spirit He made available to us. We await the return of our groom. He will come back when His father says it’s time to get the bride. We know that some day this exact act will take place and we will go with Him to His Father’s house.
During the engagement period, the bridegroom had certain privileges. If war was declared, he was exempt from military duty (Deut. 20:7). The bride was protected specifically under the Mosaic Law the moment she was engaged (Deut. 22:23-29).
The groom then went to prepare a place where they could be together for the rest of their lives. This was usually an addition to the fathers house. The groom would construct a home and the father would supervise. When the father would feel the home had everything the young couple would require for marriage, he would then tell the son, “IT IS FINISHED”. Although the son actually built the home, it was built according to the fathers INSTRUCTIONS (John 14:1-4). Only the father could release the son to go get the bride (Mark 13:32, Acts 1:6-7).
Mark 13:32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father [alone].
Acts 1:6-7 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Yahveh, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs (special period of time) which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
While the groom was preparing a wedding chamber, the bride had many responsibilities. After the engagement ceremony the bride returned to her parents home and prepared for her wedding by making her wedding garments. She was to use the gifts to prepare and look after herself till the groom came to get her. She saved all her money and she would bring it to the groom when they got together. Without this dowry, they could not get married. The groom would give her money towards her dowry and she would not dare lose it (Luke 15:8-10). Traditionally it included ten pieces of silver. These coins were to be looked after. She could not dare lose them. By keeping the ten pieces of silver safe, she showed her love and respect for her groom.
How we look after things as stewards of Yah’s money (talents) is very important to Yah. We are reminded of the following parable of the talents. Matt 25:14-30 “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. “And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.  “But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master’s money. “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. “And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.’ “The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.’ “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’  “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed. ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.’ “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.  ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ “For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. “And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
In the following verses we again see the importance of a bridal payment, price. Gen. 34:12 “Ask me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give according as you say to me; but give me the girl in marriage.”
Exod. 22:17 “If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.”
Luke 15:8-10 (written in red) “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of Yah over one sinner who repents.” Here we see a beautiful picture of who the lady was in the story about the ten silver coins. Many have wondered why she made such a fuss after finding her lost coin. Now you know. We could even compare it to a saved person who has backslidden and then returned. Once a bride, then lost, then a bride once more.
A betrothed woman was bought with a price and was therefore set aside for the groom only. She would not know the exact hour that her groom was coming to get her, but she had to make sure that she was always prepared, day or night, for when her groom would come and sweep her off her feet. In public, from the moment she was betrothed, she wore a veil over her head. By this, the people knew that she was set aside, for her groom only. Traditionally the groom would come at night, so the bride always made sure she had her lamp lit and lots of extra oil.
Matt. 25:1-13 (written in red)“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.ool “Five of them were fish, and five were prudent. “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, (4) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and [began] to sleep. “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet [him].’ “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. (8) “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you [too]; go instead to the dealers and buy [some] for yourselves.’ “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. (11) “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”
In Matt. 25:1-13, Messiah gives us a parable of the ten virgins to illustrate what it means to be ready and alert. To understand the parable of the ten virgins one needs to understand Jewish wedding customs. In the parable of the Ten Virgins, Yeshua is revealing those five wise “brides to be” who followed Torah and those five who did not. In that parable the oil represents the Torah, the holy (kadosh.. “other than”, “set apart”) spirit . Some followed a little bit of Torah (had a little oil), but not enough (didn’t follow the Torah enough) to get them into the “kingdom of Yah”. “Faith without works is dead”. The five virgins thought they could go into town and buy oil. Acts 8:18-20 “Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!”
In Israel you can’t buy anything on shabbat (especially in the late evening). Yeshua was pointing to the fact that you can’t BUY the Torah, you must HAVE IT! Do iT! Follow it! When the groom comes (as in the Jewish wedding ceremony), he comes when you least expect it, late at night like a thief.
The Torah has five scrolls which are represented as the “wise/prudent” Torah observant “brides to be” in this parable. In Matt. 25:2 it says: “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.” People who follow Torah are wise, prudent.
Ps. 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” It says the Torah (testimony of Yah) even makes the simple wise.
Prov. 28:7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.” He who keeps the Torah (law) is a discerning (wise) son.
Ps. 40:8 “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
Isa. 42:18 “Hear you deaf! And look you blind, that you may see.”
Rom. 2:18-20 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,” Those who follow Torah are a light, those who are blind (those who don’t follow Torah) should follow you. A corrector of the foolish.
THE PARABLES CONNECTION TO ESCHATOLOGY
Night is in reference to the coming tribulation period. Midnight is considered halfway through the night. “But at midnight there was a shout," This is symbolic of the tribulation period when the groom comes halfway through the tribulation (mid-night), to get His bride, those who followed Torah. Those that were asleep are like the SUNday type churches today who are slumbering, sleepy, foolish because they are not following Torah. “They all got drowsy and [began] to sleep.” is referring to those people who have been duped into believing in the pre-trib rapture concept. Because they honestly think they will not participate in the tribulation, they are not preparing for it in any way. They, by their lack of preparedness, are sleeping.
The ones who woke up from their spiritual slumber are those now known as the Messianic or Hebrew Roots movement. They have removed themselves from the foolish pagan traditions of old and now follow Torah. They have come out of the so-called churches and now follow Yah’s word instead. They are like the five who are ready for their bride.
Many of the christian movement follow basic Torah principles like not stealing or murdering, but they do not follow the Feast, food instructions, etc. They have some oil in their lamps but not enough to keep burning.
Matt. 17:10-13 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
The people of the Messianic movement are the Elijah’s coming before the Messiah returns for the end times. “Elijah is coming” was then speaking of the future remnant which is now alive. This movement is “restoring all things”. The wise lit their lamps describes those coming out of traditional christianity and are now observing Torah. John was the one who came with the spirit of Elijah. Yeshua can’t return unless the spirit of Elijah precedes him. We are that spirit.
Mal. 4:4-6 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” This is speaking of the end times. This voice is the remnant crying out in the wilderness hoping those in Babylon will take heed and return to Torah. Make way, make a path for the coming of Yah.
John 3:28-29 “You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. John was in essence saying he came in the spirit of Elijah but as the friend of the bridegroom, but Yeshua was the groom. John was preparing the bride (baptizing the people prior to Yeshua's coming).
Moses was the first witness of the ketubah at Mt. Sinai and Elijah is the second. We are to follow Yah in spirit and in truth. The spirit is the holy spirit and it included the spirit of Elijah that John came in. Elijah's spirit personified the holy spirit.
2Kgs. 17:13 “Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”
2Kgs. 17:16 They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshipped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
The primary message of the prophets of old was to point out to the people that they were mixing Torah with other religions and that they needed to get back to the true Torah. This is exactly what those in the messianic movement are doing today with those christians stuck in Baal (Babylonian) worship. The mixing of the sabbath is a perfect example of Baal worship, part truth, part pagan custom.
In Matt. 25:5 it says: “they all got drowsy and [began] to sleep.” This statement makes it clear that all of us at one time or another slumber in our walk with Torah, but when we see the truth we flee Baal worship as in the commonly called Christian churches. Baal worship is the mixing of idols with the Torah, like the golden calf incident. Baal worship is a combination of some Torah truth mixed with customs, traditions and celebrations of the mystery religions. Most pro-claimed Christians today will not murder or steal, this is Torah teaching, but indeed will go along with the customary pagan practices of the organized Baal religion called Christianity.
The final step for the groom and the bride was the nissuin (which means, "to carry"). Approximately one year later the bride would be waiting eagerly for her groom. The arrival of the groom was very unique, it would occur at a hour that neither he nor the bride would know. As the wedding day drew close, only the father could give the command for his son to get his bride. Because the bride did not know the exact hour of the grooms return, she and her bridesmaids had to be ready at all times. Then the father gave the command to his son to go and get his bride.
Approximately one year later the bride would be waiting eagerly for her groom. The arrival of the groom was very unique, it would occur at a hour that neither he nor the bride would know. As the wedding day drew close, only the father could give the command for his son to get his bride. Because the bride did not know the exact hour of the grooms return, she and her bridesmaids had to be ready at all times. Then the father gave the command to his son to go and get his bride.
Did the bride know the exact date and time of the grooms return? No. Did the bride have an approximate date of the grooms return? Yes, she knew within a certain amount of time when her groom would return (what bride wouldn’t?). We do not know the exact day and hour of Messiah’s return, but we can know the approximate time of His return if we are watchman. We know the season clearly because Yah gave us the Feast Of Trumpets so we could rehearse for just that event.
As the groom approached the city where the bride lived, a shofar would sound alerting the bride that her groom was coming. The bride would meet him half way. A wedding procession would then carry her back to the home of the groom’s parents. Then they would meet under the huppah again and exchange vows. Following the wedding ceremony was an elaborate wedding feast that lasted seven days. After the seven days the new husband and wife returned to their new home.
An interesting note that I think is worth mentioning here is the lifting of the veil. It is tradition that has the bride wear a veil over her head and face until they are under the huppah. When a couple meet under the huppah prior to the wedding vows being exchanged, the groom lifts the veil so he can identify his bride. This custom comes from the time of Jacob when Laban presented his daughter Leah instead of Rachel. Jacob didn’t identify his bride to be at that time, and ended up being with Leah. For this reason this tradition has been carried down for centuries. This is also symbolic of the scales coming off our eyes and us seeing the true bride of Yah when we become His bride. The truth is exposed when the veil is lifted and we have a personal relationship from that time forward.
The groom would then protect his bride for seven days and all would celebrate. Exod. 12:13 ‘And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
After the seven days, they would emerge together and participate in a gigantic feast with friends and family members. This was called the “marriage supper” and it would officially bring the wedding celebration to a close (Rev. 19:6-9).
Rev. 19:6-9 Then I heard [something] like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For Yahveh our Elohim, the Almighty, reigns. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of Yah.”
After all the celebrations the married couple would depart to their new home that the groom had prepared for them. Just as the bride and groom would emerge and return to their new home, so to will we return with Messiah to our new home that He has prepared for us (Rev. 21:1-10).
1Ths. 4:16-17 For this we say to you by the word of Yahveh that we who are alive and remain until the coming of Yahveh, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For Yah Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of [the] archangel and with the trumpet of Yah, and the dead in Messiah will rise first.
1Ths. 5:1-2 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of Yahveh will come just like a thief in the night
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS/ATONEMENT AND THE LAST SUPPER
How does all this relate to the Feast of Trumpets/Atonement and The Last Supper also? Let’s go back two thousand years to the night of the Last Supper. It was here that Messiah made the ketubah with His followers (Mark 14:22-25) by initiating the Renewed Covenant with His blood (John19:30). Yeshua celebrated His coming betrothal of His bride with His disciples. Yeshua paid the price of His bride with His own blood, the ultimate price any human could pay. “Take eat, each one of you as my bride”. 1Cor. 11:23-27 For I received from Yahveh that which I also delivered to you, that Yeshua the Messiah in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” (25) In the same way [He took] the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the renewed covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink [it], in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim Messiah’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Messiah in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Messiah.” Each time we take communion, we are symbolically eating the betrothal feast with our groom, just like the grooms of the Jewish people have been doing for thousands of years (Rev. 3:20).
Matt. 26:39 “And He went a little beyond [them], and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Yeshua had to drink of the cup of suffering (baptism of suffering) in able to make our betrothal agreement lawful. He had to die and offer up His blood so that He was legally betrothed to His bride (the REAL CHURCH) which He will come back for one day; to dwell with her. When He comes back, He will take us to our new home, a new Heaven, and the earth will be transformed eventually into the “Lake Of Fire”.
2Pet. 3:10-13 But the day of Yah will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Yah, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” As a thief comes in the night, so too Yeshua will come in the night to capture His bride and take her to the wedding chamber in the sky.
During the Last Supper Yeshua the Rabbi also celebrated the personal graduation of His students. They became full fledged Rabbis during the last supper.
John 14:2-3 says, "In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would not have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me." Our Messiah is doing exactly what He is supposed to be doing as our Groom, preparing a place for us. During this time we are also to be preparing ourselves for our wedding day. Rev. 19:7-8 says, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.).”
Our wedding garments are not literal but spiritual. Our white gowns represent our righteous acts. The righteous acts are the instructions Yah gave us in His Torah. Those who have not follwed the commandments, Feasts, etc. have no garments to wear at the wedding. They are not His invited guests. Matt. 22:11-14 “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And he was speechless. “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Those millions of proclaimed Christians that have attended SUNday churches all their lives will be told they cannot enter the festivities. Those who think they can get into the wedding without rightiousness, an invitation, will get a surprise. As in the above verse, they will be told to go to hell. The old cliche’ “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, will ring in their ear forever.
The parable of the ten virgins ends with this command in:
Matt. 25:13, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."
Matt. 24:35-36 says, Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
What is the only Feast that we do not know the exact day or hour of its arrival?
Do we know an approximate time of its arrival?
Let’s have a look at what the High Priest did during Atonement while hundreds of thousands of people patiently waited outside the Temple. It was the first duty of the High Priest to sacrifice an animal for himself and his family. During the other Feasts, the High Priest was required to have a sacrifice “on the altar”, but during Atonement, he was required to first sacrifice a bull “between the porch and the altar”. Let’s look at what the prophet Joel said that shows us another type in this regard. Joel 2:15-17 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.” Let the priests, who minister before Yahveh, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, O YAHVEH. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” As we saw earlier, it is only during Atonement that the High Priest performed his duty between the porch and the altar. Joel is obviously referring to the Feast of Atonement, the events that will occur during it. “As the bridegroom and bride leave their chamber, they emerge for all of us to see during the Day of Atonement.”
Why are the priests weeping between the porch and the altar?
They are weeping because this is the most solemn Feast of all about to take place. The atoning of the Nation was/is a big event and it is very serious. When Yeshua comes back to take His bride during the tribulation period of seven years, it will be a very solemn occasion for all the world to witness. Those who are “left behind” at this point in time will be weeping out to Yah to escape the terrible tribulation. As we will read a little later, the next sacrifice to occur was of the goats (scapegoat), and sheep.
Does any of this sound familiar?
As we just studied as part of the Jewish wedding tradition, certain things occurred for the wedding. Let’s look at “blow the trumpet in Zion”. Here we see what was normally done to gather the people together for various occasion's. “Declare a holy fast” is our next interesting point. We know that during the Feast of Atonement we are all required to participate in “a holy fast”. Then we see: “Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber.”
After the groom sounds the shofar those of us who recognize the voice of our shepherd will find our way to our groom, through crooked streets, uphill, past strangers who don’t know or recognize the groom, around corners of tribulation, until we meet Him halfway. Our marriage will be spiritually consummated (with the holy spirit), and our physical bodies will be changed (“born again”), from bodies of flesh to spiritual terrestrial bodies. We will then be escorted to our wedding chamber in the Heavens where we will be with our divine groom for eternity.
1Cor. 15:52-53 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Rev. 21:1-10 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer [any] sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Yah, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of Yah is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and Yah Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be [any] death; there will no longer be [any] mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his Father and he will be My son. “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part [will be] in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from Yah,
To briefly summarize things, we now see how the Feast Of Trumpets blends right in with everything else we have put together so far. It is a celebration of the harvest being completed and it leads us to the biggest Feast of the year, the Feast Of Atonement, when the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies to make atonement (at one ment) for the people. The bride will be swept off her feet at the sounding of the shofars announcing the great Feast. The Feast Of Trumpets takes place when the sliver of the moon is witnessed in Jerusalem in the fall. It announces the first day of the month of Tishri the first month of the Agricultural calendar. No one knows the hour until the sliver is witnessed. Does that sound familiar?
When Yeshua returns to take His True Believers; Exodus Part Two, it will without a doubt be on the day of the Feast Of Trumpets. What year we are not sure of yet, but you can bet on it not being far away.
Example of a ketubah (marriage contract)
Traditional Aramaic Orthodox Text
On the __________ day of the week, the __________ day of the month of __________, in the year five thousand seven hundred __________, as we reckon time here in ________________, the groom ____________ son of _____________ said to the bride_______________ daughter of _____________, "Be my wife according to the statutes of Moses and Israel. And I will work for, esteem, feed and support you as is the custom of Jewish men who work for, esteem, feed and support their wives faithfully. And I will give you ________________ and I will provide you food and clothing and necessities and your conjugal rights according to accepted custom." And the bride ________________ agreed to become his wife. And this dowry that she brought from her _____________ house, whether in silver, gold, jewelry, clothing, furnishings or bedding, the groom ______________ accepted responsibility for all in the sum of _____________ zuzim, and agreed to add to this amount from his own assets the sum of ______________ zuzim, for a total of _______________ zuzim. The groom ____________ said: "The obligation of this ketubah, this dowry and this additional sum, I accept upon myself and my heirs after me, to be paid from all the best part of all my property that I now possess or may hereafter acquire, real and personal. From this day forward, all my property, even the shirt on my back, shall be mortgaged and liened for the payment of this ketubah, dowry and additional sum, whether during my lifetime or thereafter." The obligation of this ketubah, this dowry and this additional sum, was accepted by ______________ the groom with the strictness established for ketubot and additional sums customary for the daughters of Israel, in accordance with the decrees by our sages, of blessed memory. This ketubah is not to be regarded as a formality or as a perfunctory legal form. We have established the acceptance on the part of ______________ son of ______________ the groom to _______________ daughter of _______________ the bride, of this contract, all of which is stated and specified above, with an article fit for that purpose. And all shall be valid and binding.