The Ancient Jewish Wedding and the Return of our Bridegroom King!

The ancient Jewish wedding is a custom that every believer should study and
understand. Why? Because Yeshua (Jesus) Himself followed the steps of a Jewish
bridegroom when taking His own bride, we, the Church. There are many truths and
treasures that have been hidden and long forgotten simply because believers do not
see Yeshua (Jesus) in His original Jewish context.

We truly believe God is calling the Bride of Christ back to the Jewish roots of
Proverbs 25:2 says: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of
kings is to search out a matter.

So come and join us as we search out and dig deep into God’s word concerning the
Ancient Jewish Wedding.

Step One: Selection of the Bride

In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you
that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain.”

In ancient Israel, brides were usually chosen by the father of the bridegroom. He would
send His most trusted servant to search for a bride for his son.

We have not seen Yeshua (Jesus), but God’s servant, the Holy Spirit, has revealed Him
to us:
I Peter 1:8: Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet
believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.

Step Two: Price of the Bride

Brides in Bible times were purchased. The price was paid to the father of the bride,
both to compensate him for the loss of a worker and to show him how much the
bridegroom loved and valued the bride.

We, as the bride of Messiah, have also been purchased with a price. A very high price
— the blood of Yeshua (Jesus). His very own blood shed upon a cross on Calvary’s hill
was the price He paid for His bride.

1 Peter 1:18,19: "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or
gold, from our aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the
precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

(Ephesians 1:13, 14)

1 Corinthians 7:23 says, "We were bought at a price, so do not become slaves of men."

We belong to Christ. He is our Bridegroom. We are His Bride. We are in this world but
we are not of this world.

1 Corinthians 6: 19,20: "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at
a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God’s."

Step Three: Betrothal/Ketubah

The ancient Jewish marriage ceremony consisted of two main parts, beginning with the
betrothal or engagement.

The betrothal is much like our engagement today, but with a much greater sense of
commitment. During the betrothal the couple is actually entering into a covenant.
Covenant in Bible times was serious, final, sealed in blood and legally binding. Once a
couple entered into the covenant of betrothal, they were legally married in all aspects
except for the physical consummation of the marriage.

At the betrothal ceremony, a marriage contract, or Ketubah, was presented to the father
of the bride. The Ketubah consists of all the bridegroom’s promises to his bride. The
bride cherishes her Ketubah.

We, too, have a Ketubah from our Bridegroom. Our marriage contract is God’s Word!
Our Ketubah (God’s Word) shows us all we are entitled to as the Bride of Christ. All, not
some, but all the promises in God’s Word, are for us. As the Bride of Christ, we are
entitled to them — they are part of our Ketubah.

(Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Step Four: The Bride's Consent

Although a bride was selected for the bridegroom, she still had a choice.

In Genesis 24:57 and 58, Rebekah was asked, concerning Isaac: “Will you go with this
man?”. She said, “I will go.” She gave her consent — her “I do.”

God is a gentlemen and He never forces anyone to say “I do” to His Son. When we say “I
do” to Yeshua (Jesus), we must believe with our heart and confess with our lips.

Have you said your “I do’s” to Yeshua (Jesus)?:

Yes —  I do confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Yes — I do believe that Jesus died for my sins.
Yes — I do believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that you,
God, raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand.
Yes — I do repent of my sins.
Yes — I give You my heart!
Yes — I do receive Your great love and the gift of eternal life.
I do! I do! Yes, I say Yes to Yeshua (Jesus). Amen.

Step Five: The Cup of the Covenant

After the term of the ketubah were accepted, a cup of wine was shared to seal the
marriage covenant. The second cup of wine would be shared many months later during
the marriage ceremony. The cup that Yeshua (Jesus) took at His last Passover on earth
was the cup of the new marriage covenant with His bride.

In Luke 22:20, Jesus said, “This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which is shed for

In Matthew 26:29, Jesus said, “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.”

Jesus is speaking of the second cup that the Bride of Christ will share with Him one
glorious day at the second part of our marriage ceremony.

Step Six: Gifts for the Bride

Every bride enjoys gifts! And our God is a giver of every good and perfect gift.

The Betrothal included the giving of gifts by the bridegroom to his bride.

Many times a bridegroom gave a coin or other object of value to his betrothed bride. It
would always be something special that would help her remember him while they were
apart. This was because the real focus of the gift giving was to be on the giver and not
on the gift.

Today we have the engagement ring. This is a symbol of love and commitment. When
the bride-to-be looks at her ring, she is reminded of the one who gave her the gift.

God’s Holy Spirit is our spiritual engagement ring. He doesn't call attention to Himself
but to the one who purchased us — Yeshua (Jesus).

Through Yeshua (Jesus), we, the bride, receive many gifts: Forgiveness, eternal life,
fruit of the spirit, gifts of the spirit, and many more. What bride would say to her
bridegroom who comes bearing gifts, “No, I can’t accept them.” Yet many of us do that
to our Bridegroom, Yeshua (Jesus). Don’t miss out — decide today to accept all that
your Bridegroom has for you.

Step Seven: Mikvah

Brides in ancient Israel, as well as brides in Israel today, experience a mikvah prior to
her wedding. The word ‘mikvah’ means a pool of living water which was used for ritual
purification. This immersion in water is part of their physical and spiritual preparation
for the wedding ceremony. The mikvah represents a separation from the old life to a
new life.

Mark 16:16 reads, “He who believes and is baptized (goes to the mikvah) will be saved; but
he who does not believe, will be condemned.”

The Bride of Christ also goes to the living waters of the mikvah. When we, as believers
in Yeshua (Jesus), are immersed in water, it is a separation from an old life to a new life.
“Old things pass away, all things become new.”

Step Eight: Departure of the Groom

John 14:2: “I go to prepare a place for you.”

Once the marriage covenant was sealed, the bridegroom left his bride to go to his
father’s house to prepare a wedding chamber. He would be gone for up to twelve

In John 14:2-3, Jesus said “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.”

Our Bridegroom has gone to prepare a wedding chamber for His bride.

In Matthew 9:15, Jesus said, “Can the friends of the Bridegroom mourn as long as the
Bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away
from them, and then they will fast.”

While we wait for the return of our Bridegroom/King, we need to stay faithful, watchful
and spiritually alert. This is the hour to pray and fast!

1 Peter 4:7 says, "But the end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in
your prayers."

Step Nine: The Consecrated Bride

The Jewish bride was set apart, consecrated, separated unto her bridegroom — the one
who purchased her. So, while waiting for his return, she was to stay faithful. It was
probably easy at first. But when his return was delayed, the temptation would be great.
After a while, the bride may even start to question his return.

2 Peter 3:3,4 reads: "Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own
lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?'”

We are His consecrated bride, awaiting His return. We cannot fall into temptation. We
must be ready at all times for the return of our Bridegroom/King!

Step Ten: Return of the Bridegroom

Mark 13:32: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor
the Son, but only the Father."

Jewish bridegrooms usually came for their brides late at night, near the midnight hour.
The sound of the shofar would break the silence of the night and there would be great
shouting and dancing in the streets. We can see this in the parable of the ten virgins:
“And at midnight, a cry was heard; Behold, go out to meet him.”

As a thief in the night, our Bridegroom will call us to arise and meet Him in the air. We
will hear a shout and the sound of the shofar. It will happen quickly. We must be ready.

Matthew 24:27 says, "For as the lightning comes from the East and flashes to the West, so
also will the coming of the Son of Man be."

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with
the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one
another with these words.

Step Eleven: The Huppah

The second half of the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony, or huppah, is also called the
“hometaking.” The original meaning of the huppah was “room” or “covering.”

The huppah of ancient times was a special room built in the bridegroom’s father’s home.
The room was eventually replaced by a bridal canopy. The huppah symbolized the new
home to which the bridegroom would take his bride. The bride and bridegroom were
escorted to the bridal chamber where they would be alone for seven days. The spiritual
parallel to the huppah for the bride of Christ begins as we are lifted up off the earth to
be taken to our heavenly wedding chamber where we will spend ‘one week’ (seven
years), with our Bridegroom/King. While the Bride of Christ is in the Bridal Chamber with
Yeshua (Jesus), the rest of the world will be in a time of great tribulation.

Isaiah 26:20-21 tells us of this time: "Come my people, enter our chambers and shut the
door behind you, hide yourself as it were, for a little moment until the indignation is past.
For behold the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their

While the wrath of God is poured out on the earth, the bride of Christ will be hidden
away with her Bridegroom.

Step Twelve: The Final Step — The Marriage Supper

Following the seven days in the huppah or bridal chamber, the bride and bridegroom
joined their guests for a joyous marriage feast. Playing of music and dancing was a
regular part of the celebration.

Revelation 19:6-9: "And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound
of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord
God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage
of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to
be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the
saints.' Then he said to me, Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the Marriage
Supper of the Lamb!' And he said to me 'These are the true sayings of God.'"

Just like the ancient Jewish wedding, there will be shouts of joy and dancing (yes,
dancing) and how exciting it will be. The Bride will dance for joy with her
Bridegroom/King, Yeshua. (Jesus)

We will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years during the millennium! For those of us
who look forward to the marriage supper of the Lamb, we must go out to the highways
and byways and extend an invitation to others to come.

Revelation 2:17: "And the spirit and the bride say Come! And let him who hears say,
Come! And let him who thirsts, Come; and whoever desires, let him take the water of life

Revelation 22:20: "'Surely I am coming quickly.' Even so, Come Lord Jesus, Come!"

Ancient Jewish Wedding
The Ancient Jewish Wedding and the
Return of our Bridegroom King
Sar Shalom
Bible Center
A church of
Personalized Messianic Ketubah