3. The Erusin – The betrothal period:
Preparations of the bride:
Until the groom returned the bride prepared for the wedding.
Gifts for the guests.
Make herself look at her best. Great effort was made to let her face shine like marble. She would wear as much jewelry and precious stone as possible. All that were owned by her family and often all she could lend from friends. Her hair was usually braided with gold and pearls.
She was assisted by 10 maids. (the 10 virgins parable)
Learn how to be a good wife and mother. Make blankets etc.
Rev. 19:7 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.
Preparations of the groom:
The groom builds an extra room (Chuppah) to his father’s house. The bridal suite.
The bridal chamber had to be beautiful and it had to be stocked with provisions since the bride and groom were going to remain inside for seven days.
John 14:2 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.
Jesus ascended to heaven.
The father would oversee the quality of his son’s work to avoid a rush job.
The groom to be was often teased. “It’s taking very long! Aren’t you done yet?” The boy then answered: “Only my father knows when my preparations are done/sufficient”
Matt 24:36 But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
When the groom’s father was satisfied with the room he gave his son permission to get his bride and enter the final phase of the marriage.
Preparations of the bride’s family.
The bride’s family would make wedding preparations. Even though this day was generally many months away, if not a year or more, there was no time to waste. A wedding location would have to be arranged, guests would need to be contacted, provisions for the feast would need to be arranged, and the list goes on.
During the whole betrothal period the groom had to provide for his bride. When the contract was signed he gave her some things but usually he gave her all sorts of gifts throughout the betrothal period.
The groom had 2 groomsmen who were called ‘friends of the bridegroom’. One attended to the groom’s needs the other to the bride’s. The friend attending to the bride had more contact with her as the groom himself – groom had none at all. Needless to say it had to be a friend the groom fully trusted. If the bride needed anything she told the friend. The friend told the groom who provided the stuff. The friend then brought it to the bride. Obviously that friend, unknowingly, played the role of the Holy Spirit in Christ’s betrothal period.
The bride was watched extra carefully during this period to make sure she kept her virginity.
2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.