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The Erusin – Becoming betrothed:

A girl could be betrothed by her father shortly after birth. In this case she had the right to break of the betrothal when she matured. In the rest of this article I’ll discuss a girl over 12 years and 1 day old. She had to give her express consent for betrothal.

When the boy was about to present his proposal to marry to the girl's father, the father of the groom would strategically leak the news. Then purely ‘accidental’ the girl and her whole family above the age of accountability were at her home when the boy dropped by. When the boy, accompanied by his father, knocked on the door her father looked through a tiny hole in the door to see who the visitors are. Then he looked at his daughter in a asking way: "shall I open the door?". If she said no her father would send them away. If she said yes she had made a very serious first step toward marriage. Opening the door basically means: If we can work out terms I'll marry you.

Same thing happens when Jesus knocks on your door. He either leaves or starts a process that leads to marriage.

Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, …

Almost instantly after the son and father entered they were offered the so called “Cup of Sanctification/Servanthood”. A marriage had great impact on both families. They became very close and started to serve each other.

That same day the boy, his father and the whole family of the bride sat down and ate together.

Rev 3:20 …  I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

During the meal bargaining started.  How can we be sure he provides well for the bride? How can I be sure she’s a virgin at wedding night? What are you going to pay for the bride? Is she up to Proverbs 31:10-31 standards? Etc etc. During this supper a second cup of wine was poured. “Cup of betrothal/bargaining/dedication”. This time only the two fathers the bride and groom drank wine. If agreement was reached a new covenant level was reached. The salt/friendship covenant.

If the agreement was met the boy and the girl drank the cup of Redemption/Inheritance.

The groom poured a silver cup of wine and spoke a blessing: "Blessed art Thou, Eternal our God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, who has given us the fruit of the vine, Amen."

Matt 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it;

The groom drank half of it and would slide it over to the girl. If she refused to marry him she would slide the cup back. If she agreed she drank the other half. They became instantly and fully betrothed the moment the wine touched her lips. All her property and debts now are her groom’s. The groom would now stand and give a little speech to let her know he would go home and start working for their marriage.

 Our sins are debts.

This was the 3rd cup of the Sedar meal. The cup of redemption.

Or possibly the cup of acceptance?

This third cup is what Jesus drank during the Last Supper.

The feet washing initiated the Sandal covenant. (He took of their sandals)

Breaking the bread the salt/friendship covenant.

A Scribe was asked to write down their agreements in a contract called Ketubah. The contract was written and signed in triplet. One for each father. The scribe stored one in court/synagogue.

Eph 1:13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The boy went outside and blew the shofar to announce they were now officially betrothed.

At this stage, called betrothal, legally binding agreements were made. The betrothal period was usually kept as short as possible for practical reasons, but usually took 1 to 2 years; but betrothal periods of 7 years are known. Gen 29:18. The betrothal period didn’t end until all agreements listed in the Ketubah were met.

Sometimes one or both of the mothers assisted but that was no legal requirement.

Jer. 29:6 Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to men.

Gen 34:4,6 And Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to commune with him.

John 15:16 You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, …. Is this Jesus. Part of phase 2???

John 6:44 No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him….

Sometimes the father let a servant look for a bride.

Gen 24:2,4 And Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house … But you shall go to my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife to my son Isaac.

1Cor 2:10 But God disclosed it to us through his Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, …

If they agreed on the terms, the fathers prepared a wedding contract, in triplet, called a Ketubah which contained:

The agreed bride price.

The Ketubah of our groom, Jesus, is the whole Bible.

2 Corinthians 11:2 - For I, Paul have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to the Messiah.

Rights of the bride.

Mattan: Freewill gift(s) of the groom to the bride to show his love.

The groom gave her the gift to remember him until his return with usually took 1-2 year. Today’s engagement ring has a similar function.

Jesus sent the HS to remember Him.

John 10:27-28 eternal life

John 17:1-2 eternal life

John 14:27 peace


A believers dowry is HS (John 14:16-17) and spiritual gifts. (2Cor 1:21-22)

Promises of the groom to the bride.

Exod 21:10 … her food and clothing and her married rights …

Heb 8:6 But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

After the contract was drawn up:

They called in the girl who could reject the groom.   Phase 2????

Gen 24:53,58 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. And they called Rebekah, and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go.

The above verses show outdated customs from another era. Quoted as background information.

A little while later (days/weeks) a luxury betrothal meal was prepared in the house of the groom’s father with the goal of impressing the bride so she would accept the wedding proposal. Per custom the meal was not prepared by the groom and/or bride.

The upper room in which Jesus kept His Last Supper was fully prepared by the householder.

Luke 22:7-13 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover that we may eat.  And they said to him, Where will you that we prepare? And he said to them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in. And you shall say to the manager of the house, The Master said to you, Where is the guest room, where I shall eat the Passover with my disciples? And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said to them: and they made ready the Passover.

‘Make ready’ refers to making themselves ready. Ritual washings (Mikvah) and such.

A upper room was also symbolic for a room in heaven.

Ketubah presented.

The New Covenant was Jesus’ Ketubah. It stated His life was the price He was willing to pay.

Matt 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

1Pet 1:18-19 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

The couple was now officially betrothed. A divorce was required to break the contract. If the groom died before marriage her family kept the Mohar.

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.

Jesus died…. Does that mean the bride keeps her Mohar no matter what? But the price was death…..

Parting oath/the parting

The couple was now left alone so they could talk about their future plans

He gave her his wineskin and promised not to drink wine again until he finished their new home.

The fourth and final cup of wine was drunk during the wedding ceremony.

Luke 22:18 For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

The bride stayed at her father’s house while the groom went home with his father. They stayed separated until the groom could fulfill his contract which usually took 1-2 years and no less that 6 months to exclude the possibility the bride was pregnant.

During this time groomsman (see glossary!) acted as an intermediary. Jesus’ gave the HS the same job.

John 16:7,13-14 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

Shortly afterwards the boys of each family would walk through the streets and announce the betrothal by blowing shofars. Possibly this phase took place before the parting.