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5. The Nesuin – Marriage – The taking

Nesuin means lift up, carry or taking.

When the groom had completed their home and was close to fulfilling all of his responsibilities as outlined in the wedding contract, the father would make it known that the time was near where the groom would come for his bride.  His arrival would then traditionally occur within the next two weeks. The news was strategically leaked and would filter through the community and eventually make it to the bride’s household, allowing them just enough time to make final preparations. Upon hearing the news, all bridesmaids would then buy enough oil to keep their lamps lit for up to 2 weeks, because they had a specific obligation in this process.  It was their job to keep watch for the groom and his groomsmen, and their lamps would literally light the way for him and his groomsmen when they set out for her home.  The maids stayed at her side 24 hours a day.

At a day and hour unknown to the bride, 10 virgin groomsmen carried the groom on a wooden bier to the bride’s home. The groom was dressed, as much as he could afford, as a conquering king. His 10 friends, who usually carried swords and torches his army during this wedding procession. See Wedding in the Glossary.

After tribulation:

Matt 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. They came usually after dark. That’s the reason the 10 virgins needed lamps.

1Thess 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

Sounding the shofar

1Thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:

As the groom was nearing the house a shofar was sounded by the groom’s best man. This gave the bride and her maids to make a few quick final preparations.

and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Since the groom would traditionally arrive at the bride’s home between 6:00 PM and midnight, (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) this lighting ceremony became traditional, and quite necessary. The parable of the ten virgins gives some proof about that claim. They fell asleep because they had to wait for a long time.

(Some sources state the maids stood in the streets waiting all night)

The bride had to place a welcoming light in her window. If for some reason the lamp was out the groom went back home assuming she had second thoughts about the marriage. He left her in darkness so to speak. (What’s the use if she meets him in the street?)

John 12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

When his party finally arrived at her home, he would stand outside and call for her with a loud shout.

Rev 10:2-3 He planted his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and he gave a loud shout like the roar of a lion.

1Thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout…..

 Groom Jesus just descents. The angel/best man shouts and blows the shofar.

Rev 10:1-3 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven,

 Jesus. Read “Jesus; the mighty angel with the little scroll” in the Revelation section. Just after the 7th seal.

clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

Seven thunders for seven sections of the Ketubah. The little open scroll is the Ketubah which can only be opened by the groom.

The bridesmaids would run to the wedding site to light lamps and make final preparations. When ready the groom took the bride’s hand and let her to the celebration site.

“…blowing trumpets all the way to her house she’s swept of her feet…”

Private Bachelor & Bachelorette party for 22

The couple, 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen had a private party during the night with roasted lamb, bread, lots of wine, music by harps, flutes, cymbals and lyres. This party is similar to a combined bachelor and bachelorette party. All the guests 10+10=20 had to carry a burning lamp otherwise they couldn’t enter. The 5 foolish virgins had no burning lamps at the groom’s so would not have been part of the party.

Mikveh – ritual washing

They partied until a few hours before dawn. The bridesmaids took the bride to a Mikveh where she bathed in living (=running) water. Always bowing upstream towards God the source of living water. She also fasted during daytime.

Ritual washing:

John 13:2-5 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he pours water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. Then comes he to Simon Peter: and Peter said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter.  Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash you not, you have no part with me. Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all.

Servants wore a towel when washing their master.

The (pure) water likely came from the pitcher the man carried. At first they had no clue what Jesus’ was doing suddenly Peter understood and wanted to be washed completely like a bride who was fully bathed. Jesus replied that wasn’t needed because they previously prepared themselves (Mikveh). (Luke 22:7-13). The bride went (was pushed?) under water and spread her fingers and toes; also opened her eyes to make sure she was completely purified.

Present day Christians lay on their back in the water and rise as if they rise from the dead (raising from the grave)
Jews, including Jesus, crossed their arms and kneeled down into a fetal position (birth); which btw was also the way position Jewish woman gave birth in.  Some claim Jews got baptized exactly like Christians.

1Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Her maids would anoint her with fragrant oils.


After the bath and anointing the bride was clothed with linen robe the groom gave her or paid for.

Rev 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.


She was given a veil that covered her whole face except her eyes; which she had to wear every time she was outside until her groom removed it in the bridal chamber after the consummation of their marriage.

A veil separated the sanctified (by the Mikveh) from the defiled. Priests only picked up Tabernacle objects with a veil.

They (bride + maids) return to her father’s home to take a few hours rest.

After the rest the bride and her maids went the place they had partied last night where they would meet the groom clothed like a king in a white robe woven with golden threads and fragrant with cassia, myrrh and frankincense.

John 12:3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

The couple goes to the Chuppah

After the bath and veiling the bride and her maids slept for a few hours. Sources contradict.
- One source claims at the place they partied last night. According to the other source at her father’s house which seems to fit best with another tradition. After she woke up she was blessed by her family and put on her veil and just waited. When the bridegroom finally showed up at the entrance of the house there would again be a loud cry, "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh, Go Ye Out to Meet Him." Is this Rev loud shout? When the bride is picked up the father looks away. Another source claims the father blessed them.
- Another source claims the groom went inside and picked took her while her father looked away.
- Yet another source says the groom never entered her house after the marriage contract was sealed years ago.

He was wearing a garland of fresh myrtle and roses with thorns on his head to signify joy and sorrow in their marriage. (Jesus had a crown of thorns)

John 19:2-3 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,  And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

John 19:39-40 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

The groom would escort her to the Chuppah* with a bright red covering as shown in the picture of the first page of this book. This represented the blood covenant. The cantor shouted “Blessed is he (groom) who comes”

At this time many, guests were present (Revelation 7)

While they stood under the Chuppah a circlet shaped in a Jerusalem silhouette was placed on her head.

It’s not clear if the couple simultaneously stepped under the Chuppah or that the groom was led under the Chuppah first; shortly afterwards followed by his bride.

Opening the seals/signatures:

The couple is assisted in the wedding ceremony by two witnesses (Rev. 11:3) picked by the groom.

During this ceremony the 4th cup, Cup of praise, is shared between groom and bride.

The wedding contract is handed over to the bride’s parents.

The groom would now read from the Ketubah scroll with its 7 signed, not sealed, sections. The groom read aloud a section and after that he stated she was worthy or not and continued with the next section. Usually all the groom did was pronouncing his bride pure, holy and made statements of eternal love and faithfulness. If he would reject her he likely would done so long before because the betrothal period and marriage feast were costly. But he had other options. Let’s assume she was pregnant from another man. He then had 4 options:

1] Give her a bill of divorce. (Joseph did so when Mary was pregnant from the HS)

2] Pretend the child is his.

3] Have her stoned to death.

4] Be her redeemer and get stoned to death himself.

When groom Jesus speaks forth the seven sections/seals of Revelation plagues struck the earth as punishment.

They now shared the 4th and last cup which they after it was emptied placed it on the ground. The groom would place his foot on the cup. The bride her foot on his and together they crush the cup so nobody can ever use it again; making their wedding unique.

They would now break the Challah bread, dip it into salt and eat. The salt covenant. Link

The bride was dressed beautiful like a queen but wore worn out sandals which the groom removed. He gave her a foot washing and a new pair of sandals. (Jesus gave a foot washing during Last Supper)

John 13:3-10 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet,

 Foot washing

drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Then comes he to Simon Peter: and Peter said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter. Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash you not, you have no part with me.

 No foot washing, no sandal covenant, no inheritance in Christ’s kingdom, no possibility to become a bride.

Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all.

 Jesus refers to the washing/Mikveh the Jews took to prepare for the meal. (the bride bathed)

Optionally they would place rings on each other’s right hand’s middle finger. The bride standing on his right hand side.

The groom now wrapped his Tallit (prayer shawl) around the bride as a sign of protection.

Matt 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!
Matt 9:20 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years approached him from behind and touched the tzitzit on his robe.  21 For she said to herself, "If I can only touch his robe/wings, I will be healed."  22 Yeshua turned, saw her and said, "Courage, daughter! Your trust has healed you." And she was instantly healed.

The Hebrew word for wings, kanaf, has various meanings. It’s the wings of the hen, but also a prayer shawl with had tassels on it. The tassels have a very distinct pattern spelling the name of God. At the end of the ceremony the groom wrapped his shawl around his bride. That way the bride received protection from the groom and God Himself.

At this point the bride’s parents invited all guests (many more than those who partied last night) to a 7 day wedding feast in their home. The duration of 7 days was not very strict and varied per region and era.

While other partied the couple went inside the bridal room at the groom’s father’s house to consummate the marriage. If she was a virgin all was fine. If not the groom had 4 choices.

1] Give her a bill of divorce. (Joseph did so when Mary was pregnant from the HS)

2] Pretend the child is his.

3] Have her stoned to death.

4] Be her redeemer and get stoned to death himself.

Jesus took the fourth option.

Rev 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

BTW the groom could also redeem his bride for other offences against the Torah. For example if she was sentenced to 6 lashes he could take them for her. But after that he would have to redeem for every offence of his wife during their marriage. Even if the punishment was death…

Encompassing the groom

While standing under a Chuppah which represents the clouds at mount Sinai. The bride slowly walks 7 times around the groom. The origin of the custom is not known with certainty; but likely it originates from Jeremiah 31:22 where it says: “A woman shall compass a man.” A wife is also called a helpmate which comes from a root word meaning to gird, to surround, and walk in a circle or set boundaries for defense.

The guests

The group that was present at the wedding under the Chuppah now went to the groom’s father’s house where he prepared the bridal suite. At this point she still wore her veil. Jesus Father’s home is in heaven.  But also the earthly Temple which had many little rooms (mansions) in its walls). With the Temple signifying the body the wedding takes place inside of us.

When arrived they were welcomed by the guests and the grooms father who gave them his blessing.

The guests were at the groom’s house before the couple arrived. Male guests, including the groom, worn a wedding garment called a kittel. It looks a little similar to a bathrobe. The kittel is also worn during Passover and Yom Kippur sacrifices by the priests. Kittel is rooted in the word katal, to slay.

Matt 22:11-13 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he said to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The bridal suite

The bride and groom would enter the Chuppah, where they would spend a week in privacy together.

Gen. 29:27 It is to this practice that Laban probably referred when he instructed Jacob, with regard to Leah, to "complete her week".

After they consummated the marriage the groom gave the virginity cloth to the best man and maid waiting outside.

See Virginity cloth in the glossary.

The consecration of the priest (Aaron and his sons) may have parallels with the bride.

Lev 8:6 And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.

The bride was washed by her bridesmaids (10 virgins)

Lev 8:33 And you shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you.

Lev 8:35 Therefore shall you abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that you die not: for so I am commanded.

The priests/bride stay in the room for 7 days.

Exod 40:13 And you shall put on Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister to me in the priest's office.

Exod 40:14 And you shall bring his sons, and clothe them with coats:

Exod 40:15 And you shall anoint them, as you did anoint their father, that they may minister to me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.

Exod 40:16 Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he.

Exod 40:17 And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up.

The bride was also wearing special garments and was anointed also. Betrothal often lasted 2 years but that was most certainly not a fixed rule.

Meanwhile, the guests would be enjoying a great feast, while waiting for the bride and groom to rejoin them in public celebration.

Deuteronomy 16:13 Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress.

 A tabernacle is hut, room.

Isa 26:20-21 Come, my people, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over. For, behold, the LORD comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Chambers is the same word used for bridal chamber.

It’s said the word ‘place’ is rooted in the word for the female sexual organ but I can find no proof for that. Anyway it’s used to prove/imply Jesus and the bride aren’t part of the 7 years or tribulation. They are raptured and just consummates His marriage and only after the 7 years He comes out to judge. In the Revelation part of this book it will be clearly shown the bride is on earth during tribulation.

On the eight day (new beginning) the couple (or just the bride) left the bridal room.

After 7 years are completed Jesus destroys His enemies.

Various sources mention different durations for the feast:

- A day (Gen. 29:22),

- A week (Judg. 14:12),

- According to the Apocrypha even two weeks (Tob. 8:20, 10:7)."

Likely a feast for a virgin lasted 7 days.

The maid of honor and best man waited outside the door.

While the bride was laying on a special cloth they consummated the marriage.

When they had sex the groom announced they are done:

John 3:29 He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled

The groom gave the blooded cloth to his best man waiting outside the door. The bride’s parents kept the cloth in a secret place as proof their daughter was virgin when she got married.

The news was passed on to the guests.

VARIATION#1 The guests feasted for 7 days. The 7 days of huppah.

VARIATION#1 The bride would stay in the bridal room during the whole 7 days.

VARIATION#1 Problem: No party for the bride.

VARIATION#2 After 7 days both leave the room and the guests wait.

There are 7 days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.

At the end of the 7 days the groom brought his, now unveiled bride, out of the bridal chamber.

If the bride was not a virgin the groom could ask back the dowry and his bride would be stoned to death in the morning. Joseph didn’t chose that route when he found Mary pregnant. He gave her a bill of divorce so she could leave unharmed. At great cost to himself because it means he wouldn’t have gotten back his dowry.

Bride of Christ

A Jewish wedding is a sacred event and is considered a personal Yom Kippur for the bride and groom, meaning it's a day for spiritual atonement and forgiveness. All the couple's previous individual sins are forgiven, as the vows they take at their wedding join their souls before God, so they're able to start a new life together unburdened by past transgressions.

→ Bride of Christ is forgiven all sins.