How do we determine the truth concerning the Ancient Jewish wedding and the Chuppah and its tradition as it relates to our marriage to the Lamb. For definition of the Chuppah we go to Strong’s Number: 2646
Transliterated Word Chuppah
TDNT Entry TWOT – 710b
Phonetic Spelling khoop-paw’
Parts of Speech Noun Feminine
1. chamber, room, canopy, closet
* a. canopy
* b. chamber
* c. divine protection or defense(fig.)
* The usage in the O.T. Is bridal chamber (2). Canopy (1).
There is really very little usage of the word in the Old Testament, but implied in Jewish tradition is divine protection or defense associated with what is called the virginity cloth.
So, why does this even matter to you and me? Today many translate the word to mean “covering” — so what did the Chuppah cover in Ancient times? Consider with me how the difference effects our understanding of the Ancient Jewish Wedding, and how that understanding then becomes the proof for when and where the wedding of the Lamb would take place.
Here are the choices — if the current dispensational understanding which is based on the Chuppah is accepted as being a covering over the bride and groom, (this is the modern day definition of the word), then the wedding can be said to take place in the Fathers house and thus in heaven without anyone questioning it. But, if we look back on scripture and tradition to consider and learn from the ancient wedding we may think differently. Our question is — is it truth that the bride of Christ as “they say” must be married in the Father’s house. Jewish weddings as we know them did not first occur until sometime in the 1300’s. What is the scriptures depiction of the location?
Song of Songs 3:4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. (KJV)
The Song of Solomon is said to contain the picture of Christ and His bride.
So, as we consider the very first wedding for Israel, then we should also find confirmation of this verses teaching, giving us reason to begin to question the dispensational understanding, and we do that based on the ancient use of the Chuppah. So what was that first wedding? God made a choice between Jacob and Esau. He chose Jacob whom He later renamed Israel. So Jacob’s wedding was the earliest of the Ancient Jewish Weddings.
The story is well known. Jacob fled from his fathers house after stealing Esau’s birth right, and went to Laban’s house. He saw Rachel and wanted her for his wife. You all know the story. He consummated two marriages while with Laban. He paid the bridal price and consummated each marriage in the bridal chamber in the house of the bride, and the brides mother.
Then we move forward to a time following Israel’s 400 year slavery in Egypt, and following the Red Sea crossing. Moses is now given the law. Included in the law was Deuteronomy 22:13-21. This is also confirmed in the (Dead Sea Scrolls: The Temple Scroll, 11QT = 11Q19). This passage speaks of the evidence of the brides virginity which according to this must be retained by the brides parents as protection against false accusations by the bridegroom.
Today we find that the modern Chuppah often has embroidered on the overhead canopy the names of the bride and groom. This is a practice taken from the Ancient Chuppah where the bride and or the brides mother would embroider the names on the virginity cloth, which would then be kept by the brides mother and father in their house as the evidence of virginity instructed in Deut. 22.
The consummated marriage took place in the bridal chamber on what Jewish scholars call the virginity cloth. Thus the Chuppah in Jewish tradition was originally the covering for the marital bed in the brides house and chamber. It was used only during the marriage consummation. Then following the consummation that took place there the festivities would began also in the bride’s house and then be moved on to the father of the groom’s house where the groom had prepared a room for the bride.
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused (betrothed) you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)
So if Jesus truly follows Ancient Jewish tradition Then it would seem that His marriage to His bride would be consummated on the earth following His Coming. And it would naturally precede the entry to the new Jerusalem.
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