How do we determine the truth concerning the Ancient Jewish wedding and the Chuppah and its tradition. For definition 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
•c. divine protection or defense(fig.)
•The usage in the O.T. Is bridal chamber (2). Canopy (1).
There is really very little usage in the Old Testament, but implied in Jewish tradition is a divine protection or defense associated with the virginity cloth.
So, why does this matter to you and me? Today many translate the word to mean “covering” — but what was it to cover? 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 is to take place.
Here are the choices — if the current dispensational understanding which is based on the Chuppah as being a covering over the bride and groom, which is the modern day definition of the word, then there is no basis on which to question a wedding for the bride of Christ that “they say” must take place in the Father’s house.
However, if we consider the very first wedding for Israel then we find reason to question that understanding 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 who 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 the marriage in the brides chamber in the house of the bride.
Following Israel’s 400 year slavery in Egypt, and the Red Sea crossing, Moses gave 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 is retained by the brides parents as protection against any later false accusations by the bridegroom.
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.
The consummated marriage took place in the bridal chamber on the Chuppah in the brides house, and then the festivities began in the brides house and moved to the father of the grooms house where the groom had prepared a room for the bride.
Following Jewish tradition Jesus’ marriage to His bride will be consummated on the earth following His coming. And true according to scripture in Revelation it will eventually move to the new Jerusalem.
For your use: some notes on this:
By Steve Rudd
2.A modern Chuppah has many meanings that all have their origin in ancient Jewish wedding custom of the virginity cloth.
a.The Chuppah has undergone a gradual evolution of meaning. It began as the “virginity cloth” that lay under the bride when she consummated the marriage. Then the cloth change its position from under the bride on the bed, to over the bride on the bed as a canopy. Then it came to symbolize the room metaphorically and finally the sheet was moved from over the couple’s bed in a private bedroom, out in public as a four posted canopy over the bridal couple at the modern wedding ceremony. So the sheet began under the bride, then over the bride in private, then over the bridal couple in public.
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