Kingdom Wedding

Matthew 25:1 compares the Kingdom of Heaven to ten girls waiting for their wedding. This post continues the ideas in the Ten Virgins Who Woke Up by examining components of a Jewish wedding. Marriage and the Wedding are core to the Kingdom of God. It is the third thing that God provided to Adam in the Garden-a place to live, a way to support himself, and a wife (life is a given). Genesis 2:24 is the first explanation or commentary in the Bible. The verse explains the “why” for the first recorded words of any man: “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. Yes, Adam spoke names of animals, but they are never listed. This shows the importance of marriage. Because this joining reflects how God wants us to relate to Him, is there any wonder why marriage between a man and a woman is being attacked? The serpent’s assault on the Kingdom in the Garden is intended to separate mankind from God and to tear apart the union of Man and Woman. What if Adam never ate the fruit? Eve was deceived, but sin entered when Adam followed his wife in eating the forbidden fruit. How would things look now if Adam followed God’s voice and instructions? Okay, back to the symbolism in a Jewish wedding. 

In Luke 2, Mary is betrothed to Joseph. This part of the wedding is the erusin and, according to custom, they are bound to each other. Joseph’s father paid the mohar or bride’s price to Mary’s father (Exodus 22:16). This money should follow Mary into the marriage, but the money or services belonged to Mary’s father. I am sure that the money became part of Joseph’s concern when he found out Mary was with child. Father God paid the mohar; Jesus came to earth and died for us to pay the price. Our erusin began when we choose to accept that payment of Jesus’ blood and the work of the cross.

The mattan are the gifts given to the bride by the groom over and above the mohar. This thought is overwhelming! Jesus sent the Holy Spirit and with Him are the gifts. Charis is the Greek word used for the gifts of the Spirit and for grace. Are you picking what part of the mattan you want and fits in your BOX, or are you taking all the Gift? 

For the next parts of the wedding, I will list and explain as I see them and how they fit into the Kingdom.

  1. In the erusin, the groom is to prepare a place for the bride to live (John 14:2+3). Search in Bible Gateway for-prepare a place. The results are interesting.
  2. The bride (and the groom) are to wash in a mikveh. This is a spiritual preparation. A mikveh is a pool of living (moving) water. I will equate the washing to baptism, but there are many types and reasons for washing in Jewish customs. 
  3. Nissuin is the wedding, and a part of this is a colorful parade. This procession is in the parable of the Ten Virgins. The Bride was never sure when the groom would come, so they had to be ready. The Father of the groom decided the exact time for the procession. Jesus said this in Matthew 24:36. I did not find this in my current research, but I believe the nissuin was two parades, one going to get the Bride and one going home. If that is the case, I would like to call the Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem the first parade and the second parade is yet to happen.
  4. The chappah is what the Bride stands under, and that symbolizes the marriage chamber. May I offer the tongues of fire when they settled above the disciples’ heads on the Day of Pentecost as the chappah? They represent the glory of Heaven as first seen on Mount Sinai
  5. The Bride has responsibilities and duties during the erusin. Her price has been paid, and she is now married (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The site uses the Parable of the Virgins as its focus, so I am good with that. Again, I don’t have sources, but many of the things they say I have heard/read in other places. The bride had to be ready and part of that was a lamp filled with oil. She was to be concerned about her clothing and ornaments. She needed to be listening for the shofar (the trump) that will announce the groom’s coming. In our current customs, the bride and her family are busy doing all the work for the perfect day. That is not what it looked like in the first century. The groom handled the marriage feast.

Another post will focus on verses in the Bible about this topic. They are surprising. Psalm 45, which is labeled a wedding song, will provide a new twist on Kingdom, weddings, and brides.

myjewishlearning .com

I apologize about the URL for the last three websites. All deal with ancient Jewish wedding practices. Facebook is creating links that I did not wish to have in my post.


My post “Lean” is a glimpse at this Biblical concept. There will be attempts at humor associated with this post, I hope. I pray my wit will not hinder my attempts to improve the use of lean. Since I am writing this the Oxford Dictionary might not agree that this is sarcasm, which is normally spoken. I personally do not see it as satire because I will not build a story around it. Even though it is written it does not fit a lampoon because I do not want anyone vexed. This is my first test with this post, so we will call it a written satire without a lot of severity. With that resolved, I will now lean in or lean on my subject of lean. (The NIV and KJV are close on the number of times they use the term lean.)

Genesis 41:19 is the story of Pharaoh who woke up because of a dream where lean cows and heads of grain ate up the fat ones. His trusted advisors could not give him the skinny on the dream. So, he called for Joseph. The KJV uses the term lean fleshed, in 2021 that might be viewed as something favorable.  

Jacob leans on his staff in Genesis 47:31 to bless his boys. After reading the Complete (CJB) and Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB) and several other scholarly works, it seems he leaned but not on his staff. The first Latin translations did not let the absences of vowels deter them. A better interpretation is he bowed his head on his bed, or at the head of his bed. The man was 147 years old; he did not need to stand up to bless his family.

Samson, in his last minutes of life, likewise did some leaning. He leaned in or leaned on the pillars of Dagon’s Temple to bring it down-Judges 16:26. Because his act brought the house down we can go with lean in.

Leaning in while playing sports frequently gets you called for a penalty. Well, at least in basketball when you are blocking someone. Tackling in football (American) is leaning in. Leaning in while batting in baseball may get you hit with the ball. 

King Saul died while leaning on his spear-2 Samuel 1:6. Finally, I could get a lean on into the conversion. 

The reason for this post is the buzz words-lean in. There is one preacher who seems to want you to lean in during every one of his messages. Not that he uses it wrong, but after thirteen sermons it gets a little old. By the fourteenth time, the expression is no longer fresh. Where did I get my figures? I made them up! Things are always more impressive if you spout numbers. Just hope no one asks you to document your facts. But, then you could say, “Well, everyone knows that.” That always seems to work for politicians, as long as they can change the topic right away. 

In Psalm 62:3, a leaning wall is a metaphor for a man not doing well in life. Walls can lean for a variety of reasons. But getting pushed on repeatedly or fatigue seems valid for this case. So, this metaphor may have been for Jeduthun. He was a prominent official and worship leader in David’s kingdom. If you are the person leaning into someone, know that it will take a toll on them.

Proverbs 3:5 underscores the importance of trusting the Lord and do not lean on yourself. To understand this metaphor better, try to lean on your own body. Okay, that is strange if you just tried it. Leaning on your own arm is done, but the arm should be on something. We need something or someone else to lean on. After that, you are on your own.

The disciple John had the right idea in John 13:25. He leaned on Jesus to ask a question. All the disciples wanted to know the name of who would betray Jesus. (The alternative accounts are in Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18, and Luke 22:21.) The other disciples did not get an answer because they were not close enough to Jesus to lean back on Him. Judas may have been that close because he dipped his bread into Jesus’ bowl. Luke records a dispute among the disciples during the dinner. I will always think Judas started that. It is an excellent diversion tactic. 

 Anapipto is the word used by John when he leaned back on Jesus. In Strong’s, it is #377 in Greek. Use this to learn more-

My point is you can lean into someone or something and never touch them. You will hear better because you have come closer to the source. But when you lean on someone, must make contact or you will just fall.

There is a Greek word that all of this leaning made me think of-charatoo. Now, this concept has nothing to do with leaning in or on. The root of this word is charis or grace. Charatoo is used twice in the Bible: in Luke when Gabriel talked to Mary and in Ephesians 1:6. Both refer to grace surrounding the person. I can see Jesus putting His arm around John, surrounding him with His presence when John leaned on Him.

We will go back to the overuse of fashionable terms. I traded out words in these phrases, since I am older, the word in parentheses is what I removed. 

  • Lean (right) on, bro
  • Keep on leaning (trucking)
  • Leaning (standing) tall
  • Stop, look and lean (listen)
  • Lean (waste) not want not

Well, that sounded better in my head than on paper. The point is, don’t lean too often on popular idioms to make your point, because people may lean away from you instead of leaning into you. 

The image is from the Brooklyn Museum