Embracing Grace: The New Covenant, Part 2

A 365 Devotional Journal

Day 63

Scripture: Genesis 2:18; John 17:5-17; 1 Peter 1:15-19; Hebrews 10:1-22; John 3:28-30. Acts 20:31-32; 1 Corinthians 7:13-15; Hebrews 2:11; 10:14; Jude 1:1.

Jewish Ketubbah, Venice, Italy, circa A.D. 1750

“The Jewish view of marriage is that marriage is a fusion of the souls, a partnership for life. God created the first man, Adam, and the first woman, Eve, from one body. Marriage returns us to oneness… The Hebrew word for man is EISH, which is spelled Aleph – Yud – Shin. The Hebrew word for woman is EISHA, which is spelled Aleph – Shin – Hay. The letters Yud and Hay combine to form the Hebrew name for God. Removing the letters Yud and Hay (God) from the words EISH and EISHA, leaves the letters Aleph and Shin. Aleph and Shin spell ESH, which is the word for fire. Thus, Judaism teaches that if God is not made a part of the union between a man and a woman, then the couple will be left with fire.”1

This makes so much sense in light of what I closed with yesterday:

You are that one pearl of great price. God values you higher than any other. Not only did He send His prophets to prepare the way, His Son to pay the bride price for you, the Holy Spirit to be with us in this world, but He did it so that you may become one in Him.2 

Marriage (with God) returns us to Oneness.

If this sounds familiar to you, it is because I wrote something along these lines before.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament states that peace, peaceable, and peaceably, occurs in each of the books of the New Testament, save 1 John and save in Acts 7:26,” where, instead of translating the Greek word, eirēnē [εἰρήνη], as a form of peace, the phrase, at one again, is instead used. Sound familiar? God is called “the God of peace” or the God of at one again. This word, peace (Strong’s 1515, eirēnē), is a gift made possible through the atonement of Jesus. Through Jesus alone is it possible to be made at one again in God.³

The ancient Jewish wedding ritual involves a sequence of detailed steps. Part 1, “Embracing Grace: The New Covenant” introduced and discussed several of these elements: the Father of the bridegroom chose a bride for his son or sent a trusted servant to complete the task; he or his servant discussed with the prospective bride’s father his intent and proposed a bride price; the bride was then asked if she accepted the price. The price paid by the father of the bridegroom to the father of the bride was called the mohar, or bride-price.4

Jesus paid our mohar with His blood.

If the bride accepted the bride-price, they then entered into the first stage of marriage, called kiddushin, but commonly translated as bethrothal. The Jewish Virtual Library says “The word “kiddushin” comes from the root Qof-Dalet-Shin, meaning “sanctified.” It reflects the sanctity of the marital relation. However, the root word also connotes something that is set aside for a specific (sacred) purpose, and the ritual of kiddushin sets aside the woman to be the wife of a particular man and no other.”5

Sanctified?

That sort of blew my mind too, for when we accept the price Jesus paid for us in His blood, according to God’s Word, we are sanctified, set apart unto to God and no other!

An illuminated ketubah, Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906)

At this point, a formal contract was written. We would today call it a prenup. In the beginning, it was called the mohar and had monies to be paid up front. Now, it is called ketubah. The ketubah was devised not so much to replace the mohar, as it was to extend it for the protection of the wife. It is recognized as a clause within the ketubah indicating legal and financial obligations to the wife and children in the event of death or divorce. It also contained all the promises of the Bridegroom to the Bride. In modern times, an engagement ring, with its value documented for the bride and wholly paid by the bridegroom is considered fulfillment of the bride-price given up front, though it is not required.

Dating back to the end of the first century, the ketubah, which literally means “it is written,” was one of the first documents of its kind which gave to women both legal and financial rights. The wording still in use today was written by Simeon ben Shetach in 80 B.C.6 Even today, it is traditionally written in Aramaic7, and is printed or hand written in an artistic manner, with hand painted, or limited edition artwork surrounding the words. A rather large document, made so to encompass the ornamentation, it most often is framed and hung in an honored place in the home then passed on as a cherished heirloom.

In ancient times, the Ketubah was singular in its protection of women’s rights and was considered advanced for its day. Rabbi Simeon ben Shetach was the one responsible for  making the mohar become more of an insurance policy than a wedding gift. This may sound unfair to the man, but we have to remember the time in which this took place. Rabbinical law gave permission for men to divorce their wives for any reason, hence the advent of the Ketubah. Jesus said in Matthew 19 that Moses permitted divorce because of their hardness of heart but that in the beginning it was not so. Some Ketubahs today are modified to include a more egalitarian approach to marriage.

An illustrated Ketubah from before 1911. Photo courtesy Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.

When we accept God’s invitation to be the bride of Christ, our Ketubah is the Word of God. Within the Bible is stated the sum total of the rights, privileges, and obligations of the bride of Christ, and all the promises of the Bridegroom to the Bride. Remember what Ketubah means?

It is written.

Sound familiar? It did to me, too. It corresponds to the Greek word, graphō, in the New Testament. The first passage that jumped into my head was the temptation of Christ as told in the gospels, where Satan tempts Jesus and He answers with quoting from the Word, beginning each time with the words, “it is written.” But what I did not know what that this just scratches the surface. All throughout both the Old and New Testaments, the phrase “it is written” precedes an action which lines up with a law, or it is an actual quote used to back up an action done. Here are but a few of the many references that came up when I searched for passages containing “it is written:”

Then the king commanded all the people, saying, “Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.”8 (2 Kings 23:21)

For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’.9

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. Then I said, “Behold, I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”10

And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’11

And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”12

He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’13

And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to risefrom the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.14

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.15

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”16

… As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”17

The betrothal, or ketubah, in Bible times was considered as the entering into of a covenant. It was sealed in blood and legally binding. Once they covenanted with each other, the couple was considered married in all ways except for the physical consummation which was not to occur until after the wedding ceremony. When she entered into the ketubah and agreed to accept its terms, the document was given over to the bride’s father for safe keeping until the wedding ceremony, after which she would treasure it herself.

Photo Credit: David Niblack / CC By-Attr 3.0

I find it intriguing that in Genesis 2:18, God said, “… it is not good for man to be alone.” This was all He said before creating woman. I think He might just as well have said “… it is not good for God to be alone,” because the original intent for our creation by God was for mutual love, intimacy and companionship with Him.

Read: Genesis 2:18; John 17:5-17; 1 Peter 1:15-19; Hebrews 10:1-22; John 3:28-30. Acts 20:31-32; 1 Corinthians 7:13-15; Hebrews 2:11; 10:14; Jude 1:1. Journal your private thoughts.

Father God, sanctify me by Your Truth. Your Word is Truth. Thank you for the price You paid to redeem me, Jesus. Amen.

_____________________

1“How to Celebrate a Traditional Jewish Wedding.” About.com. Judaism.  Lisa Katz, former About.com Guide.  http://judaism.about.com/od/weddings/ss/wedding_how.htm 20 Apr 2011.
2 “Embracing Grace: The New Covenant, Part 1.” Erin Elise Blog. Copyright © 2011 Deborah Fischer. http://erinelise.com/?p=2009 20 Apr 2011.
³”Embracing Grace: At One Again.” Erin Elise Blog. Copyright © 2011 Deborah Fischer. http://erinelise.com/?p=1392 20 Apr 2011. Sourced from: Vine, W.E. “Peace, Peaceable, Peaceably.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Blue Letter Bible. 1940. 24 June, 1996. 17 Mar 2011.
4Wikipedia contributors. “Ketubah.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 Apr. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ketubah&oldid=422143617. 20 Apr. 2011.
5“The Process of Marriage: Kiddushin and Nisuin.” Sourced from: Judaism 101. Avi Hein and Sarah Szymkowicz.  http://www.jewfaq.org Jewish Virtual Library.  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/marriage.html 20 Apr 2011.
6“Ketubah.” About.com .Marriage. Glossary. Sheri & Bob Stritof, About.com Guide.  http://marriage.about.com/od/jewishmarriagetraditions/g/ketubah.htm.  20 Apr 2011. See also “What is Ketubah?” About.com. Judaism. Lisa Katz, former About.com Guide. http://judaism.about.com/cs/jewishweddings/f/ketubah.htm
7“Ancient Jewish Marriage.” Hayyim Schauss. My Jewish Learning. http://www dot myjewishlearning not com/life/Relationships/Spouses_and_Partners/About_Marriage/Ancient_Jewish_Marriage.shtml (accessed 20 Apr 2011.) [Link disabled 12/26/2013, due to malware attack on MyJewishLearning.]
82 Kings 23:21. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
9Matthew 11:10. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
10Psalm 40:6-8. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
11Matthew 21:13.  Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
12 Matthew 26:23-24. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
13Mark 7:6-7. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
14Luke 25:45-47. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
15John 6:44-46. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
16Romans 1:17. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
17Romans 9:33. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com

Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise

Copyright © 1978 – 2016, Great Awakening Project, LLC. All rights reserved.
Applies to all text and images on this website unless specifically noted otherwise herein.
Did you like this? Share it:
This entry was posted in Devotional and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.