Marriage in Easton's Bible Dictionary
was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen.
2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which
by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations
are to be
framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy
original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16).
This law was
violated in after times, when corrupt usages began
introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the
polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age
22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was
the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation,
to be practised all down through the period of
Jewish histroy to
the Captivity, after which there is no instance of
it on record.
It seems to have been the practice from the
fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3;
Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the
father of the
maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were
sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own
not required. The young man was bound to give a
price to the
father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1
25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal
customs the Mosaic
law made no change.
In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were
the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come
at once and
take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-
67). But in
general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in
the house of
the bride's parents, to which all friends were
27); and on the day of the marriage the bride,
concealed under a
thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's
Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing
subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it
as a divine
institution on the highest grounds. The apostles
and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife
5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is
said to be
"honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it
is noted as
one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).
The marriage relation is used to represent the union
God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos.
2:9, 20). In
the New Testament the same figure is employed in
the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The
the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev.