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Beloved Bridegroom

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The Savior utilizes the wedding parable in order to help us to understand the nature of our covenant relationship with Him, as well as the events that will take place at His second coming.

My darling friend, Michelle gave me a book called "Beloved Bridegroom" by Donna B Nielsen that talks about Israel's marriage customs. These customs have given me a greater appreciation of the Savior's reference to Himself as the bridegroom.

When a man desires to take a wife, he comes with his father and two witnesses to the bride's father's house to make an offer for her hand... This offer of wealth orpayment is known as the bride price. The higher the bride price, the more value the groom places in the bride.

So we all want to be ten cow women, apparently. In this case, the Savior through the administration of the Eternal Father pays a high bridal price or the atonement. So as counseled in the beginning, a Savior is provided for Adam and Eve.

The bride if she accepts after the fathers agree on the amount of payment, will drink of a cup of wine poured by the groom and then comes the covenant, which in Hebrew culture was binding upon blood sacrifice. It was such a binding contract that breaking it, resulted in death penalty of sorts.

Then after the contract was made, the groom leaves to go build a place for his bride in His Father's house. This place that he builds is to be of fine quality that reflects upon the father of the groom... so the Father is the one that determines when the groom is finished building it.

During this time, the bride and the groom never see each other. Instead, the friend of the groom takes messages back and forth between the groom and his bride, acting as liasion as well as working to ensure the chastity of the bride remains so.

The bride's job is to purify herself by bathing in a bath that has living water running into it, wearing the gifts that the groom and her father have given her to make herself more beautiful for her groom (which gifts are called the en-dower-ment or endowment), and keeping oil in her lamp which sits in the window of her home. This lamp is to be kept running day and night and especially so on the sabbaths.

As she waits for her groom to come, because no one knows when the groom comes to her home to come get her, except his father knows when he decides that groom's building of the bride's place in his house is finished.... the bride waits with her bridesmaids. Many times the bridegroom will appear at the bride's house to come get her at some wee hour in the night, so the bridesmaids wait up with the bride, running their lamp oil. (Everyone that attends a Hebrew wedding feast has to bring their own oil and lamp)

So the bridesmaids are all virgins and close friends/family of the bride... part of her household in a manner of speaking... and the wise ones generally do carry extra oil, because again, the time and day that the groom appears to take his bride is unknown to everyone.

So when the time is near for the retrieving of the bride, everyone within the bride's family gets excited and starts looking for the friend to come and announce the hour of the groom's coming. Once the Father tells the groom that his work is finished, the groom tells his friend to announce it to the bride. When the bride hears the friend's announcement, she literally has less than 30 minutes to pack up her stuff (wedding dress, marriage clothes, honeymoon clothes, and dowery [the couple are locked into the bridal chamber for 7 days together... hence the father of Leah and Rachel tells Jacob that he has to give Leah the wedding week]).

The entire town gathers together in the wedding procession as the groom comes wearing a crown and beautiful robes (in Hebrew culture, it wasn't the bride that was looked at on the wedding day, it was the groom) to get his bride.

He takes her back to his home where the wedding party is established. Once the outside doors were closed, literally no one could get in. The doors were too heavy and hard to open. And it was an insult to the host that a person was late to their feast.

Another cultural idiom of the bolted outside door, was that guests/friends were recognized by their voices, not by using their name at the gate. If the groom didn't recognize their voices, it was because they were unfamiliar to him.

Matt 25:13 "Lord, Lord, open to us." the foolish bridesmaids would say... But the bridegroom answered , "Verily, i say unto you, I know you not."

He was literally saying that we are not familiar enough for me to recognize your voice, because you haven't talked enough with me.

Anyway, that is a fun understanding of the parable of the bridegroom and the bride.
Find me at: http://disastermedicine-christine.blogspot.com/

Elder Neal A Maxwell: "One cannot have adequate faith in a Christ whom he does not adequately know."
serenitylala
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Beloved Bridegroom

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Re: Beloved Bridegroom

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Serenitylala, that was very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry I don't have anything to add, but it gives a lot of meaning to processes we sometimes may skim over. Thanks again.
Rand
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Re: Beloved Bridegroom

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I have read the book and loved all the symbolism. It has been a few years, so I don't remember all, but it was very enlightening. I heard she was supposed to write another one, but I have not seen it out.
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Re: Beloved Bridegroom

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Lovely post; thank you.
Revelation 7:16-17
durangout
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Re: Beloved Bridegroom

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Thanks, I like the short version for dummies. I don't think I could get through the whole flowery book. This could be a great talk in sacrament coupled with the 10 virgin story and tying in all the scriptures.
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Re: Beloved Bridegroom

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I did like how the friend of the bridegroom announces that the groom is coming two times before the groom arrives at the bride's house to take her with him.

The interesting thing is that when the groom comes to get her, he has the bride lifted up onto a special chair which is called an aperion, which begins the second part of the marriage known as nissu'in meaning "to lift up" or "to bear."

Before that, the groom also veils her face, because she is a great treasure that is to be held sacred just for him. Veils were used to cover the most sacred of things: the holy of holies for one. Also a veil was placed over Moses's face because after conversing with the Lord, he had shown with such great glory of the Lord that it terrified the Israelite people. So the sacred are covered with veils and the bridegroom covers his bride in a like manner before he lifts her up and takes her to his father's house, to the place which he has prepared for her.
Find me at: http://disastermedicine-christine.blogspot.com/

Elder Neal A Maxwell: "One cannot have adequate faith in a Christ whom he does not adequately know."
serenitylala
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Re: Beloved Bridegroom

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So if a woman was covered in a veil before God, it would mean that she is his treasure, not Gods? Very interesting, yet respectful thought.
Rand
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