The Biblical Betrothal Map

1) Christ is the Bridegroom.  The church is His bride.  In betrothal, leading to marriage, we should duplicate as much as possible the divine relationship that marriage represents.

2 Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Ephesians 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Revelation 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 

2) Decisions by all parties should be made through prayer and seeking the will of God.

James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Acts 1:24  And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Genesis 24:12  And he said, O Yahweh God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.
13  Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water:
14  And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

 

3) The initiation (with a few exceptions) should come from the groom's side.

1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.
Luke 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Matthew 22:2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
(Exception example: Numbers 36:6  This is the thing which Yahweh doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry.)

 

4) Permission is needed from the bride's father so his blessing should be obtained early in the process.

Numbers 30:3  If a woman also vow a vow unto Yahweh, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth;
4  And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.
5  But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and Yahweh shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.
Deuteronomy 7:3  Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
Exodus 22:17  If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
Genesis 24:49  And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50  Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from Yahweh: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.

 

5) Consent from both bride and groom are required.

1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.
Luke 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Colosians 2:6  As ye have therefore received Christ Yeshua the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
..4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Yeshua, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
1 Samuel 18:26  And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son in law: and the days were not expired.
Genesis 24:56  And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing Yahweh hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57  And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58  And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.

 

6) Preferably the consideration process is kept short and the feelings of attachment kept to a minimum.  Once all parties are fully convinced it is God's will, the betrothal committment should be made as soon as possible.

Song of Solomon 2:7  I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till its time.
Proverbs 13:12  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Genesis 24:33  And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
...49  And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
50  Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from Yahweh: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
51  Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as Yahweh hath spoken.
2 Corinthians 6:2  (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Romans 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14  But put ye on the Lord Yeshua Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

 

7) In Christ's marriage with the church, as well as for physical marriages we see a bride price paid by the groom.  (Though it does not paint the picture as well, it seems that a giving away of the bride by her father, as we see in Christian tradition would also be acceptable.)

Ephesians 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
1 Corinthians 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Genesis 29:18  And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.
2 Samuel 3:14  And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.
(Giving away example: Exodus 2:21  And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.)

 

8) Through verbal promises, the covenant of marriage is entered at betrothal.

Hosea 2:19  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
20  I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know Yahweh.
Revelation 3:20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Yeshua, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Ruth 3:9  And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10  And he said, Blessed be thou of Yahweh, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11  And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

 

9) The couple are husband and wife from that point.

Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; Yahweh of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Revelation 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Matthew 1:18  Now the birth of Yeshua Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

 

10) The betrothal period is for making the final preparations for living together.

John 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Revelation 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

 

11) The betrothal becomes a complete marriage when the relationship is physically consumated, usually celebrated with a wedding feast.

Revelation 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
John 2:1  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Yeshua was there:
2  And both Yeshua was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
...9  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
Matthew 22:3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.