The Kiddushin

The betrothal ceremony is known as the Kiddushin, which is both a ceremony and period of sanctification.  It is a legal ceremony.  It is the legal ceremony.  The betrothal designates the bride and groom only for each other  and forges the connection between them. 

Many of us know that Joseph and Mary were betrothed and would have needed a certificate of divorce in order to break it off.  Why?  Because they were betrothed.  Since this betrothal was a legal action and not just a promise of marriage, as we think of an engagement today, it was legally binding.  Once they went through the kiddushin they are legally husband and wife. 

So let’s learn what all this Kiddushin entails, shall we?  The first part of the Kiddushin, or betrothal ceremony, is the signing of the Ketubah.  The Ketubah is the contract for the bride, the bride that was chosen by the father of the groom. 

In the mind of the Jews, the Torah, the books of Moses, is a marriage contract between God and the people of Israel. 

Now isn’t that interesting?  They see the Old Testament as a marriage contract between God and His people, Israel. 

In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus says this, “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”(NIV) 

He is saying “I did not come to abolish my Ketubah.  I came to fulfill it.  It’s mine. My contract for my bride.  It’s mine!  And I came to fulfill it.  I am under contract to do so.”  You see He came to fulfill His Ketubah.

Consider if Jesus had come to abolish the Law and the Prophets.   He would require a certificate of divorce.  He would be breaking His covenant, unwilling to fulfill His role as the Bridegroom.  If that were the case, there would be no need for the Cross!

Let’s take a look at Jeremiah 31:31-34 where it says, “”The time is coming,” declares the LORD,”when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.  “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD.  “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””(NIV) 

Not only did Jesus come to fulfill His Ketubah, He also came to write a new one.  A new covenant that would be precious and holy.  In John 17:17 Yeshua says this, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”(NIV)  Now the word “sanctify” means “to make holy”.  It also means “set apart”.  Jesus is asking that we be set apart by our Ketubah, by His word.  Set His Bride apart for Him.  

This new covenant would allow the old covenant to be written on our hearts.  Remember He did not come to abolish but to fulfill.  Also remember that on the road to Emmaus He spoke of how the Old Covenant was really about Him.  The New Covenant would take the Old and put it on the hearts of His people thereby sanctifying them, setting them truly apart for Himself.

The signing of the Ketubah is also very important because it has to be witnessed.  It is not valid if He only signs it Himself.  It has to be signed by witnesses, ie. He has to have co-signers. 

Look at John 5:31-39 where Jesus says, “”If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.  There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.  You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.  Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.  John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.  I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.  And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.  You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.””(NIV)   (The KJV uses the word witness instead of testify). 

So in the signing of the Ketubah, the witnesses testify in essence saying, “This is who your bridegroom is, this is the one your Ketubah is about.”  As we see in the text, the two witnesses are John the Baptist and the Father Himself. 

John the Baptist was strictly for our benefit.  He is the one, as far as earthly terms are concerned, that helped start the story of the bridegroom.  So, that is the first part of the Kiddushin, the Ketubah or the marriage contract and it’s signing. 

The second part is the Kiddush, you can see where they got the word Kiddushin, from the Kiddush or the cup.  The cup is a prayer of sanctification. 

Remember the Kiddushin is a ceremony and period of sanctification.  The cup is actually a prayer of sanctification.  What’s the cup all about? His blood.  His blood. 

So let’s take a look at the cup.  Exodus 24:6-8 talks about the blood of the covenant, the Old Covenant. The blood of the Old Covenant was the blood of goats and calves. 

But God said that the Old covenant was broken.  So He was going to make a New Covenant.  Oh the precious cup that it will take to bring sanctification. 

Matthew 26:27-29 states, “Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.””(Matthew 26:27-29 NIV) 

In this passage, Jesus is referring to the third cup of the Passover meal which is called the cup of redemption. 

The 4th cup is the cup of Praise.  Jesus had to fulfill the cup of redemption first.  It was the blood of the Covenant.  His blood is the foundation of the Covenant.  Hebrews 10:29 tells us that the blood of the Covenant sanctifies, it sets apart.

However, within the Passover ceremony – which Yeshua was celebrating that particular night – there is also a cup of sanctification.  Remember, the Kiddushin is a ceremony of sanctification or a setting apart, complete with the cup of sanctification, the Kiddush.  This is the first cup. 

The cup of Plagues – representing the judgement of sin – is the second cup.  The cup of sanctification, the first cup,  is the one in which Jesus says, “Take this and divide it among you.  For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”(Luke 22:17-18 NIV)

At this time of the Kiddush, at the taking of the cup, they have the blessing of the cup and it reads like this within the Kiddushin ceremony: 

Holy One of Blessing, Your presence fills creation forming the fruit of the vine.

And then directly following that is the Birakat Yirusim or Betrothal Blessing and it reads:

Praised are you Adonai, Ruler of the Universe, Who has made us holy through your commandments and has commanded us concerning sexual propriety (a warning to the husbands) forbidding women who are merely betrothed, but permitting women who are married to us through Huppah and Kiddushin.  (This is the part I love) Blessed are you Adonai, Who makes Your people Israel holy (sets them apart, makes them holy) through Huppah and Kiddushin.

At this point, finally at this point, we have the actual drinking of the cup.  There is the cup of sanctification with the blessings and after the blessings comes the drinking of the cup or the taking in of that prayer of sanctification, that is only accomplished by His blood. 

And of course, I’m going to say a word at this point about the Bride because it is at this point that the veil comes back.   She has to drink of the cup and so the veil must come back.  Guess what… we have an unveiling and there is someone specific who does it. 

II Corinthians 3:13-16 says, “We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away.  But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.  Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.  But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”(NIV) 

Jesus removes the veil.  That is His privilege.  And of course, as soon as He died on the cross and shouted, “It is finished.  Father into your hand I commend my spirit.”  The veil at the holy of holies was ripped in half, literally ripped in half.

He removed the veil.  So that when we come to Scripture, when we read our Ketubah, it’s precious to us, it is now a part of us and on our hearts and minds.  It’s our marriage contract that He must fulfill, that He will fulfill.  Not only is it precious to us, but He has also given us the ability to understand it.  The veil no longer covers our hearts.

So we see that the Kiddushin so far includes the signing of the Ketubah, the Kiddush (the cup of sanctification), and the removal of the veil.  We have two more parts of the Kiddushin to look at.  We will do so in two separate posts.

Set Apart for Him,

Vicky

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Finding a Bride

The next step is the process of finding a bride.  It is the Father’s responsibility to make the arrangement within Jewish culture to make the arrangement for the bride.   We call God the Creator, the Father, and we call Jesus, the Son.  There is a reason for that, they very much have a Father to Son relationship when it comes to the ritual of marriage.  It is the relationship of a Father of the bridegroom and the Son who is the bridegroom.  It is His Father’s responsibility to find Him a bride and make the arrangements for the Son’s bride.

It is God Himself providing a bride for His son, Adam.  That’s what Luke calls Adam, God’s son.  God not only formed Eve from Adam, but He Himself brought Eve to Adam.  In otherwords, God made the introductions and performed the wedding.  We also see Abraham making the arrangement, through his servant, for a bride for his son, Isaac.  Her name, of course, was Rebekah.  We see it again with Isaac and Jacob.  Isaac blesses Jacob and sends him away for a bride.  Again it was the father’s responsibility to make that arrangement or see that it happens.  Therefore the arrangement for a bride is the duty of the father of the groom.

In John 6:44 it says, ““No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…”(NIV)  In other words, we do not even have the capacity to come to Jesus, our Bridegroom, unless the Father Himself makes the introductions.  Yes, God makes all the arrangements to provide a bride for His Son. Then in John 10:27-30 we find, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.””(NIV)  Here we continue to see this idea played out in the life of Jesus.  Did you see it, “My Father who has given them to me”?  This is just one example in scripture of Jesus saying something to that affect.  His bride had been given to Him.  God the Father had made all the arrangements and arranges the introduction.

In the life and ministry this is seen after His baptism and temptation.  Yeshua begins to call His disciples.  He is calling His Bride to Himself.  His Father has laid the ground work and brought them together, now Jesus only needs to say, “Come follow me”.  Whether or not they did was up to them.  We definitely see an example in Mark 10 with the account of the young ruler when our beloved Yeshua gives the call to come follow Him and the young man rejects that call.

You might ask how God has laid the ground work and made the arrangements, drawing us to His Son.  It is not a complicated answer.  He made all of us with a need for Him.  He made us in His image.  However, our sin has corrupted that image in us and we all know there is a problem.  We all seek a solution for the corruption within us.  Truth is God made the path to Him very clear.  He prepared a people to bring forth His Son and to write down His Word.  He has told us that He is the solution to our problem of corruption.  He calls us to come and reason with Him, He calls us to wisdom, He tells us of His desire to be our God and for us to be His people, He declares His love for us.  He has prepared the way!

Answering Yeshua’s Call,

Vicky