The Ketubah goes to the Bride

A good background for this article is “The Kiddushin” article on this site.  It will give you more information on the Ketubah and it’s signing.  This article will focus more on what it means to the Bride.

Our God is an awesome God who not only loved us enough to pay the mohar, bridal price, for His bride.  He also wanted her to be able to remember all He has done for her.  In order to do that He left her with His Ketubah or marriage contract, The Scriptures. 

When a Jewish man and woman were betrothed they would have the signing of the Ketubah.  That’s right, this took place at the betrothal ceremony, or Kiddushin, not the actual wedding.  Today the actual Kiddushin and marriage ceremony have been combined, including the signing of the Ketubah.  This was done between the 11th and 12th century due to persecution.   

When the Ketubah is signed by the witnesses it is literally handed to the bride.  It is hers.  It is hers to read as often as she likes in order to remember and cherish the promises of her bridegroom.  John 17:17 again says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”(NIV)  The marriage contract is truth.  Our Bridegroom came to fulfill His Ketubah.  When all may be falling apart around us that contract is still true and binding.  He has and will fulfill it’s terms. His contract has set her apart just for Him.  

I heard a story once of a lady whose house had burned down and she ran into the burning house to retrieve one thing, her marriage license.  The Word of God is our marriage license.  If your house ever burns down this is what you run in to get, your marriage license.  The Scriptures, the Ketubah is the Brides prized possession.  Isn’t He awesome?  He left something with us that we could read every day if we want to, to remind us of Him.  To remind us of our husband, our bridegroom.

He will fulfill His Ketubah,

Vicky

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I Am Coming Again

As we know Yeshua went to be with His Father as the disciples looked on and were told He would return in the same manner that they saw Him leave.  And yes, we also know that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us.  As Hebrews 7:25 puts it, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”(NIV)

Jesus paid the price in full, the full bridal price with His death on the cross.  But did you know He lives for you.  He lives for you.  Think about that.  Do you live for Him?  I hope so.  I try to.  He lives for us and He is constantly thinking about us.  He is thinking about us so much that He can’t stop talking to His Father about us.  That’s what He’s doing.  He’s talking to His Daddy about you and me.

But what exactly are they talking about?  John 17 tells us what they talked about while He was here with us, it says in verse 24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”(NIV)  I want them to be with me.

In other words, “When can I go get them?  Is it done yet?  Am I done yet?  When can I go get them?  I want them to be with me.”  He’s talking!  He and His Daddy are talking, and apparently Daddy’s still saying, “Not yet, Son, not yet.”

Oh, what a day that will be.  The great passion of Jesus is to have His bride, His wife, with Him where He is, in the place He prepared for Her, in His Father’s house.

Not just any house, His Father’s house.  It was the responsibility of a Jewish Bridegroom to leave His beloved Bride after the Kiddushin to literally go and prepare a place for her in His Father’s house.  We see this again with Isaac and Rebekah.  Isaac brings Rebekah into his mother’s tent, a part of His father’s estate. That was their home together.

Yes, while Yeshua and His Father are talking, He’s working.  Yes, He’s gone to prepare a place for you and me.  I can not end this section any other way than with John 14:1-3 “”Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”(NIV)

I am going to come back and we are going to have a wedding.  We’re going to have a wedding.  And as the precious Ketubah ends, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come.”

Awaiting our Bridegroom,

Vicky

The Seal

The final step in the Kiddushin is the giving of the seal.  So let’s do a little background research on a seal. 

The first time we read of a seal is in Genesis 38:18 and it’s not a good situation, none the less it’s there.  It is when Judah says to Tamar, “What pledge should I give you?”  She answered him, “Your seal and its cord, and the staff in your hand”.  So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she became pregnant by him.”(NIV)  This is Judah going to Tamar thinking she is a prostitute.  Not a good situation, but none the less, both of them ancestors of our Lord.  The seal during this time period was probably a small cylinder seal of the type to sign clay documents by rolling them over the clay.  The owner would wear it around his neck on a cord threading through a hole drilled lengthwise through the seal.  So when she says I want the seal and the cord.  She is saying, “I want that thing around your neck.”  And it has his name on it.

We also see the seal in the form of a ring.  In Esther 8:8 Xerxes says to Esther and Mordecai, “Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring–for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”(NIV)  Nothing the king puts his name on and seals can be revoked.  In this passage we once again see the name in the form of a signature tied to a seal. 

So how did Jesus fulfill the giving of the seal?  In John 14:15-18 Jesus is promising the Holy Spirit when He says to His disciples, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”(NIV)  He’s talking as the Bridegroom all right in this passage.  Think about that first statement for a minute, This is our beloved Bridegroom, our husband saying, “if you love me you will obey me.”  “You will obey my commands.”  What did He command?  To obey His Ketubah, His marriage contract.

The seal, of course, is connected to the name.  Have you ever wondered why we sing songs about The Name?  Not just Jesus, but The Name.  Have you ever wondered about that?  Jesus’ name is connected to this giving of the seal.  Romans 10:9-10 & 13 states, “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved… for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”(NIV) 

Now you may say what’s that have to do with the seal?  Look at Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”(NIV)  In other words, when you heard the Ketubah, believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth, calling on the name of the Lord, you were saved and sealed.  It’s all connected.  It goes back to believing and calling on His name. 

It is about possession!  Why possession?  He purchased us plain and simple, He paid the Mohar.  Those who are “God’s possession to the praise of His glory”, Hallelujah!  Yes, the giving of the seal was a sign of ownership  and security.  The Holy Spirit is our seal. He is a sign of ownership and security.  For the Bridegroom it’s a sign of ownership.  For the Bride, it’s a sign of security.  We are secure in Him.  He has placed His seal on us and therefore He has placed His name on us.

So the Kiddushin is the signing of the Ketubah by witnesses, the Kiddush or the cup, along with the blessing and the unveiling of the Bride along with the Mohar or the payment of the Bridal price and the giving of the seal.  Jews today will give a ring as the seal.  Our seal is the Holy Spirit.

Sealed by His Holy Name,

Vicky

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