The Jewish Wedding Ceremony is full of significant rituals and is a perfect prophetic parallel of the coming of Yeshua to take his church to be his Bride, a dress rehearsal for The Rapture. Several elements are present at every ceremony, including a ketubah [from kathab כְּתָב- H3791] – a written contract or marriage agreement, a mikveh [מקווה – H4723] – the place of cleansing and preparation, a Chuppah [חֻפָּה – H2646] – a covering or canopy, and an ôth [אוֹת H226] – a visible, tangible expression of the love – the calling up of the bride.
The general progression starts at the house of the groom’s father, goes to the house of the bride’s father, and a proposal is made. The groom then goes back to his father’s house, builds an addition for himself and his new bride, then goes to get the bride when the addition is ready. Once there they shut and lock the doors and stay within for seven days. After the seven days the bride is brought forth and shown to all. Let’s examine these steps in detail:
The Voyage and Betrothal
John 6:51 – “I am the living bread which came down from heaven . . .”
In a Jewish marriage, the husband-to-be (groom) would consult with his father regarding the woman he wished to take as a bride. If the father agreed to the groom’s plan, then the groom would leave his father’s home and travel to his betrothed’s (bride) home and speak with her father. Yeshua left His heavenly home, where his father dwells, and traveled to the Earth, the home of his betrothed, the Church, called the Bride of Christ.
The Proposal And The Ketubah
Matthew 26:27 – Yeshua took a cup and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Drink from it, all of you . . .”
Once the groom reached the bride’s home, he would make the marriage proposal then establish and pay the purchase price for the bride, guaranteeing that he was serious about the marriage. Yeshua paid the ultimate price by being crucified and shedding his blood.
The groom would compose and verify a written marriage contract, the Ketubah, with the bride’s father, then offer the cup of covenant to his prospective bride, thereby pledging his life to and for his bride. If the bride accepted this promise, she would then drink of the cup confirming that she, too, would pledge her life to and for her betrothed. Yeshua offers us the cup at every communion – you either accept his offer or reject it.
The Return to the Father’s House
John 14:1-3 – “Yeshua said, ‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in Yahweh, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am’.”
Once the proposal had been given and accepted, the groom would say to his bride, “I go to prepare a place for you” then go back to his father’s home. He would build an addition for himself and his bride and wait for his father’s approval. The new addition had to be exceptional, stocked with all the newlyweds would need for their seven days of honeymoon. It was customary for the groom to be gone for a long time and for the bride to wait in anticipation of his return. At the end of the separation, the groom would show up unannounced to take his bride home, but only after his father had given him permission to do so. Yeshua has returned to Heaven and promises to return for His Bride. Yeshua will show up when we do not expect Him to do so, and only the Father in Heaven knows the date and time!
The Mikveh, The Coming For The Bride, And The Ôth
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – “For Yeshua Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of Yahweh.”
The bride now keeps herself pure while she waits for her husband-to-be to return, for she is now considered to be “set apart”, “consecrated”, and “bought with a price”. Her Mikveh is her father’s home. She expects her husband-to-be to come at midnight and surprise her! And what a noisy celebration that is. The groom’s party arrives with loud shouts, often accompanied by the blowing of a shofar or trumpet. When the groom gets to his bride’s home, he will wait outside for the bride to join him. When Yeshua returns, he will shout, the archangel will shout, and Yahweh’s voice will sound like a trumpet. Yeshua will not come all the way to the Earth, but will wait for us to join him in the clouds.
Once the groom and bride are together, , the Bride is carried to the groom’s new home, which is the addition to the same home as his father’s, in full view of the onlookers. The groom doesn’t just shout and expect his bride to instantly disappear from her home and show up at his home. People would know that a wedding was under way because of all the laughing and partying of the bridegroom and his friends as they carried the veiled bride through the streets to her new home. The bride is “lifted up” and carried to the new home. When the Bride of Christ is raptured, she is visibly witnessed as she ascends to meet Yeshua in the air, is covered by the clouds, and is taken to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
The Chuppah, The Ketubah, And The Hiding
Matthew 25:10 – “The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked.”
The groom and bride go to his fathers house and the wedding ceremony takes place under the Chuppah (marriage canopy). The Chuppah is generally open on all sides, The reading of the ketubah text is given, outlining the groom’s responsibilities – to provide his bride with her daily physical needs (daily bread) as well as her emotional needs. The couple is then concealed in the marital chamber. Once inside they shut and lock the doors and stay within for seven days.
In English thinking, we get the idea that you simply go into a bedroom and shut the door. However, in Hebrew, the picture is one of concealment – the husband and wife go into the chamber and are hidden away for seven days. Matthew 25:10 tells us the door is “closed and locked.” Isaiah 26:19-21 gives us the image of those who come into their chambers, “lock the doors, and hide for a little while . . .” This is repeated in Song of Solomon 2:8 and 13:10 – “My lover spoke and said to me, ‘Get up, my darling; let’s go away, my beautiful one’.” These three patterns are perfect pictures of the concealment of the Bride of Christ in Heaven for seven years during the time of Yahweh/Yeshua’s indignation or wrath ( i.e.; the tribulation period).
The Revealing And The Supper
Revelation 19:7-10 – “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Yahweh, for the marriage of Yeshua has come and his wife has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean . . . Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper . . .”
At the end of the seven day period, after the concealment and the consummation of the marriage, the husband and wife exit for the marriage supper or celebration meal. The husband brings forth his wife so that everyone can see her, and the marriage supper begins.
While the tribulation period transpires on the Earth, the Bride’s works and deeds have been evaluated and rewarded at the Bema Seat of Yeshua in Heaven. At the end of the tribulation period Yeshua will come with all his saints and every eye will see Heaven opened and his wife adorned in fine, pure, white linen! After the supper is over, both will reign throughout the millennial kingdom.
Putting It All In Context – Building a House is a Very Planned Out Event
The wedding ceremony is the best guideline to the timing of the Rapture. The bride is chosen, the bride-price is paid, and the bridegroom heads back to his father’s house to build a new home for himself and his bride:
• The location is measured
• The building supplies begin to arrive.
• The walls go up.
• The roof is put on.
• The windows and doors are installed.
• The furniture is built and placed inside.
Finally, the father gives his approval, saying that the building is complete, and then gives his son permission to go get his bride. The son then puts the actual wedding party in high gear:
• The Chuppah is erected
• The transportation for the bride is arranged
• Most importantly, the food is prepared for the week-long celebration
The Process Begins
1. The foundation of the new addition has been laid, and ready for the walls to be placed upon it. Next-Door Neighbor Nancy, who lives just across the street, has both eyes glued to the building of the new addition to the Father’s house. At the laying of the foundation, Nancy heads to the watering well to inform her friends that the building of the groom’s addition to the Father’s house is now under way.
2. The walls are raised. Nancy now heads to the watering well to inform her friends that the walls are going up. Her friends, upon returning home, tell their husbands and families the news. For most of the townsfolk, the day of the wedding is still too far away to get overly excited.
3. The roof and guard rail are built. (Deuteronomy 22:8 – “When you build a new house, you must build a low wall around your roof; otherwise someone may fall from it, and you will be responsible for his death.”) Nancy again heads to the watering well to inform her friends that the walls are in place and the roof has been installed, along with the mandatory guard rails. Her friends, upon returning home, tell their husbands and families the news. The townsfolk take it all in stride. Still no need to get excited just yet.
4. The windows and door are hung. Nancy sets off to the watering well to inform her friends that windows and doors are now there. Her friends, upon returning home, tell their husbands and families the news. The townsfolk are starting to get excited as they see the signs of an forthcoming wedding. Time to buy gifts and clean the wedding outfits.
5. The Furniture is built or delivered. Nancy hastens to the watering well to inform her friends that the furniture has now arrived. Her friends, upon returning home, tell their husbands and families the news. The townsfolk are now really excited and their husbands start to query the groom: “When are you going to get your bride?” He answers: “Don’t ask me, don’t ask mom or my siblings; ya’all will have to ask pops – only he knows the day and hour!” Folks now know the wedding day is not far off.
6. The Chuppah is erected and transportation for the Bride is arraigned. Nancy runs to the watering well to inform her friends that the Chuppah has been erected, and the horses providing the Bride’s transportation has been arranged. Her friends rush home to tell their husbands and families the news. They now know time is short. The Wedding is imminent. Time to prepare to hear the shofar blow!
7. The food is prepared and set out. When the townsfolk saw the food arrive, they knew without any shadow of doubt that the Father had given the Groom permission to go get his bride, and that the Wedding would begin either that night or the following night. And the announcement, thanks to the next-door neighbor, went out. Nancy races as fast as she can to the watering well to inform her friends that the food has arrived. Did you hear? The food has arrived!!! Her friends rush home to tell their husbands and families the news. Panic has fully set in. The Wedding is ON. Stay alert, get ready, because the groom is ready, near, at the door!
8. The Day and Hour is at Hand
At the time of Yeshua, refrigeration did not exist. Food, especially up until just recently, spoiled quickly. So, when the neighbors and the bride’s family saw the food being prepared and ready to be served, they KNEW the wedding was now in motion. The bridegroom’s neighbors and bride’s family are now very, very alert.
The rest of the village’s residents still take little or no notice of these activities. They are the “they/them” who are totally surprised when the bridegroom’s friends go to the bride’s house, singing, blowing shofars, shouting, and carrying the bride back to the bridegroom’s house. Are you awake, are you paying attention, or are you still asleep?
The Rapture of the Bride
A Jewish Wedding Ceremony is full of significant rituals and is a perfect prophetic parallel of the coming of Yeshua to take his church to be his Bride, a dress rehearsal for The Rapture. As the addition to the Father’s home is being built, the townsfolk are paying attention to the many signs of how close the day of the Wedding approaches. That day was not a totally unknown event. Each new process completed gave a sign as to how much longer it would be. Every so often, one of the groom’s buddies would ask him about the actual day, and he would reply “Don’t ask me, don’t ask mom or my siblings; ya’all will have to ask pops – only he knows the day and hour!”.
When the disciples asked Yeshua about his day of return to take them to be with him, he answered and told them to be alert to the signs [famines, earthquakes, pestilences, etc. (Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8. Luke 21:11)], and more than likely with a wink and a smile, said: “Neither I nor the angels will make known or declare that day, only my father in Heaven will reveal or declare it.” (Mark 13:32). Yeshua simply quoted the well known Hebrew idiom that all grooms would quote when asked about their Wedding Day. In other words, Yeshua wasn’t telling them that the day was impossible to figure out, but that it could be accurately determined within just a day or two by being alert!
The Jewish Wedding Ceremony, while not one of the Moedim, is indeed a dress rehearsal for The Rapture. Yeshua came down from Heaven, gave his life as a ransom for his bride and offered her eternal life. He returned to heaven to prepare a place for his bride and will return to take her home at a time of which “no one makes known the day or hour until the time is right.” His return will be a noisy, celebratory event. The bride will be concealed while he pours out his wrath upon those still living upon the earth, culminating in his return, the revealing of his wife, and their millennial reign.
The Jewish Wedding Pattern clearly shows that the rapture cannot happen at any ol’ time. The house must be fully built, furniture installed, and the food must be ordered and delivered before the groom goes to go get his bride. During the process of building the home, the next-door neighbors are watching every step. When the food arrives, they rush to tell everyone: The Wedding is ON – the groom is going to bring his bride home either tonight or tomorrow!
When the Bride of Christ is raptured, she is visibly witnessed as she ascends until she meets Yeshua in the air, is covered by the clouds, and is taken to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:7).
Luke 21:28 – “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!”
We are always to be ready for Yeshua to return. Are you ready? If not, then get ready. Exercise whatever time you have to repent and trust Yeshua for your eternal salvation. Do not test Yahweh’s patience and wait too long – the dress rehearsals will not continue much longer. May Yom Teruah this year be fulfilled in the resurrection of the dead and the rapture of Yeshua’s Bride.