Ketubah - marriage contract in jewish religious tradition

In the eyes of a Hebrew (one who has crossed over), Passover (Pesach) is considered to be the time of Is-real’s engagement to God (i.e., betrothal) while Pentecost (Shavuot) is referred to as the Marriage Day between God and Israel (i.e., God’s people). Shavuot commemorates both God (as the Bride’s Father) giving the Word of God as a dowry on Mount Sinai, and Moses presenting the people of Israel themselves, as a dowry to Father God for His Son – Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Machiach).

Let’s delve a little deeper into Shavuot signifying the Marriage Day. On Shavuot, the faithful people of Is-real are the Bride of the Messiah. On Shavuot, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is the Bridegroom who basically says: “Will you marry Me? Will you have Me and hold Me? Will you be faithful to Me and never ever let Me go?”

What I find very interesting is that both the marriage contract (ketubah in Hebrew) and the Bridegroom are both the Word of God. On the first Shavuot, the Torah given by God was His side of the marriage contract. When all the people at Mount Sinai said: “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8), they committed to marry Him. It still remains that His Pure and Spotless Bride makes herself ready and present the Bride’s fulfilled side of the marriage contract (Revelation 19:7-8). Just as the Bridegroom did not come to destroy but fulfill the Word of God, so shall His Bride (Matthew 5:17). BTW – This will fulfill the spirit of the law of Moses. It will not be legalistic and yucky.

A Jewish Commentary – Midrash – says that Mount Sinai was lifted up over their heads on the day that the Hebrew Nation first drew near to hear the Ten Commandments from God’s own voice. Think about that! Mount Sinai lifted over the heads of the Bride of the Messiah, like a Chupah (wedding canopy). To this day, the Sephardic tradition recites the Ketubah le Shavuot (the marriage certificate for Pentecost) prior to the first Torah reading on the first day of Shavuot. They say that it’s a symbolic betrothal of God and His Bride.

There are many versions of the Ketubah le Shavuot, but they are all similar to the t’naim (the premarital document specifying the conditions agreed upon between the two parties), or the ketubah (the certificate the bridegroom presents to the bride at the wedding ceremony).

All the poems of the Ketubah le Shavuot are based on two verses:

• “I will betroth thee unto Me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in justice, and in lovingkindness, and in compassion. And I will betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord” (Hosea 2:21-22).

• “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 31:31).

Stay tuned! Tomorrow we will explore more about Shavuot.

For now, let’s meditate on the most widely used text for the Ketubah le Shavuot that was written by Israel Najara. It is found in the Sephardic Prayer Book for Shavuot. Notice that contract is dated the sixth day of the month of Sivan in the year 2448 from the creation of man, which is traditionally the day that the Hebrews recorded that the Torah was given. The Mishnah refers to the day of the giving of the Torah as the wedding day of King Solomon. Hebrews believe that the heavens and the earth witness this divine marriage certificate:

“Friday, the sixth of Sivan, the day appointed by the Lord for the revelation of the Torah to His beloved people… The Invisible One came forth from Sinai, shone from Seir and appeared from Mount Paran unto all the kings of the earth, in the year 2448 since the creation of the world, the era by which we are accustomed to reckon in this land whose foundations were upheld by God, as it is written, ‘For He hath founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods’ (Psalm 24:2).

The Bridegroom [God], Ruler of rulers, Prince of princes, Distinguished among the select, Whose mouth is pleasing and all of Whom is delightful, said unto the pious, lovely and virtuous maiden [the people of Israel] who won His favor above all women, who is beautiful as the moon, radiant as the sun, awesome as bannered hosts: Many days wilt thou be Mine and I will be thy Redeemer.

Behold, I have sent thee golden precepts through the lawgiver Jekuthiel [Moses]. Be thou My mate according to the law of Moses and Israel, and I will honor, support, and maintain thee and be thy shelter and refuge in everlasting mercy. And I will set aside for thee, in lieu of thy virginal faithfulness, the life-giving Torah by which thou and thy children will live in health and tranquility.

This bride [Israel] consented and became His spouse. Thus an eternal covenant, binding them forever, was established between them. The Bridegroom then agreed to add to the above all future expositions of Scripture, including Sifra, Sifre, Aggadah, and Tosefta. He established the primacy of the 248 positive commandments that are incumbent upon all… and added to them the 365 negative commandments. The dowry that this bride brought from the house of her father consists of an understanding heart that understands, ears that hearken, and eyes that see.

Thus the sum total of the contract and the dowry, with the addition of the positive and negative commandments, amounts to the following: ‘Revere God and observe His commandments; this applies to all mankind’ (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The Bridegroom, desiring to confer privileges upon His people Israel and to transmit these valuable assets to them, took upon Himself the responsibility of this marriage contract, to be paid from the best portions of His property…

All these conditions are valid and established forever and ever.

The Bridegroom has given His oath to carry them out in favor of His people and to enable those that love Him to inherit substance. Thus the Lord has given His oath. The Bridegroom has followed the legal formality of symbolic delivery of this document, which is bigger than the earth and broader than the seas. Everything, then, is firm, clear, and established…

‘I invoke heaven and earth as reliable witnesses.’

‘May the Bridegroom rejoice with the bride whom He has taken as His lot and may the bride rejoice with the Husband of her youth while uttering words of praise.’”

~ Robin Main

Written June 2, 2017 – Sapphire Throne Ministries – Robin Main. Copyrighted – If you are going to copy this, please copy it right by giving attributions to this source. Blessings!

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