Lost in Translation Part 2- Slide 1
Introduction: From Part 1 of this discussion we discovered that the most important misunderstanding that has so radically affected the World is the mistranslation of Covenant into the term Testament so to reiterate their meaning is necessary:
A Testament we discovered was a Greek term meaning a will, the last superseding the previous with the intention of disposing of property after ones death to preserve the will of the deceased.
A Covenant however we found was an unending agreement of relationship that was constantly becoming more intimate and that was progressive with no appointed end. Even at the death of the participant the Covenant is simply transferred to the next generation and is never terminated.
The Hebrew Marriage Covenant
The final & greatest Covenant is what is known as the Marriage Covenant being the most intimate Covenant of them all. We will discover that this Covenant begins with the Betrothal that portrays all the former Covenants that we have been studying and finally culminates in the consummation of the Marriage and is completed with the Marriage Supper. First however I would like to look at the term “New Covenant” that is tossed around a lot and is quite questionable.
The New Covenant
Since we are looking at this subject of the Marriage Covenant which is the overarching theme of all Scripture I thought to address the New Covenant.
Firstly in Hebrew the term for New & Renewed are the same therefore there has been some difficulties in translation as to whether we have a brand new Covenant or a renewed Covenant
Strong’s number H2318 Chadash- meaning new or fresh, H2319 meaning renew or repair.
In Yochanan (John) 13:34 we read “A New (kainos- G2537) Commandment I give unto you that you love one another.
In 1 Yochanan (John) 2:7 we read “I write no new commandment to you but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.”
Kainos as defined by the Blue letter Bible as “New in respect to recently made, refreshed or unused.
Many especially those of the Christian World have assumed that we now live in the New Covenant so I wish to look at this to help us understand that the New Covenant is something we look forward to and not something we have already received.
This will challenge our thoughts about what the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) speaks of but to help in understanding we must turn to Scripture to see how it talks about the New Covenant:
YermeYAHU (Jeremiah) 31:31“See, the days are coming,” declares YAHWEH, “when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’el and with the house of Yahudah, 32 not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt), My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares YAHWEH. 33“For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’el after those days, declares YAHWEH: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts and write it on their hearts. I shall be their Elohim and they shall be My people. 34“And no longer shall they teach, each one his neighbour and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know YAHWEH,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares YAHWEH.
What is interesting is that the language employed here referring to the New Covenant is that of a time when everyone will know YAHWEH and none will need to be taught about him something that definitely has not yet occurred but that implies deep intimacy.
Since we are speaking of Covenant in light of the Marriage an interesting use of language terminology is used:
We see that every time this term of knowing a wife is used it refers to the ultimate act of physical intimacy:
Bereshith (Genesis) 4:1 Now Adam knew Chavah (Eve) his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.
I am suggesting that the New Covenant comes into effect when the bridegroom comes to take his bride into the Bridal chamber and they know each other to the ultimate level of intimacy. From this perspective I hope we can see that like with all other Covenants there is a ratifying of the covenant that takes place when all the conditions are fulfilled. An example was when Abram completely obeyed YAHWEH and was given the sign of the Covenant through
Circumcision. What I wish to show today is the progressive nature of Covenant perfectly revealed through the age old Hebrew Betrothal process.
Since we can see we are living in the betrothal stage the consummation of the Wedding has not yet happened. To better explain this we can turn to the Brit Chadashah/ the Nazarene Scriptures (New Testament). In light of this subject, one morning I woke up and was inspired with this verse with a slight change in wording which I am sure came direct from the Ruach Ha Kodesh (The Holy Spirit). It is found in the following:
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a veil, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know, as I also have been known.
The normal reading here is “in a Mirror” and since mirrors in those days were made of metal the image was not clear but this reading “through a veil” makes perfect sense as we still do not have the full knowledge of Yahshua and are separated from him just as the “Holy of Holies” was separated from the Priests by the Veil because we know only the first curtain in the Temple was torn and Yahshua is still needed as our High Priest to enter through the veil.
Yahshua in Scripture after Scripture, identifies himself as the Bridegroom and we know the Q’hilath (the Assembly) of YAHWEH is referred to as being the bride or having the opportunity of being the Bride of Machiach.
Hebrew marriages were “arranged” but not in all aspects & through this process we will see how Scripture portrays relationship with Elohim the same way. Parental approval was essential but initially the choice came from the young people. Both families were involved & much time was involved in developing the concept of Commitment & Covenant. We could say that the promise of YAHWEH to his people the Bride was a process of revelation through the Torah & the Prophets until the Special day when the Bridegroom would appear.
In the Hebrew Betrothal once all preparations were ready the groom & his Father would leak out that the day was near. Now we will endeavour to address the various stages in the Betrothal process:
Step 1: The Proposal: This began with the prospective Bridegroom bringing his Father to the intended bride’s house. They carried a betrothal cup and the anticipated bride’s price in a pouch and came & knocked at the door. The Bride’s Father would look out to see the Bridegroom & his Father at the door & then ask the Bride “should he open the door”. This decision was not taken lightly because that was saying that the Bride wants the Marriage &
only the terms must be worked out. As prospective brides the same holds for us and this part of the process is beautifully shown in Scripture:
Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
There is an amazing truth that is revealed in the Hebrew Betrothal at this point. Once the door is opened the Bridegroom has no option to cancel the Wedding except by a writ of Divorce on extremely limited grounds but the bride at any time could cancel the whole process so all now hinged on the Bride while the Groom remained totally committed.
Is this not true of the Betrothal with Yahshua the Bridegroom? When we open the door to him he is totally committed & only we can break off negotiations. When the door is opened the restoration process begins. At this point it could be said that we have Salvation. He is however now asking if we will enter into deeper Covenant with him to walk in a loving relationship with our bridegroom.
I often wondered why it is that the Christian Church is often seeing such faithfulness from the Master through the gifts of healing, Prophecy, deliverance etc. We could say that Salvation is a gift since we receive it by Grace (-favour) and is not of works.
1 Corinthians 9:30 What shall we say then? That HaGoyim (the Gentiles), who did not pursue righteousness (ts’daqah), have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Yisra’el, pursuing the Torah (law) of righteousness, has not attained to the Torah (law) of righteousness.32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the Torah (law).
This suggests that our righteousness can only be found in Yahshua with the works of the Torah being the fruit of our Salvation.
An important note at this point is to realize that not all those who receive Yahshua will be the Bride. It is only for those who progress into the deeper relationship, with the rest being the Guests at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. We see from the Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22:1-14 that we have the King, the Son, the Bride & the Guests but the question really is “which are we”.
Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Since YAHWEH is about progressive covenants the Hebrew Betrothal also reveals this, since at each milestone in the negotiations a cup of wine was consumed.
The 1st cup was the cup of Sanctification which equated to a Servant or Blood Covenant between the families. This equated to both families being committed to serving each other through the entire process until the end. Sanctification embodies the idea for believers of setting ourselves apart for Elohim. As fellow believers we too must see ourselves committed to each other to see the process of intimacy reach its final conclusion being the consummation of the Marriage so we too represent the two families. When Yahshua came to us he also came with the Bride’s redemption price which was notably the price of his blood.
Step 2- The Negotiations: The Groom & his Father would now sit down and eat together with the Bride’s Family symbolizing the friendship or salt Covenant. At this point the two families haggle over the details of the Marriage contract, like how much would the groom’s family contribute & what was needed of the Bride to be a good wife or did she fully understand her responsibility to remain pure? The Bride’s family would want to know how the groom would support her & where she would live, which was often a small room built on the Fathers house.
This is wonderfully pictured by Yahshua in:
YAHUchanan (John) 14:2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places ( - m’doroth); if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Yahshua our Bridegroom gives to us all his wonderful promises which are:
- To prepare a place for us.
- To never leave us nor forsake us.
- To heal us.
- To protect us
- To prosper us.
- Plus all the many promises in Scripture.
From a believer’s point of view when we enter into this dimension of the Covenant we need to know what is required of us. What Covenant Commands are we expected to keep to remain pure & what blessing can we expect from our relationship that we have entered. We as his beloved also need to learn to love & totally trust him. Often we struggle in the areas of faith & trust to believe that all his promises are yes and Amen but since it is all about progressive relationship, if we remain committed we will grow in these areas.
Yahshua said in:
YAHUchanan (John) 14:15 If you love me keep my Commands.
1 YAHUchanan (John) 5:3 For this is the love of YAHWEH, that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome.
Following the fellowship meal and the agreed upon conditions of the Marriage the 2nd milestone was reached. They would then drink the 2nd cup of wine but only the couple & the Fathers who represented the families.
In consideration of our relationship to our Bridegroom the following has a profound significance.
Philippians 2:12 work out your Salvation with fear & trembling.
Step 3- The Marriage Contract: Upon the close of negotiations and the meal a 3rd cup was drunk but only by the Bride & Groom. This is called the cup of redemption or the cup of inheritance representing the Sandal Covenant and signified the shared inheritance of the Marriage partners. This cup also symbolized their exclusive commitment to each other & their increased level of intimacy. This cup also sealed the Marriage agreement.
Finally a Scribe was brought in, to write a Ketubah the Marriage contract detailing the Grooms family & that of the Bride with the stipulations which were added. The local young men would then run out on the streets and blow the trumpets (the Shofars) announcing to all that the Marriage contract had been signed. From this point the bridegroom & the Bride were officially married & had all inheritance rights.
A significant note here is that at this stage if the Groom was to die then all that belonged to him would be inherited by the Bride even though the Marriage had not yet been consummated or celebrated.
Our Ketubah with Yahshua
This parallel we can see when we enter this level of Covenant with Yahshua our Bridegroom. All that is his has now become ours:
1 Kepha (Peter) 1 Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master Yahshua Messiah, who according to his great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of Yahshua Messiah from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in the Heavens for you, 5 who are protected by the power of Elohim through faith, for a deliverance ready to be revealed in the last time.
Parallels between Ketubah (Marriage Contract) & the Torah
History of Bride & Groom including family trees.
Personal family history of Bride with detailed family tree.
Personal family history of Groom with family tree.
The story of how the Bride & Groom met.
The detail of the Bride & Groom’s responsibility before & after the Wedding.
Genesis provides the family history of the Bride & Groom.
Exodus gives the personal & family history of the Bride.
Leviticus is a family history of God’s family the Levites.
Numbers tells of God’s relationship with his people as he reaches out to his Bride.
Deuteronomy details the responsibilities of the Bride & Groom.
From all this we see that the 1st five books are written as a Marriage contract between YAHWEH & his people. Another interesting detail is that there were needed at this point seven witnesses.
Revelations 5: 1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
How amazing is this because the only document that was written on front & back as this Scroll was is the Ketubah or Hebrew Marriage Contract since Torah Scrolls were never written on both sides. Yahshua therefore is coming for his bride and he has the marriage contract in his hand.
With the Hebrew Marriage Contract the signatures were of the Bride & Groom, the two Fathers, a Scribe and two witnesses. With regards to the Ketubah the Marriage contract of YAHWEH, we could say that those signatures are of Abraham the Father of the Groom, Ya’acob (Jacob) the father of the bride, Mosheh the scribe who wrote the Torah, Adam & Noah the two witnesses. Just like the seals on the Scroll there are seven witnesses on a Ketubah.
Also David is often called the beloved of YAHWEH therefore the Bride and Yahshua the Groom.
The Final Aspects of the Betrothal
1. The Groom 1st had to pay the Bride’s price which traditionally was 30 pieces of Silver in the time of Yahshua the exact price that Yahudah (Judas) was paid & this redemptive price was known to symbolize the bride’s price.
2. The groom now had to go and prepare the place where the two would live but that could take at least one year but it was only the Groom’s Father that determined when all was complete.
Mark 13:32 Yahshua says, but of that day or hour no one knows not even the Malakim (Angels) in heaven, nor the son, but the Father alone.
3. When that day was coming a message would reach the family and the bridesmaids would buy enough oil to keep their lamps lit for two weeks as their job was to watch for the Bridegroom’s arrival & their lamps would guide him to the Bride. He would normally come between 6pm and midnight.
The Betrothal meaning
Though there are still more meaningful parallels in the Marriage we need to understand the progressive principles of Covenant embedded in the Hebrew Betrothal. Each of us has both the privilege & obligation to choose the relationship we will have with Yahshua. We determine the depth of intimacy we want & salvation is but the beginning of that beautiful, meaningful, loving relationship that will never end but will be consummated at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
Sadly the modern church has altered the very fabric of the Hebraic relationship that YAHWEH began with Adam & Chavah (Eve) in favour of “doing it their own way.” YAHWEH has shown us very clearly how he wants to be approached so we do not have the option to say that we have a better way. YAHWEH is saying that this is how you go about restoring your relationship with me & no other way will work.
The Central Misunderstanding
The most important part of this message, is that Salvation does not make us one with Machiach (Messiah) as his bride dressed in white just as agreeing to marry someone does not make you intimate with them. Salvation simply means you can come to the Wedding but entering into a progressive love relationship will culminate into being the bride of Machiach (Messiah) and the journey itself is worth the end result.
- The end result will be a Bride without spot or blemish and if there is failure on our part it is by his redemptive blood that we are made clean or restored to perfect purity like a pure virgin.
- Every aspect of the Ancient Marriage is a guide to bring us to the Marriage supper of the Lamb to the praise of Yahshua our Bridegroom and Av YAHWEH.
May we all strive to have that perfect intimacy with Him our beloved & receive all that he has for us now & forever! Amein.