marriage

marriage

The physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman. Although polygamous marriages are known in the Bible (Gen 29:15-30) and some of Israel’s kings kept large harems, monogamous marriage clearly became the ideal and normative expectation (Gen 2:21-24; Mark 10:6-9). Marriage was typically conducted when an unmarried woman, living in her father’s house, was transferred into her husband’s jurisdiction by his payment of the “bride price” to her father (Gen 34:12). Sexual faithfulness within marriage was an emphatic ideal (Prov 5:18-19), such that prohibition of adultery became one of the Ten Commandments central to the moral code of the Torah (Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18). Marriage, therefore, became a primary metaphor with which to describe the relationship between God and Israel (Hos 3). Prostitution was strongly condemned and often appears as a metaphor for grave sins associated with idolatry (Exod 34:15; Deut 31:16; Judg 2:17; Hos 9:1). The married couple were expected to develop a bond of mutual love and respect, which they, in turn, would pass on to their children. A marriage could, however, be ended by the husband upon the presentation of a written bill of divorce permitting the wife to remarry (Deut 24:1-2); in (Mark 10:2-9), Jesus distinguishes such allowance from obedience to God’s will). There was no law among biblical Israelites that allowed the woman to initiate divorce. Another law specified in ()Deut 25:5-10) states hat the brother of a man who dies without a son has an obligation to marry the widow and bear a son to succeed to the name of the brother who had died; this was called “levirate marriage.” In the NT, marriage is often used figuratively in connection with the kingdom of God (Matt 25:1-13; Luke 14:16-24; Rev 19:7; Rev 19:9), but it is an institution for the present rather than the future age (Mark 12:25; 1Cor 7:8). It is nevertheless not to be taken lightly (Mark 10:9; 1Cor 7:10-11; Heb 13:4); divorce (which in the NT world the wife could also initiate) is only for the gravest of reasons (Matt 19:9). The advice against marriage found in Paul’s first Letter to Corinth owes to his expectation of the end of the present age, rather than to a negative view of the institution as such (1Cor 7:26-31).

Gen 29:15-30

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Gen 2:21-24

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Mark 10:6-9

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Gen 34:12

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Prov 5:18-19

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Exod 20:14

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Deut 5:18

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Hos 3

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Exod 34:15

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Deut 31:16

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Judg 2:17

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Hos 9:1

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Deut 24:1-2

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Mark 10:2-9

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)Deut 25:5-10

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Matt 25:1-13

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Luke 14:16-24

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Rev 19:7

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Rev 19:9

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Mark 12:25

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1Cor 7:8

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Mark 10:9

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1Cor 7:10-11

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Heb 13:4

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Matt 19:9

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1Cor 7:26-31

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