The Hebrew Love Story
The Hebrew Love Story is comprised of several articles all having a common thread, that being the thread of covenant. The opinions expressed throughout the series are outside the box but thoroughly Scriptural, I don’t know of anyone saying the things I’ll be saying in this article as well as the other articles I’ve written in this series. In my mind, when it’s all tied together via this series of articles it makes for a thoroughly amazing panorama of the Scriptural message, a love letter from YHWH you can actually understand! The Hebrew Love Story consists of…
The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction
Part One - Abram the Hebrew
Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai
Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut
Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!
Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?
Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!
Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation
Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!
Many if not most Hebrew Roots enthusiasts are probably familiar with the traditional Hebrew method of proposing to a woman. I’ll repeat it here for those few who haven’t yet run across this info just to make sure everyone reading this is on the same page, at least in the sense that they understand where I’m coming from.
The quick and short of it is that a man would write a list of ‘terms’ called a ‘ketubah’. This ‘ketubah’ became his wedding proposal to the woman. After the sought after woman read the terms of the ‘ketubah’ the man would then offer her a cup of wine. If the woman agreed to the terms of the ‘ketubah’ she would drink from the cup and in so doing she would accept the proposal marking the beginning of the ‘betrothal phase’ of the marriage. The man would then return to his father’s house and build an addition for him and his wife to be.
It should not be lost on those of us who cling to our Hebrew Roots that this is an accurate portrait of what took place in the Upper Room when Messiah Yeshua offered His disciples the bread and the wine. He said, ‘If you love me, keep My commandments.” The bread in this entry rite into THE NEW COVENANT represents His body but further extrapolation would surely arrive at the conclusion that the bread represents His Word, His Commandments. His Word becomes the ‘ketubah’ in this setting. When the disciples ate the bread Yeshua offered they were acknowledging the ‘ketubah’. This is of course followed by Messiah Yeshua offering His disciples the cup which He specifically calls ‘the cup of THE NEW COVENANT’. This cup is the very means by which the disciples of Messiah Yeshua enter into His marriage covenant, i.e. THE NEW COVENANT. You can learn more about that by reading my article titled ‘THE MASTER’S TABLE - The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT’. When the disciples of Yeshua lift that cup and drink from it they are saying ‘Yes and Amein!’ What a beautiful picture of entering into the ‘betrothal phase’ of the marriage.
But... that is just the beginning. There is another chapter to this tradition that gets little attention. In Matthew 26:28-29 Yeshua says this,
“But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.”
Why does He say that? I believe He is looking forward to The Marriage Supper of The Lamb when He will indeed lift that cup and drink from it and in so doing He will be accepting His Bride as His covenant bound wife! Never to be divorced! You can see the beauty of the cup forming two bookends to the covenant, the initiation and the ratification of that covenant. I love the picture!
In western christianity today we get a lot of things mixed up, to the point that we get things completely backwards. Today I would venture to say there are precious few young women who are virgins to the day they marry. That’s backwards according to Scripture. But that is not the end of our backwardness. In what I’ve written above I have intentionally jumped over a crucial element of the traditional Hebrew wedding tradition. The Consummation!
In western christianity we pay very little, if any, attention to the consummation. As a matter of fact we pay so little attention to it that we place it at the end of events we use to mark a wedding. Today’s marriage relationship typically begins with pre-marital sex, followed by engagement or pregnancy and then engagement, followed by the wedding ceremony where some judge, priest or preacher usurps the authority of the bridegroom to pronounce who his bride is and THEN the couple come together as one flesh in what is seen as ‘the consummation’. Is that where it belongs? Can ‘the consummation’ function in last place? I hope you’ll begin to see just how mixed up we really are.
In the Book of Deuteronomy, specifically chapters 22 and 24 we have a number of interesting case scenarios involving men taking virgins and ‘laying’ with them. In Deuteronomy 22:13-21 we have the case of a man taking a bride (engaging himself to her, betrothal) then consummating the marriage through the one flesh union and hating her because of it. He brings charges against her not having found her to be a virgin. The parents of the bride are to bring the evidence of her virginity (a blood stained cloth which would have been placed beneath her as the one flesh act was performed) to the elders of the city, if the proof can be brought forth the charges against her are dropped but the man who brought the charges is forced to marry her and is not allowed to divorce her all his life. Why? Because divorcement is only legitimate during the betrothal phase and his false charge brought against his betrothed bride after the consummation was thrown out. The marriage passed from the betrothal phase to the bound phase where there is no provision for divorcement. I know that will cramp the style of many of you.
Also in Deuteronomy 22 we find another case where a man takes a woman but this time she is not engaged to anyone and he ‘lies’ with her in verses 28-29. Upon being ‘found out’ the man is forced to pay the ‘bride price’ of 50 pieces of silver and she is to be his wife and he is not allowed to divorce her all of his days. Why? Because the man ‘knew’ the woman through the one flesh union and were ‘found out’. The man forsook the opportunity for betrothal and went straight into the bound phase of marriage where there is no Scriptural provision for divorcement.
The case that everyone knows about and make great hay over is Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Here we have a repeat of the case that was revealed in Deuteronomy 22:13-21 but this time the ‘divorce decree’ is brought into the mix. In the case of Deuteronomy 22:13-21 if the woman is found guilty after charges are brought against her she is to be stoned to death at the door of her father’s house. In Deuteronomy 24 mercy is injected in that the man who has taken his bride in the one flesh union (consummation) and has found a matter of uncleanness mercifully writes her a ‘certificate of divorce’ and no charges are brought against her and both parties are free to marry again. The divorcement has taken place during the betrothal phase. We can see this in the divorcement of Israel and the intended divorcement of Joseph and Mary, mother of Yeshua. In the case of Joseph we can certainly see this mercy in that Joseph sought to ‘put Mary away‘ privately. In both instances the divorcement and intended divorcement is taking place during the betrothal phase.
O.K. so what’s the point Ken? Good question, I’m glad you asked! What we see in Scripture when it comes to the ‘consummation’ of the marriage is ‘judgement’! The man is judging his bride to see if she is what she claims to be. Based upon what he finds during the ‘consummation’ he can either bring charges against her, divorce her or choose to move forward with the marriage by accepting her for what she is. ‘CONSUMMATION’ is all about ‘JUDGEMENT’! So then, let me ask the questions above once again. Is that where it belongs? Can the ‘consummation’ function in last place? The answer to those questions is an obvious ‘NO’! The judgement of the consummation is to prevent the man from entrapment. It is a ‘Falsehood Protection Plan’ for the man seeking a wife. If we in the western world could ever get a grip on the Scriptural foundation of marriage, in that there is a ‘consummation’ (which means ‘end of’ and in this case ‘end of betrothal’) to go through which gives the man the opportunity to test the waters so to speak and then gives both parties a right to marry again if a matter of uncleanness is discovered and a certificate of divorce is issued and secondly that the only time a certificate of divorce can be given is during the betrothal phase, surely the epidemic of illegitimate divorcement in the world would plummet from the high percentages it exists at today.
This leads me to my main point. The fall festivals of YHWH point to the Coming of Messiah Yeshua, the Bridegroom (Yom Teruah), the Consummation (Yom Kippur) which precedes The Marriage Supper of The Lamb (Feast of Tabernacles). My guess would be that you have never thought of Yom Kippur as the Consummation which precedes The Marriage Supper of The Lamb! It is the judgement that takes place prior to becoming His Wife for eternity. Can we see this ‘judgement of consummation’ in Scripture? I believe we can, there are what I consider to be a set of parallel verses from both the TaNaK and the Apostolic Writings that paint a dramatic picture of this ‘Consummation’ which precedes ‘The Marriage Supper of The Lamb’.
Let me start with Ezekiel 20:33-38 which says;
“[As] I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you," says the Lord GOD. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I [am] the LORD.”
We need to grasp the context for the full understanding of what’s being said here.
First of all, please notice that this judgement is being taken up with those who have returned to the border of the Promised Land via the Greater Exodus in the end of days! That is an important point which I’ll address again later.
Second, also notice the use of ‘face to face’, this is a personal, individual judgement. In what has been an ‘Ah ha!’ moment for me as I wrote this article please take note that the judgement being taken up with the people who have returned is identical to the judgement that was brought against the people of Israel who had been delivered from the bondage of Egypt and entered into marriage with YHWH at Mt. Sinai! I have recently come to believe that those people were divorced in Numbers 14 and here I see a reference to that divorcement in verses 36-38 confirming that the divorcement did take place in the wilderness prior to entering into the Promised Land. That is extremely interesting! For more on that you can read my article titled ‘The Divorcement of Israel - Numbers 14 - The Sefer Keritut’.
Thirdly, notice that YHWH will bring the people into the ‘bond’ of the covenant! This is the transition between the ‘betrothal phase’ and the ‘bound phase’ of THE NEW COVENANT via the ‘judgement of consummation’!
Fourthly, please notice that the rebels from among those who have returned in the Greater Exodus will be purged from their ranks!
And finally notice the rebels are not allowed into the Promised Land which is a provision of THE NEW COVENANT! It should become obvious to anyone at this point that just because you’re part of the Greater Exodus doesn’t mean you’re going to be the Bride of Messiah!
After having seen this a few years ago there was no doubt left in my mind that this is talking about the ‘consummation of the betrothal phase’ of The Marriage of The Lamb! The ‘consummation’ must come ‘BEFORE’ the Marriage Supper of The Lamb! The ‘judgement’ must come ‘BEFORE’ Yeshua takes His Bride as His Wife. The ‘judgement of consummation’ must come ‘BEFORE’ Yeshua lifts the cup of THE NEW COVENANT at The Marriage Supper of The Lamb, thereby accepting those who passed under the rod of the ‘judgement of consummation’ and were dressed in raiment of white. The ‘judgement of consummation’ must come ‘BEFORE’ Yeshua drinks from the Cup of THE NEW COVENANT thereby ratifying THE NEW COVENANT!
That is all phenomenally interesting but what about the Apostolic Writings? Do we have any confirmation there of what I am saying? I believe we do and nearly every one of us know the words by heart. I’m speaking of Matthew 7:21-23!
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!
Those of us who pursue our Hebrew Roots see these verses and automatically know that the people here who are hearing the fateful words ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ are people who do not follow the commandments of YHWH. In doing so we also automatically assume the verses are referring to Sunday keeping Christians. I think we err exceedingly to do so. I am convinced that Matthew 7:21-23 is a parallel set of verses to Ezekiel 20:33-38. I’ve always seen this judgement recorded in Matthew 7 as being very personal, the text has that kind of nuance to it. It has the feel of the judgment being ‘face to face’! Matthew records the words of the Master as having said, “Many will say to Me in that day...” What day? I believe it is ‘the day’ of the ‘judgement of consummation’ spoken of in Ezekiel 20:33-38! I believe ‘in that day’ is ‘Yom Kippur’ in some future year possibly not too far distant! When the people who have pursued with their mouths but not with their hearts the commandments of YHWH and have returned to the Promised Land via the Greater Exodus. Matthew 7:21-23 is not talking about Sunday keeping lawless Christians who have no knowledge of or interest in participating in the Greater Exodus, it is talking about US, those who profess to keep The 10 Words Covenant but don’t, those of US who have every expectation of returning to the Promised Land in our life times! This is ‘THE CONSUMMATION’, this is ‘YOM KIPPUR’ and it is talking about ‘US’!!!
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