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Marriage
        was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Gen.
        2:18-24). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed
        by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be
        framed (Matt. 19:4, 5). It is evident that monogamy was the
        original law of marriage (Matt. 19:5; 1 Cor. 6:16). This law was
        violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be
        introduced (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of
        polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Gen. 16:1-4;
        22:21-24; 28:8, 9; 29:23-30, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in
        the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued
        to be practised all down through the period of Jewish histroy to
        the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record.
        It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for
        fathers to select wives for their sons (Gen. 24:3; 38:6).
        Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the
        maiden (Ex. 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also
        sometimes consulted (Gen. 24:51; 34:11), but her own consent was
        not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the
        father of the maiden (31:15; 34:12; Ex. 22:16, 17; 1 Sam. 18:23,
        25; Ruth 4:10; Hos. 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic
        law made no change.
        In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and
        the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and
        take away his bride to his own house (Gen. 24:63-67). But in
        general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of
        the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (29:22,
        27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a
        thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home.
        Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the
        subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine
        institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly
        and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Eph.
        5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7). Marriage is said to be
        "honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as
        one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).
        The marriage relation is used to represent the union between
        God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In
        the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing
        the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of
        the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 19:7-9).
Bibliography Information
Easton, Matthew George. M.A., D.D., "Biblical Meaning for 'Marriage' Eastons Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Eastons; 1897.

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