Marriage: 1. Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence
Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord,
as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed
It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage
(1 Corinthians 6:16) This law was violated in after times,
when corrupt usages began to be introduced
(Genesis 4:19; 6:2)
2. We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the
(Genesis 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.
3. It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers
to select wives for their sons
(Genesis 24:3; 38:6) Sometimes also
proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden
The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted
(Genesis 34:11) but her own consent was not required. The young man
was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden
(Genesis 34:12; Exodus 22:16,17; 1 Samuel 18:23,25; Ruth 4:10; Hosea 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
(Genesis 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
(Genesis 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.
4. Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject
(Matthew 22:23-30) and placed it as a divine institution
on the highest grounds.
5. The apostles
a. state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife
(Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18,19; 1 Peter 3:1-7)
b. Marriage is said to be "honourable"
c. And the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of
(1 Timothy 4:3)
d. The marriage relation is used to represent the union between
God and his people
(Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:1-14; Hosea 2:9,20) In the New
Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of
Christ to his saints
(Ephesians 5:25-27) The Church of the redeemed is
the "Bride, the Lamb's wife"