Part Four of Nine: The Bride price

The Bride Price (Mohar)

According to Jewish marriage customs, the Mohar was mandatory by law. The groom’s father or representative negotiated and paid a price to the father of the bride. This price was normally in the form of currency and was compulsory. The bride price was high so as to compensate the parents for the raising of that female child and as an indication of the value that the groom placed on her.

Sometimes the bride price was sheep or it could very well have been anything that they agreed upon [1] and I mean anything, as 1 Samuel 18:25 declares. David doubled that and instead gave Saul 200 [2] of them. I am guessing it was an “in your face type of thing,” because the price was to render David dead. However, David was alive and well and a man after God’s own heart [3].

Parallels to the Church…

As stated above, it was legally binding and mandatory that the groom negotiated and paid a price (Mohar), to the father of the bride. I bet that everyone caught this one. (You guys are catching on.) Jesus has bought us for a price [4], as required by law [5], and the currency with which He paid, was His own life [6] and the Blood of the Covenant. He has paid for us in full [7]. We are not our own [8]. Jesus must place a high value on His bride [9] that He would pay for her with His own life [10].

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. [1 Corinthians 6:20]

Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. [1 Corinthians 7:23]

Gifts for the Bride (Mattan)

The bridegroom gave gifts to the bride. However, the Mattan (love gifts) were not mandatory or prescribed by law. It was only customary and was a gesture to show the love that the bridegroom had for the bride.

Parallels to the Church…

Jesus gave His bride the gifts (Mattan) of eternal life [11], peace [12], and anything else that she might ask Him for in His name [13]. Christ gave us so much more, too numerous to list.

The Father’s Dowry (Shiluhim)

The father of the bride also gave a dowry (Shiluhim) to the daughter to take with her into the marriage as a part of her inheritance to help equip her in her new life. The idea behind the Shiluhim (dowry) was a settlement in lieu of the daughter’s inheritance because Jewish customs dictated that the sons would succeed their fathers.

Parallels to the Church…

The Father’s dowry to us is the giving of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the spirit, a pledge of the spirit in our hearts, a measure of faith, grace, five-fold ministry, and the ability to speak and minster through the manifold grace of God. The Father has given us so much more as well. God the Father is our spiritual daddy. He is our “Abba Father” [14].

We can find and study the dowry gifts (Shiluhim) in some of the following scriptures: John 14:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Romans 12:1-8; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:8-11.

I highly recommend that all believers take a spiritual gift class, no matter how old we are in the Lord. It might even be interesting to take the test periodically to see how the Lord is working in our lives and in what direction He is leading us. I would guess that there are many “on fire” Christians out there who have become unmotivated because they are not serving in an area of gifting or passion. Plus:

v29 …the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [15].

v21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
v22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts [16].

Jewish marriages hinged upon two ceremonies: the betrothal (Kiddushin) and the marriage ceremony (Nissu’in). The betrothal [17] is less than a marriage but more than an engagement. The Kiddushin means sanctification or set apart.

It looks like we’re half way through our study on the Jewish Marriage Customs. Our study is just an overview to spark your interest into further study that will open up the Bible to you in ways that will bless you.

We’ll come back to this series in two weeks.

[1] Genesis 24:53; 29; 34:12; 1 Samuel 17:25; 18:25; Hosea:3:3
[2] 1 Samuel 18:27
[3] 1 Samuel 13:14
[4] 1 Corinthians 6:20
[5] Romans 8:3, 4
[6] John 3:16; Mark 14:36
[7] 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18
[8] 1 Corinthians 6:19
[9] John 3:1
[10] Ephesians 5:25
[11] John 10:27, 28
[12] John 14:27
[13] John 14:13
[14] Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6
[15] Romans 11:29
[16] 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22
[17] Jeremiah 2:2; Hosea 19:20


  1. that is good Jim. We sure know God paid a big price for us. wow, what is man oh Lord that you are mindful of him.


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