The Engagement


Dear One, we are living in a time that truly does vex the spirit of man. Therefore, I am taking the opportunity to submit the following article for your edification and encouragement. May Adonai bless His Word to your heart, and may the words that are not of Him fall by the wayside.



2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

I’d like us to take a look at the above word "earnest" for a moment. This word is Strong’s #708 in the concordance:

728 earnestarrhabon ar-hrab-ohn’
of Hebrew origin pledge, 06162; noun masculine

AV-earnest 3; 3

1) an earnest
    1a) money which in purchases is given as a pledge or down payment that the  full amount will subsequently be paid

Most of us have been taught that this definition means a pledge or a promise. I’d like to take the definition back to the root word in this article, and then convert it to the equivalent Hebrew word.

As you can see above, the Hebrew word that is the origin of #728, is Strong’s # 06162. But, there is a root word for that one also, and it is #06148 engaged ‘arab aw-rab’

The following is the definition for this basic root word earnest, which was referenced in the beginning Scripture:

a primitive root; TWOT-1686; verb

AV-surety 9, meddle 2, mingled 2, pledges 2, becometh 1, engaged 1, intermeddle 1, mortgaged 1, occupiers 1, occupy 1, undertake 1; 22

1) to pledge, exchange, mortgage, engage, occupy, undertake for, give pledges, be or become surety, take on pledge, give in pledge
    1a) (Qal)
        1a1) to take on pledge, go surety for
        1a2) to give in pledge
        1a3) to exchange
        1a4) to pledge
    1b) (Hithpael)
        1b1) to exchange pledges
        1b2) to have fellowship with, share

This is where the Scripture declares to us that the earnest we’ve been given is actually shown to be an engagement! To my way of reasoning, this takes on a completely new connotation than the mere usage of the word earnest.

We can now see that we are active participants in an engagement, awaiting the actual wedding ceremony!

John Gill has astutely commented on Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

His commentary is as follows:
. . . . let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet; "where they are adorning themselves and preparing for an interview with each other; or where they are enjoying each other’s embraces and the pleasures of the matrimonial state. The sense is, let them put off their nuptial robes, and deny themselves their lawful pleasures, and betake themselves to fasting mourning, and prayer; see 1Corinthians 7:5. This refers to a custom among the Jews at the time of espousals when the bridegroom and bride were introduced into the nuptial chamber, where the marriage was completed; and, according to the Jewish rites it was not finished before: the blessing of the bridegroom and bride did not complete the marriage but the bringing of them into the chamber did; and then they were said to be married, though as yet they had not cohabited and then, and not before, a man might enjoy his wife: and the marriage chamber was nothing else but a linen cloth or garment spread upon four poles over the head of the bridegroom and bride; this they called chuppah; the word is here rendered a "closet" and the same with the "chamber"; and their leaving and coming out of this signifies their abstaining from the lawful enjoyment of each other, which now they had a right unto."

In the Jewish wedding ceremony, this "closet" referred to above is known as the chuppah. That is actually the word in the Hebrew language, and it is still a part of the Jewish wedding ceremony, even in this current day in which we live.

"Betrothed" used in the Torah (Exodus 22:16; Deuteronomy 20:7; 22:23-24) was a legally binding contract between the parents of the bride and groom. It had the legal status of marriage (Deuteronomy 28:30; II Samuel 3:14). The prospective groom took possession and established control over his bride by the gift of the bride-price to her father (Genesis 34:12; I Samuel 18:25). Our bride-price has been paid by Yeshua HaMaschiach [Jesus the Messiah], thus, we are now betrothed to our Beloved.

The betrothal, which normally lasted one year, was a distinct part of a permanent relationship (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:27; 2:5), and the prospective groom was exempt from military service (cf. Deuteronomy 24:5). This fact of exemption makes it even more interesting to note that in Joel 2:16 the groom is also exiting His chamber. As we can see from Deuteronomy 20:7, there is a differentiation between betrothal and marriage.

Between the betrothal and the marriage an interval elapsed, varying from a few days in the patriarchal age (Genesis 24:55) to a full year for virgins, and a month for widows in later times. During this period the bride-elect lived with her friends, and all communication between herself and her future husband was carried on through the means of a friend delegated for the purpose, termed the "friend of the bridegroom" (John 3:29). In light of this phrase, note that John is portrayed as the friend of Messiah, the bridegroom of the church; and the Scripture speaks of Abraham as the friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8, James 2:23). Was Abraham the friend of the bridegroom for the people of Israel? Selah.

From the very instant that we are justified by putting our faith in the atoning shedblood of Yeshua, God sees us as His Friend. Abraham believed . . . . .

The picture in Revelation 19:7-9 conforms to the ancient Near Eastern custom of a wedding ceremony in two parts: (1) a procession to the home of the bride and, (2) the wedding is at hand. This forms the preparedness that we Believers are to be living in, and anticipating, i.e., Messiah's triumphant return for His Bride, as we progress from the engagement to the actual wedding! (See John 3:28-29; II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32) This evidence in Revelation 19:7 is the actual wedding ceremony, and verse 9 is connected with the marriage feast. Among the Jews the "marriage feast" took place in the husband's house and was the great social event in the family life. Our imperfect life in this present age does not hinder our betrothal to Messiah. Our marriage itself awaits His return.

All of this has been written to encourage the Betrothed to celebrate with great joy, as we anticipate the wedding ceremony! Rejoice and be glad and let your love for Yeshua present itself to a world that is without true love. Represent an engaged lover!!! Continue to be an active participant in this engagement to the Bridgroom! Make others jealous of the love that radiates from your heart to your face!

Song of Solomon 2:10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Humbly submitted for the edification of the Saints by Anna L. Schwery.
Yad b’Yad Ministries 2002
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