Marriage This relation is in a general way represented by several Hebrew words, the most distinctive of which are several forms of חָתִן, chathan', to give in marriage; Gr. γάμος, a wedding. It is very remarkable, however, as well as significant, that there is no single word in the whole Hebrew Scriptures for the estate of marriage, or to express the abstract idea of wedlock, matrimony, as the German Ehe does. It is only in the post-exilian period, when the laws of marriage had gradually developed themselves, that we meet with the abstract אישות and זווג — — ζεῦγος (Jebanoth, 6:5; Kiddushin, 1:2); the former denoting the legal, and the latter the natural side of matrimony. But even then no such definition of marriage is to be found in the Hebrew writings as we find in the Roman law, "Nuptiue sunt conjunctio maris et feminae et consortium omnis vite, divini et humani juris communicatio" (Dig. lib. xxiii, tit. 2, "De ritu nupt."). In the present article, which treats of marriage as found amongo the Hebrew race, we cover the entire field of matrimonial relations and ceremonies, both ancient and modern. SEE WEDLOCK.
I. Origin, Primitive Relations, and General View of the Married State. —
1. The institution of marriage is founded on the requirements of man's nature, and dates from the time of his original creation. It may be said to have been ordained by God, in as far as man's nature was ordained by him; but its formal appointment was the work of man, and it has ever been in its essence. a natural and civil institution, though admitting of the infusion of a religious element into it. This view of marriage is exhibited in the historical account of its origin in the book of Genesis; the peculiar formation of man's nature is assigned to the Creator, who, seeing it "not good for man to be alone," determined to form an "help meet for him" (Ge 2:18), and accordingly completed the work by the addition of the female to the male (Ge 1:27). The necessity for this step appears from the words used in the declaration of the divine counsel. Man, as an intellectual and spiritual being, would not have been a worthy representative of the Deity on earth, so long as he lived in solitude, or in communion only with beings either high above him in the scale of creation, as angels, or far beneath him, as the beasts of the field. It was absolutely necessary, not only for his comfort and happiness, but still more for the perfection of the divine work, that he should have a "help meet for him," or, as the words more properly mean, "the exact counterpart of himself'" (עֵזֶר כּנֶגדּוֹ, Septuag. βοηθὸς κατ᾿ αὐτόν; Vulg. adjutorium simile sibi, "a help meet for him") — a being capable of receiving and reflecting his thoughts and affections. No sooner was the formation of woman effected, than Adam recognized in that act the will of the Creator as to man's social condition, and immediately enunciated the important statement, to which his posterity might refer as the charter of marriage in all succeeding ages, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh" (Ge 2:24). From these words, coupled with the circumstances attendant on the formation of the first woman, we may evolve the following principles:
(1) The unity of man and wife, as implied in her being formed out of man, and as expressed in the words "one flesh;"
(2) the indissolubleness of the marriage bond, except on the strongest grounds (compare Mt 19:9);
(3) monogamy, as the original law of marriage, resulting from there having been but one original couple, as is forcibly expressed in the subsequent reference to this passage by our Lord ("they twain," Mt 19:5) and St. Paul ("two shall be one flesh," 1Co 6:16);
(4) the social equality of man and wife, as implied in the terms ish and ishshah, the one being the exact correlative of the other, as well as in the words "help meet for him;"
(5) the subordination of the wife to the husband, consequent upon her subsequent formation (1Co 11:8-9; 1Ti 2:13); and
(6) the respective duties of man and wife, as implied in the words "help meet for him."
2. The introduction of sin into the world modified to a certain extent the mutual relations of man and wife. As the blame of seduction to sin lay on the latter, the condition of subordination was turned into subjection, and it was said to her of her husband, "he shall rule over thee" (Ge 3:16)- a sentence which, regarded as a prediction, has been strikingly fulfilled in the position assigned to women in Oriental countries; but which, regarded as a rule of life, is fully sustained by the voice of nature and by the teaching of Christianity (1Co 14:34; Eph 5:22-23; Timothy 2:12). The evil effects of the fall were soon apparent in the corrupt usages of marriage: the unity of the bond was impaired by polygamy, which appears to have originated among the Cainites (Ge 4:19); and its purity was deteriorated by the promiscuous intermarriage of the "sons of God" with the "daughters of men," i.e. of the Sethites With the Cainites, in the days preceding the flood (Ge 6:2).
3. For the history of marriage in the later ages. see below. One question may properly be considered here, i.e. celibacy. Shortly before the Christian sera an important change took place in the views entertained on the question of marriage as affecting the spiritual and intellectual parts of man's nature. Throughout the Old Testament period marriage was regarded as the indispensable duty of every man, nor was it surmised that there existed in it any drawback to the attainment of the highest degree of holiness. In the interval that elapsed between the Old and New Testament periods, a spirit of asceticism had been evolved, probably in antagonism to the foreign notions with which the Jews were brought into close and painful contact. The Essenes were the first to propound any doubts as to the propriety of marriage; some of them avoided it altogether, others availed themselves of it under restrictions (Josephus, War, 2:8, § 2, 13). Similar views were adopted by the Therapeutae, and at a later period by the Gnostics (Burton's Lectures, 1:214); thence they passed into the Christian Church, forming one of the distinctive tenets of the Encratites (Burton, 2:161), and finally developing into the system of Monachism. The philosophical tenets on which the prohibition of marriage was based are generally condemned in Col 2:16-23, and specifically in 1Ti 4:3. The general propriety of marriage is enforced on numerous occasions, and abstinence from it is commended only in cases where it was rendered expedient by the calls of duty (Mt 19:12; 1Co 7:8,26). With regard to remarriage after the death of one of the parties, the Jews, in common with other nations, regarded abstinence from it, particularly in the case of a widow, laudable, and a sign of holiness (Lu 2:36,7; Josephus, Ant. 17:13, 4; 18:6, 6); but it is clear, from the example of Josephus (Vit. 76), that there was no prohibition even in the case of a priest. In the Apostolic Church remarriage was regarded as occasionally undesirable (1Co 7:40), and as an absolute disqualification for holy functions, whether in a man or woman (1Ti 3:2,12; 1Ti 5:9); at the same time it is recommended in the case of young widows (1Ti 5:14).
II. Mode of selecting a Bride, Betrothal, and Marriage price. — 1. Imitating the example of the Father of the Universe, who provided the man he made with a wife, fathers from the beginning considered it both their duty and prerogative to find or select wives for their sons (Ge 24:3; Ge 38:6). In the absence of the father, the selection devolved upon the mother (Ge 21:21). Even in cases where the wishes of the son were consulted, the proposals were made by the father (Ge 34:4,8); and the violation of this parental prerogative on the part of the son was "a grief of mind" to the father (Ge 26:35). The proposals were generally made by the parents of the young man, except when there was a difference of rank; in such a case the negotiations proceeded from the father of the maiden (Ex 2:21), and when accepted by the parents on both sides, sometimes also consulting the opinion of the adult brothers of the maiden (Ge 24:51; Ge 34:11), the matter was considered as settled without requiring the consent of the bride. The case of Rebekah (Ge 24:58) forms no exception to this general practice, inasmuch as the alliance had already been concluded between Eleazar and Laban, and the question put to her afterwards was to consult her opinion, not about it, but about the time of her departure. Before, however, the marriage contract was finally concluded, a price (מהר) was stipulated for, which the young man had to pay to the father of the maiden (Ge 31:15; Ge 34:12), besides giving presents (מתן) to her relations (Ge 24:53; Ge 34:12). This marriage-price was regarded as a compensation due to the parents for the loss of service which they sustained by the departure of their daughter, as well as for the trouble and expense which they incurred in her education. Hence, if the proffered young man had not the requisite compensation, he was obliged to make it up in service (Ge 29:20; Ex 2:21; Ex 3:1). Some, indeed, deny that a price had to be paid down to the father for parting with his daughter, and appeal for support to Ge 31:15, where, according to them, "the daughters of Laban make it a matter of complaint, that their father bargained for the services of Jacob in exchange for their hands, just as if they were strangers;" thus showing that the sale of daughters was regarded as an unjust act and a matter of complaint (Saalschutz, Das Mosaische Recht. p. 733). But, on a closer inspection of the passage in question, it will be seen that Rachel and Leah do not at all complain of any indignity heaped on them by being sold just as if they were strangers, but, on the contrary, mention the sale to corroborate their statement that they are no longer their father's property, have no more any portion in his possession, and are now regarded by him as strangers, since, according to the usual custom, they have been duly sold to their husband, and hence agree with the latter that it is time for them to depart. Besides, the marriage-price is distinctly mentioned in other passages of Scripture (Ex 22:15-16; 1Sa 18:23,25; Ru 4:10; Ho 3:2), and was commonly demanded by the nations of antiquity; as the Babylonians (Herod. 1:196); Assyrians (Elian, V. H. 4:1; Strabo, 16:745); the ancient Greeks (Odyss. 8:318 sq.; Arist. Polit. 2:8; Pausan. 3:12, 2); the Germans (Tacitus, Germ. 18), and still obtains in the East to the present day. In fact, it could not be otherwise where polygamy was practiced. As the number of maidens was under such circumstances less than that of wooers, it called forth competition, and it was but natural that he who offered the highest marriage-price obtained the damsel. There was therefore no fixed marriage-price; it varied according to circumstances. We meet with no dowry given with the bride by her father during the patriarchal age, except a maid-servant (Ge 24:61; Ge 29:24,29).
2. The Mosaic enactments introduced no changes into these usages. The father's power over the child in matters of marriage continued paramount, and he could give his children to any one he pleased without asking their consent. Thus Caleb offers his daughter Achsah (Jos 15:16-17) as wife to any one who will conquer Kirjath-sepher (Jg 1:12). Saul promises his daughter to him who shall kill the Philistine, and barters his daughter Michal for the prepuces of a hundred slain Philistines (1Sa 17:26-27; 1Sa 18:25-27); and Ibzan takes thirty wives for his thirty sons (Jg 12:9). The imaginary case of women soliciting husbands (Isa 4:1) was designed to convey to the mind a picture of the ravages of war, by which the greater part of the males had fallen. A judicial marriage-price (הבתולה מהר) was now introduced, which was fixed at fifty silver shekels (Ex 12:16, with De 22:29), being the highest rate of a servant (Le 27:3), so that one had to pay as much for a wife as for a bondwoman. When the father of the maiden was rich and did not want the marriage-price (אין חפוֹ במהר), he expected some service by way of compensation for giving away his daughter (1Sa 18:25). As soon as the bargain was concluded, and the marriage-
price paid, or the required service rendered, the maiden was regarded as betrothed to her wooer, and as sacredly belonging to him. In fact, she was legally treated as a married wontan (אשת איש ); she could not be separated from her intended husband without a bill of divorce, and the same law was applicable to her as to married people. If she was persuaded to criminal conduct between the espousals and the bringing her home to her husband's house, both she and her seducer were publicly stoned to death; and if she was violated, the culprit suffered capital punishment (De 22:23-27, with ver. 22; and Le 20:10). With such sacredness was betrothal regarded, that even if a bondmaid who was bought with the intention of ultimately becoming a secondary wife (Ex 21:7-11), was guilty of unchastity prior to her entering into that state, both she and her seducer were scourged, while the latter was also obliged to bring a sin-offering, and. the priest had to pray for the forgiveness of his sin (Le 19:20-22). Every betrothed man was by the Mosaic law exempt from military service (De 20:7).
3. In the post-exilian period, as long as the children were minors-which in the case of a son was up to thirteen, and a daughter to twelve years of age- the parents could betroth them to any one they chose; but when they became of age their consent was required (Maimonides, Hilchoth Ishuth, 3:11, 12). Occasionally the whole business of selecting the wife was left in the hands of a friend, and hence the case might arise which is supposed by the Talmudists (Yebam. 2, § 6, 7), that a man might not be aware to which of two sisters he was betrothed. So in Egypt at the present day the choice of a wife is sometimes entrusted to a professional woman styled a khat'beh; and it is seldom that the bridegroom sees the features of his bride before the marriage has taken place (Lane, 1:209-211). It not unfrequently happened, however, that the selection of partners for life was made by the young people themselves. For this, the ceremonies connected with the celebration of the festivals in the Temple afforded an excellent opportunity, as may be gathered from the following remark in the Mishna: "R. Simeon ben-Gamaliel says. There were never more joyous festivals in Israel than the 15th of Ab and the Day of Atonement. On these the maidens of Jerusalem used to come out dressed in white garments, which they borrowed, in order not to shame those who had none of their own, and which they had immersed [for fear of being polluted]. Thus arrayed, these maidens of Jerusalem went out and danced in the vineyards, singing, Young man, lift up thine eyes, and see whom thou art about to choose; fix not thine eye upon beauty, but look rather to a pious family; for gracefulness is deceit, and beauty is vanity, but the woman that fears the Lord, she is worthy of praise" (Megilla, 4:8). Having made his choice, the young man or his father informed the maiden's father of it, whereupon the young people were legally betrothed. The betrothal was celebrated by a feast made in the house of the bride (Jebamnoth, 43 a; Taanith, 26 b; Pessachil, 49 a; Kiddushin, 45 b), and is called קידושוֹן, made sacred, for by it the bride was made sacred to her bridegroom, and was not to be touched by any one else. It is also called אירסין, which may be from ארש איס, to betroth. For a betrothal to be legal, it has to be effected in one of the following three modes:
(1.) By money, or money's worth, which, according to the school of Shammai, must be a denar (דיני) = 90 grains of pure gold, or, according to the school of Hillel, a perutah (פרוטה) = half a grain of pure silver, and which is to be given to the maiden, or, if she is a minor, to her father, as betrothal price (כסŠ קידושין);
(2.) By letter or contract (שטר אירוסין), which the young man, either in person or through a proxy, has to give to the maiden, or to her father when she is a minor; or,
(3.) By cohabitations (ביאה, usus), when the young man and maiden, having pronounced the betrothal formula in the presence of two witnesses, retire into a separate room. This. however, is considered immodest, and the man is scourged (Kiddushin, 12 b). The legal formula to be pronounced is, "Behold, thou art betrothed or sanctified to me (את מקודשת לי כדת משה וישראל הנה), according to the law of Moses and Israel" (Kiddushin, 1:1; 4:9; Tosiftha Kethuboth, 4; Kethuboth, 4:8; Maimonides, Hilchoth Ishuth, 3; Eben in Ezer, 32). Though betrothment, as we have seen before, was the beginning of marriage itself, and, like it, could only be broken off by a regular bill of divorcement (גט), yet twelve months were generally allowed to intervene between it and actual marriage (חופה) in the case of a maiden, to prepare her outfit, and thirty days in the case of a widow (Kethuboth, 57 a). The intercourse of the betrothed during this period was regulated by the customs of the different towns (Mishna, Kethuboth, v. 2). When this more solemn betrothment (קידושין) was afterwards united with the marriage ceremony (חופה), engagements (שדוכין) more in our sense of the word took its place. Its nature and obligation will best be understood by perusing the contents of the contract (תנאים) which is made and signed by the parties, and which is as follows: "May he who declares the end from the beginning give stability to the words of this contract, and to the covenant made between these two parties: namely, between A, bachelor, with the consent of his father B, and C, who is proxy for his daughter D, spinster. The said A, bachelor, engages, under happy auspices, to take the afore-mentioned D, spinster, by marriage and betrothal (חופה וקידושין), according to the law of Moses and Israel. These henceforth are not to conceal anything from each other appertaining to money or goods, but to have equal power over their property. Moreover, B, the said father of the bridegroom, is to dress his son in goodly apparel before the marriage, and to give the sum of... . in cash; whilst C, father of the said bride, is to give his daughter before the marriage a dowry in cash to the amount of... as well as jewelery to the amount of . . to dress her in goodly apparel corresponding to the dowry, to give her an outfit, and the bridegroom the Talith (עלית), i.e. the fringed wrapper used at prayer, SEE FRINGE, and Kittel (קיטל), i e. the white burial garment, in harmony with his position and in proportion to the dowry. The marriage is to be (D.V.) on the... in the place... at the expense of the said C, the bride's father, and, if agreed to by both parties, may take place within the specified period. Now the two parties have pledged themselves to all this, and have taken upon themselves by an oath to abide by it, oil the penalty of the great anathema, and at the peril of forfeiting half the dowry; but the forfeit is not to absolve from the anathema, nor is the anathema to absolve from the forfeit. The said father of the bride also undertakes to board at his table the newly-married couple for the space of... and furnish them with lodgings for the space of... The surety on the part of the bridegroom is E, sol of F; and on the part of the bride, G, sol of H. The two bridal parties, however, guarantee that these sureties shall not suffer thereby. Further, C, the said father of the bride, is to give his daughter an assurance letter, that, in the event of his death, she is to get half the inheritance of a son (שטר חצי זכר); whilst the bridegroom pledges himself to get his brothers, in the event of his dying without issue, to give her a Chalizuh document [for which see below], without any compensation. But if there should be dispute or delay on the subject, which God forbid, the decision is to be left to the Jewish congregation. We have taken all this in possession from the party and sureties, for the benefit of the other parties, so that everything aforementioned may be observed, with the usual witness which qualified us to take care of it. Done this day... Everything must be observed and kept. (Signed)... (Comp. Nachlas Shiva, 9 b). This contract, which is written in Rabbinic Hebrew, is used by all orthodox Jews to the present day.
III. Marriage Ceremonies. —
1. In the pre-Mosaic period, when the proposals were accepted, and the marriage-price (מהר), as well as the sundry other gifts (מתן), were duly distributed, the bridegroom (חתן) could at once remove the bride (כלה) from her father's house to his own house, and this removal of the maiden, under the benedictions of her family, but without any definite religious ceremony whatever, and cohabitation, consummated and expressed marriage (לקח אשה ). Thus we are told that Isaac, when meeting Eleazar and Rebekah in the field, as soon as he was informed bv the former of what had transpired, took Rebekah to the tent of his departed mother, and this without further ceremony constituted the marriage, and she thereby became his wife (ותחי לו לאשה, Ge 24:63-67). Under more ordinary circumstances, however, when the bride had not at once to quit her parental roof under the protection of a friend, as in the case just mentioned, but where the marriage took place in the house of the bride's parents, it was celebrated by a feast, to which all the friends and neighbors were invited, and which lasted seven days (Ge 29:22,27). On the day of the marriage, the bride was conducted to her future husband veiled, or, more properly, in an outdoor wrapper or shawl (צעיŠ), which nearly enveloped her whole form, so that it was impossible to recognize the person, thus accounting for the deception practiced on Jacob (Ge 24:65; Ge 29:23) and on Judah (Ge 38:14).
2. With regard to age, no restriction is pronounced in the Bible. Early marriage is spoken of with approval in several passages: (Pr 2:17; Pr 5:18; Isa 62:5), and in reducing this general statement to the more definite one of years, we must take into account the very early age at which persons arrive at puberty in Oriental countries. In modern Egypt marriage takes place in general before the bride has attained the age of sixteen frequently when she is twelve or thirteen, and occasionally when she is only ten (Lane, 1:208). The Mosaic law prescribes no civil or religious forms for the celebration of marriage. The contract or promise made at the payment of the marriage-price, or when the service which was required in its stead was rendered, constituted the solemn bond which henceforth united the espoused parties, as is evident from the fact pointed out in the preceding sections, that a betrothed maiden was both called a married woman, and was legally treated as such. There can, however, be no doubt that the ancient custom of celebrating the consummation of the marriage by a feast, which lasted seven days (Ge 29:22,27), must have becbme pretty general by this time. Thus we are told that when Samson went to Timnath to take his wife, he made there a feast, which continued for seven days, according to the usage of young men on such occasions (כי כן יעשַו הבחורים), that the parents of the bride invited thirty young men (υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος, Mt 9:15) to honor his nuptials, and that to relieve their entertainment, Samson, in harmony with the prevailing custom among the nations of antiquity, proposed enigmas (Jg 14:10-18). We afterwards find that the bridal pair were adorned with nuptial crowns (Song 3:11; Isa 61:10) made of various materials — gold, silver, myrtle, or olive — varying in costliness according to the circumstances of the parties (Mishna, Sota, 9:14; Gesmara, 49 a and b; Selden, Ux. Ebr. 2:15), and that the bride especially wore gorgeous apparel, and a peculiar girdle (Ps 45:13-14; Isa 49:18; Jer 2:12), whence in fact she derived her name Kallah (כלה), which signifies the ornamented, the adorned. Thus attired, the bridegroom and bride were led in joyous procession through the streets, accompanied by bands of singers and musicians (Jer 7:34; Jer 25:10; Jer 33:11), and saluted by the greetings of the maidens of the place, who manifested the liveliest interest in the nuptial train (Song 3:11), to the house of the bridegroom or that of his father. Here the feast was prepared, to which all the friends and the neighbors were invited, and at which most probably that sacred covenant was concluded which came into vogue during the post-Mosaic period (Pr 2:17; Eze 16:8; Mal 2:14). The bride, thickly veiled, was then conducted to the (חדר) bridal chamber (Ge 29:23; Jg 15:11; Joe 2:6), where a nuptial couch (חפה) was prepared (Ps 19:5; Joe 2:16) in such a manner as to afford facility for ascertaining the following morning whether she had preserved her maiden purity; for in the absence of the signa virginitafis she was stoned to death before her father's house (De 22:13-21).
3. In the period after the exile the proper age for marriage is fixed in the Mishna at eighteen (Aboth, v. 31), and though, for the sake of preserving morality, puberty was regarded as the desirable age, yet men generally married when they were seventeen (Jebaumoth, 62; Kiddushin, 29). The Talmudists forbade marriage in the case of a man under thirteen years and a day, and in the case of a woman under twelve years and a day (Buxtorf, Syznagog. cap. 7, p. 143). The day originally fixed for marriage was Wednesday for maidens and Friday for widows (Mishna, Kethuboth, 1:1). But the Talmud already partially discarded this arrangement (Gemara, ibid. 3 a), and in the Middle Ages it became quite obsolete (Eben Ha-Ezar, lxv). The primitive practice of the sages, however, has been resumed among the orthodox Jews in Russia, Poland, etc. The wedding-feast was celebrated in the house of the bridegroom (Kethuboth, 8 a, 10 a), and in the evening, for the bridal pair fasted all day, since on it, as on the day of atonement, they confessed their sins, and their transgressions were forgiven. On the day of the wedding, the bride, with her hair flowing, and a myrtle wreath on her head (if she was a maiden, Mishna, Kethuboth, 2:1), was conducted, with music, singing, and dancing, to the house of the bridegroom by her relations and friends, who were adorned with chaplets of myrtle, and carried palm branches in their hands (Kethuboth, 16,17; Sabbath, 110 a; Sota, 49 b). The streets through which the nuptial procession passed were lined with the daughters of Israel, who greeted the joyous train, and scattered before them cakes and roasted ears of wheat, while fountains freely poured forth wine (Kethuboth, 15 b; Berachoth, 50 b). Having reached the house, the bridegroom, accompanied by the groomsmen, met the bride, took her by the hand, and led her to the threshold. The Kethubah (כתובה) — donatio propter or ante nuptias, or the marriage-settlement, alluded to in the book of Tobit (7:15), was then written, which in the case of a maiden always promises 200, and in the case of a widow 100 denar (each denar being equal to 90 grains of pure gold), whether the parties are rich or poor (Mishna, Kethuboth, 1:2), though it may be enlarged by a special covenant (תוספות כתובה). The dowry could not be claimed until the termination of the marriage by the death of the husband or by divorce (ibid. v. 1), though advances might be made to the wife previously (9:8). Subsequently to betrothal a woman lost all power over her property, and it became vested in the husband, unless he had previously to marriage renounced his right to it (8:1; 9:1). The marriage must not be celebrated before this settlement is written (Balbs Kama, 89). The wording of this instrument has undergone various changes in the course of time (Kethuboth, 82 b). The form in which it is given in the Talmud, by Maimonides, etc., is as follows: "Upon the fourth day of the week, on the...
of the month, in the year... of the creation of the world, according to the computation adopted in this place, A, son of B, said to C, spinster, daughter of E, 'Be thou my wife according to the law of Moses and Israel, and I will work for thee, honor thee, maintain thee, and provide for thee according to the custom of Jewish husbands, who work for their wives, honor them, maintain them, and provide for them honestly; I also give thee the dowry of thy virginity, 200 silver Sus, which belong to thee by the law, as well as thy food, thy apparel, and whatsoever is required for thy maintenance, and I will go in to thee according to the custom of the whole earth.' And C, the spinster, consented. and became his wife. The dowry which she brought him from the house of her father, in silver, gold, and ornaments, as well as in apparel, domestic utensils, and bedding, amounts to... pure silver, and A, the bridegroom, has consented to add to it from his own property the same sum; and the bridegroom said thus: 'I undertake for myself and my heirs after me the security for this Kethiubah, this dowry and this addition, so that the same shall be paid from the best and most choice of my possessions which I have under the whole heaven, which I have acquired or shall acquire in real or personal property. All this property is to be mortgaged and pledged, yea, even the coat which I have on is to go in order to pay this Kethubah, this down and this addition, from this day to all eternity.' And the surety of this Kethubah, this dowry and this addition, A, the bridegroom, has undertaken in the strictness of all the Kethubahs and supplement instruments usual among the daughters of Israel, and which are written according to the order of our sages of blessed memory, not after the manner of a mere visionary promise or empty formula. We have taken possession of it from A, the bridegroom, and given it to C, spinster, daughter of E, according to all that is written and explained above, by means of such a garment as is legal in the taking of possession. All this yea and amen. (Signed) . . ."Comp. Maimonides, Jud Ha-Chazaka Hilchoth Jebum Ve-Cheliza, 4:33. Among the more modern Jews it is the custom in some parts for the bridegroom to place a ring on the bride's finger (Picart, 1:239)-a custom which also prevailed among the Romans (Smith, Dict. of Ant. p. 604). Some writers have endeavored to prove that the rings noticed in the O.T. (Ex 35:22; Isa 3:21) were nuptial rings, but there is not the slightest evidence of this. The ring was nevertheless regarded among the Hebrews as a token of fidelity (Ge 41:42), and of adoption into a family (Lu 15:22). According to Selden it was originally given as an equivalent for dowry- money (Uxor Ebraic. 2:14). After the document was handed over to the bride, crowns, varying in expense according to the circumstances of the parties, were placed upon the heads of the bridal pair (Sota, 49 a, b), and they, with their relations and friends, sat down to a sumptuous repast; the marriage-feast was enlivened by the guests, who sang various songs and asked each other amusing riddles (Berachoth, 31 a; Nedarinim, 51 a), parched corn was distributed among the guests if the bride was a virgin (Keth. ii), and when the meal was concluded with customary prayer of thanksgiving, the bridegroom supplemented it with pronouncing over a cup of wine the seven nuptial benedictions (שבע ברכות) in the presence of at least ten persons (Kethuboth, 7 b), which gave the last religious consecration to the marriage-covenant, and which are as follows:
1. "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast created everything for thy glory."
2. "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast created man."
3. "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast created man in thine image, in the image of the likeness of thy own form, and hast prepared for him, in himself, a building for the perpetuity of the species. Blessed art thou, O Lord, the creator of man."
4. "The barren woman shall rejoice exceedingly, and shout for joy when her children are gathered around her in delight. Blessed art thou, O Lord, "who rejoicest Zion in her children."
5. "Make this loving pair to rejoice exceedingly, as thou hast made thy creature rejoice in the Garden of Eden in the beginning. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who rejoicest the bridegroom and the bride."
6. "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe. who hast ordained joy and gladness, bride and bridegroom, delight and song, pleasure and intimacy, love and friendship, peace and concord; speedily, O Lord our God, let there be heard in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of jubilant bridegrooms under their canopies, and of the young men at the nuptial feast playing music. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, who makest the bridegroom rejoice with his bride."
7. "Remove all suffering and anger; then will the dumlb be heard in song; lead us in the paths of righteousness, listen to the benedictions of the children of Jeshurun! With the permission of our seniors and rabbins, and my masters, let us bless our God in whose dwelling is joy, and of whose bounties we have partaken!" to which the guests respond, "Blessed be our God, in whose dwelling is joy, of whose bounties we have partaken, and by whose goodness we live;" and he then answers, "Then let us bless our God, in whose dwelling is joy, of whose bounties we have partaken, and by whose goodness we live" (Kethuboth, 7 b, 8). The married couple were then conducted to an elaborately-ornamented nuptial chamber (חופה, where the bridal couch (thalamus) was carefully prepared; and at the production of the linteum vilrinitatis the following morning (De 22:13-21), which was anxiously awaited, the following benediction was pronounced by the bridegroom: "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast placed a nut in paradise, the rose of the valleys-a stranger must not rule over this sealed fountain; this is why the hind of love has preserved the holy seed in purity, and has not broken the compact. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast chosen Abraham and his seed after him!" (see Halachoth Gedoloth, ed. Vienna, 51 [comp. Pliny, Hist. Nat. 15:24], where an explanation will be found of the use of אגוז nut, in this connection). Festivities continued for seven days (Kethuboth, 7 a).
As important religious questions had to be put to the bridal pair which required a learned man to do (Gitrit, 6; Kiddushin, 6, 13), it was afterwards resolved that the marriage-ceremony should be performed by a rabbi, and it is celebrated in the following manner: A beautifully- embroidered silk or velvet canopy, about three or four yards square, supported by four long poles, is held by four men out of doors on the day of the wedding. Under this chupash (חופה), which represents the ancient bridal chamber, the bridegroom is led by his male friends, preceded by a band of music, and welcomed by the joyous spectators with the exclamation, Blessed is he who is now come! (ברוהבא); the bride, with her face veiled (nuptiae), is then brought to him by her female friends and led three times round the bridegroom, in accordance, as they say, with the remark of Jeremiah, "The woman shall compass the man" (Jer 31:22), when he takes her round once amid the congratulations of the bystanders, and then places her at his right hand (Ps 45:10), both standing with their faces to the south and their backs to the north. The rabbi then covers the bridal pair with the Talith, or fringed wrapper, which the bridegroom has on (comp. Ru 3:18; Eze 16:8), joins their hands together, and pronounces over a cup of wine the benediction of affiance (ברכת ארוסין), which is as follows: "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast created the fruit of the vine. Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, king of the universe, who hast sanctified us with thy commandments, and hast forbidden to us consanguinity, and hast prohibited us the betrothed, but hast permitted us those whom we take by marriage and betrothal. Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast sanctified thy people Israel by betrothal and marriage" (Kethuboth, 7 a). Whereupon the bridegroom and bride taste of the cup of blessing, and the former produces a plain gold ring, and, in the presence of all the party, puts it on the bride's finger, saying, "Behold, thou art consecrated unto me with this ring according to the rites of Moses and Israel!" The rabbi then reads aloud, in the presence of appointed witnesses, the Kethubah, or the marriage-settlement, which is written in Syro- Chaldaic, and concludes by pronouncing over another cup of wine the seven benedictions (שבע ברכות), which the bridegroom in ancient times, before the ceremony of marriage became a public act and was delegated to the spiritual head, used to pronounce himself at the end of the meal. The bridegroom and bride taste again of this cup of blessing, and when the glass is emptied it is put oln the ground, and the bridegroom breaks it with his foot, as a symbol to remind them in the midst of their joys that just as this glass is destroyed, so Jerusalem is destroyed and trodden down under the foot of the Gentiles. With this the ceremony is concluded, amid the shouts, May you be happy! (מזל טוב). SEE WEDDING.
IV. Polygamy and Concubinage. — Though the history of the protoplasts — in which we are told that God in the beginning created a single pair, one of each sex — seems to exhibit a standard for monogamy, yet the Scriptures record that from the remotest periods men had simultaneously several wives, occupying either coordinate or subordinate positions. Against the opinion that Lamech, sixth in descent from Adam through Cain, introduced polygamy-based on the circumstance that he is the first who is recorded as having married two wives (Ge 4:19) — is to be urged that
(1.) Lamech is the first whose marriage or taking of a wife is recorded, and consequently it is impossible to say how many wives his five progenitors had;
(2.) The mention of Lamech's two wives is incidental, and is entirely owing to the fact that the sacred historian had to notice the useful inventions made by their respective sons Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain, as well as to give the oldest piece of rhythmical composition which was addressed to the wives, celebrating one of these inventions; and
(3.) If polygamy had been for the first time introduced by Lamech, the sacred writer would have as distinctly mentioned it as he mentions the things which were first introduced by Lamech's sons. The manner in which Sarah urges Abraham to take her servant Hagar, and the fact that Sarah herself gives the maiden to her own husband (לאשה) to be his wife, the readiness with which the patriarch accepts the proposal (Ge 16:1-4), unquestionably show that it was a common custom to have one or more secondary wives. In fact, it is distinctly mentioned that Nahor, Abraham's own brother, who had eight sons by Milcah, his principal wife, and consequently did not require another wife for the purpose of securing progeny, had nevertheless a secondary wife (פלגש), by whom he had four sons (Ge 22:21-24). Besides, it is now pretty generally admitted that Ge 25:1 describes Abraham himself to have taken another or secondary wife in the lifetime of Sarah, in addition to Hagar, who was given to him by his principal wife, as is evident from Ge 25:6; 1Ch 1:32, and that he could not have taken her for the sake of obtaining an heir. If any more proof be wanted for the prevalence of polygamy in the patriarchal age, we refer to Esau, who, to please his father, married his cousin Mahalath in addition to the several wives whom he had (Ge 28:8-9); and to Jacob, who had not the slightest scruple to marry two sisters, and take two half-wives at the same time (Ge 29:23-30; Ge 30:4,9), which would be unaccountable on the supposition that polygamy was something strange. Though sacred history is silent about the number of wives of the twelve patriarchs, yet there can be little doubt that the large number of children and grandchildren which Benjamin had at so early an age (Ge 46:21; Nu 26:38-41; 1Ch 7:6-12; 1Ch 8:1), must have been the result of polygamy; and that Simeon, at all events, had more than one wife (Ex 6:15). The extraordinary rate at which the Jews increased in Egypt implies that they practiced polygamy during their bondage. This is, moreover, corroborated by the incidental notice that Asher, Judah's grandson, had two wives (1Ch 4:5 with 2:24); that Caleb, Judah's great-grandson, had three principal and two subordinate wives (1Ch 2:9,18,42,46,48); that Aharaim, probably Benjamin's great-grandson, had three wives (1Ch 8:8-11); and that Moses had two wives (Ex 2:21; Nu 12:1); as well as by the fact that the Mosaic legislation assumes the existence of polygamy (Le 13:14; De 25:19). Still, the theory of monogamy seems to be exhibited in the case of Noah and his three sons (Ge 6:18; Ge 7:7,13; Ge 8:16), of Aaron, and of Eleazar.
In judging of this period we must take into regard the following considerations:
(1.) The principle of monogamy was retained, even in the practice of polygamy, by the distinction made between the chief or original wife and the secondary wives, or, as the A.V. terms them, "concubines"-a term which is objectionable, inasmuch as it conveys to us the notion of an illicit and unrecognised position, whereas the secondary wife was regarded by the Hebrews as a wife, and her rights were secured by law. The position of the Hebrew concubine may be compared with that of the concubine of the early Christian Church, the sole distinction between her and the wife consisting in this, that the marriage was not in accordance with the civil law: in the eye of the Church the marriage was perfectly valid (Bingham, Ant. 11:5, §11). It is worthy of notice that the term pillegesh (פַּלֶּגֶשׁ; A.V. "concubine") nowhere occurs in the Mosaic law. The terms used are either "wife" (De 21:15) or "maid-servant" (Ex 21:7); the latter applying to a purchased wife.
(2.) The motive which led to polygamy was that absorbing desire of progeny which is prevalent throughout Eastern countries, and was especially powerful among the Hebrews.
(3.) The power of a parent over his child, and of a master over his slave (the postestas patsiea and domestica of the Romans), was paramount even in matters of marriage, and led in many cases to phases of polygamy that are otherwise quite unintelligible, as, for instance, to the cases where it was adopted by the husband at the request of his wife, under the idea that children born to a slave were in the eye of the law the children of the mistress (Ge 16:3; Ge 30:4,9); or, again, to cases where it was adopted at the instance of the father (Ge 29:23,28; Ex 21:9-10). It must be allowed that polygamy, thus legalized and systematized, justified to a certain extent by the motive, and entered into, not only without offense to, but actually at the suggestion of those who, according to our notions, would feel most deeply injured by it, is a very different thing from what polygamy would be in our own state of society.
2. In the case of polygamy, as in that of other national customs, the Mosaic law adheres to the established usage. Hence there is not only no express statute to prohibit polygamy, which was previously held lawful, but the Mosaic law presupposes its existence and practice, bases its legislation thereupon, and thus authorizes it, as is evident from the following enactments:
1. It is ordained that a king "shall not multiply wives unto himself' (De 17:17), which, as bishop Patrick rightly remarks, "is not a prohibition to take more wives than one, but not to have an excessive number, after the manner of Eastern kings, whom Solomon seems to have imitated;" thus, in fact, legalizing a moderate number. The Mishna (Sanhedrin, 2:4), the Talmud (Babylon Sanhedrin, 21 a), Rashi (on Deuteronomy 17:17), etc., in harmony with ancient tradition, regard eighteen wives, including half' wives, as a moderate number, and as not violating the injunction contained in the expression "multiply."
2. The law enacts that a man is not to marry his wife's sister to vex her while she lives (Le 18:18), which, as the same prelate justly urges, manifestly means "that though two wives at a time, or more, were permitted in those days, no man should take two sisters (as Jacob had formerly done) begotten of the same father or born of the same mother;" or, in other words, a man is at liberty to take another wife besides the first, and during her lifetime, provided only they are not sisters.
3. The law of primogeniture (De 21:15-17) actually presupposes the case of a man having two wives, one beloved and the other not, as it was with Jacob and his two wives, and ordains that if the one less beloved is the mother of his first-born, the husband is not to transfer the right of primogeniture to the son of his favorite wife, but is to acknowledge him as first-born who is actually so.
4. Ex 21:9-10, permits a father who had given his son a bondwoman for a wife, to give him a second wife of freer birth, and prescribes how the first is then to be treated — that she is to have alimony, clothes, and the conjugal duty; and
5. De 25:19 expressly enjoins that a man. though having a wife already, is to marry his deceased brother's widow.
Having existed before the Mosaic law, and being acknowledged and made the basis of legislation by it, polygamy continued in full force during the whole of this period. Thus, during the government of the judges, we find Gideon, the celebrated judge of Israel, "had many wives, and three score and ten sons" (Jg 8:30); Jair the Gileadite, also a judge of Israel, had thirty grown-up sons (Jg 10:4) and a proportionate number of daughters. Ibzan, another judge of Israel, had thirty full-grown sons and thirty full-grown daughters (Jg 12:9); and Abdon, also a judge of Israel, had forty adult sons and thirty adult daughters-which was utterly impossible without polygamy; the pious Elkanah, father of Samuel the illustrious judge and prophet, had two wives (1Sa 1:2). During the monarchy, we find Saul, the first king of Israel, had many wives and half wives (2Sa 3:7; 2Sa 12:8); David, the royal singer of Israel, "their best king," as bishop Patrick remarks in his comment on Le 18:18, "who read God's law day and night, and could not but understand it, took many wives without any reproof; nay, God gave him more than he had before, by delivering his master's wives to him" (2Sa 12:8); Solomon, the wise monarch, had no less than a thousand wives and half wives (1Ki 11:3); Rehoboam, his son and successor, had eighteen wives and three score half wives (2Ch 11:21); Abijah, his son and successor to the throne of Judah, married fourteen wives (2Ch 14:15); and Joash. the tenth king, including David, who reigned from B.C. 378 to 338, had two wives given to him by the godly high-priest Jehoiada, who restored both the throne of David and the worship of the true God according to the law of Moses (2Ch 24:3). A very remarkable illustration of the prevalence of polygamy in private lifqis given in 1Ch 7:4, where we are told that not only did the five fathers, all of them chief men of the tribe of Issachar, live in polygamy, but that their descendants, numbering 36,000 men, "had many wives." De Wette, indeed, affirms that "the Hebrew moral teachers speak decidedly for monogamy, as is evident from their always speaking of one wife, and from the high notion which they have of a good wedded wife — 'A virtuous woman is the diadem of her husband, but a bad wife is like rottenness in the bones' (Pr 12:4); 'Whoso findeth a wife findeth happiness' (Pr 18:22); 'A house and wealth are an inheritance from parents, but a discreet wife is from the Lord' (Pr 19:14). Pr 31:10-31 describes an industrious and managing wife in such a manner as one only could be it" (Christl. Sittenlehre, vol. 3, sec. 472). Similarly Ewald: "Wherever a prophet alludes to matrimonial matters, he always assumes faithful and sacred monogamy contracted for the whole life as the legal one" (Die Alterthumer Israels, p. 177 sq.). But we have exactly analogous passages where parental felicity is described: "A wise son is happiness to the father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother" (Pr 10:1; Pr 15:20); "A wise son heareth his father's instruction" (Pr 13:1); and upon the same parity of reasoning it might be said that the theory of having only one son is assumed by the sacred moralist, because, when speaking of happiness or misery, which parents derive from their offspring, only one son is alluded to. Besides, the facts which we have enumerated cannot be set aside by arguments.
3. As nothing is said in the post-exilian portions of the Bible to discourage polygamy, this ancient practice also continued among the Jews during this period. During the second Temple, we find that Herod the Great had nine wives (Josephus, Ant. 17:1, 3); his two sons, Archelaus the Ethnarch, and Antipas the Tetrarch of Galilee, had each two wives (Josephus, Ant. 17:13, 2; 18:5, 1); and John the Baptist and other Jews, who censured the one for violating the Mosaic law by the marriage of his deceased brother's wife who had children (Josephus, Ant. 18:13, 2), and the other for marrying Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Herod-Philip (Mt 14:3-4; Mr 6:17-18; Lu 3:19), raised no cry against their practicing polygamy; because, as Josephus tells us, "the Jews of those days adhered to their ancient practice to have many wives at the same time" (Josephus, Ant. 17:1; 2). In harmony with this ancestral custom, the post-exilian legislation enacted various statutes to regulate polygamy and protect the rights and settlement of each wife (Mishna, Jebamoth, 4:11; Kethuboth, 10:1-6; Kiddushin, 2:7). As a striking illustration of the prevalence and legality of polygamy during this period may be mentioned the following circumstance which is recorded in the Talmud: Twelve widows appealed to their brother-in-law to perform the duty of Levir, which he refused to do, because he saw no prospect how to maintain such an additional number of wives and possibly a large increase of children. The case was then brought before Jehudah the Holy, who promised that if the man would do the duty enjoined on him by the Mosaic law, he himself would maintain the family and their children, in case there should be any, every sabbatical year, when no produce was to be got from the land which was at rest. The offer was accepted by the Levir, and he accordingly married his twelve sisters-in-law; and after three years these twelve wives appeared with thirty-six children before Jehudah the Holy to claim the promised alimony, as it was then the sabbatical year, and they actually obtained it (Jerusalem Jebamoth, 4:12). Rabba ben-Joseph, founder and president of the college at Machuza (A.D. 338-352), taught that a man may take as many wives as he pleases, provided only that he can maintain them all (Jebamoth, 65 a). From the remark in the Mishna, that a Levir may marry his deceased brother's fur widows (Jebamoth, 4:11), the Babylonian Gemara concluded that it recommends a man to have no more than this number (Babyl. Jebamoth, 44 a); and from this most probably Mohammed's injunction is derived (Koran, 4:3). It was Rabanu Gershom ben-Jehudah of France (born cir. 960, died 1028), who, in the 11th century, prohibited polygamy under pains of excommunication, saving in exceptional cases (Graitz, Geschichte der Juden, v. 405-507). His motive for doing so is a matter of dispute; the older Occidental rabbins say that the prohibition originated in a desire to preserve the peace of the family, while the Oriental rabbins will have it that it was dictated by the governments of Christian countries. His interdict, however, made but slow progress, even in Germany and France, for which it was chiefly designed. Thus Simon ben-Abraham of Sens, one of the most celebrated French Tossaphists, tells us (cir. 1200): "The institution of R. Gershom has made no progress either in our neighborhood or in the provinces of France. On the contrary, it happens that pious and learned men and many other people marry a second wife in the lifetime of the first" (B. Joseph, Eben Ha-Ezar, 1). The practice of marrying a second wife in the event of the first having no issue within ten years also obtained in Italy till about the 15th century-the pope giving a special dispensation for it. The Spanish Jews never recognized R. Gershom's interdict; bigamy was practiced in Castile till the 14th century, while the Christian government of Navarre declared polygamy among the Jews legal, and the law of king Theobald allowed them to marry as many wives as they could maintain and govern, but they were not permitted to divorce ally one of them without sending all away (Kayserling, Geschichte der Juden in Spanien, 1:71). Nor was the said interdict acknowledged by the Jews in the East; and monogamy is there practiced simply because the bride makes a special agreement, and has a clause inserted in the Kethubah (כתובה), or marriage-settlement, that her husband is not to marry another as long as she lives. An exception, however, is made in case there is no issue. As to the opinion of the Karaites on monogamy and polygamy, the celebrated Jehudah ben-Elia Hadassi. (flourished 1149) remarks, in his famous work against rabbinic Judaism, "The Pentateuch prohibits one to marry two wives with a view to vex one of them (לצרור אחת מהן, Le 18:18); but he may take them provided he loves them and does not grieve either of them, and treats them both affectionately. If he does not diminish their food, raiment, and conjugal rights (Ex 21:11), he is allowed to take two wives or more, just as Elkanah married Hannah and Peninnah, and as David, peace be upon him, and other kings and judges did" (Eshkol Hacopher, ed. Eupatoria, 1836, p. 129). From this it is evident that polygamy was not prohibited by the Jewish law, nor was it regarded as a sin, and that the monogamy of the Jews in the present day is simply in obedience to the laws of the countries in which they live. There were, however, always some rabbins who discouraged polygamy (A both, 2:7; Jebamoth, 65 a, al.); and the elevated notion which they had of monogamy is seen in the statutes which they enacted that the high-priest is to be the husband of one wife and to keep to her (Jebamoth, 58 a; Maimonides, Hilchoth Issure Bia, 18:13; Josephus, Ant. 3:12, 2); and which the apostle Paul also urges on Christian bishops (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:16).
V. Proscribed Degrees and Laws of Intermarriage.
1. There were no prescribed degrees within which a man was forbidden to marry in the pre-Mosaic period. On the contrary, the fact that Adam married "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh," and that his sons married their own sisters, rather engendered an aversion to marry out of one's own kindred. Hence we find that Abraham married his half-sister (Ge 20:12); Nahor, Abraham's brother, married the daughter of his brother Haran, or his niece (Ge 11:29); Jacob married two sisters at the same time, who were the daughters of his mother's brother (Ge 28:2; Ge 29:26); Esau married his cousin Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael (Ge 28:8-9); Amram married his aunt Jochebed, his father's sister (Ex 6:20); and Judah married his daughter-in-law, Tamar, the widow of his own son (Ge 38:26-30). This aversion to intermarriage with strangers and other tribes, which made Abraham pledge his faithful steward by the most sacred oath not to take for his son a wife from the daughters of the Canaanites (Ge 24:2-4); which occasioned such "a grief of mind" to Isaac, because his son Esau married Hittite women (Ge 26:34-35); and which was the cause of great dissatisfaction in the family of Moses when he married a Midianitish woman (Ex 2:21); was afterwards greatly increased on the ground of difference of creed. The same feeling of aversion against intermarriage (ἐπιγαμία) with foreigners prevailed among other nations of antiquity, and may also have been the cause why marriages with the nearest of kin were practiced among them. Thus the Athenians were allowed to marry half-sisters by the fatmer's side (Corn. Nepos, Praef: Cimon, i; Plutarch, Cimon, iv; Themistocl. xxxii); the Spartans married half-sisters by the same mother (Philo, De spec. leg. p. 779); and the Assyrians and Egyptians full sisters (Lucian, Sacrif: 5; Died. 1:27; Philo, De spec. leg. p. 779; Selden, De jure naturali et gentium, v. 11). In later times, when the desire to preserve purity of blood, which was the primary cause for not intermarrying with alien tribes, was superseded by religious motives, the patriarchal instances of epigamy recorded without censure during this period became very inconvenient. Hence means were adopted to explain them away. Thus the marriage of Judah with a heathen woman, the daughter of Shuah, a Canaanite (Ge 38:2). is made orthodox by the Chaldee Paraphrase, the Midrash (Bereshith Rabba. c. lxxxv), the Talmud (Pesachim, 50 a), Rashi (ad loc.), etc., by explaining כנעני to mean תגרא, merchant, as in Job 40:24; Pr 31:24; and the Jerusalem Targum finds it necessary to add that Judah converted her to Judaism (וגיירה). The marriage of Simeon with a Canaanitess (Ge 46:10) is explained away in a similar manner (comp. Bereshith Rabba, c. 80; Rashi on Genesis 46:10).
2. The regulations next introduced in this respect are of a twofold nature:
a. The most important change in the Biblical gamology is the Mosaic law about the prohibited degrees among the Israelites themselves. While in the pre-Mosaic period no prohibition whatever existed against marrying one's nearest and dearest relatives, the Mosaic law (Le 18:7-17; Le 20:11, etc.) proscribes no less than fifteen marriages within specified degrees of both consanguinity and affinity. In neither consanguinity nor affinity, however, does the law extend beyond two degrees, viz. the mother, her daughter, aunt, father's wife, father's sister, sister on the father's side. wife of the father's brother, brother's wife (excepting in the case of a Levirate marriage), daughter-in-law, granddaughter, either from a son or daughter, a woman and her daughter, or her granddaughter either from a son or daughter, and two sisters together. The preceding table exhibits these degrees. We must only remark that the squares stand for males, the circles for females, the triangles within the squares for deceased, the numbers refer to the order in which they are enumerated in Le 18:17, and that the husband and wife, who form the starting-point, are represented by a double square and double circle.
It will be seen from the foregoing table that, while some kindred are proscribed, others are allowed, e.g. a father's sister is forbidden while a brother's daughter is not. This has occasioned great difficulty in tracing the principle which underlies these prohibitions. Philippson is of opinion that it may be deduced from the remarks which accompany the respective vetoes. The stepmother is proscribed because "it is thy father's nakedness" (Le 18:8); the son's or daughter's daughter because it "is thine own nakedness" (ver. 10); the father's or mother's sister because she is the "father's or mother's flesh" (vers. 12, 13); and the brother's wife because "it is the nakedness of thy brother" (ver. 16). "From this it is evident," this erudite rabbi submits, "that, on the one side, son, daughter, and grandchild are identified with the father, while, on the other side, brothers and sisters are identified with each other, because they have one and the same source of life. Accordingly, we obtain the following data. All members proceeding from a common father or mother constitute one issue, because they possess together the same source of life; while the ascendants and the descendants in a straight line form one line, because they have one aifer the other and from each other the same source of life; and hence the law —
(1.) Two members of the same issue, or two members of the same line, are not to intermarry, because they have the same source of life. But inasmuch as the ascending is the primary to each descending issue, and the descending the derived to every ascending, an ascending issue may press forward out of the straight line, or step down into the following, i.e. the primary into the one derived from it; while the succeeding cannot go backwards into the foregoing, i.e. the derived into the primary. Now, as the man is the moving cause in carnal intercourse, hence the law —
(2.) A male member of the succeeding issue must not marry a female member of the preceding issue, while, on the contrary, a male member of the preceding may marry a female of the succeeding issue, provided they are not both of a direct line. Half-blood and step-relations make no difference in this respect, since they are identified, both in the issue and in the line, because husband and wife become identified. It is for this reason, also, that the relationship, which the wife always assumes in marriage with regard to her husband, is such as a blood relation bears to her; hence it is, for instance, that a brother's wife is proscribed, while the wife's sister is allowed. Thus the principle of the Mosaic proscriptions is a profound one, and is fully borne out by nature. Connubial intercourse has for its object to produce a third by the connection of two opposites; but that which proceeds from the same source of life is merely of the same kind. Hence, when two, originally of the same kind, unite, it is contrary to the true design of copulation, and can only proceed from an overpowering and excess of rude and animal passions. It is a desecration of the nature and morality of man. and the highest defilement" (Israelitische Bibel, 1:588 sq.; 3d. ed. Leipz. 1863).
Different penalties are attached to the infringement of these prohibitions. The punishment of death is to be inflicted for marrying a father's wife (Le 18:8; Le 20:11), or a daughter-in-law (Le 18:15; Le 20:12); of death by fire for marrying a woman and her daughter at the same time (Le 18:17; Le 20:14); of being cut off or excommunicated for marrying a sister on the father's side or on the mother's side (Le 18:9; Le 20:17); of not being pardoned for marrying a father's or mother's sister (Le 18:12-13; Le 20:19); of not being pardoned and childlessness for marrying a father's brother's wife (Le 18:14; Le 20:20); and of childlessness alone for marrying a brother's wife (Le 18:16; Le 20:21), excepting the case of a Levirate marriage (De 25:5-10). No penalty is mentioned for marrying one's mother (Le 18:7), granddaughter (Le 18:10), or two sisters together (Le 18:18). From this enumeration it will be seen that it only specifies three instances in which capital punishment is to be inflicted.
The grounds on which these prohibitions were enacted are reducible to the following three heads:
(1) moral ropriety; (2) the practices of heathen nations; and (3) social convenience.
The first of these grounds comes prominently forward in the expressions by which the various offenses are characterized, as well as in the general prohibition against approaching "the flesh of his flesh." The use of such expressions undoubtedly contains an appeal to the horror naturalis, or that repugnance with which man instinctively shrinks from matrimonial union with one with whom he is connected by the closest ties both of blood and of family affection. On this subject we need say no more than that there is a difference in kind between the affection that binds the members of a family together, and that which lies at the bottom of the matrimonial bond, and that the amalgamation of these affections cannot take place without a serious shock to one or the other of the two; hence the desirableness of drawing a distinct line between the provinces of each, by stating definitely where the matrimonial affection may legitimately take root. The second motive to laying down these prohibitions was that the Hebrews might be preserved as a peculiar people, with institutions distinct from those of the Egyptians and Canaanites (Le 18:3), as well as of other heathen nations with whom they might come in contact. Marriages within the proscribed degrees prevailed in many civilized countries in historical times, and were not unusual among the Hebrews themselves in the pre-Mosaic age. For instance, marriages with half-sisters by the same father were allowed at Athens (Plutarch, Cim. 4; Themistocl. 32), with half-sisters by the same mother at Sparta (Philo, De spec. leg. p. 779), and with full sisters in Egypt (Diod. 1:27) and Persia, as illustrated in the well-known instances of Ptolemy Philadelphus in the former (Paus. 1:7, 1), and Cambyses in the latter country (Herod. 3:31). It was even believed that in some nations marriages between a son and his mother were not unusual (Ovid, het. 10:331; Eurip. Androm. 174). Among the Hebrews we have instances of marriage with a half-sister in the case of Abraham (Ge 20:12), with an aunt in the case of Amran (Ex 6:20), and with two sisters at the same time in the case of Jacob (Ge 29:26). Such cases were justifiable previous to the enactments of Moses: subsequently to them we have no case in the O.T. of actual marriage within the degrees, though the language of Tamar towards her half-brother Amnon (2Sa 13:13) implies the possibility of their union with the consent of their father. The Herods committed some violent breaches of the marriage law. Herod the Great married his halfsister (Ant. 17:1, 3); Archelaus his brother's widow, who had children (17:13,1); Herod Antipas his brother's wife (18:5, 1; Mt 14:3). In the Christian Church we have an instance of marriage with a father's wife (1Co 5:1), which St. Paul characterizes as "fornication" (πορνεία), and visits with the severest condemnation. The third ground of the prohibitions, social convenience, comes forward solely in the case of marriage with two sisters simultaneously, the effect of which would be to "vex" or irritate the first wife, and produce domestic wars.
Besides the proscribed degrees, the Mosaic law also forbids the following intermarriages: 1. No Israelite is to marry the progeny of incestuous and unlawful copulations, or a manner (ממזר , De 23:2). In the absence of any Biblical definition of this much-disputed expression, we must accept the ancient traditional explanation contained in the Mishna, which is as follows: 'When there is betrothal without transgression of the law about forbidden marriages — e.g. if the daughters of priests, Levites, or Israelites are married to priests, Levites, or Israelites — the chill goes after the father; where there is betrothal, and this law has been transgressed — e.g. if a widow is married to a high-priest, a divorced woman or one who performed the ceremony of chralitsah to an ordinary priest, or a bastardess or a female nethin to an Israelite; or, vice versa, if a Jewess is married to a bastard or nethin— the child goes after the inferior party; where the woman cannot be betrothed to the man, but might legally be betrothed to another person — e.g.,
1. if a man married within any one of the degrees proscribed by the law — the child is a bastard or manner" (Kiddushin, 3:12).
2. Any person who is פצוע דכה, cujus testiculi vulnerati sunt, vel certe unus eorum, or כרות שפכה), cujus membruns virile precissum est, as the Mishna (Jebanoth, 8:2) explains it, is not allowed to marry (De 23:1).
3. A man is not to remarry a woman whom he had divorced, and who, after marrying another husband, had become a widow, or been divorced again (De 24:2-4).
4. Heiresses are not allowed to intermarry with persons of another tribe (Nu 36:5-9).
5. A high-priest is forbidden to marry a widow, a divorced woman, a profane woman, or a harlot, and restricted to a pure Jewish maiden (Le 21:13-14).
6. Ordinary priests are prohibited from marrying prostitutes and divorced women (Le 21:7).
b. The proscription of epigamy with non-Israelites is absolute with regard to some nations, and conditional with regard to others. The Mosaic law absolutely forbids intermarriage with the seven Canaanitish nations, on the ground that it would lead the Israelites into idolatry (Ex 34:15-16; De 7:3-4); and with the Ammonites and Moabites, on account of national antipathy (De 23:4-8); while the prohibition against marriage with the Egyptians and Edomites only extends to the third generation (De 23:7-8). The Talmud, which rightly expounds the prohibition to "enter into the congregation of the Lord" as necessarily extending to epigamy (comp. 1Ki 11:2; Kiddushin, 4:3), takes the third generation to mean of those who becamse proselytes, i.e. the grandchildren of an Ammonite or Moabite who professes Judaism (Mishna, Jebamoth, 8:3; Maimonides, lad Ha-Chazaka, Issure Biah, 12:19, 20). This view is confirmed by the fact that the Bible only mentions three intermarriages with Egyptians, and records at least two out of the three to show the evil effects of it. One occurred after the Exodus and in the wilderness, and we are told that the son of this intermarriage, while quarreling with a brother Jew, blasphemed the name of God, and suffered capital punishment (Le 24:10-14); the second occurred towards the end of the rulership of the judges, and tradition endeavors to show that Ishmael, the murderer of Gedaliah (Jer 41:1-2), was a descendant of Jarha, the Egyptian son-in-law of Sheshan (1Ch 2:34-35; and, Rashi, ad loc.); and the third is the intermarriage of Solomon, which, however, is excepted from the censure in the book of Kings (1Ki 3:1 sq.; 11:1, 2). Of intermarriages with Edomites not a single instance is; recorded in the O.T.; the Jewish antipathy against: them was transmitted down to a very late period, as we find in the declaration of Jesus, son of Sirach, that his soul hates the inhabitants of Seir (Ecclesiasticus 4:25, 26), and in the fact that Judas Maccabaeus carried on a dead.ly war with them (1 Maccabees 5:3; 2 Maccabees 20:15-23).
An exception is made in the case of female captives of war (De 21:10-14), which is evidently designed to obviate as far as possible the outrages committed after the evil passions have been stirred up in the conflict. The law, however, most humanely ordains that the captor, before making her his wife, should first allow her to indulge herself for a full month in mourning for her parents, from whom she is snatched away, and to practice the following customary rites expressive of grief:
1. Cut off the hair of her head, which was the usual sign of mourning both among the Jews and other nations of antiquity (Ezr 9:3; Job 1:20; Isa 15:2;. Jer 7:29; Jer 16:6; Eze 7:18; Eze 27:31; Am 8:10; Mic 1:16);
2. Cut off her nails, which were stained to form a part of personal adornment; and,
3. Put off the raiment in which she was taken captive, since the women who followed their fathers and husbands to the war put on their finest dresses and ornaments previous to an engagement, in the hope of finding favor in the eyes of their captors in case of a defeat (Ovid, Remied. Amor. 343; Rosenmüller, as alte u. neue Morgenland, 2:308).
The first complaint of epigamy with aliens is, strange to say, made against Moses, the lawgiver himself (Nu 12:1). In the days of the Judges the law against intermarriage was commonly transgressed (Jg 3:6), and from the earlier portions of the book of Proverbs, which ring with repeated denunciations of foreign women (Pr 2:16-17; Pr 5:8-11; Pr 15:17), as well as from the warnings of Isa 2:6, it is evident that intermarriages with foreign women were generally practiced in private life in after times. Of the twenty kings of Israel who reigned from the division of the kingdom to the Babylonian captivity, Ahab is the only one mentioned who married a foreign wife (1Ki 16:31); while of the nineteen kings of Judah after the division none intermarried with aliens. Marriages between Israelitish women and proselyted foreigners were at all times of rare occurrence, and are noticed in the Bible as if they were of an exceptional nature, such as that of an Egyptian and an Israelitish woman (Le 24:10); of Abigail and Jether, the Ishmaelite, contracted probably when Jesse's family was sojourning in Moab (1Ch 2:17); of Sheshan's daughter and an Egyptian, who was staying in his house (1Ch 2:35); and of a Naphthalite woman and a Tyrian, living in adjacent districts (1Ki 7:14). In the reverse case, viz. the marriage of Israelites with foreign women, it is, of course, highly probable that the wives became proselytes after their marriage, as instanced in the case of Ru 1:16, and probably in that of Solomon's Egyptian wife (Ps 40:10); but this was by no means invariably the case. On the contrary, we find that the Canaanitish wives of Solomon (1Ki 11:4), and the Phoenician wife of Ahab (1Ki 16:31), retained their idolatrous practices, and introduced them into their adopted countries. Proselytism does not, therefore, appear to have been a sine qua non in the case of a wife, though it was so in the case of a husband: the total silence of the law as to any such condition in regard to a captive, whom an Israelite might wish to marry, must be regarded as evidence of the reverse (De 21:10-14), nor have the refinements of rabbinical writers on that passage succeeded in establishing the necessity of proselytism. The opposition of Samson's parents to his marriage with a Philistine woman (Jg 14:3) leads to the same conclusion.
3. In the post-exilian period, besides the fifteen proscribed degrees enumerated in Le 18:7-17; Le 20:11, etc., the Sopherlim, or scribes (B.C. 322-221), prohibited marriage with other relations (Mishna, Jebcamoth, 2:4), . and those prohibitions were afterwards extended still further by R.Chija ben-Abba the Babylonian (A.D. 163-193), and friend of Jehudah I the Holy (Jebamoth, 22. a). 'The prohibited degrees of the scribes are denominated שניות, i.e. לעריות the second or subordinate in rank with respect to those forbidden in the Bible, and may be seen in the following list given by Maimonides:
"1. The mother's mother, and this is infinite, for the mother's mother's mother's mother', and so upwards. are proscribed.
2. The mother of his father's mother, and no further.
3. His father's mother, and this is infinite, for even the father's mother's mother's mother, and so upwards, are proscribed.
4. The mother of his father's father only.
5. The wife of his father's father, and this is infinite, for even if she were the wife of our father Jacob, she is forbidden to every one of us.
6. The wife of his mother's father only.
7. The wife of his father's brother by the mother.
8. The wife of his mother's brother, whether by the mother or by the father.
9. His son's daughter-in-law, i.e. his son's son's wife, and this is infinite, for even if she were the son's son's son's son's wife, descending to the end of the world, she is forbidden, so that, as long as the wife of one of us lives, she is secondary or forbidden to our father Jacob
10. His daughter's daughter-in-law, i.e. her son's wifl only.
11. The daughter of his son's daughter only.
12. The daughter of his son's son only.
13. The daughter of his daughter's daughter only.
14. The daughter of his daughter's son only.
15. The daughter of his wife's son only.
16. The daughter of his wife's daughter's daughter only.
17. The mother of his wife's father's mother only.
18. The mother of his wife's mother's father only.
19. The mother of his wife's mother's mother only.
20. The mother of his wife's father's father only.
Thus, of these secondary prohibitions, there are four which are infinite:
a, the mother's mother and all upwards;
b, the father's mother and all upwards;
c, the grandfather's wife and all upwards; and,
d, the son's son's wife and all downwards" (Hilchoth Ishuth, 1:6). The principle by which the scribes were guided was to extend the prohibition to the whole line wherever the Mosaic law refers to lineal ascendants or descendants, as well as to those who might easily be mistaken by having a common appellation. Thus mother's mother's mother's mother, ad infinitum, is forbidden, because the Mosaic law proscribes the mother, so also the wife of the grandfather, because the wife's father is forbidden in the Mosaic law; while the mother of the father is proscribed, because the appellation grandmother is used without distinction for both the mother's and father's mother. From Maimonides's list, however, it will be seen that he, like Alfasi, restricts prohibition 2 to the mother of the grandfather, and prohibitions 12-16, 20, to the son's grandchildren, great-grandmother, and great-grandchildren, but does not extend it to any further ascendants or descendants. The whole subject is extensively discussed in the Talmud (Jebamoth, 21, 22; Jerusalem Jebamoth, 2:4), and by Maimonides (Istel Ha-Chazaka, Hilchoth Ishuth, 1:6, etc.), to which we must refer. It must, however, be remarked that Philo's list of proscribed degrees is much shorter. After explaining why Moses prohibited marriage with one's own mother or sister, he says, "For this reason he has also forbidden other matrimonial connections, inasmuch as he ordained that a man shall not marry his granddaughter (μὴ θυγατριδῆν, μὴ υἱδῆν), nor his aunt on the father's or mother's side, nor the wife of an uncle, son, or brother; nor a step-daughter while in the lifetime of her mother or after her death, because a stepfather takes the place of a father, and a step-daughter is to be looked upon as his own daughter. Neither does he allow the same man to marry two sisters, either at the same time or at different times, even in case one of them had been married to another and is divorced; for he did not consider it pious that one sister should succeed to the place of her unfortunate sister, whether the latter is still cohabiting with him, or is divorced and has no husband. or is married to another husband" (De special. legibus, 780). Still shorter is the list of Josephus, who says, "The law prohibits it as a heavy sin and an abomination to have carnal intercourse with one's mother, step-mother, father's or mother's sister, one's own sister, or a son's wife" (Ant. 3:12, 1). Marriage with a wife's step-mother is allowed by the Babylonian and forbidden by the Jerusalem Talmud; the Spanish Jews follow the former, while the Germano-French communities adopt the latter. Intermarriages between cousins, uncle and niece, entire step-brother and step-sister, are quite legitimate. Indeed, for an uncle to marry a niece, which the English law forbids, has been considered by the Jews from time immemorial as something specially meritorious. The Talmud says that the promise given in Isaiah, "Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer" (58:9), refers to that man especially "who loves his neighbors, befriends his relations, marries his brother's daughter, and lends money to the poor in the hour of need" (Jebamoth, 62 b. 63 a).
As to the ethical cause of the proscribed marriages, or the cases specified, including parallels by affinity. the ancient Jews, to whom the oracles of God were committed, and who had to explain and administer the law in practical life, knew nothing about it. The Palestinian doctors regarded the proscribed degrees as a positive law, the cause of which cannot be divined by human reason (Sifra Kedoshim, 9:12; Talmud, Sabbath, 130 a; Joma, 75 a). The only attempt to rationalize on the subject is on the apparent inconsistency of the Mosaic law in prohibiting marriage with the wife of the father's brother, in case she is divorced or left a widow, and not forbidding the wife of the mother's brother. Upon this the Talmud remarks that a man visits his father's relations more than his mother's (Jebamoth, 21 a; and Rashi on this passage); and it is submitted, and we believe with perfect reason, and based on Nu 1:2, that it is the father's relations who constitute the family, and not the mother's. We thus see that up to the time of the Ptolemies, when the Greek loose barriers of consanguinity threatened to fall among the Jewish families, the ancient Hebrews were bound only by the specific proscriptions in the Mosaic law, and that even after the prohibitions were extended by the scribes, the proscription of a male relative by blood did not imply the wife's relatives of the like degree, because of the strong distinction made by them between consanguinity and affinity by marriage; the former being permanent and sacred, and the latter uncertain and vague, as a man might any moment divorce his wife, or take as many as he pleased, and because the husband's family were regarded as the relations, while the wife's were not esteemed beyond those who are especially mentioned.
The proscribed degrees were sacredly avoided by the Jews during this period, and no dispensation could be obtained by any one, no matter how high his position, as Judaism never invested any spiritual functionary with power to absolve, even in extraordinary cases, from the obligations of the law. Hence the outcry against Herod the Great, who married his half-sister (Josephus, Ant. 17:1, 3); against Archelaus, who took his deceased brother's widow when she was the mother of children (ibid. 17:13, 1); and against Herod Antipas, for which John the Baptist had to atone with his life (Josephus, Ant. 18:5, 1; Mt 14:3). So long as foreign epigamy was of merely occasional occurrence no veto was placed upon it by public authority; but when, after the return from the Babylonian captivity, the Jews contracted marriages with the heathen inhabitants of Palestine in so wholesale a manner as to endanger their national existence, the practice was severely condemned (Ezr 9:2; Ezr 10:2), and the law of positive prohibition, originally pronounced only against the Canaanites, was extended to the Moabites, Ammonites, and Philistines (Ne 13:23-25). Public feeling was thenceforth strongly opposed to foreign marriages, and the union of Manasseh with a Cuthaean led to such animosity as to produce the great national schism, which had its focus in the temple on Mount Gerizim (Josephus, Ant. 11:8, 2) A no less signal instance of the same feeling is exhibited in the cases of Joseph (Ant. 12:4, 6) and Anilaets (Ant. 18:9, 5), and is noticed by Tacitus (Hist. v. 5) as one of the characteristics of the Jewish nation in his day. In the N.T. no special directions are given on this head. but the general precepts of separation between believers and unbelievers (2Co 6:14,17) would apply with special force to the case of marriage; and the permission to dissolve mixed marriages, contracted previously to the conversion of one party, at the instance of the unconverted one, cannot but be regarded as implying the impropriety of such unions subsequently to conversion (1Co 7:12).
Besides the proscribed degrees, the rabbinic law also enacted —
1. A man must not marry a divorced woman with whom he has committed adultery prior to her divorcement (Sotet, 27), or even if he is only suspected of it (Jebamoth, 24; Maimonides, Sofa, i 12).
2. A man who attested the death of the husband is not allowed to marry the widow, nor is the bearer of a divorce permitted to marry the divorced woman, to avoid suspicion (Jebamoth, 2:9, 10).
3. If a man's wife dies, he must not marry again till three festivals after his wife's death (Moed Katon, 23).
4. A man is not to marry a woman who has lost two husbands (Jebamoth, 64).
5. A father is not to give a young daughter in marriage to an old man, nor is a young man to marry an old woman (Jebamoth, 101; Maimonides, Isure Bia, 21:26).
6. A man is not to marry within thirty days of the death of a near relation (Voed Katon, 23).
7. Widows are not to marry within ninety days of the loss of their husbands. nor are divorced women to marry within ninety days of their being divorced, in order that the paternity of the newly-born child might be distinguished (Jebamoth, 41 a).
8. If a widow or a divorced woman is nursing an infant, she must not marry within twenty-four months of the birth of the baby (Jebamoth, 41; Kethuboth, 60; and Tossafoth, on these passages).
VI. Sanctity of Marriage, and Mutual Rights of Husband and Wife. —
1. Though at the creation the wife occupied an equal position with the husband, being a part of him, yet, as she became the cause of his sin, God ordained it as part of her punishment that the wife should be in subjection to the will of her husband, and that he should be her master, and "rule over her" (Ge 3:16). This dependence of the wife on her husband is henceforth declared by the very Hebrew appellation (באל) for husband (Ex 21:3,22), which literally denotes lord, master, owner, and is seen in the conduct of Sarah, who speaks of her husband Abraham as (אדני) my lord (Ge 18:12), which is commended by Peter as illustrating the proper position of a wife (1Pe 3:6). From this mastery of the husband over the wife arose the different standard of virtue which obtained in married life. The wife, as subject to her husband, her lord and master, was not allowed to practice polyandry; she was obliged to regard the sanctity of marriage as absolute, and any unchastity on her part was visited with capital punishment; while the husband could take any unmarried woman he liked and violate the laws of chastity, as we should view it, with impunity (Ge 38:24). This absolute sanctity of marriage on the part of the wife was also acknowledged by other nations of antiquity, as is gathered from the narratives of the patriarchs. Thus Abraham knew that Pharaoh would not take Sarah from her husband, and we are told that as soon as the Egyptian monarch discovered that she was a married woman, he immediately restored her to her husband (Ge 12:15-19); and this is confirmed by Egyptology, which, based on ancient writers and monuments, shows that he who seduced a married woman received a thousand rods, and that the woman had her nose cut off (Uhlemann, AEgypt. Alterthumsk. 11, sec. 25, 65). The same sanctity was attached to a married woman in Philistia (Ge 20; Ge 26:9-11).
2. Recognizing the previously-existing inequality of husband and wife, and basing its laws upon the then prevailing notion that the husband is lord over his wife, that he can take as many wives as he likes, and send them away whenever he dislikes them, the Mosaic gamology, as a matter of course, could neither impose the same obligation of nuptial fidelity nor confer the same rights on both. This is evident from the following facts:
1. The husband had a right to expect from his wife connubial chastity, and in case of infidelity could demand her death as well as that of her seducer (Le 20:10; De 22:20-22; Eze 16:40; Joh 8:5).
2. If he became jealous and suspicious of her, even when she had not been unfaithful, he could bring her before the priest and have administered to her the water of jealousy (Nu 5:12-31). But if the husband was suspected, or was actually guilty of carnal intercourse with an unmarried woman, no statute was enacted to enable the wife or wives to arraign him for a breach of marriage or infringement of her or their rights. Even when he was discovered with another man's wife, it was the injured husband that had the power to demand the death of the seducer, but not the wife of the criminal.
3. If the wife vowed anything to the Lord, or imposed upon herself voluntary obligations to the Deity, her husband could nullify it (Nu 30:6-8).
4. He could send her away or divorce her when she displeased him (De 24:14).
The woman, again, is protected by the following laws:
1. When a Hebrew maiden is sold by her father to a man, with the understanding that she is to be his half-wife (אמה =פילגש, Ex 21:7; Jg 9:18 with Jg 8:31), the law enacts that, in case her master and intended husband is displeased with her, and he refuses to redeem his promise —
i, he is not to keep her till the sabbatic year, and then give her her liberty like ordinary servants;
ii, he is not to sell her to any one else as a wife;
iii, he may give her to his son as a wife, and in that case must treat her as a daughter-in-law;
iv, if he gives his son an additional wife, she is to retain — a, her food, b, raiment, and, c, conjugal right as heretofore; and,
v, if these three last-mentioned points are refused to her, she is forthwith to be set at liberty (Ex 21:7-11).
2. If he maliciously impugns her chastity, he is to be scourged, and loses his right over her to divorce her (De 22:13-19)
3. If she has children, they must render equal obedience to her as to the father (Ex 20:12; De 27:16).
4. The husband must not vex her by marrying two sisters simultaneously (Le 18:18).
5. He is not allowed to annoy his less-beloved wife by transferring the primogeniture from her son to the child of his favorite wife (De 21:15-17).
6. If her husband dislikes her, he is not arbitrarily to dismiss her, but give her a "bill of divorcement" (De 24:1), which requires the interposition of legal advisers.
7. When a woman is divorced, or her husband dies, she is free, and at liberty to marry any one she likes, as is evident from the enactments in Le 21:7-8,13; De 24:2-4; De 25:5, which are based upon this fact.
3. The notions about sanctity of marriage were loftier during the post- exilian period than in the preceding epochs, as may be judged from the fact that unfaithfulness to a wife is denounced by the prophet Malachi as violating a sacred covenant, to the transaction of which God himself was a witness (Mal 2:14). And though it may be questioned whether the prophet's appeal to God as having been witness to the marriage-contract refers to the above-named seven benedictions (שבע ברכות) which the bridegroom had to pronounce at the marriage-feast, and in which he invoked God's presence and blessing to the compact, as Abrabanel will have it. yet there can be no doubt that marriage is here for the first time expressly described as a covenant (ברית) made in the presence of God. With such a view of the sanctity of marriage, the notion that a wife is a plaything for a leisure hour rapidly disappeared, and the sages who had to expound the law to the people in the time of Christ taught that the declaration "Peace shall be in thy house" (Job 5:24) will be realized by him "who loves his wife as himself, and honors her more than himself, and trains his sons and daughters up in the way of righteousness" (Jebamoth, 62 b). Moreover, marriage was regarded as illegal if the man had not given to his wife the instrument (כתובה), in which he promises his wife, "I will work for thee, honor thee. maintain thee, and provide for thee, according to the custom of Jewish husbands." The rabbinic laws both define this promise and insist upon its being fulfilled, as may be seen from the following enactments:
1. A wife is to be kept in proportion to the circumstances of her husband, and have her meals with him at the table; if he ill-treats her and she removes from him, he is obliged to send her maintenance (Jebamoth, 64 b).
2. If the husband goes on a three months' journey without making provision for his wife, the legal authorities of the place are to maintain her from his property (Kethuboth, 48 a, 107).
3. He is obliged to perform the duties of a husband within a stated period (Mishna, Kethuboth, v. 6).
4. If her husband dies, she is to be maintained from his property, or by the children, in the same manner as she was in his lifetime, till she is betrothed to another man, and her rights must be attended to before the claims of any one else (Kethuboth, 43, 51, 52, 68,103; Jerusalem Kethuboth, 4:14).
5. If a woman marries a man of higher rank than herself, she rises with him; but if he is inferior to her. she does not descend to him (ואינה עולה עמו יורדת [Kethuboth, 48 a, 61 a]). For other rights which the wife possesses we must refer to the Kethubah, or the marriage- instrument given in section 2 of this period. The husband, on the other hand, has a right to expect from his wife chastity which is beyond the reach of suspicion, unreserved obedience, and to do the work of a housewife. Other rights are given in the following section on divorce.
VII. Divorce. —
1. The arbitrary power of the husband over his wife in the patriarchal age is also seen in the fact that he could divorce her at his pleasure. There is but one instance of it recorded, but it is a very significant one. Abraham, though he has a child by Hagar, sends away his half-wife, not requiring any legal or religious intervention (Ge 21:14), but, as in the case of marriage, effecting it by a mere verbal declaration. Wherever marriages are effected by the violent, exercise of the patria. potestas, or without any bon of f affection between the parties concerned, ill-assorted matches must be of frequent occurrence; and without the remedy of divorce, in such a state of society, we can understand the truth of the apostles' remark that "it is not good to marry" (Mt 19:10). Hence divorce prevails to a great extent in all countries where marriage is the result of arbitrary appointment or of purchase: we may instance the Arabians (Burckhardt's Notes, 1:111; Layard, Nineveh, 1:357) and the Egyptians (Lane, 1:235 sq.).
2. It must be remarked that the Mosaic law does not institute divorce, but, as in other matters, recognizes and most humanely regulates the prevailing patriarchal practice (De 24:1-4). The ground on which the law allows a divorce is termed ערות דבר, any shameful thing. What the precise meaning of this ambiguous phrase is, and what, according to the Mosaic gamology, gives a husband the right to divorce his wife, has been greatly disputed in the schools of Shammai and Hillel, which were founded before the advent of Christ, and these discussions are given below. It is, however, certain that the phrase does not denote fornication or adultery, for in that case the woman was not divorced, but stoned (Le 20:10; De 22:20-22; Eze 16:40; Joh 8:5). Moreover, the phrase מצא חן בעיני פלני, with which this statute begins, when used of opposite sexes, as in the case before us, generally denotes favorable i impression which one produces on the other, by graceful manners, or beautiful appearance (Ge 39:4; Ru 2:2,10,13; Eze 5:2 with 8). That it has this sense here seems to be warranted by ver. 3, where it is supposed that, the divorced woman marries again, and her second husband also divorces her, and that not on account of immorality, but because he does not like her. The humane regulations which the Mosaic gamology introduced in order to render a divorce legal were as follows:
1. If a man dislikes his wife, or finds that he cannot live happily with her, he is not summarily to send her away by word of mouth as heretofore, but is to give her a formal and judicial bill of divorcement (ספר כריתת), which required the intervention of a legal adviser, and caused delay, thus affording time for reflection, and preventing many a divorce resolved on under the influence of passion.
2. Allowing the parties, even after the dissolution of the marriage, to renew the connection if they wished it, provided the divorced wife had not in the meantime married another husband, and become a widow, or been again divorced. Not only are bishop Patrick (on De 24:4), Michaelis (Law's of Moses, 2:137, English translation), and many other Christian expositors, of this opinion, but it has been so understood and acted upon by those who were charged with the administration of the law from time immemorial. The only exception which the sages made was when a man divorced his wife because of an evil report which he maliciously circulated about her; then he was not allowed to remarry her (Mishna, Gittin, 4:7).
3. If the divorced woman marries again, and the second husband either dies or divorces her, she is not allowed to remarry her first husband: this was to preclude the possibility of procuring the death of, or a divorce from, the second husband, in case the parties wished to be reunited.
4. If a man seduces a maiden, and on this account is legally obliged to marry her, "he may not put her away all his life" (De 22:28-29). Or,
5. If he groundlessly impugns her chastity, he also loses the power of ever divorcing her (De 22:13-19). This, as well as the preceding benign law, was evidently designed to make men care for those women whom they had either virtually or actually deprived of their moral character, and who, if these men were allowed to desert them, might never be able to get husbands. Thus these laws, while checking seduction, inasmuch as the man knew that he would have all his lifetime to be wedded to and care for the injured woman, also prevented those females who had momentarily fallen from being branded for life, and compelled to give themselves up to prostitution.
6. Though the Mosaic law has no express statute that the wife, under certain circumstances, may demand a divorce from her husband, yet it is undoubtedly implied in the enactment contained in Ex 21:10. For if a bondwoman who became the wife of her master could quit him if he did not fulfill the conditions of a husband, it, is but natural to conclude that a free wife would, under similar circumstances, be able to claim the protection of the same law. A few instances of the violation of the divorce law, between the period of its enactment and the Babylonian captivity, are incidentally recorded without any censure whatever. Thus we are told that Saul took away Michal, his daughter, David's wife, without David's formally divorcing her, and gave her to Phalti (1Sa 25:44), and that David took back again Michal, who had been united to another husband (2Sa 3:14-16). Still the laws of divorce and of prohibiting reunion after the divorced woman had been married to another husband are alluded to by Jeremiah as well known and commonly observed (Jer 1:8).
3. The rather uncertain grounds on which the Mosaic law permits divorce (De 24:1-4) were minutely defined during the period after the exile. Though the school of Shammai restricts the phrase ערות דבר to unchastity, and the Sadducees too insisted that divorce is not to be tolerated except when the woman is guilty of adultery (Eschol Ba-Copher, Alphab. xcix; Ben-Chonanja, 4:276), yet the Jews as a nation, as well as most Christian expositors, agree with the school of Hillel, (Mishna, Gittin, 9:10) that it denotes faults or deforimities, as the context plainly shows. Now, in stating the grounds on which the Jewish expositors of the law, in the time of Christ and after, regarded dissolution of marriage as justifiable, we must distinguish the cases in which the legal authorities themselves took up the matter, from those in which the married parties asked for divorce.
a. Dissolution of marriage occasioned by the lawful authorities took place —
1. When the woman is guilty of adultery.
2. When the woman carries on secret intercourse with a man after her husband has warned her against it (Sota, 27; Jebamoth, 24).
3. Where, though betrothal had taken place, yet a matrimonial law (matrimonium injustum) is violated, either referring to the proscribed degrees or to other matters enacted by the rabbins.
4. When the husband is infected with leprosy (Kethuboth, 77).
b. It was granted on the demand of the married parties. Thus the husband could effect a dissolution of marriage —
1. When his wife, by violating the Mosaic law, caused him, without knowing it, to be guilty of transgression (Mishna, Kethuboth, 7:6).
2. If the wife violates the bounds of modesty — e.g. by going into the street with uncovered hair, flirting with young men, etc. (ibid.).
3. If the wife is suspected of adultery.
4. If the woman curses her father-in-law in the presence of her husband (Kethuboth, 72).
5. If the wife will not follow her husband to another place (Kethuboth. 110).
6. If the wife refuses her husband the conjugal rights for twelve months.
The wife can demand a divorce —
1. If after marriage the husband contracts a loathsome disease (Mishna, Kethuboth, 7:9, 10).
2. If after marriage he betakes himself to a disgusting business (ibid. the Gemara thereon, 75).
3. If he treats her cruelly (Eben Ha-Ezar, 154).
4. If her husband changes his religion (ibid.).
5. If the husband commits an offense which makes him flee from his country (Eben Ha-Ezar, 9).
6. If he leads a dissolute and immoral life (Eben Ha-Ezar, Gloss on Sects, 11).
7. If he wastes his property and neglects to maintain her (Mishna, Kethuboth, 7:1).
8. If he refuses her connubial rights (Mishna, Kethuboth, v. 6).
There are other grounds on which divorce can be obtained, but for these we must refer to the Mishna, Gittin, as they are too numerous to be detailed. The bill of divorcement must be handed over, either by the husband or a messenger, to the wife or one deputed by her, with the words, "This is thy divorce; thou art henceforth divorced from me, and canst marry whomsoever thou likest" (Mishna, Gittin, 9). It must, however, be remarked that divorce was greatly discouraged by the Talmudists, and it is declared that The who divorces his wife is hated of God. The altar sheds tears over him who divorces the wife and companion of his youth" (Gittin, 90 a).
During the post-exilian period the abuse of divorce continued unabated (Josephus, Life, 76); and under the Asmonaean dynasty the right was assumed by the wife as against her husband, an innovation which is attributed to Salome by Josephus (Ant. 15:7, 10), but which appears to have been prevalent in the apostolic age, if we may judge from passages where the language implies that the act emanated from the wife (Mr 10:12; 1Co 7:11), as well as from some of the comments of the early writers on 1Ti 5:9. Our Lord and his apostles re- established the integrity and sanctity of the marriage-bond by the following measures:
(1) by the confirmation of the;original charter of marriage as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Mt 4:5);
(2) by the restriction of divorce to the case of fornication, and the prohibition of remarriage in all persons divorced on improper grounds (Mt 5:32; Mt 19:9; Ro 7:3; 1Co 7:10-11); and
(3) by the enforcement of moral purity generally (Heb 13:4, etc.), and especially by the formal condemnation of fornication, which appears to have been classed among acts morally indifferent (ἀδιάφορα) by a certain party in the Church (Ac 15:20).
VIII. Levirate Law. —
1. The only power which a woman had over the man during the pre- Mosaic period, in matrimonial matters, was when her husband died without issue. The widow could then claim his next brother to marry her; if the second also died without progeny, she could ask the third, and so on. The object of this Levirate marriage, as it is called, from the Latin, levir, brother-in-law (Hebrew, יבם; Greek, ἐπιγαμβρέω), is "to raise up seed to the departed brother," which should preserve his name upon his inheritance, and prevent it from being erased from among his brethren, and from the gate of his town (Ge 38:8; De 25:6; Ru 4:10); since the Hebrews regarded childlessness as a great evil (Ge 16:4; Ge 19:31), and entire excision as a most dire calamity and awful punishment from God (De 9:14; Ps 9:7; Ps 109:15). To remove this reproach from the departed, it was regarded as the sacred duty of the eldest surviving brother to marry the widow, and the first-born son resulting from such an alliance was to all intents and purposes considered as the representative and heir of the deceased. Thus we are told that when Er, Judah's eldest son, who was married to Tamar, died without issue, the second son was called upon to marry his deceased brother's widow, and that when he again died, leaving no children, Tamar, the widow, had still a claim upon the only surviving son, for whom she had to wait, as he was not as yet marriageable (Ge 12:14-38:6,20). Ultimately Judah himself had to marry his daughter-in-law, for she inveigled him into it as a punishment for neglecting to give her his third son (Ge 38:300); and Pharez, the issue of this Levirate marriage, not only became the founder of a numerous and illustrious family, but was the direct line from which the royal family of David descended, and the channel through which the Messiah was born (Ge 38:29, with Mt 1:3). This Levirate marriage was not peculiar to the Hebrews. It also obtained among the Moabites (Ru 1:11-13), Persians (Kleuker, Zendavesta, 3:226), Indians (Asiatic Researches, 3:35), and still exists in Arabia (Burckhardt, Notes, 1:112; Niebuhr, Voyage, p. 61), among the tribes of the Caucasus (Hanthausen, Trans-caucasia, p. 403), and other nations (comp. Leyser, in Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:358, s.v. Leviratsehe).
2. This law, which, as we have seen, existed from time immemorial both among the patriarchs and other nations of antiquity, was at length formally enacted as part of the Biblical gamology. In adopting this law, however, as in the case of other primitive practices incorporated in the Mosaic code, the sacred legislator both prescribes for it definite limits, and most humanely deprives it of the irksome and odious features which it possessed in ancient times. This is evident from the enactment itself, which is as follows: "If brothers dwell together, and one of them die and have no child, the wife of the deceased shall not marry out of the family a stranger; her husband's brother shall go in unto her. and take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a brother-in-law. Her first-born shall then succeed in the name of the deceased brother, so that his name be not blotted out of Israel" (De 25:5-6). Accordingly —
1. This law is restricted to brothers who dwell together, i.e. in contiguous properties, as the rabbinical law explains it according to the meaning of the phrase שהת יחדיו in Ge 13:6; Ge 36:7, and elsewhere. If the brothers lived far away, or if the deceased had no brothers at all, it was an understood thing that it devolved upon the nearest of kin to marry the widow, or care for her if she was too old, when, of course, it passed over from the domain of Leviration into that of Goel or redeemer (Ru 2:20; Ru 3:9; Ru 4:15-16).
2. To cases where no issue whatever is left, as בן is here used in its general sense of offspring and not specifically for son. This is not only confirmed by the Sept. (σπέρμα), Matthew (μὴ ἔχων σπέρμα, 22:5), Mark (Mr 12:19). Luke (ἄτεκνος, 20:28), Josephus (Ant. 4:8, 23), and the Talmud (Jebamoth, 22 b), but is evident from the law of inheritance (Nu 27:8-11), in which it is declared that if a man dies without leaving a son, his daughter is to inherit the property. For if his widow could claim the surviving brother to marry her in order to raise up a son to the deceased, the daughter who legally came to the inheritance would either have to lose her possessions, or the son born of the Levirate marriage would have to be without patrimony.
In fulfilling the duty of the Levir in the patriarchal age the surviving brother had to make great sacrifices. He had not only to renounce the perpetuating of his own name through the first-born son (Ge 38:9), and mar his own inheritance (Ru 4:6), but, what was most galling, he was obliged to take the widow whether he had an inclination for any such marriage or not, as the Levir in the patriarchal age had no alternative. Now the Mosaic law removed this hardship by opening to the man a door of escape: 'But if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate of the elders and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel; he will not perform the Levirate duty. And the elders of the city shall call him, and speak unto him. But if he still persist and say, I like not to take her then shall his brother's wife come in to him in the presence of the elders. and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house; and his house shall be called in Israel the house of the barefoot" (De 25:7-10). Thus the Mosaic gamology does not impose it as an inexorable law, but simply enjoins it as a duty of love, which the Levir might escape by submitting to censure and reproach. Of this he could hot complain, for he not only neglected to perform towards his deceased brother the most sacred offices of love, but, by refusing to do so, he openly declared his dislike to the widow, and thus publicly insulted her. The symbolic manner in which she took away in the public court his right to her and his deceased brother's possession, has its origin in the fact that the possession of property was claimed by planting the foot on it. Hence, when the transfer of property was effected by an amicable transaction, the original owner signified the renunciation of his rights by taking off his shoe and giving it to the new possessor (Ru 4:7-8). A similar custom obtained among the Indians (Benary, de Hebraeorum Leviratu, Berol. 1835, p. 14) and the ancient Germans (Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer, p. 156). In the case before us, however, where the privilege of possession was not renounced by a mutual understanding, but involved insult both to the deceased brother and the surviving widow, the outraged sister-in-law snatched the right from him by pulling off his shoe.
3. That this patriarchal law-which, as we have seen, was incorporated in the Mosaic gamology — continued in its full force after the Captivity, is evident from Mt 22:25-27; Mr 12:19-23, and Lu 20:28-33. From the question put to our Savior in these passages, it will be seen that it was incumbent upon each surviving brother in succession to perform the duty of the Levir. There were, however, cases where this duty could not be performed, about which the Mosaic law gives no directions whatever — e.g. when the deceased brother's widow was a near relation of the Levir and came within the proscribed degrees, of which the Mishna (Jebaemoth, 1:1) gives fifteen cases; or when the latter was a child when his brother died and left a widow without issue (2:3); and if he were on this or any other account exempt from the obligation to marry one of the widows, he was also from the obligation to marry any of them (1:1); it is also implied that it was only necessary for one brother to marry one of the widows in cases where there were several widows left. The marriage was not to take place within three months of the husband's death (4:10). The eldest brother ought to perform the duty of marriage; but, on his declining it, a younger brother might do it (2:8; 4:5). The chalitstah was regarded as involving future relationship, so that a man who had received it could not marry the widow's relations within the prohibited degrees (4:7). Special rules are laid down for cases where a woman married under a false impression as to her husband's death (10:1), or where a mistake took place as to whether her son or her husband died first (10:3), for in the latter case the Levirate law would not apply; and, again, as to the evidence of the husband's death to be produced in certain cases (cap. 15, 16). There can, therefore, be no question that the administrators of the law in the time of the prophets and at the advent of our Savior had to define and supplement the Levirate law. As the space of this article does not permit us to enumerate these important definitions and enactments. we must refer to the Mishna, Tract Jebamoth, which derives its name (יבמות) from the fact that it embodies these laws. These descend into trivial distinctions — e.g. that the shoe was to be of leather, or a sandal furnished with a heel-strap; a felt shoe, or a sandal without a strap, would not do (Yebam. 12:1, 2). The chalitsah was not valid when the person performing it was deaf and dumb (12:4), as he could not learn the precise formula which accompanied the act. The custom is retained by the modern Jews, and is minutely described by Picart (Ceremonuies Religieuses, 1:243). It receives illustration from the expression used by the modern Arabs in speaking of a repudiated wife: 'She was my slipper. I have cast her off" (Burckhardt, Notes, 1:113). It only remains to be remarked that the fear lest the performance of the duty of Levir should come into collision with the law of consanguinity, made the ancient rabbins declare that (חליצה קודם ליבום) the ceremony of taking off the shoe is preferable to marrying the widow, and thus virtually set aside Levirate marriages. As this ceremony, which is called Chalitsah (חליצה from חלוֹ, to draw out, to pull of), supersedes the ancient law, the rabbins gave very minute orders about the manner in which it is to be performed. The ceremony is performed in the syllagogue after morning prayer, in the presence of three rabbis and two witnesses, attended by others of the congregation as auditors and spectators. The Levir and widow are called forward, and after being questioned by the principal rabbi, and avowing his determination not to marry her, the man puts on a shoe of a peculiar form and made for this purpose, and the woman repeats, "My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother." To which the Levir replies, "I like not to take her." Upon this declaration the widow unties the shoe with her right hand, takes it off, throws it on the ground, and spits before him, saying in Hebrew, "So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house: and his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed;" when the persons present exclaim three times, "His shoe is loosed!" This concludes the ceremony, and the rabbi tells the widow that she is now at liberty to marry whom she pleases.
IX. In considering the social and domestic conditions of married life among the Hebrews, we must, in the first place, take into account the position assigned to women generally in their social scale. The seclusion of the harem, and the habits consequent upon it, were utterly unknown in early times, and the condition of the Oriental woman, as pictured to us in the Bible, contrasts most favorably with that of her modern representative. There is abundant evidence that women, whether married or unmarried, went about with their faces unveiled (Ge 12:14; Ge 24:16,65; Ge 29:11; 1Sa 1:13). An unmarried woman might meet and converse with men, even strangers, in a public place (Ge 24:24,7-45; Ge 29:9-12; 1Sa 9:2); she might be found alone in the country without any reflection on her character (De 22:25-27); or she might appear in a court of justice (Nu 27:2). Women not unfrequently held important offices: some were prophetesses, as Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah, and Anna; of others advice was sought in emergencies (2Sa 14:2; 2Sa 20:16-22). They took their part in matters of public interest (Ex 15:20; 1Sa 18:6-7); in short., they enjoyed as much freedom in ordinary life as the women of our own country.
If such was her general position, it is certain that the wife must have exercised an important influence in her own home. She appears to have taken her part in family affairs, and even to have enjoyed a considerable amount of independence. For instance, she entertains guests at her own desire (2Ki 4:8) in the absence of her husband (Jg 4:18), and sometimes even in defiance of his wishes (1Sa 25:14, etc.); she disposes of her child by a vow without any reference to her husband (1Sa 1:24); she consults with him as to the marriage of her children (Ge 27:46); her suggestions as to any domestic arrangements meet with due attention (2Ki 4:9); and occasionally she criticizes the conduct of her husband in terms of great severity (1Sa 25:25; 2Sa 6:20).
The relations of husband and wife appear to have been characterized by affection and tenderness. He is occasionally described as the "friend" of his wife (Jer 3:20; Ho 3:1), and his love for her is frequently noticed (Ge 24:67; Ge 29:18). On the other hand, the wife was the consolation of the husband in time of trouble (Ge 24:67), and her grief at his loss presented a picture of the most abject woe (Joe 1:8). No stronger testimony, however, can be afforded as to the ardent affection of husband and wife than that which we derive from the general tenor of the book of Canticles. At the same time we cannot but think that the exceptions to this state of affairs were more numerous than is consistent with our ideas of matrimonial happiness. One of the evils inseparable from polygamy is the discomfort arising from the jealousies and quarrels of the several wives, as instanced in the households of Abraham and Elkanaah (Ge 21:11; 1Sa 1:6). The purchase of wives, and the small amount of liberty allowed to daughters in the choice of husbands, must inevitably have led to unhappy unions. The allusions to the misery of a contentious and brawling wife in the Proverbs (Pr 19:13; Pr 21:9,19; Pr 27:15) convey the impression that the infliction was of frequent occurrence in Hebrew households, and in the Mishna (Ketub. 7:6) the fact of a woman being noisy is laid down as an adequate ground for divorce. In the N.T. the mutual relations of husband and wife are a subject of frequent exhortation (Eph 5:22-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:4-5; 1Pe 3:1-7): it is certainly a noticeable coincidence that these exhortations should be found exclusively in the epistles addressed to Asiatics, nor is it improbable that they were more particularly needed for them than for Europeans.
The duties of the wife in the Hebrew household were multifarious. In addition to the general superintendence of the domestic arrangements, such as cooking, from which even women of rank were not exempted (Ge 18:6; 2Sa 13:8), and the distribution of food at meal- times (Pr 31:15), the manufacture of the clothing and the various textures required in an Eastern establishment devolved upon her (Pr 31:13,21-22); and if she were a model of activity and skill, she produced a surplus of fine linen shirts and girdles, which she sold, and so, like a well-freighted merchant-ship, brought in wealth to her husband from afar (Pr 31:14,24). The poetical description of a good housewife drawn in the last chapter of the Proverbs is both filled up and in some measure illustrated by the following minute description of a wife's duties towards her husband, as laid down in the Mishna: "She must grind corn, and bake, and wash, and cook, and suckle his child, make his bed, and work in wool. If she brought her husband one bondwoman, she need not grind, bake, or wash; if two, she need not cook nor suckle his child; if three, she need not make his bed nor work in wool; if four, she may sit in her chair of state" (Ketub. v. 5). Whatever money she earned by her labor belonged to her husband (6:1). The qualification not only of working, but of working at home (Tit 2:5, where οἰκουργούς is preferable to οἰκουρούς), was insisted on in the wife, and to spin in the street was regarded as a violation of Jewish customs (Ketub. 7:6).
The legal rights of the wife are noticed in Ex 21:10, under the three heads of food, raiment, and duty of marriage or conjugal right. These were defined with great precision by the Jewish doctors, for thus only could one of the most cruel effects of polygamy be averted, viz. the sacrifice of the rights of the many in favor of the one whom the lord of the modern harem selects for his special attention. The regulations of the Talmudists, founded on Ex 21:10, may be found in the Mishna (Ketub. av. 6-9).
X. The allegorical and typical allusions to marriage have exclusive reference to one subject, viz. to exhibit the spiritual relationship between God and his people. The earliest form, in which the image is implied, is in the expressions "to go a whoring," and "whoredom," as descriptive of the rupture of that relationship by acts of idolatry. These expressions have by some writers been taken in their primary and literal sense, as pointing to the licentious practices of idolaters. But this destroys the whole point of the comparison, and is opposed to the plain language of Scripture: for
(1) Israel is described as the false wife "playing the harlot" (Isa 1:21; Jer 3:1,6,8);
(2) Jehovah is the injured husband, who therefore divorces her (Ps 73:27; Jer 2:20; Ho 4:12; Ho 9:1); and
(3) the other party in the adultery is specified, sometimes generally, as idols or false gods (De 31:16; Jg 2:17; 1Ch 5:25; Eze 20:30; Eze 23:30), and sometimes particularly, as in the case of the worship of goats (A.V. "devils," Le 17:7), Molech (Le 20:5), wizards (Le 20:6), an ephod (Jg 8:27), Baalim (Jg 8:33), and even the heart and eyes (Nu 15:39)-the last of these objects being such as wholly to exclude the idea of actual adultery. The image is drawn out more at length by Ezekiel (chap. 23), who compares the kingdoms of Samaria and Judah to the harlots Aholah and Aholibah; and again by Hosea (chap. 1, 3), whose marriage with an adulterous wife, his separation from her, and subsequent reunion with her, were designed to be a visible lesson to the Israelites of their dealings with Jehovah.
The direct comparison with marriage is confined in the O.T. to the prophetic writings, including the Canticles as an allegorical work. SEE CANTICLES. The actual relation between Jehovah and his people is generally the point of comparison (Isa 54:5; Isa 62:4; Jer 3:14; Ho 2:19; Mal 2:11); but sometimes the graces consequent thereon are described under the image of bridal attire (Isa 49:18;
61:10), and the joy of Jehovah in his Church under that of the joy of a bridegroom (Isa 62:5).
In the N.T. the image of the bridegroom is transferred from Jehovah to Christ (Mt 9:15; Joh 3:29), and that of the bride to the Church (2Co 11:2; Re 19:7; Re 21:2,9; Re 22:17), and the comparison thus established is converted by St. Paul into an illustration of the position and mutual duties of man and wife (Eph 5:23-32). The suddenness of the Messiah's appearing, particularly at the last day, and the necessity of watchfulness, are inculcated in the parable of the Ten Virgins, the imagery of which is borrowed from the customs of the marriage-ceremony (Mt 25:1-13). The Father prepares the marriage-feast for his Son, the joys that result from the union being thus represented (Mt 22:1-14; Mt 25:10; Re 19:9; comp. Mt 8:11), while the qualifications requisite for admission into that union are prefigured by the marriage-garment (Mt 22:11). The breach of the union is, as before, described as fornication or whoredom in reference to the mystical Babylon (Re 17:1-2,5).
XI. Literature. — The most important ancient literature on all the marriage questions is contained in the third order (סדד) of the Mishna, five tractates of which treat respectively —
1. On the Levirate law; 2. On the marriage-instrument; 3. On suspicion of having violated the marriage-bond; 4. On divorce; and, 5. On betrothal.
To these must be added the Gemaras or Talmuds on these tractates. Maimonides devotes six tractates of the second volume of his Jad Ha- Chazaka to Biblical and Talmudic gamology, giving an abridgment of the traditional enactments. Jacob ben-Asher occupies the entire third volume of his Tur, called Eben Ha-Ezar, with marriage in its various ramifications, and gives a lucid epitome of the ancient code. Of modern writers are to be mentioned Michaelis, Commentaries on the Laws of Mioses, 1:450 sq.; 2:1 sq.; Saalschütz, Das Mosaiische Recht, 2:735 sq.; by the same author, Archaologie der tlebrder, 2:173 sq.; Ewald, Die Alterthümer der Volkes Israel, p. 218 sq.; Geiger, Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrjft (Frankfort-on-the- Main), 4:36 sq., 345 sq.; Jiidische Zeitschrift (Breslau, 1862), 1:19 sq., 253 sq.; Stein and Susskind's Israelitischer Volkslehrer, 1:192; 4:282, 301, 315; v. 323; vi,'74; 7:264; 8:73; 9:171; Frankel, Grundlinien des Mosaisch-talmudischen Eherechts (Breslau, 1860); Leopold Law, Ben Chananja, vol. iii-vi. Among the writers on special points we may notice Benary, De Hebr. Leviratu (Berlin, 1835); Redslob's Leiiratsehe (Leipz. 1836); and Kurtz's Ehe des Hosea (Dorpat, 1859). SEE WOMAN.