What does the Bible Say About Marriage?

February 7, 2011 by  
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What does the bible say about marriage source #1
ויוצא משה את העם לקראת האלקים-

מגיד שהשכינה יצאה לקראתם כחתן היוצא לקראת כלה.

רש“י שמות יט:יז

And Moses brought the people to meet God. . . This teaches that the Divine Presence went forth to meet them, like a bridegroom who goes forth to meet the bride . . .

~ Rashi, Exodus 19:17

From the love story detailed in Song of Songs to the wedding customs that hark back to God’s revelation at Sinai, marriage is used throughout both the Written and Oral Torah as a metaphor for the relationship between God and the Jewish people. Why was the marriage between husband and wife chosen to depict our relationship with the Divine?

What does the Bible say about marriage Source #2
מאי דכתיב?(דברים יג) אחרי ה’ אלהיכם תלכו? וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה? והלא כבר נאמר? (דברים ד)  כי ה’ אלהיך אש אוכלה הואִ אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב”ה, מה הוא מלביש ערומים . . .  אף אתה הלבש  ערומיםֹ הקב”ה ביקר חולים . . . אף אתה בקר חוליםֹ הקב”ה ניחם אבלים . . . אף אתה נחם אבליםֹ וכו“.

סוטה דף יד.א

What is meant by the passage, “You shall walk after the Lord, your God” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? How is it possible for a human being to walk after the Shechina (the Divine Presence)? Doesn’t it say, “For the Lord, your God is a consuming fire” (ibid 4:24)? This is what it means: You shall follow the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He. Just as he clothes the naked … so should you also clothe the naked. The Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick . . . so should you also visit the sick …                                                                                                 ~Talmud, Sotah 14a

The best we can do to walk in God’s ways – as He is a “consuming fire” – is to emulate God. When we emulate the Divine attributes of mercy and compassion in our relationship with all of creation, we bring Godliness into the world. There is no greater human relationship that provides us this opportunity to be holy than that of a husband and wife. In fact, the word for betrothal, kiddushin, means consecration and sanctification.  As we are consecrated towards each other, we are compelled to become sensitive to the needs of an “other.”

On the other hand, it is through the marital relationship itself that we can better understand what it means to be in relationship with God. We are commanded to love God, yet it is through human love that we are able to even begin to fathom what love is.  One can better understand what it means to be humble before God and to go beyond our ego by practicing these virtues in our own committed relationship.

Yet while these ideas may also apply to other interpersonal relationships, couplehood is unique in that it calls us to wholeness. Here’s the answer to your question, “What does the Bible say about Marriage”.

What does the Bible Say About Marriage Source #3
א”ר אלעזר: כל אדם שאין לו אשה אינו אדם, שנאמר: (בראשית ה’) זכר ונקבה בראם,,,

ויקרא את שמם אדם.

יבמות דף סג.א

A man who is not married is not a man, for the verse says, “Male and female He created them” (Bereishit 1:27) and He called them Man.                                                                                                                                                                   ~Talmud (Yevamot 63a)

The Zohar (part I, 91b) explains that husband and wife are really one soul that was divided in half—half of it in a male body and its other half in a female body. Finding our beshert, our destined partner, enables us to find our lost half and return to our original wholeness.  This is why marriage is accompanied by an unparalleled amount of joy.  God has brought the couple together and the Divine plan has become manifest.

What does the Bible Say About Marriage Source #4
מטרוניתא שאלה את ר’ יוסי בר חלפתא אמרה לו בכמה ימים ברא הקב”ה את עולמו? אמר לה לששת ימים דכתיב (שמות לא) כי ששת ימים עשה ה’ את השמים וגו’, אמרה לו ומאותה שעה עד עכשיו מהו יושב ועושה אמר לה מזווג זווגים וכו“. מדרש רבה (בראשית סח:ד)

A Roman matron once asked Rabbi Yosi ben Chalafta, “Now that God has finished creating the universe, what does he do?” The rabbi replied that God now makes matches, bringing couples together so that they can marry each other.                                                                               ~ Midrash Rabbah (Bereishit 68:4)

Believing that marriage is a “match made in Heaven” provides solace to couples when the luster begins to wear off, for even the rough patches are integral to achieving our original wholeness.

Once he (Rabbi Boruch of Mezibozh) was surprised by Rabbi Moshe of Ludmir while he was quarreling with his wife. “Do not worry,” he told the visitor. “It is just like the Almighty disagreeing with the Shechina, His Divine Presence – it is all for the sake of Tikkun, it is all meant to correct creation and shorten exile.”

The Relationship Rabbi loves answering the question, “What does the bible say about marriage?” when he is asked to counsel a couple based on biblical foundations. If you are interested in biblical marriage counseling, contact Rabbi Slatkin at 443-570-7598 Rabbi Slatkin also realizes that every couple is different and does not mix religion in counseling sessions unless requested by the client.

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