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Marriage … a Review

Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for man to be alone.”

A Study Outline


I. What is marriage?

A. Old Testament. There are relatively few citations, a few of which are mentioned here.

laqach (Strong 3947) = “To take, receive, take away, grasp, take hold of, take to oneself”.

Genesis 19:14. This is the first occurrence of the word in Scripture. Numbers 12:1.

owriah (Strong 5772) = “to dwell together, sexual cohabitation.”

Exodus 21:10.

chathan (Strong 2859) = “to give [a daughter] away in marriage; hence, to contract affinity by marriage.”

Genesis 34:9; Deuteronomy. 7:3.

baal (Strong 1166) = “to be master; hence, to marry.”

Proverbs 30:23; Isaiah 54:1; 62:5; Jeremiah 3:14.

B. New Testament.

gameo (Strong 1060) = to wed.”

Matthew 22:25; Mark 10:12; I Corinthians 7:9.

ginomai (Strong 1096) = “to become, to come into existence.”

Romans 7:3

ekgamizo (Strong 1547, 1548) = “to marry off a daughter.”

Matthew 22:30; 24:38; 25:10.

II. What is the purpose and meaning of marriage?

A. Reproduce. Without producing children the species would cease to exist. Genesis 1:28; 9:1.

B. Express love between husband and wife. There is a vacant spot in the hearts of both a man and a woman that was designed to be filled only by one’s true love … though God can fill that as well; note I Corinthians 7:25-35, and Christ’s interesting statement in Matthew 19:10-12.

1. Note in Genesis 2:19-23 that the woman was taken from the man, and the man naturally wants to have that female essence back with him.

2. Jacob was highly impressed with and loved Rachel. Genesis 29:9-11, 16-20. Rachel was “beautiful” (Strong 3303; from 3302, “bright”) in her “figure or outline” (Strong 8389), and “well-favored” (Strong 4758) in her “appearance, shape, comeliness, or view”. Leah was “weak” (Strong 7390) in her appearance.

3. Elkanah loved Hannah, but also had a second wife named Peninnah. I Samuel 1:2-5. Interestingly, God blessed the unloved wives with more children than he did the loved wives.

C. Creation of a family environment in which to raise children of the next generation in the ways of Almighty God. This cornerstone of a loving, Godly family is designed to be the foundational building block of every civilization of man.

1. Deuteronomy 6:6-7.

2. Ephesians 6:1-4.

III. When did marriage begin? With our first parents when Eve was separated from Adam. Genesis 2:22-25.

IV. How long is marriage designed to last? Forever, until one mate dies.

A. Matthew 19:3-9. “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives; but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery; and who so marries her which is put away commits adultery.”

B. I Corinthians 7:39. “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lies; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

V. What are the grounds for divorce?

A. Matthew 19:9. “And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery; and who so marries her which is put away does commit adultery.” The meaning of this statement is found in the Torah (below).

B. Deuteronomy 24:1-4. “When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it comes to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband dies, which took her to be his wife; her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she if defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and you shall not cause the land to sin, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance.” Recall that Jesus indicated such a bill of divorcement was given due to the hardness of the hearts of some Israelite men. Uncleanness (Strong 6172) = cruah, “any violation of the laws of purity, and if the groom is dissatisfied with his bride ‘because he has found some uncleanness in her; he may divorce her’.” This does not apparently mean the woman is not a virgin, because such a sin merited death (Deuteronomy 22:13-21).

VI. What are the grounds for separation of the husband and wife?

I Corinthians 7:10-16. The situation is different if both parties are in the ecclesia, compared to one mate not being a believer.

VII. What rules protect marriage?

A. Exodus 20:14. “You shall not commit adultery.” Adultery (Strong 5003) = naaph, to commit adultery, figuratively to apostatize.”

B. Matthew 5:27-28. “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, you shall not commit adultery; but I say unto you, that whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Jesus showed that even to lust (Strong 1937 = epithumeo, “to set the heart upon, i.e. long for”) is committing adultery; the attitude of purity of heart towards one’s mate — the one and only — is critically important.

C. Marriage is so critically important to our Father that He set in place a whole set of laws to protect the marriage bond and discourage sexual impurity. See Deuteronomy 22: 13-30; Leviticus 18; 20:10-22; I Corinthians 5:1-13; etc.

D. We are to marry within our race, even our tribe, and when in the ecclesia only to those who are also called out ones.

1. Abram married Sarai. Genesis 11:29.

2. Isaac married Rebekah, of the same home area. Genesis 24:3-4, 67.

3. Jacob married wives of the home area in Ur. Genesis 29:15-30.

4. Israelites were to marry within their own tribes, or at the very least other Israelites: Exodus 34:16; Leviticus 21:14; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; I Chronicles 23:22; Ezra 9:1-12; Nehemiah 10:30; 13:26-27; Malachi 2:11; I corinthians 7:39; II Corinthians 6:14.

E. Sometimes parents selected mates for their children.

1. Hagar selected a wife for Ishmael. Genesis 21:21

2. Abraham procured Isaac’s wife. Genesis 24.

3. Laban arranged for his daughters’ marriage. Genesis 29.

4. Samson asked that his parents get him a wife. Judges 14:2.

5. Parents’ consent is required in the law. Exodus 22:17.

F. Celibacy is deplored. Judges 11:38; Isaiah 4:1; Jeremiah 16:9.

VIII. How is marriage to be lived?

A. It is a joyous, loving union! Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Proverbs 5:18-19. “Let your fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy you at all times, and be ravished always with her love.”

Colossians 3:19.

B. The husband is to head the wife, and the wife is to submit, but each is to submit to the other.

Ephesians 5:21-33. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church; for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Colossians 3:18-19. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

I Peter 3:1-7. “Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands; even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling his lord: whose daughters you are, as long as you do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

C. The wife is to be virtuous and honorable, as is the husband. Proverbs 31:10-31; Hebrews 13:4; Ephesians 5:28.

D. Follow the rule of our Creator. Matthew 7:12.

IX. How is marriage not to be lived?

A. Contentiousness is to be avoided. Proverbs 21:9; 21:19.

B. Do not multiply wives.

Deuteronomy 17:17. The kings were cautioned not to have many wives.

I Kings 11:3-4. Solomon was lead astray by many wives.

I Timothy 3:2, 12. A man of God must have one wife.

Titus 1:6. Have one wife.

Genesis 2:22. Adam was given one wife … a woman, not women.

X. Human marriage is a picture of the marriage of Christ to the ecclesia.

A. Revelation 19:7-9.

B. The book of Hosea