Betroth • Betrothed • Espousals
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Betrothal. First stage of marriage transaction; engagement.See Marriage, Marriage Customs.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Betroth; Betrothed
Betroth; Betrothed [Heb. ’āraś, ḥārap̱ (Lev. 19:20); Gk. mnēsteúō, harmózomai (2 Cor. 11:2), parthénos (1 Cor. 7:36–38)]; AV also ESPOUSED (2 S. 3:14; Mt. 1:18; Lk. 1:27; 2:5; 2 Cor. 11:2), VIRGIN (1 Cor. 7); NEB also ASSIGNED, PLEDGED (in marriage), “partner in celibacy” (1 Cor. 7). On betrothal
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
BETROTHAL* First stage of marriage transaction; engagement. See Marriage, Marriage Customs.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
betrothal. A free promise of future marriage between two persons. In origin the Christian betrothal ceremonies date back, both in their Jewish and Roman counterparts, to the custom of ‘wife purchase’. The giving of a ring is an earnest of the man’s good faith. In many countries formal betrothal before
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Betrothto promise “by one’s truth.” Men and women were betrothed when they were engaged to be married. This usually took place a year or more before marriage. From the time of betrothal the woman was regarded as the lawful wife of the man to whom she was betrothed (Deut. 28:30; Judg. 14:2, 8; Matt.
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BETROTHAL — a mutual promise or contract for a future marriage (Deut. 20:7; Jer. 2:2; Luke 1:27).The selection of the bride was followed by the betrothal, not to be entirely equated with the modern concept of engagement. A betrothal was undertaken by a friend or agent representing the bridegroom and
The Lutheran Cyclopedia
Betrothal, is the lawful and unconditional mutual consent of a marriageable man and a marriageable woman to be husband and wife. This consent is consent when it was brought about not by duress, fraud, or error personæ, but by the conscious and free will of the contracting parties. The consent is lawful
The Westminster Bible Dictionary
Be-trothʹing, an engagement of marriage between a man and woman. Anciently, these engagements were made or arranged by the parents of the parties, often when they were mere children and when they had not seen each other. It is still one of the customs of Oriental countries. Although after this betrothment
A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Aaron–Zion
BETROTHAL.—Betrothal among the Jews in the time of Jesus, like so many other social institutions, was in process of transition. Jewish marriage customs were in origin the same as those of other Semitic peoples, but Jewish civilization was far removed from its primitive stages. Unfortunately there is
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
BETROTHAL Act of engagement for marriage in Bible times and was as binding as marriage.Old Testament The biblical terms, betrothal and espousal, are almost synonymous with marriage and as binding. Betrothal and marriage comprised a moral and spiritual principle for the home and society. The penalty
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, D–G
espousals. This English term, meaning “betrothal” or “wedding,” is used by the KJV in two passages (Cant. 3:11; Jer. 2:2); in the second reference, “the love of thine espousals” means “your love as a bride” (so NRSV and other versions). See marriage.
Key passages
Dt 20:7

And who is the man who got engaged to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and let him return to his house, so that he does not die in battle and another man marries her.’

Mt 1:18–19

Now the birth of Jesus Christ occurred in this way. His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So Joseph her husband, being righteous and not wanting to disgrace her, intended to divorce …

Lk 1:27

to a virgin legally promised in marriage to a man named Joseph of the house of David. And the name of the virgin was Mary.

2 Co 11:2

For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.