to 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 ( Deuteronomy 28:30 ; Judges 14:2 Judges 14:8 ; Matthew 1:18-21 ). The term is figuratively employed of the spiritual connection between God and his people ( Hosea 2:19 Hosea 2:20 ).
be-troth', be-troth' ('dras):
On betrothal as a social custom see MARRIAGE. Hosea, in his great parable of the prodigal wife, surpassed only by a greater Teacher's parable of the Prodigal Son, uses betrothal as the symbol of Yahweh's pledge of His love and favor to penitent Israel (Hosea 2:19,20). In Exodus 21:8,9 the Revised Version (British and American) renders "espouse" for the "betroth" of the King James Version, the context implying the actual marriage relation.
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