BETROTHAL / ESPOUSED
Study Matthew 1:18-25
Verse 18 – betrothed
Verse 18 – before they came together
Verse 19 – Joseph, her husband
Verse 19 – was going to divorce her privately
Verse 20 – Mary, your wife
Verse 24 – To to him his wife
Verse 25 – Did not know her till she had her firstborn
Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, chapter 9
"From the moment of her betrothal a woman was treated as if she were actually married. The union could not be dissolved, except by regular divorce; breach of faithfulness was regarded as adultery; and the property of the women became virtually that of her betrothed, unless he had expressly renounced it (Kidd. ix. 1)."
Came at an early age Rabbi's held 18 suitable for men and 13 for women.
Betrothed really meant married, but it was not consumated until the marriage ceremony itself.
Parents arranged marriages.
The selection of the bride was followed by the espousal, which was not altogether like our "engagement" but was a formal proceeding, undertaken by a friend or legal representative on the part of the bridegroom and by the parents on the part of the bride.
It was confirmed by oaths and accompanied with presents to the bride. These presents were described by different terms, that to the bride by "a dowry" (Heb. mohar) and that to the relatives by "a present" (Heb. mattan).
A betrothal may be dissolved: