Monday, February 24, 2020

The Two Brides of Christ

Alice C. Linsley

Some promote the Church as the only bride of Messiah because they believe that Israel is subsumed in the Church. Supercessionism holds that the Church replaces or completes God's prior covenants described in the Hebrew scriptures. It suggests that Christianity is disconnected from its origin among Abraham's Horite Hebrew ruler-priest caste who anticipated a Righteous Ruler who would overcome death and lead his people to eternal life in an eternal kingdom.

St. Paul speaks of the Gentiles being grafted into Abraham (not Judaism) so it is not likely that Abraham (who represents the faithful of Israel) is subsumed to the Church. Look at what St. Paul says to Gentiles in Romans 11:17-18 - "But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you."

Paul also writes, "This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6) That body is Christ and his kingdom.

Hebrew rulers with two wives include Lamech, Terah, Abraham, Esau, Jacob, Amram, Moses, Elkanah (Samuel's father), Ashur (1 Chronicles 4:5), Mered (1 Chronicles 4); and Joash (2 Chronicles 24:1–3). Caleb fathered children by his wives Azubah and Jerioth.

This diagram of a "nuclear family" is not typical of the biblical rulers since those rulers had two wives and the offspring of the wives often married. Abraham, for example, married his half-sister Sarah. They had the same father but different mothers (Gen. 20:12).

The diagram below shows the typical marriage arrangement. Lamech, a descendant of Cain, had two wives (Gen. 4). His daughter Namaah married her cousin Methuselah. As the cousin bride it was her prerogative to name their first born son Lamech after her father (Gen. 5). Since cousin brides were usually the second wife, it is likely that Methuselah already had a wife. The first born son of the first wife was Methuselah's proper heir. The first born son of the second wife belonged to the household of his maternal grandfather who he served.

It should be noted that the two-wife pattern pertained only to rulers and ruler-priests. There is no evidence that the average males had more than one wife. Because of the need for a proper heir in succession, marriage arrangements for rulers have always been different than for commoners.

Some have wondered if this pattern doesn't endorse polygamy. That argument cannot be made since the pattern pertained only to rulers. When a commoner takes more than one wife, as in Mormonism and among Muslims, he sets himself up as a ruler, attempting to gain social status. That is an act of hubris.

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Jesus' Horite Hebrew people suggests that Christ has two brides: those who believed and lived in anticipation of the appearing of the Seed of God (Gen. 3:15) and those who believe Jesus is that promised Son of God. The first group is represented by Abraham, Moses, the priest Simeon, the prophetess Anna, and John the Baptist.The second group is embodied by the faithful of the Church. In the sacrament of the cup, the Church receives the promise sealed by Christ's blood. The faith of both brides is fixed on a single promise established and confirmed by the blood of God's appointed sacrifice.

Supercessionism is opposed by Antinomianism, the view that the old covenant laws have been abrogated. Another view holds that there are two separate covenants: one for Jews and another for Gentiles. The covenant that matters to Jews is that associated with Moses, but Moses' father married two wives - Jochebed and Ishar - according to the pattern of his Hebrew forefathers, his Horim.

This pattern of two wives is characteristic of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of the Horim/ Horite Hebrew. The wives maintained separate households on a north-south axis. Their households marked the northern and southern boundaries of the ruler’s territory. Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister bride. She resided in Hebron. Keturah was Abraham’s cousin bride. She resided to the south in Beersheba.

Among Jesus Hebrew ancestors, the second marriage and the coronation of the royal heir were connected events. The heir ascended only after taking his second bride. The second bride was genetically more distant than his first bride. The first bride was a half-sister, as was Sarah to Abraham (Gen. 20:12). The Church is the cousin bride and the coming marriage feast marks Jesus Messiah's coronation in his eternal kingdom.

Jesus alluded to the marriage of the Church at the Last Supper. He told his disciples, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt 26:27-29). Jesus is here referring to the marriage customs of his Horite Hebrew people.

When a Jewish man proposes marriage, he gives her a contract, a ketubah. These are beautifully produced and hang in the new couple's home. The contract includes promises. If the bride agrees, the bridegroom hands her a cup of wine, and if she drinks from the cup the marriage is sealed. He then says to her “I will not drink of this cup until we are reunited.”

In ancient times, the contract stated the price the groom would pay for his bride. In the case of both of Jesus' brides, the price was His eternal blood.

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Jesus' Horite people suggests that Christ has two brides: those who believed and lived in anticipation of the appearing of the Seed of God (Gen. 3:15) and those who believe Jesus is the Son of God and live in anticipation of His coming again to establish his eternal kingdom. The first group can be traced in Scripture from Jesus' Hebrew ancestors to the priest Simeon, the prophetess Anna, and John the Baptist.The second group is embodied in the Church and that promise is sealed by the cup of Christ's blood received in faith. The faith of both brides is fixed on a single promise established and confirmed by the blood of God.

The Two Flocks of Christ

The ruler-priests had two wives living in separate settlements with separate flocks. Together these two camps constituted the ruler's kingdom. In the event of attack, the ruler's line was more likely to survive if divided into two camps. This very fear of being "cut off from the earth" motivated Jacob to divide his household into two groups when returning to Canaan (Gen. 32).

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, speaks to the Jews of having sheep in another fold (John 10:16). Both folds live in expectation of the Son of God, who through His death and resurrection, leads all his sheep to the same eternal kingdom.

Related reading: Righteous Rulers and the Resurrection; The Substance of Abraham's FaithMoses' Horite FamilyIsrael and the Church; Yes, Georgia, There is a Kingdom; Who is Jesus?Water and Blood; No Kingdom By Deception; Kushite Kings and the Kingdom of God; The Cousin Bride's Naming PrerogativeMary's Ruler-Priest Lineage


Unknown said...

Hello Alice,
What you are describing here has been commonly practiced in Africa ever since. My great grand-parents, may grand-parents, my parents and myself did the same thing. A girl accepting drink from his fiancée marks the consent, therefore the official beginning of the marriage process. It is a pre-colonial practice. In fact, the boy's family offers drink to the girl's family. The later, asks their daughter to pour the drink, drinks some and offered it his father. If the girls agrees to do so, she marks her consent. The process of marriage can then proceed, otherwise, it stops. This is more less what you call in the Western world as engagement. I should mention again that the words of marital rituals are surprisingly similar: bala (to marry), mar (moher), cihaku (thiyatu) dowry, and many more. To ask a girl's hand is said to seek for a vase or firewood fetcher. There is a similarity with the Abraham descendants who met their wives at well waters, the girls went to fetch water. There a speculation of Mary and Jesus around the well when the latter asked her for water. Any comment?

Alice C. Linsley said...

You are referring to the Samaritan Woman at Jacob's Well, the first non-Jewish woman known to follow Jesus as Messiah. According to tradition her name was Photini. Photini represents the Church as bride.

Many of the Hebrew men of the Bible met their future wives at a well: Abraham met Keturah at the Well of Sheba. Moses met Zipporah at the well of her father Jethro, the priest of Midian. Abraham's servant found a wife for Isaac at a well in Padan-Aram.

Thank you for commenting. Your information is very helpful.

Anonymous said...

If Jesus has two brides, will there be two weddings?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Please see this:

This pertains to the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Jesus' Horite Hebrew people. That is the only pattern of marriage that Jesus knew, so it is likely that He is referring to it when in the Upper Room he says that He will not drink of the cup until the wedding feast. That would be the second marriage - to the Church. According to the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Jesus' people, the ruler ascended to the throne of his father upon his second marriage. The faithful of Israel are already wedded to Jesus Messiah.