Genesis 1:1 - 31
KJV - 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
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The concept of marriage in most cultures today is, in many ways, different from what we see in the Bible. For example, the government is usually involved to a significant degree in modern marriages by requiring licenses and issuing marriage certificates, and through the recognition of marriage as a special legal status impacting our taxes, our government benefits, etc. It seems that marriage in biblical times was a much more private (and often less formal) matter without governmental oversight and intervention. In the case of Adam and Eve there was no precedent to follow and no concept of, or need for, a formal ceremony as we are accustomed to today. Some biblical/historical accounts indicate that marriage was sometimes a simple matter of declaration and consummation, particularly in early Old Testament days. In that highly patriarchal setting a man would choose a wife, take her into his tent for the night, and they were considered married at that point. By the time Jesus arrived on earth, the Jews (though still patriarchal) had developed a much more elaborate system of dowries, betrothal periods, feasts and ceremonies which were filled with symbolism and customs that celebrated both the physical and the spiritual union of the couple. Despite the differences in marriages then and now, there is also a continuity of the most important aspect of the marriage agreement from biblical days until today. That is, marriage has always consisted of solemn vows made between a man and a woman in the sight of God that constitute a covenant or contract between the two intended to bind them together in love and mutual support for the remainder of their lives. The marriage vows of Adam and Eve are recorded in Genesis 2:23-24. In this simple acknowledgement of their mutual origin, constitution, and life-long relationship as stated by Adam, we see the foundation of our typical Christian marriage ceremony today. It is interesting that these words were spoken by Adam (not Eve) which may indicate that Adam recognized and was acting upon his authority and responsibility as God’s representative on earth (Genesis 1:26-31). When God made covenants with people in the scripture, He did all the talking, stating the terms of the agreement and, in some cases, the associated blessings and curses (Genesis 2:16-17, etc.). It was man’s job to acquiesce and obey. To a lesser degree and on a strictly human level we see the continuation of that concept in passages such as Ephesians 5:22-33. Here the comparison is made between the loving, covenantal relationship of a husband and wife to that of Jesus and the Church. So, while there is no indication in the text that God officiated a formal wedding ceremony as we would define it today, it is apparent that Adam and Eve were, none the less, husband and wife. And while ceremonial aspects of a Christian marriage are wonderfully symbolic of and point directly to our relationship with God and the church’s relationship with Christ, they are conventions of man, not prescriptions from God. There is no doubt, however, that God established marriage in scripture as a human institution and sanctioned the marriage of the first humans just as He sanctions the marriage of their descendants today.
According to Genesis 2:22-24(KJV), "God brought the woman (Eve) to the man (Adam)." Then Mark 10:9 states, "Therefore what God has joined together let no man put asunder (separate)." Spiritually speaking, God officiated the first marriage on earth by way of bringing together Adam and Eve. Because of God's Sovereignty He already knew He was going to give Adam a wife. So, hence, Genesis 1:27, "Be fruitful and multiply....."
A priest baptizes an infant, confirms a teenager, gives communion, confers forgiveness. All these acts requires a minister (the priest, who says the words) and a recipient (the other person). Marriage, however, is an odd ball. In marriage, the bride and the groom are the ministers - they minister marriage to each other. They say the words and they marry themselves to each other. The priest hears the vows being said and, together with the congregation, proclaims blessing to the couple. So did God marry Adam and Eve? No.
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