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Mar"riage, n. Etym: [OE. mariage, F. mariage. See Marry, v. t.]

1. The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony.
Marriage is honorable in all. Hebrews 13:4.

2. The marriage vow or contract. [Obs.] Chaucer.

3. A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king which made a marriage for his son. Matthew 22:2.
Jesus' first miracle, changing water into wine, was performed at the wedding feast in Cana; a foreshadowing of Him changing wine into His Blood at the Last Supper. John 2:1-12

4. Any intimate or close union. Marriage brokage.
(a) The business of bringing about marriages.
(b) The payment made or demanded for the procurement of a marriage.
-- Marriage favors, knots of white ribbons, or bunches of white flowers, worn at weddings.
-- Marriage settlement (Law), a settlement of property in view, and in consideration, of marriage.

-- Matrimony; wedlock; wedding; nuptials.
-- Marriage, Matrimony, Wedlock. Marriage is properly the act which unites the two parties, and matrimony the state into which they enter. Marriage is, however, often used for the state as well as the act. Wedlock is the old Anglo-Saxon term for matrimony.

Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. It may also be called Matrimony. The ceremony that marks the beginning of a marriage is called a.

Many churches and some civil institutions require pre-marriage classes.

See also Marriage Preparation and Keeping Love Alive.

---excerpt from the Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Marriage - Was instituted in Paradise when man was in innocence (Genesis 2:18). Here we have its original charter, which was confirmed by our Lord, as the basis on which all regulations are to be framed (Matthew 19:4, Matthew 19:5). It is evident that monogamy was the original law of marriage (Matthew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:16). This law was violated in after times, when corrupt usages began to be introduced (Genesis 4:19; Genesis 6:2). We meet with the prevalence of polygamy and concubinage in the patriarchal age (Genesis 16:1; Genesis 22:21; Genesis 28:8, Genesis 28:9; Genesis 29:23, etc.). Polygamy was acknowledged in the Mosaic law and made the basis of legislation, and continued to be practiced all down through the period of Jewish history to the Captivity, after which there is no instance of it on record. It seems to have been the practice from the beginning for fathers to select wives for their sons (Genesis 24:3; Genesis 38:6). Sometimes also proposals were initiated by the father of the maiden (Exodus 2:21). The brothers of the maiden were also sometimes consulted (Genesis 24:51; Genesis 34:11), but her own consent was not required. The young man was bound to give a price to the father of the maiden (Genesis 31:15; Genesis 34:12; Exodus 22:16, Exodus 22:17; 1 Samuel 18:23, 1 Samuel 18:25; Ruth 4:10; Hosea 3:2) On these patriarchal customs the Mosaic law made no change. In the pre-Mosaic times, when the proposals were accepted and the marriage price given, the bridegroom could come at once and take away his bride to his own house (Genesis 24:63). But in general the marriage was celebrated by a feast in the house of the bride's parents, to which all friends were invited (Genesis 29:22, Genesis 29:27); and on the day of the marriage the bride, concealed under a thick veil, was conducted to her future husband's home. Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matthew 22:23), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18, Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:1). Marriage is said to be "honorable" (Hebrews 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Timothy 4:3). The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:1; Hosea 2:9, Hosea 2:20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to His saints (Ephesians 5:25). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Revelation 19:7).

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