Throughout the scriptures, the triumphal return of Yeshua has been compared to that of a Jewish wedding of antiquity and is referred to as “The Wedding of the Lamb.”
- Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.
Revelation 19:7 NIV
In this article, we are going to examine the scriptures to determine the details surrounding Yeshua’s second coming and to identify the individuals that are invited to witness His return.
A JEWISH WEDDING TODAY
Today, a Jewish wedding is steeped in tradition and can be divided into two stages. The kiddushin and the nissu’in.
The kiddushin is the first stage of the wedding process mandated by the Torah. It is a betrothal period which begins when the bridegroom (the chatan) signs the ketubah in front of two witnesses.
However, the couple does not live together until the nissu’in ceremony. The kiddushin and the nissu’in can be a year apart, but is usually performed on the same day.
The participants of a Jewish wedding are comprised of:
- The bridegroom (the chatan)
- The bride (the kallah)
- The parents of the bride and bridegroom
- Two witnesses (halakhically valid)
- The bridesmaids (the bride’s girlfriends)
- The guest
These participants can be categorized into one of two groups:
GROUP 1 – WEDDING PARTY
For discussion purposes “the wedding party” is made up of the family members that help organize this festive event. These individuals are:
- The parents of the bride and groom
- The bridegroom
- The bride
“The wedding party” is also responsible for inviting “friends and acquaintances” to the wedding and its festivities.
GROUP 2 – INVITED ATTENDANTS
For discussion purposes, “The invited attendants” are the “friends and acquaintances” that are invited by “the wedding party.” These “attendants” are:
- The two witnesses
- The bridesmaids
- The guests
- Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.
Matthew 22:4 NASB
To help us visually identify these different individuals, we are going to examine a painting by M. Strayamsky, which depicts a 19th century Jewish wedding in Eastern Europe.
We begin by identifying those individuals that make up “the wedding party.”
Notice that most of those in this painting have festive faces except the ones standing under the chuppah.
The young man standing under chuppah is the bridegroom.
Standing beside the bridegroom is an older gentleman. Being that he is standing with the groom suggests that he could be the bridegroom’s Father.
There is only one woman with their face covered in this painting, suggesting that she is the bride .
MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
To the left of the bride is her mother.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE
Directly in front of and confronting the bridegroom appears to be the bride’s father.
THE WEDDING PARTY
Together, these are the family members that are responsible for orchestrating this event.
Next we will identify “the invited attendants.”
The bridesmaids are those which surround the bride.
Note: The girl friends of a bride living in Israel during the first century weren’t called bridesmaids, rather (because of the strict oversight to maintain a young girl’s chastity) they were identified as virgins.
- Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, The Most High with us.
Matthew 1:23 KJVm
The two stern faced individuals, which share the chuppah and are standing directly behind the bridegroom, are in all probability the witnesses.
The rest of the people in this picture are the invited guest.
Likewise, the participants that will be involved in “the wedding of the Lamb” can also be categorized into the same six groups. We begin by addressing “the wedding party” which are those responsible for inviting those the attendants and guest.
“Our Father in heaven” is The Father of “the Bridegroom.”
- “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.
Matthew 22:2 NASB
Yeshua is “the Bridegroom.”
- The Son of Man answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them?…
Matthew 9:15 NIV
According to John, The New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven is “the bride” of The Lamb.
- One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from The Most High.
Revelation 21:9-10 KJVm
INVITATION BY THE FATHER
The following verses is the invitation from the Father.
- Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’
Matthew 22:9 NASB
INVITATION BY BRIDEGROOM
This is a description of Yeshua’s invitation described in the parable of the Ten Virgins.
- But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
Matthew 25:6 NASB
INVITATION BY BRIDE
- The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
Revelation 22:17 NASB
Next, we are going to identify “the invited attendants” to “the wedding of the Lamb.”
- Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb”…
Revelation 19:9 NASB
Note: It is important to understand that “the wedding of the Lamb” will take place at the time of the Yeshua’s “second coming.” And at that time believers will be classified in one of two ways:
- Those that have died in their faith and will be in the first resurrection.
- Blessed and holy is he that is in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of The Most High and of The Lamb, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:6 KJVm
2. Those that are found worthy to escape the apocalypse and will be found alive “standing” with the Lamb at His return.
- Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.
Luke 21:36 KJV
According to scripture, the disciples are the invited “guests” of the bridegroom.
- Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” The-Son-of-Man answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them?”
Matthew 9:14-15 NIV
We know that the disciples have died and are awaiting the first resurrection. And since the disciples are identified as “the guest, we can assume that “the guest” list consist of all believers that await the first resurrection.
- Blessed and set-apart is the one having part in the first resurrection. The second death possesses no authority over these, but they shall be priests of The Most High and of Messiah, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Revelation 20:6 TS2009
THE TWO WITNESSES
“The two witnesses” described in Revelation 11 will be the two witnesses in “the Wedding of the Lamb.”
- And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Revelation 11:3 NASB
Note: “The Two Witnesses” are killed at the end of the Great Tribulation.
- When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
Revelation 11:7 NASB
Three and a half days later “the Two” are raised from the dead during “the first resurrection.”
- And after three days and an half the spirit of life from The Most High entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
Revelation 11:11 KJVm
THE (VIRGIN) BRIDESMAIDS
From the book of Matthew, we see a group of virgins (in the role of ten bridesmaids) that are found physically alive and waiting for the arrival of Yeshua as “the Bridegroom.”
- But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
Matthew 25:10 NIV
According to the parable, only five wise virgins are prepared to enter the marriage banquet.
- And while they (the foolish virgins) went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready (the five wise virgins) went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Matthew 25: 10 KJVm
THE 144,000 VIRGINS
The role of these five wise virgins is fulfilled by the 144,000, which are identified as “virgins.”
- And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
Revelation 14:1,4 KJVm
These 144,000 are the only male believers found “standing” (on Mount Zion) with “the Lamb” at His return…
- And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
Revelation 14:1 KJVm
…which will be those “redeemed from the earth.”
- And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Revelation 14:3 KJV
The second coming of Yeshua has been compared to a Jewish wedding ceremony of antiquity and is referred to as “the wedding of the Lamb.”
The wedding party is made up of:
- The Father
- The Son – Yeshua
- The Bride – The New Jerusalem
The invited attendees are:
- The Guests – those in the first resurrection
- The Two Witnesses – which are also in the first resurrection
- The Virgins – The 144,000 and the Daughters of Zion, which are those that will be alive to greet Yeshua at His return