In this segment of "The Biblical Theme of The Bride" we will be looking at the Bridal Week in the Wedding Chamber.
The mansions described by the Apostle John refer to the prepared place in the heavens and the Bridal Chamber.
John 14:2 - "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
John 14:3 - "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Today, in the USA, this is the honeymoon week where the Bride and Groom go away from everyone on vacation for the traditional week. It has been pretty much that way since most of the past century or longer. It is a time of marital bliss and intimacy. It has been custom in Jewish weddings since Bible times. Even the poorest Jews would be given a honeymoon by their family and community.
The word week in Hebrew is "shavuah" or "shabua". It means a "seven". It can mean "seven" days or "seven" years. An example of the Hebrew word "shavuah" for week meaning "seven" years is that found in Daniel 9:24, 27. From this we can see that the believers (the Bride) in the Messiah (Bridegroom) will be with the Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the Earth will be experiencing the "seven-year" Tribulation period.
The Bridal Week = The Tribulation Week. Regardless of when the feast is in these verses are not at the end of the seven days, the time of intimacy (the Bride being with the Bridegroom sealed away in the Bridal Chamber) begins at the start of the Bridal Week, and this is what we look forward to in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. And if you read these accounts, you will see that the deception in the stories would not have happened if the Feast were held at any other time of the week.
Judges 14:1-18 - "....And Samson made a feast there, as was customary for Bridegrooms. ...If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast.... She cried the whole seven days of the feast."
Genesis 29:22-28 - "So Laban brought together all the people of the place and give a feast ... Finish this daughter's bridal week."
There are many verses which show the Tribulation lasts "seven" weeks, and there are more examples of a period of "seven" days, which do show some parallel with the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. The number "seven" is a Divine "signature" of God's authentication.
Leviticus 12:2 "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean."
The "man child" is spoken of as symbolically representing the Rapture of a nation at once in Revelation 12 and Isaiah 66.
Revelation 12:5 - "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."
Isaiah 66:7 - "Behold she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child."
Isaiah 66:8 - "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in the day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."
Isaiah 66:9 - "Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God."
Another "seven" days example, which supports the Pre-Tribulation Rapture "seven" year prophetic plan is found in Revelation 19. To anoint a new priest, the priest went into the tabernacle for "seven" days, and then emerged before the congregation as believers come out of heaven with Jesus in Revelation 19. Believers are the kings and priests, and the Tabernacle represents heaven. The purpose of the "seven" days in Daniel's 70 weeks is the same: Consecration (anoint) & Atonement (reconciliation). The "door" is highly figured here, as in the Rapture in Revelation 4:1.
Leviticus 8:33 - "And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you."
Leviticus 8:34 - "As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you."
Leviticus 8:35 - "Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded."
Daniel 9:24 - "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."
Revelation 4:1 - "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened to heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
Revelation 19:14 - "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
The 30-day time period before the Feast of Trumpets is a period of fasting and repentance. The actual Feast of Trumpets is a time to feast. During or at the end of the Bridal Week is also a feast. Joel 2 gives an account of the Bride in her Bridal Closet is shown to emphasize the importance of fasting and repentance before the Day of the Lord. Even people who normally would be feasting such as a Bride and Groom when they leave their Bridal Chamber, should be fasting according to Joel. In Jewish customs, weddings do not take place during this 30 day time period preceding the Feast of Trumpets.
Joel 2:15 - "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:"
Joel 2:16 - "Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet."
Ancient Jewish eschatology taught that a "seven" year "time of trouble" would come upon the Earth before the coming of the Messiah. During that time of trouble, the righteous would be resurrected and would enter the wedding chamber where they would be protected from the time of trouble. Today that "seven" year period is referred to as the Tribulation.
The "time of trouble" is known as "Jacob's trouble". There were two times of trouble in Jacob's life. The "seven" extra years he worked for his bride, and the "seven" years of famine that brought him into Egypt where Joseph set up the decree to observe the Feast of Trumpets.
I trust the reader is beginning to see the "Big Picture" through the use of "The Theme of The Bride" to lay out for us His Master Plan of Redeeming those trusting in Christ Jesus from those that are made up of disobedient Gentiles and His disobedient children, the Jews.
A day is for a year when considering a length of time of a judgment from a type; See Moses and Ezekiel.
Numbers 14:34 - "After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."
Ezekiel 4:6 - "And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year."
The 40 days should remind us of Noah, the time it rained 40 days and nights in judgment on the whole Earth. But the important point is that it is a Bible concept to have a year for a day in judgment. Even Noah was invited into the ark 7 days before the flood, as a shadow of the "seven" year Tribulation.
Since the Bridal Week will see the judgment seat of Christ Jesus for believing in Heaven, and the Tribulation week will see the judgment poured out on the unbelieving world, we know the Bridal Week will be "seven" years of Daniel's 70th Week.
The Bride is kept in the Wedding Chamber as a promise of her patient endurance.
Revelation 3:10 - "Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep ["tereo"] you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the Earth."
This word '"tereo" is not one we have heretofore seen before, but bears importance here. Its meaning is as follows:
1. To attend to carefully, take care of
2. To guard
3. To keep, one in the state in which he is
4. To observe
5. To reserve: to undergo something
Ephesians 5:29 - "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth an cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:"
We have but a few more sections to go on "The Biblical Theme of The Bride" and I hope it has been a blessing to your life and faith in Christ Jesus. One of the interesting aspects that I discovered years ago in that God-given hint of Proverbs 25:2, was that I experienced an internal warmth from the text and passages that often did not, in their normal reading, did not take place. In part 18 we will examine the Marriage Supper or Wedding Feast. It has more to it than you realize.