As a pastor, I always get approached by couples in the church to preside over their wedding and give my blessings as their spiritual leader. I also often get invited to various meetings regarding marriages to give my advice and teach what the Bible says about it. Last week, during one of my meetings, a young woman rose from her seat and asked me, ” How many times is marriage mentioned in the Bible?”
Marriage has been mentioned 47 times in the Bible in the New International Version (NIV). According to the same Bible version, Marriage has been mentioned 34 times in the Old Testament, while it has only been mentioned 13 times in the New Testament. Examples of where Marriage has been mentioned in the Bible include Exodus 2:21, where Zipporah is given to Moses in Marriage, Deuteronomy 23:2, where it suggests that any person born out of a forbidden marriage should not enter the assembly of God, and Luke 20:35, where it implies that there will be no any kind of Marriage after resurrection.
So, join me until the end as I explain more about this topic. I will discuss the definition of Marriage according to the Bible, the first Marriage to be ever recorded, and what the Bible says about this beautiful institution. I will also explain a few bible verses about Marriage, among other topics.
What is Marriage in the Bible?
Marriage in the Bible is primarily defined by what happened in the Garden of Eden. When God created Adam, he put him in the Garden of Eden to take care of it. However, he saw how Adam was lonely and decided to make him a suitable helper, as recorded in Genesis 2:15-18. God then makes Adam fall asleep and takes a rib out of him, creating Eve. As you read further into the book of Genesis, Chapter 2, verse 24 reveals that for this reason (God creating Eve out of Adam’s rib), a man will leave his father and mother and get united with his wife. They will then become one flesh. So, by this simple verse, Marriage in the Bible can be defined as the process in which a man and a woman come together to be one flesh.
What was the first Marriage in the Bible?
The Bible does not exclusively reveal the first Marriage in the Bible. However, the Bible suggests that the first Marriage was between Adam and Eve, as it refers to Adam as Eve’s husband in Genesis 3:6, insinuating that they were married.
As explained earlier, several things had to be done for a union to be considered a marriage. First, God commands Marriage to only occur between man and wife. Adam is the man, while Eve is the woman in this picture. The Bible also suggests that for Marriage to happen, the two should come together and be one, just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 2:25 records Adam and his wife being naked, and none of them felt shameful. This scripture might have indicated that the two got intimate at some point.
Another instance in the Bible that suggests that the first Marriage was between Adam and Eve is seen in Genesis 1:27-28 where God commands them to be fruitful and increase in number. With this, God permitted Adam and Eve to be intimate, an act only permitted in the confines of Marriage.
What does the Bible say about Marriage?
The Bible implores that Marriage should be honored by all and kept pure at all times. It also explains that God will judge all those who practice sexual immorality, including adultery, as seen in Hebrews 13:4.
The Bible further implies that Marriage is only meant to be enjoyed here on earth and that there shall be no such thing as Marriage when the resurrection happens. Luke 20:35 suggests that the righteous ones who will be resurrected from the dead will neither marry nor give in Marriage.
The Bible suggests that God oversaw the first Marriage in the Bible. God created the first humankind, male and female, blessed them, and commanded them to continue his generation by multiplying and filling the earth, as recorded in Genesis 1:27-28.
The Bible also suggests that Marriage should occur between man and woman and that they should be joined together to become one, as recorded in Genesis 2:24. The Bible also suggests that Marriage should be enjoyed, as recorded in Proverbs 5:18.
2 Corinthians 6:14 also suggests that Marriage should only occur between two believers, as it discourages the righteous from being united or yoked with those who do not believe in the word of God.
The Bible also suggests that married couples should not separate or divorce unless one of them commits sexual immorality. This is mentioned in Matthew 5:32, as the scripture further reveals that a man will be making his wife a victim of adultery if he divorces her for no reason, while a man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
What constitutes Marriage according to the Bible?
The Bible does not reveal the time or the occasion when God considers a man and a wife as a married couple. However, there are a few principles that may be put into consideration for a marriage to be constituted before the eyes of God.
One, a marriage can be considered right before God if it has followed all the Bible and government requirements. Romans 13:1-2 calls us to obey and be subject to the government authorities because God has established those which exist. Nowadays, some governments cannot consider two people married unless they have a physical certificate or paperwork to prove it. With this, a marriage can be constituted if it is between a man and woman and has been approved by the legal authorities.
A marriage can also be called constituted if witnesses have been involved in some cultural or traditional practices or ceremony. It is believed that God acted as a witness between the Marriage of Adam and Eve and even blessed them. Therefore, any marriage should include other people who act as witnesses. John 2 also records Jesus attending a wedding at Cana, indicating that marriage ceremonies took place.
Where are marriage ceremonies in the Bible?
Bible scholars have suggested that there were no marriage ceremonies in the Bible, except the one Jesus attended at Cana. This may be because, in the Old Testament, no marriage ceremony was required, as all was needed was for a woman to be taken from her parent’s house to her husband’s house. For instance, Exodus 2:21 only records Jethro giving his daughter Zipporah to Moses in Marriage. No ceremony is recorded in this scripture.
Judges 3:5 also records the Israelites giving their daughters in Marriage among the Canaanites, Amorites, Perizzites, and other nations, without the mention of any marriage ceremony. In the New Testament, a marriage ceremony is suggested when Jesus attends a wedding in Cana together with his mother. The Bible does not give us details about the married couple in the picture but focuses more on the miracle of Jesus.
Bible verses about Marriage
1 Peter 3:7 encourages husbands to live with their wives and treat them with respect. This scripture may suggest that a woman is just as important as a man when it comes to Marriage and should be treated with maximum respect.
The author of Mark 10:6-9 explains that God created male and female in the beginning, and they came together to be one flesh. With this, the author reveals that no man should separate a married husband and wife as it is God who joined them together.
Proverbs 18:22 elaborates that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and that he receives favor from the Lord. This shows how powerful and blessed the institution of Marriage is.
1 Corinthians 7:39 suggests that a woman should remain with her husband as long as he is alive. However, in the case that the husband dies, she is allowed to marry anyone she wants as long as he is of the Lord.
Proverbs 21:9 portrays what a non-peaceful marriage is like, as it suggests that it is better for a man to live on a corner of the roof than to share the same house with a quarrelsome wife.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.