In eastern countries the bridegroom was required to pay the father of his betrothed a stipulated portion, in money or other valuables, portion, in money or other valuables, proportioned to the rank and station of the family to which she belonged; this was the dowry. Jacob purchased his wives by his services to their father, Genesis 29:18-27; 34:12; Exodus 22:16,17; 1 Samuel 18:25; Hosea 3:2.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'DOWRY'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".