Biblical writers have little to say about weddings or brides. They occasionally mention means by which brides were obtained (Genesis 24:4;
Ezekiel 16:8-14 describes bride, her attire, and the wedding ceremony. The Song of Solomon is a collection of love poems in which the bride describes her love for her bridegroom.
The imagery of the bride is used widely in the Bible as a description of the people of God. In the Old Testament, the prophets presented Israel as a bride who had committed repeated adulteries (Jeremiah 3:1; Ezek, 16;
Hosea 3:1). The prophets also proclaimed that God was faithful to His unfaithful bride and would restore her (Jeremiah 33:10-11;
Isaiah 61:10,Isaiah 62:5). In the New Testament, the bride imagery is used often of the church and her relationship to Christ. The bride belongs to Christ, who is the Bridegroom (John 3:29). In Revelation, the church, as the bride of the Lamb, has prepared herself for marriage by performing righteous deeds (John 19:7-8). In
Revelation 21:1, the great wedding is portrayed with the church prepared for her bridegroom (Revelation 21:2,Revelation 21:9). Finally, the bride and the Spirit issue an invitation “to come” (Revelation 22:17). Paul used the metaphor of the bride to indicate his feelings toward the churches he had founded. In
2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul wrote that he had betrothed the Corinthian church to Christ. He wanted to present the church as a pure bride to Christ. The Corinthians were in danger of committing “adultery.” The imagery of the bride is used by various biblical writers, but they appear to have a single purpose. The bridal imagery is used to indicate the great love which God has for His people. For these writers, no image could express better this love than the ideal love between a bridegroom and bride.
Terence B. Ellis