DOWRY

DOWRY

“IT WAS NOT SO FROM THE BEGINNING”

More than once, in the past few years, I have been asked some questions concerning Dowry. These are some of the questions:

 

1. What do the Prophet and The Bible say about Dowry?

2.   2. Are we as Christians supposed to pay Dowry?

3.   3. Does the Bible require Dowry payment when believers’ children are getting married?

4.   4. What is Dowry as the people of the world see it?

What does “The End Time Message say?

From my searching in the End Time Message, as delivered by God’s Messenger of [Mal.4: 5-6], to this Laodicean Church Age, I have not found even one mention about “DOWRY”. I therefore, cannot say that the message is against it or for it. Would this be one of those things about which Paul said:“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind”? [Rom. 14:5b] That is up to you and your conscience. The Prophet was totally silent about it.

How about “The Bible”?

The Bible has only 4 references on “DOWRY”. [Gen 30:19-20]; [Gen 34:12]; [Exo 22:17]; [1Sam.18:25]

1. [Gen 30:19-20]

“And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son.

And Leah said God hath endued me [with] a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.”

[The Hebrew word used here is: [Zebed], gift.

This scripture as it is used here has no relevance to the dowry payments made between two families whose children are involved in a marriage process. We cannot use it in any way to back up our dowry concept as we see it today. It was Leah who called it a good dowry, when she was delivered of Zebulun, their 6th son by Jacob. There was no payment transaction of any kind by anybody.

2. [GENESIS 34:11-12]

“And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.

Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.”

[The Hebrew word in this case was different. It’s: [Mohar], a price for a wife.

Dinah’s brothers demanded circumcision upon all the Hivites in their city, as a price for Shekem to marry their sister, whom he defiled. But the intention behind it was to kill them while they were yet sore and in their healing process. [Gen. 34:25].

Compare Saul’s dowry demand from David for marrying Michal, his younger daughter. [1Sam18:25]. To me it looks like, the motives behind those demands were the real reasons for their so called dowry.

Saul’s intention was to have David killed in battle while fighting the Philistines.In these two cases all agreed to be in-laws, but with sinister motives behind the dowry idea...!

Again, I will agree with Paul: “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind”? [Rom. 14:5b], whatever reason for doing it today, I do not see any scriptural prescription or justification at all. Saul’s intentions upon David, and Dinah’s brothers determination to avenge their sister, drove them to ask for those kinds of bride price.

3. [EXODUS 22:16-17]

“And if a man entices a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

If her father utterly refuses to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.[Marriage price for a refusing father, of the girl, because she was lured into defilement]

In Israel, there was a penalty for defiling a virgin. This Dowry payment was really a punishment for the wrong done. Therefore, when a consensual marriage agreement between the Bride and the Bride groom was made, the father-in-law to be, did not have to ask for “Dowry”. No cause of penalty was made.

The Dictionary Definition of Dowry

According to the Dictionary: Funk and Wagnalls.

Dower:“The part of a deceased man’s estate that is assigned by law to his widow for life”.

Dowry: “The money or property a wife brings to her husband at marriage”

Believing Children raised up by non-believing Parents

We do not expect unbelievers to live along biblical standards as we believers are expected to.

Conversely, we must also remember that though we are in the world, we are not of the world.

As believers of the word, we must always remember, what the word says concerning marriage:

In one place, Paul the Apostle said:

 

 

[II CORINTHIANS 6:14-16]

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

How do we walk on this fine line as believers while we interact with unbelievers daily?

Jesus gave us an example. We do what he did: [MATTHEW 17: 24-27]

“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute [money] came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?

He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers?

Peter saith unto him, of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, then are the children free.

Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”

When you, a brother, is betrothed to a believer who comes from a family whose parents are not believers, and they ask you for Dowry, do what Jesus and Peter did in the foregoing passage.

“Lest we should offend them”, we give the dowry they ask for.

 

If you have definite scriptures which have the answer, to this issue, let me know. If you find information in the End Time Message, which I probably missed, share the references with me.

Thank you for taking time to read on this subject.

God Bless you,

Brother Martin Tombe.

(Pastor, Restored Bible Truth Assembly)

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