Marriage

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(husbanding). Monogamous (Gen. 2:18-24; 7:13). Polygamous (Gen. 4:19; 6:2). Forbidden within certain degrees (Lev. 18; Deut. 27); and with foreigners (Ex. 34:16). Monogamy re-instituted (Matt. 19:5-6; Mark 10:5-10).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This is God’s institution: He said it was not good that man should be alone, and He provided a suitable help for Adam in the person of Eve. Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman (isha), because she was taken out of Man (ish). Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:23-24). This declaration of union was confirmed by the Lord, who, in quoting the above, added, “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:5-6; Mark 10:7-9). It is confirmed also by being taken as a type of the sacred union of the Lord with the church: “We are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. 5:30-32).
All this shows that God’s institution of marriage was the union of one man and one woman, the two, and only two, becoming one. What is more than this is not of God, but is of human lust. This order was first broken through by Lamech, the sixth from Adam, who had two wives. Long after this instances are recorded of wives, on account of their great desire for children, giving their maid servants to their husbands: an act that would now be judged as most unnatural in a wife. Sarai gave her Egyptian handmaid to Abram “to be his wife” (the same word for “wife” being used for both Sarai and Hagar), and God said He would make of Ishmael a great nation. Jacob’s two wives gave their handmaids to their husband, and thus he had four wives. God reckoned the twelve sons of these four women equally as sons of Jacob, and they became the heads of the twelve tribes. It might have been thought that God would not have blessed the issue of these unions, but He did: there is no record of any law having been given on this subject.
In early times marriages were also contracted between near relatives. This was altered by the law of Moses as well as restrictions introduced as to divorce, though even under the law, because of the hardness of their hearts, Moses allowed them to put away their wives for any cause, “but from the beginning it was not so,” and from the time the Lord was on earth it was not to be so any longer (Matt. 19:5-9). The choice of persons to be appointed as bishops and deacons in the church, was restricted to those who were the husbands of “one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2,12; Titus 1:6). God has providentially so ordered it in all countries called Christian that a man is allowed to have but one wife; and in the best of those countries a man cannot divorce his wife except when she herself has already broken the marriage bond. Instruction is given in the Epistles to both: the wives are to be in subjection to their husbands, and the husbands are to love and cherish their wives, even as Christ the church (Eph. 5:28-29).
It is not now known how the negotiations were conducted that led to a man and woman being betrothed, or espoused, or what were the ceremonies usually attending it. The betrothed couple were at once looked upon as husband and wife, as seen in the case of Joseph, who thought of divorcing his espoused wife Mary (Matt. 1:18-19). In the East a man does not usually see his espoused wife until they are married (as Isaac did not see Rebecca and had no choice in the matter), the engagement, and the amount of dowry to be paid by the husband to the bride’s father, being arranged by the relatives.
Of the ancient marriage ceremonies very little is known. On the night of a marriage the young women went forth with lamps or torches to meet the bridegroom and to escort him to the house of the bride, as in Matthew 25. Such processions have been seen in modern times, and the same cry has been heard, “Behold the bridegroom.” They had marriage feasts, as in the parable of Matthew 22 (when a special garment was provided for each of the guests), and as the one to which the Lord, His mother, and His disciples were invited at Cana, where the Lord made the water into wine (John 2:1-11).
The assembly has been espoused as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2); and it waits for that glorious time when it will be said, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.... arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of saints.... Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:7-9). The Lord will also have an earthly bride during the kingdom (Hos. 2:7). See also the Song of Solomon.

“57. Marriage Feast” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Genesis 29:22. Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast.
The usual duration of a marriage feast was a week. Thus, “Fulfill her week,” in verse 27, means, “Wait until the week’s festivities are over.” This was the duration of Samson’s marriage feast (Judg. 14:12).

“233. Betrothal and Marriage” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Judges 14:7-8. He went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. And after a time he returned to take her.
The former part of this passage has reference, doubtless, to the betrothal; the latter part, to the marriage. About a year usually elapsed between betrothal and marriage, though this was not always the case. The expression “after a time,” literally, after days, is sometimes equivalent to a year.
See also note on Matthew 1:18 (#629).

“539. Mirth at Marriages” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Jeremiah 7:34. Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
Marriages in the East are celebrated by processions of friends, who throng the streets and give noisy demonstrations of their joy. Singers and musicians accompany them, and the shouts and music are heard afar off. Miss Rogers gives a lively account of a wedding party she once met not far from Mount Carmel. “Pleasant sounds of voices, songs, bells, and laughter reached us, and we saw an animated little party approaching, mounted on camels, whose nodding heads and necks were decorated with beads, shells, crimson tassels, and strings of little tinkling bells” (Domestic Life in Palestine, p. 94).
Among the Mohammedans no marriages are allowed during the month of Ramadan, which is their solemn annual fast. The troubles to come upon Judah are represented in the text by the prediction of utter silence in the streets. See also Jeremiah 16:9; 25:10; 33:11; Revelation 18:23.

“707. Marriage Procession” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Matthew 25:1. Ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
On the occasion of a marriage the bridegroom, attended by his friends, went to the house of his bride, and brought her with her friends in joyful procession to his own house. The virgins mentioned in the text were probably some of the friends of the bride, who were to meet and join the procession at some convenient place.