Ancient dating customs

Deut 25:5-10 encourages a custom called levirate marriage, where a widow marries her husband’s brother if her husband has died without children; a similar, though not identical, practice is found in the book of Ruth.

In conclusion, not all biblical texts are in agreement on every issue regarding marriage, suggesting that different Israelite communities and authors had diverse viewpoints on marriage and that Israelite viewpoints evolved over time.

Although some passages either limit or prohibit marriages between Israelites and non-Israelites, other biblical texts, such as the book of Ruth, are tolerant of intermarriage.

Lev 18 prohibits incest but does not include uncle-niece marriages, which are prohibited in some later Jewish communities, including those responsible for writing the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Some length of time after the betrothal, wedding festivities, often involving days of feasting, would occur.

Men, though, could have multiple wives and concubines and were allowed to go to prostitutes, thus monogamy was a one-way street in this culture.

Biblical texts make clear that marriages between cousins were strongly preferred.

Marriages with non-Israelites are treated differently by different texts.

"(240) When Herod had fought against these in the avenues of Judea, he was conqueror in the battle, and drove away Antigonus, and returned to Jerusalem, beloved by everybody for the glorious action he had done; for those who did not before favor him, did join themselves to him now, because of his marriage into the family of Hyrcanus; (241) for as he had formerly married a wife out of his own country of no ignoble blood, who was called Doris, of whom he begat Antipater, "(325) But Messala contradicted them, on behalf of the young men, and all this in the presence of Hyrcanus, who was Herods father-in-law already.

(Antiquities 14.325) [footnote: We may here take notice that espousals alone were of old esteemed a sufficient foundation for affinity, Hyrcanus being here called father-in-law to Herod, ; (466) and as he removed his camp, and came near that part of the wall where it could be most easily assaulted, he pitched that camp before the temple, intending to make his attacks in the same manner as did Pompey.

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