They all fell asleep (Mt 25:5-25:5)

“As the bridegroom

Was delayed,

All of them

Became drowsy.

They slept.”

 

χρονίζοντος δὲ τοῦ νυμφίου ἐνύσταξαν πᾶσαι καὶ ἐκάθευδον

 

This parable story is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that the bridegroom was delayed (χρονίζοντος δὲ τοῦ νυμφίου) in coming to pick up the bride.  Thus, both the foolish and the wise bridesmaids became drowsy (ἐνύσταξαν πᾶσαι) and fell asleep (καὶ ἐκάθευδον).  All of these bridesmaids were tired of waiting for the bridegroom to come, so that they all fell asleep.

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The restoration of joy and worship (Jer 33:11-33:11)

“There shall once more

Be heard

The voice of mirth,

The voice of gladness,

The voice of the bridegroom,

The voice of the bride,

The voices of those who sing,

As they bring thank offerings

To the house of Yahweh.

‘Give thanks

To Yahweh of hosts!

Yahweh is good!

His steadfast love

Endures forever!’

I will restore the fortunes

Of the land

As at first.’

Says Yahweh.”

However, there would be a total reversal of fortune. One of the favorite remarks about the desolation, as found in chapters 7, 16, and 25 of this work, was about no more voices of rejoicing with mirth or gladness when the voice of the bride, the bridegroom, and those singing would not be heard. Here it is the restoration of these merry making activities. They will have weddings and singing as they bring their offerings to the Temple, the house of Yahweh. Because Yahweh is good, his steadfast love endures forever. Thus he will restore the fortunes of this land to the way that it was.

No more happiness (Jer 16:8-16:9)

“‘You shall not go

Into the house of feasting

To sit with them,

To eat with them,

To drink with them.’

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

The God of Israel!

‘I am going to banish

From this place,

Before your eyes,

In your days,

The voice of mirth.

I will banish

The voice of gladness.

I will banish

The voice of the bridegroom.

I will banish

The voice of the bride.’”

Yahweh, the God of Israel, told Jeremiah that he should stay away from any place that was feasting and celebrating. He should not sit, eat, or drink with these merrymakers. They were going to be banished from Judah and Jerusalem. No longer would there be the voice of mirth or gladness in his days. In fact, the voice of the bride and bridegroom would be banished also, hinting at no more weddings.

Solomon’s vineyard (Song 8:11-8:12)

Female lover

“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon.

He entrusted the vineyard to keepers.

Each one was to bring for its fruit

A thousand pieces of silver.

My vineyard,

My very own,

Is for myself.

You!

O Solomon!

May have the thousand.

The keepers of the fruit

May have two hundred.”

Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon. This is the only mention of Baal-hamon, but it may have been an ancient worship place of Baal with that name. He obviously had vineyard workers. Each of the keepers of the vineyard had to bring 1,000 pieces of silver to get the fruit of the vine. This female lover said that she had a vineyard of her own also. She was going to let Solomon keep his 1,000 pieces of silver. However, she was going to give the keepers of the vineyard 200 pieces of silver. This vineyard might have been part of a dowry for the bride.

Here comes the bride (Ps 45:13-45:17)

“The princess

Is decked in her chamber

With gold-woven robes.

In many-colored robes

She is led to the king.

Behind her are

The virgins.

Her companions follow.

With joy and gladness,

They are led along.

They enter the palace of the king.

In the place of ancestors,

O king!

You shall have sons.

You will make them princes on all the earth.

I will cause your name

To be celebrated in all generations.

Therefore the peoples

Will praise you forever and ever.”

Here comes the bride! She is the center of any wedding. This psalm ends with the happy ending for both the bride and groom with the hope that they live happily ever after. Instead of the romantic ending, the king is told by this scribe psalmist that he will have sons instead of ancestors to worry about. These sons would become princes all over the place. The king’s name would be celebrated for generations to come, even forever. Forever is the like the marriage forever, since it appears to be a wish rather than a reality.