What happens under the huppah? And what is a huppah?
The best man announced the bridegroom’s coming. Followed by the blowing of the shofar.
And the long anticipated arrival of the bridegroom finally came. After the bridegroom snatched up his bride, the bridal party made their way to the home of the bridegroom’s father, where the bridegroom had prepared the couple’s new home.
All of the steps in the Hebrew betrothal tradition have built up to and culminated in this last step: nisuin/nissuin. Marriage.
In ancient times, no official ceremony as such was conducted. But one more step in the process came before the feast could begin.
The food was all prepared. The guests had gathered. The parents of the bride and groom escorted them to the final stage of the marriage: consummation.
While the guests waited, the friend of the bridegroom stood outside the door, waiting for the groom to announce to him that consummation had been completed.
After the bridal couple emerged from their confirmation suite, the feasting began. The celebration usually lasted for seven days with great joy and merrymaking.
But what about the huppah?
The marriage canopy, which in Hebrew is chuppah or huppah also means chamber, room, closet, defense, or divine protection, was (and still is) used as a pavilion or covering under which the bride and groom met to become one.
A cloth huppah was originally draped around the bride and groom but later was spread out over their heads. This could have been a tallit or prayer shawl, which was frequently a gift from the bride’s family to the groom. The fringes on the prayer shawl hanging above the couple’s heads were a reminder of the commandments.
If the bridegroom covered his bride with his own tallit, by wrapping it around her shoulders, this signified his taking her under his wing of protection and into his care, under his mantle of marriage.
This also represents God’s intimate fellowship of oneness with us, and His commitment to protect us under His wings of care.
The huppah was supported with a pole on each corner and used at the wedding feast, as some say the bride and groom sat under the huppah for their wedding feast, reigning over the festivities as king and queen in seats specially decorated as thrones.
According to tradition, the huppah was open on all four sides, representing Abraham’s tent, which reflected his duty of hospitality, as he always took in guests and travelers. The couple made a statement that their new home would also be open to guests and hospitality.
It also symbolized God’s canopy of protection, haven, and support, and the married couple coming under God’s holy covering, the bride’s coming under the bridegroom’s authority and protection, and the divine protection when one abides under the covenant of marriage.
The tradition of the huppah is still used today in Jewish weddings.
What happens under the heavenly huppah?
Just as God’s presence hovered as a huppah cloud of protection and guidance over His people in the wilderness, and an intimate cloud of glory over the tent of meeting and the tabernacle for oneness in fellowship, so that heavenly, marriage canopy of intimacy will be over all those in the Bridegroom’s celestial home.
The Bridegroom says to you, “And when everything is ready, I will come back and take you to myself so that you will be where I am. (John 14:3 TPT)
May the heavenly betrothal be held close within your heart…Lynn
*More next time.
If you’d like to follow the series:
Come…I will show you the Bride
The Bride of Choice
The Price of the Bride
Two bound together as one
that which is written
Being Called by That Name
What is the Bridegroom’s Gift?
And the Bridegroom Departed
The Bride Needed Cleansing
The Bride’s Veil of Holiness
In Expectation of the Bride’s Snatching Away