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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Espousal; Espouse

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es -pouz´al , es -pouz ´: In the King James Version these words, following English usage of an earlier day, are used to signify either marriage or betrothal, while the American Standard Revised Version discriminates, and uses them only for marriage. For example, in 2 Samuel 3:14 , "I espoused to me" (Hebrew 'ērastı̄ lı̄ ) becomes "I betrothed to me." So also, in Matthew 1:18 ; Luke 1:27 ; Luke 2:5 which refer to the relation between Joseph and Mary before the birth of Jesus, "espoused" ( μνηστεύω , mnēsteúō ) becomes "betrothed." On the other hand, "espoused" is retained in Song of Solomon 3:11 ("the day of his espousals" - that is, day of marriage); in Jeremiah 2:2 ("the love of thine espousals" - that is, the love of married state); and in 2 Corinthians 11:2 ("I espoused ( ἡρμοσάμην , hērmosámēn ) you to one husband").

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Espousal; Espouse'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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