I have so often been intrigued by the ceremonial Jewish wedding. The significance of how the wedding rituals relate so closely to our relationship with God is astounding to me.
My problem has been trying to find a source of explanation that uses the full Bible rather than starting at the belief then trying to fit the facts to the belief system. Several have excellent premises then falter when it comes to fitting biblical facts to their own belief system so the whole tumbles down because of faulty interpretation. An example if this is here.
I did find Don Ratcliff's "Jewish Wedding in Bible Times" which gives some insight.
The arrangements made before the betrothal (Fiddler on the Roof) required a matchmaker. The first one in the Bible is God who created Eve for Adam. The next one recorded is Abraham's servant sent out to find the bride for Isaac (Genesis 24).
Adam paid a most personal bride price--his rib. Abraham paid a bride price rich with gold and with life (the camels etc.), but more importantly, God answered the Abraham's supplication and the servant's prayer by showing him who He had chosen for Isaac's wife.
Then comes the question put to Rebekah, "Would you go with this man?" She said, "I will go." This is a point often missed because it indicates the willingness of the maid for the betrothal. She is asked and she says yes. Her willingness to be betrothed was crucial and planned for before this point because the Abraham told his servan if the woman refused to come, then the oath was canceled.
If she refused, the servant would not be held to his oath. What was it? To go to the country from which Abraham came to his family and take a wife for Isaac. If she refused then the servant would not have to bring the bride home to Isaac.
This meant that God only desired a willing bride. Rebekah was fully cognizant of what was required of her in this betrothal. She placed her trust in the servant of Abraham and faith that Isaac would be a good husband. She stepped out on faith.
But, let's not put too much awe into this. She saw the abundance of the camels, the silver, gold and clothing which told her that this was a rich man and not just something for show. She was willing to fill the troughs for ten camels to drink. That was considerable work considering thirsty camels can drink anywhere from thirty to fifty gallons of water. Rebekah drew water until the camels were satisfied. She most likely did this as part of her every workaday world. However we must note that camels can go as long as seven months without drinking water, so she might not have had this hard work on an everyday basis. Regardless of her other duties, going with Abraham's servant, she would be a princess so to speak and her status would be exponentially increased. It didn't take her long to recognize this.
So we have a betrothal with the willingness of the bride as priority. (Please read the comments to this post because the discussion is very interesting.)
What other parallels have you seen in this Genesis story that depicts our relationship with God?