Tradition has it when a man seeks to get married to his girlfriend he would properly ask for her hand in marriage and if she says yes, he then places a ring on her hand as a seal of engagement one to another. This means that she solely belongs to him and he solely belongs to her. They are betrothed one to another. They are sealed from anyone else until death do them part.
But giving a wife-to-be a ring for engagement is that based on the tradition of men or does the Holy Bible have more to say and given contexts to offer about this particular type of custom?
You might be surprised at the depth of information that is contained in this short paper written from Holy Scripture by the grace of God.
Follow closely by observing and it is my sincere prayer that God will give you His insight and understanding on the different correlations that will come from this paper dealing with the giving of a ring to a potential spouse. Amen!
The 1st Reference of the giving of a “ring” that is used in the Holy Bible comes from Genesis 41.
And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
(God through Joseph has just finished telling Pharaoh the interpretations of his two dreams of the seven fat cows/seven thin cows and the seven fat ears of corn/seven thin ears of corn in which Joseph tells Pharaoh the dreams are interpreted as one dream in meaning. Egypt was going to have seven plenteous years of harvest followed by seven years of severe famine throughout the whole land).
And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all
this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
(Notice, Pharaoh states that only in the throne will I be greater than you. It is Christ who is KING of kings and LORD of lords who sits on the right hand of
God on the throne in Heaven.)
A chosen and faithful wife who is a servant to her husband and who as a woman typifies the church of Christ, responsibilities are to be over the house of her husband who if saved by grace typifies Christ. The servant/church who has the Spirit of God dwelling in their hearts use their heavenly Husband's Word as the only authority and deciding factor to lead the people to safety from the outside world’s danger, which are of Satan and his wiles.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaph’-nath-pa-a-ne’-ah [which means treasury of the glorious rest]; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
Outline of Biblical Usage of the word “ring” in verse 42:
1) ring, signet, signet ring
a) signet ring (as symbol of authority)
b) ring (as ornament)
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance of the Hebrew word and meaning for “ring”
2885 tabba`athtab-bah'-ath from 2883; properly, a seal (as sunk into the wax), i.e. signet (for sealing); hence (generally) a ring of any kind:--ring.
The 2nd Reference of the giving of a “ring” that is used in the Holy Bible comes from the book of Esther.
On that day did the king A-has-u-e’-rus give the house of Haman the Jews'
enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told
what he was unto her.
And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
And Esther King Ahasuerus gave Haman the ring originally before having full knowledge of the plot to terminate all the Jews in which Haman was planning. It is also note worthy to mention that when the king took off his ring from the hand of Haman, he then was killed by being hanged on the gallows. This is of great significance when reading further down in this short paper where the Holy Scriptures show an interconnection between the signet ring and God the Holy Spirit. Notice when king A-has-u-e’-rus gives Mordecai (the servant) the ring by placing it on his hand, Mordecai (the servant) is now given authority over the house of Haman.
And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the A’-gag-ite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
And said, If it please the king, and if I have favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:
For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance definition of the Hebrew word for “seal” are as follows:
2856 chatham khaw-tham' a primitive root; to close up; especially to seal:--make an end, mark, seal (up), stop.
I highlighted mark because it has both physical and spiritual implications that will be linked in the book of Revelation towards the end of this paper.
Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Si-van, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
And he wrote in the king A-has-u-e’-rus' name, and sealed [Hebrew # is 2856 chatham] it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
The 3rd Reference of the giving of a “ring” that is used in the Holy Bible comes from
the Gospel according to Luke.
Then drew near unto him [Christ] all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
We'll mose straight to verse 11 and the beginning of Christ’s second parable: The parable of the lost son.
And he [Christ] said, A certain man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
To be in want of what, physical food or spiritual food?
The answer is Spiritual food!
The lexicon Outline of the biblical usage for the word "famine" in verse above:
1) scarcity of harvest, famine
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance for the word “famine”:
The Greek number is 3042 limos lee-mos' probably from 3007 (through the idea of destitution); a scarcity of food:--dearth, famine, hunger.
(3007) leipo li'-po a primary verb; to leave, i.e. (intransitively or passively) to fail or be absent:--be destitute (wanting), lack.
The famine mentioned in verse 14 speaks to the lack of hearing God’s Word, no godliness at all in that land. In Amos 8:11 it was written:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the
land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. (Amos 8:11)
And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (Spiritually speaking swine (pigs) is referring to the ungodly and evil citizens that resist the truth of God’s Word)
They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
And he would fain [gladly] have filled his belly [their god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things (Philippians 3:19)] with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Notice at the very end of that verse no man gave unto him the husks that the swine ate for he would have gladly filled his belly meaning that no man gave unto him of their evil deeds despite him really wanting to participate.
But why not?
Because God would not allow it to happen and you will see why later on in this parable of the lost son.
We do not want to serve God because it is not in our nature to do so. The Holy Bible states that men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil (John 3:19).
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants [The hired servants spiritually points toward the chosen elect of God] of my father's have bread [The body of Jesus (Yahushua) the Christ, He is that bread of life] enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father [Notice that this Father has a capital “F” which is referring to none other than God the Father], I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
This is the true process of eternal salvation for those blessed individuals whom God the Father has chosen to save by first giving that person a measure of faith the size of a grain of mustard seed to recognize his/her sinful nature and to confess their sins before the Father and also giving them the ability to recognize his/her need for Christ as their Savior, for without God humankind is totally hopeless. When God begins to deal with an individual they begin to realize they are not a good person who is deserving of God’s grace (unmerited favor) and mercy. See God has to break us down beyond being nothing, even less than vanity. This process is the only way any person has a chance to live on into the next life.
All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.
Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he[God] doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand [Hand denotes will power, the sole will power of God], or say unto him, What doest thou?
And he arose [Christ arose from the grave and the Bible states that we have risen up with him into high places. Spiritually speaking it is God who makes sure that His chosen elect is lifted up from being dead to life everlasting], and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off [His father is not even in his sights], his father saw him, and had compassion [showing grace and mercy], and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
This is a perfect illustration spiritually speaking of God the Father having compassion and showing mercy to whom he has chosen by His grace and mercy by placing them in His love which is eternal salvation. Notice that it was his father who saw him and ran to him having compassion and love when the lost son was yet a great way off (didn’t have his father in his sights). Christ is referring to spiritually in this parable that it is of God’s decision on whom He will choose when it comes to His salvation plan by placing those whom He has chosen in His love.
And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance definition of the Greek word for “ring” in verse 22:
1146 daktulios dak-too'-lee-os from 1147; a finger-ring:--ring
This verse spiritually is referring to God’s ceremonial marriage of His beloved chosen elect where the ring symbolically speaks to a sealed [engagement], between Christ Yahushua (Jesus) [who is the Husband/Master] and the true chosen believer [wife/servant].
Once the ring (the ring can be used for sealing and the seal which Scripture shows in a few verses further down is also symbolic of God the Holy Spirit) has been placed on the hand of the servant/true believer who is the faithful wife of Christ, and she now belongs solely unto Christ, her heavenly Husband, as being one, and now the servant/true believer/wife has the authority to be able to do her Husband’s will by being submissive in total service unto Him, so in return Christ, her Husband, will be glorified because of His good works being manifested in the believer [servant/wife].
Reference verses dealing with the idea of giving the chosen elect of God the best robes, which are the robes of righteousness and the color of the robes is white.
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
The reference to the deceased who died in the faith of Christ who are resting until their fellow servants that should be killed are fulfilled is more in a figurative way. The chosen elect of God’s biggest enemies are not the individuals who are lost in the world but rather it is the individuals who make a profession of faith but are not truly saved from above. These individuals follow mainly after the traditions of men, just like the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees did in Jesus day, than follow from the pure Word of God. They are comprised of the unsaved individuals who are called the "Jerusalem that now is and is in bondage" in Galatians 4:25.
They have not experienced the saving grace of Elohim despite them truly believing in their hearts that they are truly saved. They will fight you tooth and nail over their own eternal salvation plan.
And when someone who truly has the Spirit of God indwelling in their heart comes to them with the pure Word of Christ they are killed left and right by the individual’s tongue who thinks he/she is truly saved and that person gets highly upset and very defensive because their way of salvation has been comprised. These individuals do not want to hear the truth of God’s Word because most of the time the case is they made the choice to be born again, rather than God choosing them unto eternal Salvation.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
[This verse of Holy Scripture is referring to the blessed and dreadful Judgment day when the chosen elect of God are gathered together unto Christ, the Lamb of God].
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
And all the angels [The angels are God’s messengers, people who are the chosen elect - both human and angelic beings] stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
(God is the sole reason/purpose why these blessed individuals are able to stand around the throne before Him on Judgment Day. Notice how the chosen elect are able to attribute all things unto God: blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honour, power, and might [ability and/or capability. There is nothing in our own ability separate from God’s power that will enable us to live physically or spiritually)
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
For this my son was dead [spiritually], and is alive again; he was lost, and is found [How was the lost son found?]. And they began to be merry.
Reference verses for commentary made after Luke 15:22 that deal with this idea of the believers being sealed unto the LORD by the giving of God the Holy Spirit which indwells the believer giving them the authority to do His will being sold out to Christ.
2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
In this verse with the giving context of the word “seal,” it is in reference to God the Holy Spirit that indwells the true believer. The signet/engagement ring is interconnected with the Holy Spirit by this seal shown here in this verse. The ring in biblical context is used as a signet ring (a symbol of authority [ownership]) and also used as a seal.
The lexicon Outline of biblical usage for the word “seal” in verse above:
1) A seal
a) The seal placed upon books
b) A signet ring
c) The inscription or impression made by a seal
1) of the name of God and Christ stamped upon their foreheads
d) that by which anything is confirmed, proved, authenticated, as by a seal (a token or proof)
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance definition of the Greek word for “seal:”
4973. sphragis sfrag-ece' probably strengthened from 5420; a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication, the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literally or figuratively:--seal.
1st Reference verse dealing with the idea of the name of God and Christ sealed upon the chosen elect foreheads:
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
[In this given verse “the sea” is referring to large multitudes of people - Revelation 17:15].
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The true elected body of Christ is not completed at this point. God has not saved His very last person so the angels are told to wait before they destroy the earth until God has saved His very last soul with the seal of God the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). The final harvest is not yet come to pass because that will happen on Judgment Day.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
[12 x 12 = 144; 12 biblically symbolize the fullness of God’s rulership; 144 biblically means God’s ultimate in creation.
Put together 1,000 x 144 = 144,000 this number biblically symbolizes God’s completed body.
The number twelve is symbolical of the fullness of God's program. And here He's talking about the number of believers, the fullness of believers.
Sometimes He uses it as twelve plus twelve. And so we have the twenty-four elders in Revelation.
Sometimes He uses it as twelve times twelve. And so we have the 144,000.
Sometimes He uses it as twelve times twelve times twelve. And so we have the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is in size 12,000 stadia by 12,000 stadia by 12,000 Stadia.
And in the Holy City Jerusalem, which is the fullness of all believers, we have twelve foundations, we have twelve gates, and we have walls that are 144 cubits thick. The whole picture, you see, is symbolical.
And so it is with the 144,000. It is the fullness of all believers.
This does not mean just a 144,000 people are going to be saved, this number is symbolic in meaning. The word “sealed” in the above verse means the total number of individuals saved are sealed with God the Holy Spirit indwelling in their hearts and minds.]
The 2nd Reference verse dealing with the name of God and Christ not sealed upon their foreheads:
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
And it was commanded them that they should, not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
The individuals who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads are not saved from above by God the Father. These are the cursed individuals that the locusts and scorpions have power to administer hurt upon during this period of the great tribulation spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24:21.
The scorpions and the locusts refer or points toward the false prophets and false Christs (Matthew 24) who come into the external corporate churches in the name of Christ, but teach and preach contrary to the truth of God’s Word.
Everything in their lives will start to collapse and crash because they are being spiritually killed by Satan’s ministers of transformed righteousness (II Corinthians 11:13-15). These cursed individuals do not have the truth of God’s Word imbedded in their hearts and it is God who has put in their hearts a strong delusion to believe a lie and to be given over to Satan’s kingdom (II Thessalonians 2:11-12, Revelation 17:11-18).
The chosen elect of God will suffer at times to be refined and purified during this current period of great tribulation leading up to Judgment Day, but they have the seal of God the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts and by this they have a greater hope to look forward to and great comfort.
Their hope lies in the promise of God for the New Earth and the New Heavens. They understand that everything in this physical life is nothing more than a set of test to give them a better understanding of their need for God.
And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
The 3rd Reference verses are dealing with the seal restraining Satan from deceiving them who have the seal of God upon their foreheads:
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
[The thousand years is in reference to the whole New Testament era].
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
How can Satan being a spirit be chained and bound by setting a seal upon him?
This is talking about God the Holy Spirit, which is the power of God restraining Satan from deceiving the nations during the New Testament Era. But just like this verse states however, Satan must be loosed a little season which is referring to very end of time during the great tribulation period where Satan, the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14) shall be revealed who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he as God sitteth in the organized churches, shewing himself that he is God - 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 2 Thessalonians 4:8).
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance definition of the Greek word for “seal” in Revelation 20:3:
4972 sphragizo sfrag-id'-zo from 4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication, to keep secret, to attest:--(set a, set to) seal up, stop.
4973 sphragis sfrag-ece' probably strengthened from 5420; a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication, the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literally or figuratively:--seal.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
These blessed souls are the chosen elect of God who do not worship Satan in their minds (mark upon their foreheads) nor fulfill his will (mark in their hands) during the New Testament era (symbolic of a thousand years).
The lexicon Outline of biblical usage for the word “mark” in verse above:
1) a stamp, an imprinted mark
a) of the mark stamped on the forehead or the right hand as the badge of the followers of the Antichrist-Satan.
b) the mark branded upon horses
2) thing carved, sculpture, graven work
a) of idolatrous images
Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance definition of the Greek word for “mark” in Revelation 20:4.
5480. charagma khar'-ag-mah from the same as 5482; a scratch or etching, i.e. stamp (as a badge of servitude), or scupltured figure (statue):--graven, mark.
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The first resurrection is referring directly to being resurrected from the spiritually dead being born again with the seal of the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). When a person is born again from above by the heavenly Father we reign with Christ in heavenly places. For we read this very context in Ephesians 2:5-6 as it was written:
“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened [made alive] us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:5-6)
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
So what does this have to do with a man giving his betrothed wife an engagement ring?
How do these verses of Holy Scripture tie into the custom of placing an engagement/signet ring on the hand of a potential wife with a proposal of marriage?
Well the Holy Bible I believe is where we get the custom of giving a ring to our betrothed wife.
When a man propose marriage unto his girlfriend and she responds by saying yes and he places the ring on her hand she now belongs solely unto Him as his betrothed wife with carrying his name and now she has authority to carry out his will by representing him while he is off providing income for the family.
The Holy Bible states her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land [Proverbs 31:23] because of his wife managing the household and taking care of the children making the husband look good amongst the elders.
In all three references dealing with the idea of the ring being placed on the hand, the Holy Scriptures showed the king who typifies Christ the husband, place the ring on the hand of the servant who typifies the wife and following this exchange of the ring placed on the finger the servant was now given authority over the household.
The Holy Scriptures in a few areas also showed a direct connection between the ring and the Holy Spirit by way of a seal.
The ring is also used for sealing, and the chosen elect of God has the seal of the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13) upon their foreheads which means they always
have a desire/mind to do the will of God, their husband.
By J. Delbridge