The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 85 of 253
Index | Zoom
#24. The Testimony in Jerusalem, Judaea and Samaria (2: 13-4: 42).
The Bride and the Bridegroom (3: 22 - 4: 2).
With special reference to the dispensational position of John's Gospel.
pp. 61 - 65
This section is a short one bounded at either end with a reference to the entry of the
Lord into Judaea, and His leaving it for Galilee (John 3: 22 and 4: 3). The teaching of
the intervening verses is distributed under references to baptism, either the baptism of the
Lord (John 3: 22; 4: 1, 2), the baptism of John (John 3: 23, 24), or controversy arising
out of these ordinances (John 3: 25, 36; 4: 1).
In the course of the testimony of John the Baptist, and in illustration of his declaration
"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3: 30) he uses the figures of the Bride,
the Bridegroom and the Friend of the Bridegroom.
"He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which
standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this is my
joy therefore is fulfilled" (John 3: 29).
While numphe, "bride", occurs in Matthew and Luke, where it is translated
"daughter-in-law", John is the only N.T. writer who uses the word of that company of
believers known as "The Bride":  he does so once in the Gospel (John 3: 29), and
three times in the Revelation (Rev. 21: 2, 9; 22: 17).
The title "the friend of the bridegroom" refers to the Shoshebin, a word very common
in Hebrew writings and comments, and the office is well illustrated by the "best man" of
the modern wedding.
In the Gospel, no attempt is made to elaborate the doctrine of the "Bride", but in the
Apocalypse John devotes considerable space to it and supplies a wealth of detail in his
description of that company, whose sphere is the heavenly, or new, Jerusalem.
Turning for a moment to the book of the Revelation, we observe that the marriage of
the Lamb and the fall of Babylon are announced: that the association of these two events
is by no means accidental or slight, the following features will reveal.
The Harlot.
The Bride.
Rev. 17:, 18:
Rev. 19:, 21:, 22:
"And there came one of the seven angels
"And there came unto me one of the seven
which had the seven vials, and talked with me
angels which had the seven vials full of the
saying unto me, Come hither; I will show
seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying,
unto thee the judgment of the great whore that
Come hither; I will show unto thee the bride,
sitteth upon many waters" (Rev. 17: 1).
the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 21: 9).