the Fourth Week of Lent
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(מֹהִר, mo'har, prop. price paid for a wife, Genesis 34:12; Exodus 22:17; 1 Samuel 18:25; זֶבֶד, ze'bed, a gift, Genesis 30:20; φερνή, 2 Maccabees 1:14). Nothing distinguishes more the nature of marriage among us in Europe from the same connection when formed in the East than the different methods of proceeding between the father-in-law and the intended bridegroom. Among us, the father usually gives a portion to his daughter, which becomes the property of her husband, and which often makes a considerable part of his wealth; but in the East the bridegroom offers to the father of his bride a sum of money, or value to his satisfaction, before he can expect to receive his daughter in marriage. The sum which the bridegroom was required to pay to the father of his bride as a nuptial present or dowry was to be according to the rank she sustained, and such as the fathers of virgins of the same rank were accustomed to receive for their daughters. Of this procedure we have instances from the earliest times. When Jacob had nothing which he could immediately give for a wife, he purchased her by his services to her father Laban (Genesis 29:18; Genesis 30:20; Genesis 34:12; 1 Samuel 18:25; Exodus 22:16-17; Joshua 15:18; Hosea 3:2). (See Senkenberg, De juribus dotium, Giessen, 1729; Walch, De privilegio dotis Judaece, Jena, 1785.) (See MARRIAGE).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Dowry'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​d/dowry.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.