“The Betrothal at Sinai,” and “The marriage of God and Israel.” These are two different phrases I read over and over again in articles about Shavuot (a.k.a. Pentecost).
At Mt. Sinai God asked Israel to marry Him. They said “Yes,” and Moses officiated the wedding.
While preparing Moses for his meetings with Pharaoh, God says I will take you for My people, and I will be your God. (Exodus 6:7)
Years ago when arranging a marriage in the Ancient Near East, a groom would say to a lady, “You will be my wife and I will be your husband.” Since the words God said to Israel are so similar it appears that God declared His intention to marry the people of Israel.
God delivered Israel from their slavery in Egypt and brought them to Mt. Sinai. At Mt. Sinai God shared with Moses His covenant or conditions for His relationship with Israel. Moses relayed this to the people of Israel, and they …
(Exodus 19:8) … answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.
The people of Israel said “We do” to God. During this time when couples got betrothed they wrote a contact or covenant stating the terms and conditions of their marriage. This covenant defined the relationship between the two people.
At Mt. Sinai the terms of Israel’s relationship with God were written down, and we call it the Torah. The Torah is our wedding Ketubah detailing our covenant of marriage with God.
At Mt. Sinai God entered a relationship with the people of Israel. All throughout the Scriptures God shares His desire to be in a lasting relationship with Israel, but what about people from the nations? Does God love them too?
Who heard God’s wedding proposal?
(Exodus 20:18 (15 JPS)) Israel heard the thunder or voices –הַקּוֹלֹת
(https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/177393.16?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en) And all the people perceived the thunderings” (Exodus 20:15). Since there was only one voice, why “thunderings” in the plural? Rabbi Yochanan said: Because God’s voice divided into seventy voices, into seventy languages, so that all the nations might hear it … (Shemot Rabbah 5:9)
(Shabbat 88b) Every single word that went forth from the Omnipotent was split into seventy languages.
Why do the rabbis say “seventy voices” and “seventy languages”? In Genesis 10 we read that Noah had 70 descendants, so the 70 families from Noah became the 70 nations of the earth. Since there were 70 nations, these phrases are used to mean all the nations, or all the people on earth.
When God spoke in 70 languages it means that His words were spoken in every language so that all people on earth could hear Him in their native tongue. This means that God did not just speak to the people of Israel, but He spoke to everybody, or all mankind.
At Mt. Sinai, God gave an open invitation to everyone on the earth to become His bride. God is inviting you to become His bride; have you said “Yes” to His wedding proposal?
In the book of Exodus there is another sign given to us which proves that God invited people from every nation to join Israel and become His bride.
God invited people to be His bride at Mt. Sinai. He did not wait until they arrived in Israel. If God waited until after they entered the land of Israel, people could say that it was only the Jewish people God proposed to. But God asked people to marry Him at Mt. Sinai which is in the wilderness and belongs to no nation. Since God proposed in the wilderness it was an open wedding invitation to all mankind. Anyone, and everyone, can marry God. Have you said “Yes” to God’s proposal?
God’s laws were written in all languages
There is still another sign given in the Bible showing that God’s wedding invitation was made to all mankind.
(Deuteronomy 27:1-8) … when you cross the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God gives you, that you shall set up for yourself large stones and coat them with lime and write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over, … So it shall be when you cross the Jordan, you shall set up on Mount Ebal, these stones, as I am commanding you today, and you shall coat them with lime. … You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very distinctly.”
Moses told the people that when they cross the Jordan and arrive at Mt. Ebal they are to set up large stones and clearly (plainly) write on them all the words of God’s law. In Joshua 8 we read that Joshua had the people do exactly as Moses commanded. In Joshua 8:35 we read that “There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.”
People from the nations were living together with Israel, and they were there when this happened. These foreigners probably learned some Hebrew during this time, but the Mishnah says that the words were written in seventy languages on the altar. (Mishnah Sotah 7:5) Ancient rabbis believed that Israel wrote down God’s Laws in all languages so that people from every nation could read them.
Since the rabbis wrote this in the Mishnah, they either had some information or evidence that God’s commands were written in 70 languages, or they strongly believed that God wanted everyone to be His people or married to Him. Either way, we see that ancient rabbis believed that God married Israel, and people from the nations. Have you married God?
God’s invitation spoken in all languages once again
(Acts 2:1-3) When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
On the Feast of Shavuot (or Pentecost) shortly after Yeshua rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, we see God interacting with the people of Israel exactly the same way He did at Mt. Sinai (which also happened on Shavuot).
Is this simply an amazing coincidence, or did God do this on purpose? I am thoroughly convinced that God did this on purpose so that we would connect these two events.
At Mt. Sinai God spoke in all languages, and in Jerusalem (Acts 2) God’s people spoke in all languages. On both occasions God invited people to be His people so His invitation was given in all languages so that everyone would hear it. Have you heard God’s invitation and said “Yes” to His wedding proposal?
Ron Goldberg is a Jew who belongs to Jesus. He regularly speaks to all denominations and faiths about his spiritual journey. Ron was raised as a traditional Jew and was sent to deprogramming by his parents and rabbi in hopes of getting him to reject Yeshua (Jesus). He shares how he met the Jewish Jesus and helps other people meet the Jewish Jesus. Have you met the Jewish Jesus?