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I believe this came about as a Jewish tradition. Why is this done and what does it symbolize?

Is a father walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding a biblical tradition? What is the father's biblical role in the wedding specifically?

Does the father have a role in the wedding if this is the daughter's second marriage, after a biblical divorce in her first marriage?

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1 Answer 1

The idea is not specifically mentioned in the Bible. However, there is a biblical concept of "headship" that applies to every husband, which would seem to apply both to a woman's father prior to her marriage.

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. Ephesians 5:23 NASB

The root of this comes from Genesis 2, when God brought the woman to the man--and not the other way around.

The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. Genesis 2:22 NASB

This is illustrated further in Genesis 3, where the woman sins first, but God's interrogation begins with Adam.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6 NASB

Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:9-13 NASB

The idea of "headship" is certainly a controversial topic today. However, it is likely the concept of which the modern marriage ceremony is built. The giving of the bride by the father to the husband symbolizes the transfer of responsibility.

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curious (as I haven't thought much about it), would you factor-in Laban's handing of Leah (and then Rachel) to Jacob into your thinking? –  warren Oct 8 '13 at 22:05
    
@warren Yes, but that wasn't honorable headship. –  Narnian Oct 8 '13 at 23:40
    
agreed. Just wondering if part of the tradition can be traced there :) –  warren Oct 10 '13 at 13:47

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