18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [a]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by [the power of] the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her [promised] husband, being a just and righteous man and not wanting to expose her publicly to shame, planned to send her away and divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the Child who has been [b]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus (The Lord is salvation), for He will [c]save His people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:18The first stage of marriage (called shiddukin in Hebrew) in Jewish tradition and law, usually lasting for a year before the wedding night; unlike an engagement, it was legally binding and required a divorce to nullify it. The woman remained with her parents during the betrothal year and was referred to as a “wife” even though the marriage was not consummated during this period of time (cf Deut 22:23, 24).
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