God's Exquisite Garden

The History of the Wedding Ring

We are told that in some countries, in ancient times, the newlyweds would put a yoke around their necks and chains on their arms to show that they were joined together and would pull together. In our society today, rings are given in marriage. The wedding ring is not mentioned in the Bible. Some authorities say that the first wedding ring was a pledge of the wife's submission to her husband. Others say it was a symbol of authority over the household and a token of confidence the husband had in his wife.

In olden times, men wore signet rings in order to stamp their approval on transactions. They would place the ring in hot wax and then stamp the paper or document. The ring evidently contained a stone engraved with the owner's name., his initials, or something else that represented him.

"With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet,
you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel.
You shall set them in settings of gold."
Exodus 28:11

A woman could issue commands in her husbands name if she had his ring, so evidently it was a symbol of authority. Pharoah presented a ring to Joseph to show others that he had given Joseph authority.

"Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph's hand;
and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. "
Genesis 41"42

The signet was also a pledge of fulfilling a promise. We see an example of this in the affair of Judah and his daughter Tamar in Genesis 38. The engagement ring, which came at a much later date, was first intended to be a pledge that authority over the household would be given later on. The circle of the wedding ring is said to symbolize eternity, without beginning or end.

Question: Why give and receive rings before marriage? answer: This is a custom not mentioned in the Bible. According to secular history, a ring was a symbol of authority - Genesis 41:42

The above information was used with permission and taken from the book- Here a Little, There a Little by Pauline Cain Hatcher. Copyrighted to her in 1999.

Back to God's Plan for Marriage

71884: With This Ring: Promises to Keep With This Ring: Promises to Keep
By Joanna Weaver / Random House, Inc

Every year, 2 million people make holy vows of matrimony and face the future, together. This gift book celebrate's God's covenant of marriage with inspirational essays, wedding trivia and letters from famous couples. There is also a special photo space and room to put in your own wedding vows.