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The gospel of Matthew says “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Mt 22:30, KJV). But then the Revelation of John says: "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God" (Revelation 19:9, KJV).

There seems to be a contradiction here. If there are indeed no marriages in Heaven, then it begs the question “WHEN is the marriage of the Lamb?”

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    Since this marriage is quite clearly symbolic (that of a 'lamb' and a corporate, not singular, 'wife) yet the actual marrying of individuals clearly no longer occurs in the resurrection, I fail to see how this can be called a 'contradiction'.
    – Nigel J
    Feb 13 at 2:14
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In the Bible there is a common theme used as a metaphor of the woman for God’s people who are either faithful and pure, or, rebellious. These include:

  • The parable of the two adulterous sisters and their children (Eze 23)
  • The daughter of Babylon vs the daughter of Zion (Zech 2:7, 10).
  • More generally, the Old Testament uses this image of a woman to represent either faithful (Isa 62:5, Jer 2:1, 2) or unfaithful (Isa 47:1-3, Jer 2:32, Eze 16, Nah 3:4, 5) groups of people. See also Gal 4:21-31 which used Sarah and Hagar as metaphors.
  • In the book of Revelation we have two women: Jezebel or the harlot as a symbol of Babylon (Rev 2:20, 17:1-18:24), vs, the pure woman as a symbol of God’s faithful people the bride of the Lamb (Rev 12:1-17, 19:7, 21:9).

This metaphor is continued in many passages in the NT using the extended metaphor of marriage which, in NT times, assumes the following sequence of events:

  1. A man decides to marry a young woman
  2. He promises to marry her, and provide for her, and many other benefits
  3. He then goes away to build her a house for their marriage and expected family - most often an extension of his father's house
  4. During this "waiting time" the engaged woman is expected to make herself ready, remain faithful to her husband and wait for his return
  5. The husband is also expected to arrange a marriage feast and ceremony complete with invited guests
  6. The husband returns at an unexpected time to claim his bride and enjoy the wedding feast
  7. After the wedding, the husband takes the new bride to the home he has just completed to live with him

Jesus used this symbol of a woman (the church) being married Him in several places such as, John 3:29, 14:1-3; Matt 9:15, Mark 2:19, Luke 5:35, 2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:27; the parable of the 10 virgins in Matt 25:1-13; the new Jerusalem in Rev 19:7, 21:2, 9, 22:17.

Thus, the symbol or metaphor of marriage in the Book of Revelation is just a spiritual marriage and NOT a real marriage. The marriage metaphor in Rev 19:9 is used to teach us about the union of Jesus with His church for whom He died and "gave Himself for her" (Eph 5:25). This union occurs at the "marriage supper of the Lamb" following the purification of the church (Rev 19:1-8) when Jesus comes to take his people home (Heb 11:14-16).

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  • Thank you for a thoughtful and thorough response! Feb 13 at 5:24
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I believe I answer this question in answering a related question on another site.

Here’s the short answer:

The feast was to be for the vultures and wild animals who would come and dine on the corpses of the people and animals that were to be killed in the siege Jewish-Roman Civil War of c. 70 AD/CE:

Jer 19:7 NLT - "'For I will upset the careful plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will allow the people [IE: the Jews] to be slaughtered by invading armies [IE: the Romans], and I will leave their dead bodies as food for the vultures and wild animals.

Jer 34:20 NLT - I will give you [IE: the Jews of Jerusalem] to your enemies, and they will kill you. Your bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals.

Eze 39:4 NLT - You and your army and your allies will all die on the mountains. I will feed you to the vultures and wild animals.

Mat 24:28 NLT - Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.

Luk 17:37 NLT - "Where will this happen, Lord?" the disciples asked. Jesus replied, "Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near."

Rev 19:17, 21 NLT - Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: "Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. ... Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.

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