espoused wife

Luke 2:5

2:5 espoused wife. The marriage was not yet physically consummated, but the “espousal” was itself a binding contract, that could be broken only by formal divorce. Joseph, as well as Mary, was willing to endure the scorn of family and friends over the seeming premarital relations between himself and his fiancÚ that had resulted in her pregnancy. He was a “just man” (i.e., morally righteous, as well as considerate of others) and the message of the angel had assured him that Mary’s child was “of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:19-20). Consequently, he had entered gladly into the espousal contract, even though he knew he could not actually consummate the marriage until after Jesus was born (Matthew 1:25).

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