The engagement of a man and woman to marry each other at a future time. Parents anciently often betrothed their daughters without their consent, and even while very young, as is still the case in oriental countries. Sometimes a regular written contract was made, in which the bridegroom bound himself to give a certain sum as a portion to his bride. The marriage was not complete until the bride was at least twelve years old; yet the betrothal could be dissolved only by divorce or death, Mt 1:18-25; Lu 2:27. God speaks of betrothing his people to himself, in bonds of tender affection, and pledging his word that all his gracious promised will be fulfilled to them, Jer 2:2; Ho 2:19-20. Of this, ministers are the instruments, through the preaching of the gospel, 2Co 11:2. Hence the word BEULAH.