The go-between would refuse saying that he had come on an important mission and would not eat or drink until the mission was accomplished.The reason for his visit was then explained and negotiations began.He said: "A man does not expose himself to refusal.
Marriage is contracted in several steps: (1) the choosing of the bride, (2) the sending of the go-between, (3) the betrothal, and finally, (4) the wedding ceremony. The Motif of the Choosing of the Bride In the Middle East, it is not customary for men and women to select their own spouse. It is he who feels the ultimate responsibility for procuring a bride for a son and sees that his daughter gets married. Clay Trumbull, who traveled and observed much of the Middle East towards the end of the 1800's, gives this brief insight: "Among Semitic peoples generally it is held that as the divine Father provided a wife for Adam, so the earthly father is to select a wife for his son; or, in the absence of the father this duty devolves on the mother or the elder brother" (Trumbull, p. Immediately, one can begin to see biblical similarities.
Father Abraham felt the responsibility of procuring a wife for Isaac (Gen. Hagar, after she was expelled from the camp of Abraham, sought out a wife for Ishmael from among the Egyptians (Gen. It was Jethro who gave Zipporah, his daughter to any man who could capture Diriath-sipher (Joshua 15: 16,17), and Saul who offered his daughter to anyone who could kill Goliath, the boastful champion of Philistines (1 Sam. It has been said among the peoples of the Middle East, that if a man, during his life time, has given all his children in marriage "it sounds well in the ears of the fellahin".
The usual thing is that the formal request for the bride is not made by the young man himself but by one or several friends or relatives who act as intermediaries." (Granqvist, 1931: p.
10) In the areas where Trumbull observed, he saw a different and more intense role of the go-between.
The Motif of the Go-Between When a girl is found that suits the taste of the father, and sometimes more importantly the mother, there are a few preliminary details that need to be done before the formal betrothal negotiations begin.