(Redirected from EXOGAMY.)
Forms of the Marriage Relation. —Biblical Data:

The earliest Hebrew literature represents a comparatively high development of social and domestic life. Of primitive conditions of polyandry, such as existed among the early Arabs, there is no certain evidence in the Old Testament. Even of the matriarchate, or reckoning of kinship through the mother, which W. Robertson Smith holds to have been originally the universal rule of Arabia ("Kinship and Marriage," 2d ed., pp. 145-190), there is no clear indication. Traces thereof have been supposed to remain in certain family connections, such as those of Milcah and Sarah, or in tribal groups, such as the sons of Leah and of Rachel, and also in the evidently closer and more intimate relationship between children of the same mother or with relatives on the maternal side. There is, however, probably nothing more in these than such distinctions as would necessarily arise in polygamous families and in the natural intimacy between full brothers and sisters. Polygamy, or, more correctly, polygyny, was the prevalent form of the marriage relation in Old Testament times. There seems to have been no limit to the number of wives or concubines a man might have, except his ability to maintain them and their children. As a matter of fact, however, only men of wealth, chiefs, or kings had many wives; the historian draws special attention to the large households of Gideon, David, and Solomon (Judges viii. 30; II Sam. v. 13; I Kings xi. 1 et Seq.). The Patriarchs had not many wives; Isaac appears to have been content with one. Cases such as those of Elkanah (I Sam. i. 1-2) and Jehoiada (II Chron. xxiv. 3), each of whom had two wives, may have been common (comp. Deut. xxi. 15).

Not infrequently the Hebrew slave-girl became the wife or the concubine of her master. Instances are given of the wife voluntarily giving her maid to be wife to her husband (Gen. xvi. 3; xxx. 3, 9). The lot of the childless wife in such a home was evidently an unhappy one. The law of later times was designed to limit the practise and to correct the abuses of polygamy. The king is enjoined not to multiply wives, "that his heart turn not away"(Deut. xvii. 17). A man may not "take a woman to her sister to be a rival to her" (Lev. xviii. 18, R. V.). The interests of the less loved, or the hated, wife and her children are guarded (Deut. xxi. 15-17). Even in the earliest legislation the slave-girl who is espoused by her master and the slave's wife are protected in their rights (Ex. xxi. 2-11; comp. Deut. xxi. 10 et seq.).

By the Prophets polygamy was discouraged. In the prophetic history monogamy is presented as the ideal original state (Gen. ii. 18 et seq.). Plurality of wives first occurs among the degenerate Cainites (Gen. iv. 23); but Noah is the husband of one wife, and so, apparently, is the patriarch Job. The idyllic pictures of II Kings iv., Ps. cxxviii., Prov. xxxi. 10 et seq., are of monogamous homes. Hosea and Isaiah were monogamists. When the Prophets represent Jehovah's relation to Israel by the figure of marriage, it is as a jealous husband choosing and betrothing to himself one beloved wife (Hos. ii.; Isa. l. 1, liv. 5). The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiasticus exalt the place and character of the wife in the undivided home (Prov. xii. 4, xviii. 22, xix. 14, xxxi. 10 et seq.; Ecclus. [Sirach] xxv. 1, 8; xxvi. 1 et seq., 13 et seq.; comp. Eccl. ix. 9). Monogamy was the rule among the Jews in Roman times, but there were notable exceptions. While the New Testament does not expressly prohibit, it discredits and discourages, polygamy (e.g., Matt. xix. 4-5; I Tim. iii. 2, 12).

Kinship and Marriage.

In the earliest Hebrew history endogamy prevails; particular care is taken that Isaac and Jacob shall contract marriage only with their own kin. The Canaanite wives of Esau were "a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah" (Gen. xxvi. 34-35; comp. xxvii. 46). Some of the sons of Jacob also departed from this custom (Gen. xxxviii. 1-2, xli. 45). Moses married outside his own people, but he was a fugitive, and became an adopted member of his wife's tribe (Ex. ii. 21; comp. iv. 18). It was, nevertheless, looked upon as right and fitting that marriage should take place within the circle of one's own kindred (Gen. xxiv. 2-4, xxix. 19; comp. Judges xiv. 3).

However, the changed conditions subsequent to settlement in Canaan made an intermingling of races inevitable (see Judges iii. 6; Ruth i. 4; II Sam. xi. 3; I Kings vii. 14; I Chron. ii. 17; II Chron. xxiv. 26), and the custom of the kings in making foreign alliances by marriage favored this (II Sam. iii. 3; I Kings iii. 1, xi. 1, xvi. 31). The Deuteronomic law forbids marriage with the Canaanites, but, apparently, makes an exception to the endogamous rule in favor of the Edomites and Egyptians (Deut. vii. 3, xxiii. 7; comp. Ex. xxxiv. 16). The period of the Exile and the century following was also a period of laxity, but strict laws prohibiting marriage with the foreigner were enforced in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra ix. 10; Neh. xiii. 23-30).

The older custom of intermarriage within the circle of kinship was governed by no strict rules. Of course marriage with a daughter or uterine sister was not tolerated, but there was no bar to union with close relatives on the father's side, and even down to the Babylonian exile such unions appear to have been common (Gen. xx. 12; Ex. vi. 20; Num. xxvi. 59; II Sam. xiii. 13; Ezek. xxii. 10-11). Deuteronomy prohibits certain marriages with near relatives (xxii. 30; xxvii. 20, 22-23), but the most elaborate legislation in this direction is found in Leviticus (xviii. 7-17, xx. 11-21). According to this law a man may not marry his mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, father's sister, mother's sister, paternal uncle's wife, half-sister, stepsister (daughter of stepmother and her former husband), sister-in-law (brother's wife), living wife's sister, daughter-in-law, stepdaughter, granddaughter, or daughter of stepson or stepdaughter. It is clear that marriage with a deceased wife's sister is not forbidden, but it has been argued that the near relatives of the wife equally with those of the husband are within the forbidden degree to him and that, as the wife's mother and daughter are barred, so also, by analogy, is the wife's sister. Whatever its anomalies or defects, there is no doubt that by this law a high ideal of domestic and social purity was maintained. The pre-Islamic Arabic custom, authorized by Mohammed, was closely similar. See Incest.

The ancient custom of levirate marriage requires to be considered here. According to the story in Gen. xxxviii., it was an obligation resting upon a man to take in marriage the childless widow of a deceased brother and "to raise up seed to his brother." The Deuteronomic law provides that where brothers live together, if one die without sons, the widow shall not marry a stranger, but that her husband's brother shall take her, and that the first-born son shall be reckoned the son of the dead brother and shall succeed to his inheritance. Apparently there is a twofold purpose here—to perpetuate the husband's name and to prevent the alienation of the property. The widow is permitted to insult publicly an unwilling brother-in-law by loosing his shoe and spitting in his face (see Ḥaliẓah). Thenceforth his name is to be called in Israel "the house of him that hath his shoe loosed" (Deut. xxv. 5-10; comp. Matt. xxii. 24-25; Mark xii. 19; Luke xx. 28). A slightly different example of the same custom is presented in the Book of Ruth. Indeed, the custom has been shown to have been widely prevalent outside of Israel (Westermarck, "History of Human Marriage," pp. 510-514). It is difficult to determine whether or not the law in Lev. xviii. 16 and xx. 21 is intended as an abrogation of the old levirate law. More probably Leviticus states the general rule to which the levirate is a particular exception (see Nowack, "Lehrbuch der Hebräischen Archäologie," i. 346; Driver, "Deuteronomy," ad loc.). See Levirate Marriage.

Duties of Husband and Wife.

The wife was regarded as property (see Ex. xx. 17; comp. the Hebrew terms "ba'al" = "husband" and "be'ulah" = "wife"; literally, the "owner" or "master" and the "owned"). She was, however, valuable property and was, as a rule, well cared for. She was not isolated as among the Mohammedans, but had considerable freedom and influence. In the wealthier homes she must often have had a large measure of independence,and in the royal household she sometimes became an important power in the state. It will be sufficient to recall the stories of Sarah and Rebekah; of Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, who judged Israel; of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; of Abigail (Nabal's wife) and the Shunammite woman; of Jezebel and Athaliah. In the prophetic account of the Creation (Gen. ii., iii.) she is made a helpmeet for her husband, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. In the home the innermost apartment was hers, or, in some instances, a separate house (Judges xv. 1, xvi. 9; I Kings vii. 8). She performs the ordinary household duties or manages the affairs of her household and directs her servants (I Sam. ii. 19; Prov. xxxi. 10 et seq.). She must be chaste and obedient, and infidelity on her part is looked upon as a gross sin (Gen. iii. 16; Deut. xxii. 20 et seq.; Ezek. xvi.; John viii. 5-7). A false accusation against her is severely punished (Deut. xxii. 13 et seq.); a curious ordeal is prescribed in Num. v. 11-31 for testing the truth or falsity of a charge of infidelity. Adultery is strictly forbidden in the moral code and is denounced by the Prophets as a crime comparable to stealing, murder, false swearing, and idolatry (Ex. xx. 14; Jer. vii. 9, xxiii. 10; Hos. iv. 2; Mal. iii. 5). The husband must provide his wife with food and raiment. While greater laxity was evidently permitted to him than to the wife, yet conjugal fidelity was highly esteemed and sexual license regarded as foolish and even fatal (Judges xix.-xx.; II Sam. xi.-xii.; Prov. ii., v., vi., vii.). In the New Testament love and fidelity on the part of the husband, and obedience on the part of the wife, are inculcated (Acts xv. 29; Ephes. v. 22-33; Coloss. iii. 18-19; I Thes. iv. 3-6).

Betrothal and Nuptial Rites.

The first step toward marriage was betrothal, involving the consent of the parent or guardian of the girl and the payment of a price. The act of betrothal is expressed by the Hebrew word "aras"; the price paid, by "mohar" (see Gen. xxxiv. 12; Ex. xxii. 16-17; Deut. xx. 7, xxii. 29; Hos. ii. 19-20). The mohar may be in the form of service in the field or in war (Gen. xxix.; I Sam. xviii. 25). Probably it was customary, even in early times, to give the bride some portion of the mohar, or at least to give her presents (Gen. xxiv. 53, xxxi. 15, xxxiv. 12). After betrothal the bride might be taken to her husband's house and the nuptials celebrated either immediately or later (Gen. xxiv. 49-67; Judges xiv. 5 et seq.). The initial steps, it appears, were customarily taken by the parents of the suitor, who formally made the proposal (Gen. xxiv., xxxiv. 4-6; Judges xiv. 2, 10). Not infrequently, however, in the comparatively free social intercourse of those days, the young man and woman had met and formed a mutual attachment resulting in a love-match (Gen. xxix. 9-12, 18; I Sam. xviii. 20, 28).

The bride did not always go to her husband empty-handed. Sometimes she received gifts from her father, and a king's parting gift to his daughter was in one case a conquered city (Josh. xv. 16 et seq.; Judges i. 12 et seq.; I. Kings ix. 16). In post-exilic times mention is made of a wife's dowry and of a woman being able, by her own wealth, to support her husband (Tobit viii. 21; Ecclus [Sirach] xxv. 22). Mention is made also of a written marriage-contract (Tobit vii. 14).

After betrothal the bride was subject to the same restrictions as a wife (Deut. xxii. 23-24). Of the marriage ceremonial little is known; it is not mentioned at all in the story of Isaac, while in that of Jacob (Gen. xxix.) a marriage-feast and a nuptial week are spoken of. The central features in later times were the wedding-procession and the wedding-feast. The bridegroom in festive attire and accompanied by his friends went to the home of the bride, whence she, likewise in bridal garments, veiled, and accompanied by her companions, was led to the house of his parents (Isa. lxi. 10; Judges xiv. 10-11; Jer. ii. 32; Isa. xlix. 18; Ps. xlv. 8-15). The procession was enlivened with songs by, or in praise of, the bride and bridegroom, and was lighted, if in the evening, by torches or lamps (Jer. vii. 34, xvi. 9, xxv. 10; I Macc. ix. 37-39; Matt. xxv. 1-12; comp. Ps. xlv. and the Canticles, possibly representing such wedding-songs). There followed the nuptial feast in the house of the bridegroom, and the subsequent festivities sometimes continued for several days (Matt. ix. 15, xxii. 1-14; John ii. 1).


The husband has the right to divorce his wife, but he was required by the Deuteronomic law to give her a writing of divorce (Deut. xxiv. 1). She may remarry, but if she is again divorced or is left a widow her former husband may not receive her again (Deut. xxiv. 2-4). Older practises are probably represented in Hos. ii. and II Sam. iii. 14. In two cases the right to divorce was withdrawn (Deut. xxii. 19, 29). The prophet Malachi protested most strongly against the practise (Mal. ii. 10-16). In the teaching of Jesus it is expressly condemned except on the ground of adultery (Matt. v. 31-32; Mark x. 2-12; Luke xvi. 18; comp. I Cor. vii. 11-13). See Divorce and Geṭ.

  • Benzinger, Arch. Freiburg, 1894;
  • Nowack, Lehrbuch der Hebr. Arch. vol. i. ib. 1894;
  • Keil, Biblical Archœology, vol. ii.;
  • Stade, Gesch. des Volkes Israel, i. 371-395, Berlin, 1887;
  • McLennan, Primitive Marriage (reprinted in Studies in Ancient History, London, 1876);
  • W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, Cambridge, 1895 (new ed., London, 1903);
  • Starcke, The Primitive Family, London, 1889;
  • Westermarck, History of Human Marriage, London, 1891 (new ed., 1903);
  • Cheyne and Black, Encyc. Bibl.;
  • Hastings, Dict. Bible.
S. J. F. McL.—In Rabbinical Literature:

Wedded life was regarded by the Rabbis as the most natural and the most exalted state. The unmarried man lives without joy, without blessing, and without good; also, according to others, without the Torah, without a wall (protection), and without peace (Yeb. 62b; Gen. R. xvii. 2). R. Ḥisda, in interpreting the expression "in want of all things" as used in Deut. xxviii. 48, said that it meant "without a wife" (Ned. 41a). Another amora, R. Eleazar, referring to Gen. v. 2, wished to deprive the unmarried man of his manhood (Yeb. 63a). It is therefore permitted for one to sell a scroll of the Law if the money is needed for the purpose of getting married (Meg. 27a; Yer. Bik. iii. 6; comp. Desecration). At marriage all sins are forgiven (Yeb. 63a; Yer. Bik. iii. 3).

Choice of Wife.

One should be careful in selecting a wife. A sayingcurrent among the Rabbis was, "Hasten to buy land; deliberate before taking a wife; descend one step in choosing a wife; ascend one step in choosing the best man" ("shushbin"; Yeb. 63a). One should first establish a home and plant a vineyard, and then marry (Soṭah 44a). The pursuit of the study of the Law, however, should be postponed until after marriage, when a man is settled in mind and can devote himself entirely to that vocation (Yoma 72b; Men. 110a; comp. Ḳid. 29b).

To marry a woman for her wealth was deprecated by the Rabbis (Ḳid. 70a; "Seder Eliyahu Zuṭa," ch. iii., ed. Friedmann, Vienna, 1902; Shulḥan 'Aruk, Eben ha-'Ezer, 3, 1, Isserles' gloss; "Sefer Ḥasidim," §§ 1094, 1096, ed. Wistinetzki, Berlin, 1891; see Dowry). The daughter of a respectable family is most to be desired (B. B. 109b); especially should the brothers of the bride be good and respectable men, for the character of the children is like that of the brothers of the mother (B. B. 110a; "Sefer Ḥasidim," §§ 1092, 1099, 1100). One should sell all he possesses in order to marry the daughter of a learned man (Pes. 49a, b; Ket. 111b; Yalḳ., Ex. 269; comp. Yoma 71a). A marriage between the daughter of a priest or of a learned man and an ignoramus ("'am haareẓ") will not be a successful one (Pes. 49a). All the promises of the Prophets will be fulfilled upon him who gives his daughter in marriage to a learned man (Ber. 34b); it is as if he united himself with the divine presence itself ("Shekinah"; Ket. 111b). It is deemed advisable that the wife should not be of a higher rank than the husband, in accordance with the homely saying, "A shoe that is larger than my foot I do not 5..desire" (Ḳid. 49a). The Rabbis were very much opposed to marriage between an old man and a young woman, or vice versa (Yeb. 44a; Sanh. 76a, b); they also advised against marrying a divorced woman or a widow (Pes. 112a). Marriage should be contracted with no other intention than that of doing the will of God (Soṭah 12a; "Seder Eliyahu Zuṭa," ch. iii.).

Influence of Wife.

The acquisition of a good and virtuous wife was regarded by the Rabbis as one of the greatest blessings. The praise given to the virtuous woman in Prov. xxxi. is elaborated in Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), from which the Rabbis frequently quote the sentence: "Blessed is the man that hath a virtuous wife, for the number of his days shall be doubled" (xxvi. 1, Hebr.; comp. Yeb. 63b). He is rich who has a wife whose deeds are noble (Shab. 25b), for the wife can influence her husband more than he can influence her (see Gen. R. xvii. 1). In Palestine the custom was to address a man who had just been married with the question, "Maẓa o Moẓe?" referring to the initial words of two passages, Prov. xviii. 22 ("Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing") and Eccl. vii. 26 ("And I find more bitter than death the woman...." (Ber. 8a; Yeb. 63b). The quarrelsome woman was abhorred by the Rabbis of the Talmud, so that one would rather have all the evils combined than a bad wife (Shab. 11b). Some of the prominent Rabbis are recorded as having suffered much from the spitefulness of their wives (Yeb. 63a; comp. B. B. 145b).

Physical beauty in woman was highly appreciated by the Rabbis; a beautiful wife is one of the things that contributes to man's happiness (Ber. 57b; comp. Yoma 74b). A woman that has beautiful eyes needs no further recommendation (Ta'an. 24a). "The highest attribute of a woman is her beauty" was the song of the maidens of Jerusalem at their gatherings on the Fifteenth of Ab and the Day of Atonement when wishing to attract the attention of the assembled youths (Ta'an. 31a). While it is commendable to marry soon after betrothal (Midr. Shemuel xvii. 4 and note, ed. Buber, Cracow, 1893), no one should marry a woman unless he has seen her beforehand (Ḳid. 41a; "Sefer Ḥasidim," § 1143). Similarity in stature or in complexion between the man and the woman was regarded with disfavor. A tall man should not marry a tall woman, nor a short man a short woman; a dark man should not marry a dark woman, nor a fair-complexioned man a fair-complexioned woman (Bek. 45b).

Marriages Made in Heaven.

The proverb that "marriages are made in heaven" is illustrated by a story in the Midrash. A Roman matron, on being told by R. Jose ben Ḥalafta that God arranges all marriages, said that this was an easy matter, and boasted that she could do as much herself. Thereupon she assembled her male and female slaves and paired them off in couples; but on the morrow they all went to her with complaints. Then she admitted that divine intervention is necessary to suitable marriages (Gen. R. lxviii. 3-4). Even God Himself finds it as difficult an undertaking as the dividing of the Red Sea. Forty days before a child is born its mate is determined upon (Gen. R. lxviii. 3-4; Soṭah 2a; Sanh. 22a; comp. M. Ḳ. 18b; "Sefer Hasidim," § 1128).

R. Jose asked of Elijah, "The Bible calls the wife a helpmeet; in what manner does she assist her husband?" To this Elijah replied, "A man brings wheat to his house, but he would have to chew the grains of wheat; he brings flax to his house, but he would have to clothe himself in flax—were it not for the wife, who [in preparing these materials] enlightens his eyes and helps him onto his feet" (Yeb. 63a; Leḳaḥ Ṭob to Gen. ii. 18; comp. "Seder Eliyahu Rabba," x. [ix.], where the story is given at greater length). To the worthy man the wife is a helpmeet; to the unworthy man the wife is a hindrance (Yeb. 63a).

The term "ḳiddushin" (sanctification), by which the act of marriage is designated in rabbinical writings, points to the reverence in which this ceremony was held. "He thus prohibits her to the whole world as a sacred object" is the explanation given to that term (Ḳid. 2b). Marriage was the symbol frequently employed by the Prophets to designate the relation between God and Israel (Hos. ii. 2-22; Isa. lxii. 4-5, liv. 6; Jer. iii. 1, 20; Ezek. xvi.; et al.). The love-songs of Canticles were taken by the Rabbis to refer to the love of God for Israel (see "Aggadat Shir ha-Shirim" to Cant. viii. 5; "Seder Eliyahu Rabba," ch. vii. [vi.] and x. [ix.]; et al.); God betrothed Israel with few gifts in this world, but the marriage which will take place in the Messianic time will be attended with many gifts (Ex. R. xvi. 30). The relation of Israel to the Torahis also symbolized as that of man to wife. The Torah is betrothed to Israel and therefore forbidden to every other nation (Ex. R. xxxiii. 8; Sanh. 59a; Pes. 49b).

  • Buchholz, Die Familie, Breslau, 1867;
  • Suwalski, Ḥayye ha-Yehudi, ch. liii., Warsaw, 1893.
S. S. J. H. G.Frequency. —Statistics:

The number of marriages and the conditions under which they are contracted differ in the Jewish from those of the surrounding population. A smaller proportion marry, though these, for the most part, marry earlier than their neighbors. However, the changed social conditions in Germany in recent years are tending to modify the proportions. The number of Jews marrying to every thousand of the Jewish population (including children) is almost invariably less than among the general population, as may be seen from the following table:

Algiers187810575"Annuaire Statistique de la France," 1881, p. 580.
Austria18644683Jeiteles, "Cultusgemeinde Wien," p. 50.
"18705398Bergmann, "Beiträge," p. 69.
Bucharest187812765"Orasului Bucaresci," 1878.
France1855-596282Legoyt, "Immunities," p. 68.
Hungary1864-7364105Schwicker, "Ungarn," p. 99.
Prussia1822-407289Hoffmann, in "Jour. Stat. Soc." 1846, p. 78.
"1820-767588Fircks, "Zeit. Preuss. Stat." 1884, p. 148.
"1878-826578Ruppin, in "Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie," 1902, p. 384.
Russia1852-598295Legoyt, l.c. p. 52.
"186787100"Le Mouvement de la Russie en 1867, " p. 19.
Tuscany18617097Legoyt, l.c. p. 60.
Victoria (Australia)1871-805363"Victorian Year-Book," 1881, p. 177.

Jews live generally in towns, and fewer town-dwellers marry than country people. There is a larger preponderance of Jewesses over Jews in most of the countries of western Europe, where emigration removes the young men, and this slightly reduces the rate of marriage. In fact, the rate is probably illusory because reckoned on the whole of the population, including children. The larger the number of marriages the larger the number of children, and, therefore, the larger the population. Thus because the number of marriages among Jews is really greater, it has the appearance of being smaller.


The age at which marriage is contracted affects more than any other circumstance the physical, mental, and social characteristics of the offspring, determining the average duration of a generation, the fertility of marriage, and the physical and mental health of children, and, it has been conjectured, the proportion of sex to sex in the offspring. The most important ages are those below 20 and those between 20 and 30, the latter being the normal and more desirable period for marriage. The following details are known with regard to Jewish marriages at these ages. The figures in parentheses refer to females.

Place.Epoch.Under 20.20 to 30.
Austria1861-70(23.5)(15.1)68.6 (58.7)58.6 (57.6)
Moscow1868-726.2 (49.3)4.0 (29.9)76.6 (48.5)55.9 (55.6)
Budapest1858-70(38.4)(20.5)67.6 (48.5)51.0 (53.1)
Posen1867-730.7 (17.8)1.7 (17.1)65.7 (69.1)69.4 (63.2)
Russia186747.6 (63.2)36.9 (56.7)37.9 (29.4)42.9 (33.7)
"18975.9 (27.7)31.2 (55.0)77.7 (63.9)54.5 (38.5)
St. Petersburg1866-729.5 (56.9)3.7 (27.3)52.4 (30.6)48.1 (51.4)
Consanguineous Marriages.

The relatively early marriage of Jews was noticed in 1841 by Hoffmann, who mentions that 78.6 per cent of Jewish marriages in Prussia between 1822 and 1840 occurred under the age of 40 as against 74.6 of the general population ("Jour. Stat. Soc." ix. 80). Körösi attempts to prove that Jews have the fewest abnormal marriages (that is, where the bride is under 18, or over 40, and the bridegroom over 40)—12 per cent as against 35 per cent among Catholics, and 33 per cent among Protestants ("Statistisches Jahrbuch," 1873, p. 37). In Russia, however, the general population appears to marry earlier than the Jewish. The proportion of protogamous marriages, or first marriages, is larger among Jews than among Gentiles, as may be seen from the following table giving the percentage of such marriages:

Austria1861-7087 (93)82 (89)Schimmer. "Stat. der Jud." 1873, p. 6.
Budapest1858-7588 (94)86 (89)Körösi, "Grandes Villes," p. 4.
Moscow1868-7288 (88)83 (85)Ib. p. 178.
Prague1879-8086 (96)82 (92)"Statist. Handbuch," 1881, p. 24.
Prussia (Eastern)1867-7391 (97)83 (89)Bergmann, l.c. p. 96.
Russia187074 (80)82 (87)"Jour. Stat. Soc." 1880, p. 363.
St. Petersburg.1866-7283 (78)85 (87)Körösi, l.c. p. 172.

This is probably due to the greater viability of Jews, since the longer husband and wife live the less likely either is to contract a second marriage. Thus among Jews in Budapest in 1870 no less than 66 per cent of those over 50 had husband, or wife, living, as against 51 per cent among Catholics and 53 per cent among Protestants ("Statist. Jahrb." 1873, p. 38). It is probable that Jews more frequently than others marry their cousins. Jacobs has shown this for England, where marriage of cousins occurs to the extent of 7.5 per cent of all marriages as against 2 per cent in the general population ("Studies in Jewish Statistics," ch. i.); Stieda has shown the same for Lorraine, where such marriages occur in the proportion of 23.02 per 1,000 among Jews as against 1.86 among Protestants, and 9.97 among Catholics.

The following table gives the proportion of inter-marriages between Jews and Christians, and betweenChristians and Jewesses, at the times and places mentioned:

Algeria18780.940.94"Ann. Stat. France." 1881, p. 581.
Bavaria1876-801.572.19"Zeit. Bay. Stat." 1881, p. 213.
Berlin18817.954.91"Statist. Jahrb." ix. 8.
"1895-9910.536.53Ruppin, l.c. p. 761.
Budapest18810.960.10"Pest in 1880,." p. 12.
Prague1878-801.140.20"Statist. Handbuch," 1881, p. 24.
Prussia1875-794.465.36Fircks, "Zeit. Preus. Stat." 1880, p. 16.
Vienna1865-742.603.06Körösi, l.c. p. 18.

Relatively speaking, mixed marriages are not very numerous (see Intermarriage).


The creeds professed by divorced persons are rarely given, so that it is difficult to ascertain whether Jews are divorced more frequently than others. In Bavaria, between 1862 and 1865, divorces were 5.1 per cent in Jewish marriages as against 6.1 per cent in Protestant and 5.7 per cent in Catholic marriages ("Annales de Demographie," 1882, p. 290). In Berlin, 1885-86, Jewish divorces were 2.7 as against 3.6 for Protestants and 2.7 for Catholics; ten years later the figures were—Jews, 3.3; Protestants, 4.7; Catholics, 3.3 (Ruppin, l.c. 1902, p. 385).

  • Jacobs, Studies in Jewish Statistics, pp. 49-54.