What is a Dowry? Is this a concept to follow today?

Q. Where in the bible does it talk about a brides’ dowry.   Are we to follow this teaching today?  

Ex. 22:16   NAS’95

16* “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.

17 “If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.

Ex. 22:16   NIV

16* “If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife.

17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

You will notice that the word “dowry” does not occur in all translations, such as the NIV.

DOWRY

A gift given to the father of one’s bride. In the ancient world, when a man married, he was expected to give something to the woman’s father. This was not considered a payment or a purchase price for a wife, but compensation to the father for the loss of her help as a daughter. The dowry could be money or goods (Gen 34:12; Ex 22:16-17), service to make up for the loss (Gen 29:15-30), or the performance of some assigned task (1 Sam 18:25-27; Judg 1:12). Through the trickery of Laban, JACOB was forced to give 14 years of labor as a dowry for Laban’s daughter, Rachel (Gen 29:15-30)

(from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

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