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 messenger can also ask the girls's relatives directly if they wish to give her to such and such a man, in this manner preparing them for a proposal.If they answer that he is welcome, he is sure that they wish the marriage to take place....Like the al-Murrah, most Arab marriages are made between members of close kinsmen.This type of practice has its biblical similarities.This go-between is usually a friend of the father or son or may be a professional go-between.These go-betweens often form an important class in the community (Trumbull, pp. Granqvist observed this custom among the Arabs he lived with.
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".He said: "A man does not expose himself to refusal.If he is not certain that his proposal will be well received, he sends someone to the girl's home to make a preliminary inquiry.With the encroachment of western habits and ideals upon the Middle East, slight but noticeable reformations in what for centuries has been "the way of life" are occurring. Therefore, in order to avoid any distortions that might come from the use of present day research, I have chosen to obtain my information from sources that would be least affected by westernization.These sources include travelers and anthropologists who wrote in the latter parts of last century and the earlier parts of this century before the great influx of western influence upon the Middle East.If local tradition permits, he may tell his father or mother of his desires and they may look into the matter for him. Shechem asked his father, Haron, to get him a wife (Gen.