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Living Together Before Marriage
To be espoused to another was a LEGAL contract, just as legal as a marriage contract, needing a bill of divorcement to break the contract. No such contract exists today with those engaged to be married living together.
The espousal could have been made as early as 3 years old. Parents made such contracts for their children/daughters. The daughter espoused to the one promised did not leave her Fathers home until the marriage. Mary was not thrown out of her Fathers home to go live with Joseph. Being DEVOUT Jews under law, no such arrangement without a legal marriage would have been tolerated by either Josephs or Marys families.
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