The Kiddush cup is also referred to as the Passover cup. Kiddush is the Hebrew word for sanctification, or being set apart for a purpose. Therefore, the Kiddush cup has great symbolism when used during wedding ceremonies, Shabbat, Passover, communion, and other Feasts of the Lord.
Because four cups of wine are taken during the Passover meal, the Kiddush cup is most closely associated with the Feast of Passover. The Kiddush cup is what holds the wine during the Passover Seder.
But, as you will discover below, it is used at other times to paint a picture of what is to come and how we can prepare.
When the Kiddush cup is used during Passover, it is filled with wine four times throughout the Seder. These four cups, or times filled, represent the four promises God made to His people in Exodus 6:6-7 leading up to the Passover…
“…I will bring you out… I will rescue you… I will redeem you… I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
The cups of wine represent sanctification, plagues, redemption, and praise… all promises we find in the Passover Lamb, Yeshua HaMashiach.
The Cup of Sanctification
- He takes His people.
The Cup of Plagues
- He rescues us from bondage.
The Cup of Redemption
- He redeems us by the blood.
The Cup of Praise
- We praise Him for who He is and what He has done.
Want a deeper understanding of these four cups? Click HERE.
What is a Kiddush Cup Used For?
- Wedding Ceremonies
- Feasts of the Lord and Shabbat
Because Kiddush means sanctification, or being set apart, the intent of its use is to set aside time to bless the Lord and remember His benefits.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:”—Psalm 103:1-2
The Kiddush Cup and the Wedding Supper
An ancient Jewish tradition is a prophetic act that points to the second coming of Yeshua—the wedding. The glorious covenant act brings the Bride and the Bridegroom together for a great feast.
Yeshua likens the Kingdom to an engagement, or erusin in Hebrew, in the parable of the ten virgins.
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish… but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps… and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.”—Matthew 25:1-2, 4, 10
In Jewish culture, a cup of wine, poured into a Kiddush cup, was extended to the bride from the groom. She would drink from it as a sign of her acceptance of the covenant being offered. When she drank from the cup, the marriage was sealed. This is why Revelation 19:7-9 talks about the wedding supper of the Lamb—as His Bride, we will be sealed to our Bridegroom in Heaven forever.
We will receive a cup from Yeshua Himself as we enter into Heaven. He will hand us a wedding cup (or Kiddush cup) and welcome us into the home He has prepared.
- “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”—John 14:3
In the Jewish culture, the groom would propose then leave and prepare a place for her. During that time of engagement, the bride would make herself ready for his return. She lived a life set apart for him. She anticipated with great joy the coming of her bridegroom.
Ask the Lord to prepare your heart for His purposes as you prepare for His return.
The Kiddush Cup and Communion
- “Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’”—Luke 22:20
Throughout the Bible, a cup often symbolizes God’s judgment. In Psalm 116:13, the cup is referred to as a “cup of salvation.”
Therefore, a cup symbolizes both judgment and blessing. The Kiddush cup (remember, Kiddush means sanctification or being set apart for a purpose) as it relates to Yeshua, is a covenant blessing to all those who drink from it. It is a picture of the joy of salvation that we have in the Passover Lamb as we remember Him during communion.
Take a moment to bless the Lord for the covenant promises you have in Yeshua.
The Kiddush Cup, Feasts of the Lord, and Shabbat
The Kiddush cup is also used during the Feasts of the Lord and Shabbat. These are times set apart for the Lord. The Lord rested, and also appointed times on His calendar for us to rest and enjoy the blessings He has given us.
- “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”—Matthew 11:28-30
Therefore, when we have a heart to follow the Lord, we supernaturally desire what He does—to find time to rest and worship during His appointed times on His calendar.
A traditional blessing is associated with drinking from the Kiddush cup:
“Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine.”
Like the cup, grapes and wine can symbolize blessings or judgment. However, for those who have been covered by the blood of Yeshua, we can be confident that we have blessings and joy waiting to be released, as the wrath of God has been satisfied for us through His death (see Romans 5:9).
The Takeaway about the Kiddush Cup
Kiddush is the Hebrew word for sanctification or being set apart for a purpose. The Kiddush cup is a tool used in the Jewish traditions such as wedding ceremonies, Shabbat services, and Feasts of the Lord to symbolize a covenant is accepted and the time is set apart as holy.
For Believers, the Kiddush cup symbolizes…
- The mighty deliverance we received from our Passover Lamb
- The great joy we—the Bride—will experience when we meet our Bridegroom
- The time we set apart to bless the Lord during His appointed times throughout the year
As we prepare for the return of Yeshua, we look forward to the day the prophet Joel spoke about…
“Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and nursing babes; let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, and the bride from her dressing room.”—Joel 2:16