|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(mohar; i.e., price paid for a wife, Genesis 34:12; Exodus 22:17; 1 Samuel 18:25), a nuptial present; some gift, as a sum of money, which the bridegroom offers to the father of his bride as a satisfaction before he can receive her. Jacob had no dowry to give for his wife, but he gave his services (Genesis 29:18; 30:20; 34:12).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) The money or property a woman brings to her husband in marriage; a bride's portion on her marriage. See Dower.
2. (n.) A gift; endowment.
3. (n.) A gift or presents for the bride, on espousal. See Dower.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
dou'-ri: In all Hebrew marriages, the dowry held an important place. The dowry sealed the betrothal. It took several forms. The bridegroom presented gifts to the bride. There was the mohar, "dowry" as distinguished from matttan, "gifts to the members of the family" (compare Genesis 24:22, 53 Genesis 34:12). The price paid to the father or brothers of the bride was probably a survival of the early custom of purchasing wives (Genesis 34:12 Exodus 22:17 1 Samuel 18:25; compare Ruth 4:10 Hosea 3:2). There was frequently much negotiation and bargaining as to size of dowry (Genesis 34:12). The dowry would generally be according to the wealth and standing of the bride (compare 1 Samuel 18:23). It might consist of money, jewelry or other valuable effects; sometimes, of service rendered, as in the case of Jacob (Genesis 29:18); deeds of valor might be accepted in place of dowry (Joshua 15:16 1 Samuel 18:25 Judges 1:12). Occasionally a bride received a dowry from her father; sometimes in the shape of land (Judges 1:15), and of cities (1 Kings 9:16). In later Jewish history a written marriage contract definitely arranged for the nature and size of the dowry.
Edward Bagby Pollard
Dowry (5 Occurrences)
Genesis 30:20 Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good dowry. Now my husband will live with me, because I have borne him six sons." She named him Zebulun. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT RSV)
Genesis 34:12 Ask me a great amount for a dowry, and I will give whatever you ask of me, but give me the young lady as a wife." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT)
Exodus 22:16 "If a man entices a virgin who isn't pledged to be married, and lies with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife. (WEB JPS ASV NAS)
Exodus 22:17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS)
1 Samuel 18:25 Saul said, "You shall tell David,'The king desires no dowry except one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies.'" Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY YLT NAS)