The Journey Continues
…and they shall become one flesh
YHVH created man in His image and the image of YHVH is both male and female. The first man, Adam, was given the task of naming all the animals of YHVH’s creation; every animal that Adam named had a mate, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. The word “helper” is Strong’s number H5048 ‘neged’. This word has a meaning of “a part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate…” Vs’ 21-22 of Genesis 2 says; So YHVH Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And YHVH Elohim fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.” The Strong’s word for ‘rib’ is H6763, meaning “a side, literally (of a person)…” The Rabbi’s teach that YHVH drew the female aspects of His image out of Adam, and fashioned a woman for the man He had created. Think of what YHVH did as cell mitosis – out of the one He made two – male and female He created them. When a man and a woman come together in a covenant relationship they once again form the complete image of YHVH. Genesis 2:24: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Did you ever stop to wonder why women in particular have had a hard lot down through the ages? Have you ever wondered about what’s behind Islam’s brutal treatment of women including honor killings, or homosexuality, or fundamentalist interpretations of scripture about submission, or liberal feminism? Women through the millennia have been marginalized, criminalized, taken for granted, discounted and relegated to silence. Why? Because when a man and a woman are joined together in a covenanted relationship with YHVH they become His image, they are the representation of His Glory, His Power, and His Might on this earth. Y’Shua said to his disciple Peter in Matthew 16:18-19: “…upon this rock (Y’Shua) I will build my congregation; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” We need to work together with Y’Shua for this fulfillment which will fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20. Haven’t we spent enough time being side-tracked by petty squabbles, and arrogant and small-minded ideologies? Let us lay aside the things that hinder as is said in Hebrews 12:1-2: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Y’Shua the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of YHVH.”
When men take hostile and adverse actions against women the reality is that they are despoiling the image of YHVH. Rav Shaul tells us in Galatians 3:26-28; “For you are all sons of Elohim through faith in Y’Shua haMeshiach. For all of you who were baptized into Messiah have clothed yourself with Y’Shua haMeshiach. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Y’Shua haMeshiach.” I think Rav Shaul understood the image of YHVH as reflected in mankind on this earth. In Y’Shua we are one! With this in mind let’s take a look at a couple more verses from Proverbs.
Proverbs 31:3: “Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroys kings.” (The King’s mother, I believe, is referring to women and activities which will not complete the image of YHVH in her son. Refrain from these things which will despoil YHVH’s image, she teaches him. Then she goes on to instruct her son in the woman to seek that will complete in him YHVH’s image. They are to be equals; she is not to rule over him, nor is she to be a doormat for his feet, he is not to dominate her or subject her, but they are to be a team working together, side by side for the glory of YHVH.
Proverbs 31:10: Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
Both the word strength and the word virtuous are Strong’s number H2428, ‘chayil’ meaning – Probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength: – able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong, substance, train, (+) valiant (-ly), valour, virtuous (-ly), war, worthy (-ily).
A general without an army is no force to be contended with on the field of battle, just as an army without a leader is also no force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. They each need the other. Victory comes when each party operates in their skills, talents and training, working and cooperating with each other in confidence and dependence built of trust.
The King’s mother taught this oracle to her son, who would one day be King. She is telling him that he was raised as a God-fearing man with a life purpose to pursue justice for the oppressed, to seek after righteousness, to walk a different path, the narrow way that leads to life; so find a woman that will complete YHVH’s image in you; one who is your equal in every regard; one that you will not be tempted to dominate or despise, but a woman that will bring honor, success and praise to your house.
The Hebrew word chayil (H2428) comes from chûl chı̂yl Strong’s H2342 which means; a primitive root; properly to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner), that is, (specifically) to dance, to writhe in pain (especially of parturition) or fear; figuratively to wait, to pervert: – bear, (make to) bring forth, (make to) calve, dance, drive away, fall grievously (with pain), fear, form, great, grieve, (be) grievous, hope, look, make, be in pain, be much (sore) pained, rest, shake, shapen, (be) sorrow (-ful), stay, tarry, travail (with pain), tremble, trust, wait carefully (patiently), be wounded.
The root chı̂yl (H2342) of the word chayil (H2428) seems to imply that there is an inherent pain that comes with being in the image of YHVH as covenanted man and woman – one flesh. There will be travail, much pain, fear, grief, wounding, but if we wait patiently YHVH will be revealed in us. Isaiah 53 is a picture of the suffering servant, Y’Shua haMeshiach; He was stricken, smitten, afflicted, crushed chastised, scourged, oppressed, slaughtered, cut-off, “but YHVH was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of YHVH will prosper in His hand.” This lot fell to our Savior Y’Shua. As His followers is it any less our lot, for He said if any would come after Me let him take up his execution stake and follow Me.
Jeremiah 31:22: “How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For YHVH has created a new thing in the earth, a woman will encompass a man.” How long indeed, before we, man and woman together, realize that we together complete the image of YHVH in the earth?
To encompass, Strong’s number H5437, sâbab, means to: revolve, surround or border; bring, cast, fetch, lead, make, walk, whirl, round about, be about on every side, apply, avoid, beset (about), besiege, bring again, carry (about), change, cause to come about, circuit, (fetch a) compass (about, round), drive, environ, X on every side, beset (close, come, compass, go, stand) round about, remove, return, set, sit down, turn (self) (about, aside, away, back). This is what the great cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12 does, they encompass us so that we may run the race that is set before us. As women we encompass our men so that we, together, may run and win! 1Corinthians 9:24.
A good General listens to and regards his troops and a good army follows and supports a good general. If a general of an army devises an ill-conceived plot which will end in mass causalities among his army considering not his army’s welfare, their sustainability, or their morale, then that general will end up without an army. Just so a man that does not consider the welfare of his wife and children will end up without them, if not physically at least emotionally. Just like an army encompasses their general, so a woman encompasses her man, together they are triumphant in the battles of life – a hand in a glove, one works best when working with the other.
Ephesians 5:21-33: “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of Elohim. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto YHVH. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Y’Shua is the head of the congregation: and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the congregation is subject unto Y’Shua, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Y’Shua also loved the congregation, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious congregation, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourished and cherished it, even as Y’Shua the congregation: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Y’Shua and the congregation. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she respect her husband.”
Daily bombardments of liberal feminism, homosexuality, and fundamentalist interpreters of scripture all, I believe, play into the hands of the adversary, haSatan, to destroy the image of YHVH in the earth, and equally also making a mockery of the representation of Y’Shua and His bride. They try to tell us that women don’t need men, that men are weak, (watched or heard any commercials lately?), that two women or two men in a “bonded” relationship are just as good if not better than a man and a woman in a marriage covenant, that women are best silenced and not allowed to move openly in the gifts of the Ruach haKodesh/Holy Spirit for they might contaminate the men; all of these are grievous assaults on the image of YHVH. “YHVH so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son – our General, we are His army – that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He takes care of those He calls His own!