Posts Tagged With: time

The Biblical Role of Women Part X

Role of Women Main Page

In Part VIII and Part IX, we discovered that women (and men as the bride of Messiah) either build the House of Adonai or they tear it down. We also looked at how YHWH sovereignly chose to first entrust the Torah and the Gospel with His daughters. Again, this is about building His House. It is the mother who first teaches a child the Torah. Then later, as the child matures, the Father brings the stronger correction (mussar).

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction (mussar) And do not forsake your mother’s teaching (torah). (Pro. 1:8)

My son, observe the commandment (mitzvah) of your father And do not forsake the teaching (torah) of your mother. (Pro. 6:20)

In both of the proverbs mentioned above, the father is mentioned first, but it is the Torah of the mother that is not to be forsaken. To forsake is to abandon or forget – implying something that was learned beforehand. Infants begin life by receiving the nourishing milk of the mother in both the physical and in the spiritual through her teaching. In light of this simplicity, it is easy to understand why the women were the first to receive and proclaim the Torah and the Gospel. The tender mercies of a mother’s teaching are balanced by the stricter judgment/correction of the Father. Both are necessary to bring a child to maturity. (This is true physically and spiritually.)

The Hidden Woman and Time

I hope that you have noticed a common theme emerging throughout my posts on women. The woman is often “hidden” within the biblical narratives, much like she was once “hidden” within Adam. There is good reason for this when we take the whole of Scripture into account. Righteous women are a living representation of the Holy Spirit; and as such, they also portray the prophetic or what is future.

If that sounds too far fetched for your liking, let us first consider the Hebraic concept of time. Westerners typically view the past as being what is “behind” us, whereas the future is what is in “front” or ahead of us. Thus, to encourage someone to stop dwelling on past mistakes, we might tell them to “stop looking back” (past) or to “focus on what is ahead” (future). But in Hebraic thought, these expressions are reversed. The past is what you can see; it’s in front of you (and your eyes). The future (what you can’t see) is behind you. Perhaps the following illustration will flesh out this notion.

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In this image, the man is the power (motor/rower) and the one steering. But as such, he faces away from where he is headed. The woman in the boat is the one that can clearly see upcoming obstacles in their path. Can you see the roles of men and women in this analogy?

Imagine someone rowing a boat down a river. The river is time. In order to row a boat, a person must face backwards while rowing forward down the river. What the rower can see with his eyes is the area he has already travelled. (past) Because he doesn’t face in the direction he is headed, he cannot see what is ahead (future). This is truly how mankind experiences time. What has already happened (past) is clearly seen and understood, but the future is unclear and unknown. I know this totally reverses the definitions of hindsight and foresight, but I’ve found that most things in western thought compared with Hebraic thought are (sadly) reversed! Things like this shouldn’t surprise us any more.

Do you recall the function or role of the male from Part I? He is to remember (zakar). In order to remember or recall something, the thing being referred to would have already happened. In other words, it requires looking at what’s in front of you on the river of time. (Past) Everything that YHWH has said, the male is to remember and act on that Word. (This doesn’t excuse women from doing the same! The two become ONE flesh.) The man guards and protects all those things that are clearly “written.” Moreover, what is “past” is evident; there is no ambiguity. In other words, the past is firm or set in stone. Just like the written Word of God, it does not change. Can you see how this makes the male a picture of not only a firm foundation on which to build, but also associates him with time past? (Both are firm, set, solid, and reliable.)

As the male’s counter balance, the female should then represent the other side of this coin or what is “future.” Does Scripture indicate that this might be true? I believe that it does. Before we look at the Biblical text, let’s first consider the things that women do. They birth, nurture, and build the House or the future of God’s people. The stories involving women in the Bible are more hidden (or obscure) in the text. When we do encounter women in the Biblical record, prophetic (future) things are often being revealed.

Moreover, In Part I, we looked at the neqevah or female as a protector and setter of of boundaries. But when we examine the context of this word in its further uses, something awesome is revealed. Often neqevah is juxtaposed with sound alike Hebrew words that deal with future expectation. For example, qevah without the nun prefix means to wait, expect, or hope. All of these words imply looking toward something that is future. [1] But even more interesting, if we add the nun back to qevah as a prefix, it indicates the collective future tense! Reread Jeremiah 31:22 with this in mind and the prophetic picture is heightened to include an expectation for a good future. 

Sometimes, at first glance, the motives of women are uncertain. Women usually have a strong sense of “knowing” or great intuition into things that are hidden or concealed from plain sight. They can often pick up on things in the spiritual realm easier than men. This is why most of the great women referenced in the Bible are called “prophetesses.” [2] They represent the future and the prophetic. I could go on, but you get the point. It takes both a male and female to display the image of Elohim in the earth. And life cannot be understood separately from time.

Future-Present-Past-1680x1050The Most Holy Name of our Elohim, YHWH (yohd, hey, vav, hey), is the very essence of time. As a form of the verb “to be,” the I Am, He is the One who is, who was, and who is to come. In other words, He is our present, our past, and our future. YHWH is time itself. Thus, it is no coincidence that mankind (male and female) as His image in the earth also typify time.

Men portray the past. Women picture the future. Together, as male and female, they build in the present with YHWH. Both men and women are equally important in displaying the image of God and His time clock. YHWH’s calendar masterfully weaves together both the past (remember) and the future (what is to come) in His holy moedim (feasts). Women are intrinsically connected to the rhythms and cycles of the Creator’s calendar. You can read more about this in my series entitled Moonbeams and the Moedim.

YHWH has plainly told us that His desire is to REVEAL Himself unto His people. Men, in the image of God, represent what YHWH has already revealed of Himself (past). Women represent how YHWH works behind the scenes of our lives and the many promises and plans He has for us (future). If we could just grasp the enormity of what will happen when the woman is revealed, then we’d all be screaming from the rooftops, “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’”

Key #1 Men portray the past. Women picture the future. Together, 
as male and female, they build in the present with YHWH.

 

The Revealed Man and Time

For the most part, men (and their role) have stood out in the Biblical text, in history, and within marriages and families. This is to be expected since men are a picture of the past and what is REVEALED. We don’t have to “look” for the masculine. The role of the man stands out, just as they do physically. Nothing is hidden.

Conversely, women represent what is HIDDEN. If the role of women were easy to “see” or discern, there would be no need for this series. In the natural, this truth is likewise expressed to us in our most intimate parts that create life. I know this is rather crude, but consider that a woman’s reproductive organs are “hidden,” whereas a man’s reproductive organs stand out. Men are clearly revealed; women are concealed. Do you think this is just happenstance? Can this natural picture also be speaking a spiritual truth?

If so, why would we ever consider that one supersedes the other? It takes both male and female “parts” to create life in the natural. Do you suppose it is any different in the spiritual realm? I submit to you that it is not. The ideal function of both man and woman is to express the image of God in the earth. While their “parts” or roles are different, it takes both working together to create New Life. If one side of this coin is shunned, regulated, oppressed, usurped, or gagged Abundant Life cannot grow.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Why Does This Matter?

Abundant life includes happy and healthy marriages. It also includes the entire Body of Messiah (men and women) being able to function within the full capacity of their roles in our assemblies. My hope in the remaining articles of this series is to emphasize the fact that YHWH’s ideal for men and women is to work together. Each is one half of the whole.

The problem is with our fallen natures or our evil inclinations. The old man operates from a place of fear rather than love. This is why we struggle greatly not only with the role of the sexes, but in every other area of life as well. But, our Redeemer beckons us to walk in New Life. May our marriages truly become the living parable of Messiah and His Assembly.

 

For past articles in this series, click here. For Part XI click here.

Key #1 Men portray the past. Women picture the future. Together,
as male and female, they build in the present with YHWH.

 

 [1] See The Scarlet Harlot and the Crimson Thread Workbook Four, page 140 (2012) by Dr. Hollisa Alewine. Also see Strong’s number H6960 (qevah or kavah). 

[2]  Examples include Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and Anna.

See also Dr. Hollisa Alewine’s The Creation Gospel Workbook 3: The Spirit-Filled Family, p. 40

 

Categories: Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Moonbeams and the Moedim Part I

moon

Women, Cycles, and Time

Have you ever considered why many of the families that have returned to the seventh day Sabbath and YHWH’s festivals began with the prompting of the woman or wife?[1] Or have you ever wondered why there is so much physical preparation (domestic and relational requirements) that a woman must do in order for the family to keep Shabbat and the Feasts? What about the rabbinical ruling that women are “exempt” from certain time related commandments; what is this about? Why do women seem to be associated with TIME again and again? Hopefully, we will begin to answer these questions in this post.

I think I’ve figured out why I’ve struggled to start this next series of posts. They each deal with time. And time, like light, is still very much a mystery to mankind (and modern science). There are several ways that people try to understand time. Some think of it as a linear line with an infinite beginning and end. Each end of this line is constantly moving away from the other. Others view time as a circle with the beginning also being the end. And still others believe that while time is indeed cyclical, that it is much more akin to the double helix of our DNA. It is connected, but with rungs that progress upward on a twisted ladder. Lower parts touch higher rungs repeating the information in new and more dynamic ways with each cyclical step.

The latter view will be the way in which I present this material. This part will present the base line and it will spiral and spread throughout the following posts, but will twist back to touch this post again. To put it simply, I will present this in a “spiral” form of teaching. I just don’t see any other way to do it. (:

Cycles

grapicOne thing that I really try to emphasize when teaching others about Hebraic Roots is the difference between Hebrew and Greek thought. We are so accustomed to linear thought that many treasures from the Bible and Creation falls on blind eyes. One thing is certain, the Word and Creation both declare CYCLES to us again and again. Thinking about a linear timeline that moves from the indefinite left and progresses to the indefinite right is not Biblical or logical; especially when we consider the largest and smallest things in the creation. Take a look at the graphic “Cycles in Nature”. Everything we can see moves in CYCLES. And the seen things are meant to teach us about the unseen (spiritual) things. (1 Cor. 15:46)

God’s calendar, His appointed times, are also cyclical. Before we delve into how women are connected to these cycles, let’s first look at how God has revealed time.

YHWH’s calendar is primarily based on the lunar cycle.[2] New months begin with sighting the first sliver of a new moon and mark out the appropriate timing of our festivals, fasts, and harvests. In other words, the moon keeps or guards our weeks, months, and years. The passage below chronicles Day 4 of creation. Those of you that have been following my posts or that are Creation Gospel students will notice that as the fourth day, God is establishing His government or authority in the luminaries. (And in His calendar.)

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth“; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. (Gen. 1:14-19)

Verse 14 states that one of the governing actions of the luminaries is to serve as signs, seasons, days, and years. I believe “days” and “years” are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s look at the “signs” and “seasons”. The Hebrew word for signs is ot (aleph, vav, tav). It literally means a mark, signal, omen, or flag. The heavenly lights declare not only the glory of God, but give us signals or warnings of things to come. So while they may help us to keep track of time (past), they can also point to or warn us of future events (prophesy).

The Hebrew word for seasons in verse 14 is moedim. I expect that most of my readers will be familiar with this word. These are our feasts and festivals.[3] Notice that in the very Beginning, YHWH established His calendar or His time clock on day four of creation. This is significant because our calendars govern our day to day lives. They dictate when we celebrate, when we rest, when we work, and when we gather together. If the Creator felt that His calendar required the actual sun, moon, and stars to guard, protect, keep, and mark His time, how much more should His people regard His calendar?

These appointments with the Creator give us LIGHT much in the same way that the sun, moon, and stars give us natural light. They truly separate the light from the darkness. If we ignore these appointments, we will have less light, less revelation. Remember, the natural things are meant to reveal spiritual truths. The guardians of God’s calendar speak to every creature on earth summoning us to come and meet with the King. David said it this way:

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. (Ps. 19:1-3)

In the very Beginning, the Creator preordained that we meet with Him certain times of the year. You only need to look up at the majestic sun, moon, and stars to see and know the season. Notice that at night the heavens reveal “knowledge”. This is the Hebrew word da’at. This type of knowledge is an intimate knowing and carries with it the idea of sacrificial love. It is the “bone of my bone and flesh of flesh” that Adam experienced with Chavah (Eve) and she conceived and bore a son. It is the loving knowledge that provoked Yeshua to become the sacrifice for His people. Because of the intimate nature of da’at, it cannot be completed without a woman. This type of sacrificial love needs a vessel to pour itself into and women are the natural imagery of a receiving vessel. (Hopefully, you can see men too in this imagery as part of the Bride.)

There is a cycle at work here that is meant to be a guide to God’s people. For our purposes, we will limit our study to the lesser light of the moon. Both men and women as the people of Elohim can be compared to the moon. But women have a unique association that I’d like to focus on. Since both the male and the female are revealed in The Woman in Scripture, we will see some overlaps in the two sex roles.

Moonbeams

He made the moon for the seasons (moedim)… (Ps. 104:19)

The moon has a special role to play in the guardianship role of the moedim (feasts). It is a master timekeeper of sorts. While the sun and stars also share in this responsibility, the moon beckons us to watch it a little more closely. As the nearest heavenly body to earth, the moon has mesmerized mankind since time immemorial. Sadly, many have fallen victim to the idolization of these heavenly bodies. They have failed to realize that these luminaries serve us, we are not meant to serve them.

The moon’s closeness and the fact that it governs our moedim make it quite mysterious. This becomes even more mystical when we consider that the brightest light in the night sky has no light of its own – it can only reflect the light of the sun. We will come back to this concept in a later post.

Since women’s bodies follow a lunar cycle (menses), the Sages have long concluded that women are uniquely associated with not only the moon and YHWH’s Festivals, but with time itself.[4] Let’s review what we’ve covered so far. As you read through my enumerations, ask yourself if any of these remind you of the role of women.

The moon:

  1. Sets boundaries for our months.
  2. Keeps or guards the moedim.
  3. Warns of things to come.
  4. Reflects the light of the sun.

I hope some of these facts caused you to think of the neqevah (female) and the ezer kenegdo from the Biblical Role of Women Part I and Part II. Or perhaps even the prophetic nature of women from Part V. One of the more obvious links between women and the moon is seen in the various PHASES in which both continually go through.

The regular arrival of the new moon and its growth to fullness, followed by its soon disappearance has long been a visible symbol of life, death, and rebirth. With every new moon, we see the necessity of being renewed (born again). This rhythmic clock sets our calendars with each cycle marked as a new month (moonth).

Like clockwork, women also go through phases each month. Similar to the moon, a woman’s phases are directly linked to life, death, and rebirth. Each month a woman’s womb prepares its “soil” for life and then sheds it (death) if no viable seed is planted — only to renew itself once again. This cycle repeats again and again. When a woman’s body is in the shedding stage of menses, blood appears. When the moon gives us a warning of judgment (death), it appears red. It’s not a coincidence that we call this a blood moon.

Not surprisingly, there are four primary phases of the moon with more elaborate depictions showing eight (a factor of 4). You can watch a quick video about these phases here.  Due to the length, we will examine each of the four primary moon phases and their relationship to the feast days and women’s cycles in Part II.


[1] Obviously, this isn’t always the case. However, in most of the families I have met, this is true. Whether she was home schooling the children and discovered these truths through in-depth Biblical and historical studies or by the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit, it is usually the wife that first “sees” God’s calendar as relevant for the family.

[2] The Hebrew calendar does take the solar cycle into account to maintain the seasons. For an interesting article about this, click here.

[3] See Lev. 23

[4] These two articles speak to women and the moon. Women of the Wall and Aish. Women being associated with time in general is a two-fold concept. The first is simply what we’ve been discussing. Women are tied to time because YHWH made their bodies to mimic His time clock. Secondly, the rabbis ruled that women are exempt from certain TIME related mitzvot. We will explore this idea in a later post.

Categories: Moedim, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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