Man, Woman, and The Image of God

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Let us make man in our own image"—let not man be content until he knows something of the "us" from whom his being was derived ~ Charles Spurgeon

Created in His Image

Some Hebrew word fun and phenomena today with the Hebrew words for man and woman. A Portion of these revelations are borrowed from Dr. Frank T. Seekins who studies and creates study material on the subject of Hebrew word pictographs.

There are a few Hebrew words that are translated man/woman or male/ female. This word study will attend to the Hebrew words as are used for man and woman in the Old Testament in reference to their relationship with God and each other.

*Please note that when words are spelled with Hebrew font in this article they are read from right to left.

The Hebrew word for man/husband is ish אִישׁ spelled (aleph, yod, sheen) the Hebrew word for woman/wife is isha אִשָׁה spelled (aleph, sheen, hey). The difference between these two words is the letter yod in the word for man and the letter hey in the word for woman. The word spelled by yod and hey together in Hebrew is the abbreviated name of God's covenant name "Yah" יה which male and female represent through the covenant of marriage. His name is actually translated this way in the NKJV in the following verses.

Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds,By His name YAH, And rejoice before Him ~ Psalm 68:4

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” ~ Isaiah 12:2

Trust in the Lord forever, For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength ~ Isaiah 26:4

We can see that the name for man and woman both contain an element of God's name.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them ~ Genesis 1:27

If you remove the yod from man and the hey from woman they are both the same word made up of the same two letters aleph and sheen which reveals a couple of things. First that men and women are of equal value and substance one no better than the other.

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The second revelation is that Aleph and sheen אֵשׁ spell the word for "fire" in Hebrew and symbolize devouring and destruction.

What is left of man and woman without Yah? Fire! We become a consuming destruction that cannot be satisfied without Him.

...fire never says, “Enough!” ~ Proverbs 30:16

Beings both male and female carry a different element of God's name we can understand that we are designed to function differently yet together and in unity. Without both aspects the image of God is incomplete and distorted.

neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord ~ I Corinthians 11:11

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Male Aspect of God's name

The male aspect of God's name is the yod and it is a picture of a hand or forearm representing work...

Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening ~ Psalm 104:23

... and power. How valuable for men to discover that they were designed to be powerful creatures in God's kingdom that image His potency, and is evidenced in the New Testament at the restoration of God's purpose for man in Christ.

He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease ~ Matthew 10:1

The image of the forearm power also presents to us the idea provision

if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever ~ I Timothy 5:8

We see the exhortation in the above verse addresses the issue of not fulfilling a role intended to exhibit a quality of God and is harshly described as being worse than not believing at all. It misrepresents the God they are claiming.

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Female Representation of God's Name

The female aspect carried by the woman is the hey and is a picture of a window imaging the idea of revealing or reflecting. Women were designed to reveal, reflect, and express the effects of glory and power.

woman is the glory of man ~ I Corinthians 11:7

Women gloriously shine when they are powerfully loved, protected, and provided for.

This gives image as well to the purpose of the church itself which the female represents...

we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord ~ II Corinthians 3:18

When at the end of a word hey, as it does in the word for woman isha אִשָׁה, also symbolizes something that produces Women carry the unique ability to produce, imaging once again a purpose of the church that is to be fruitful. Paul prays...

...that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him,being fruitful in every good work ~ Colossians 1:10

Women give image to God's love bestowed upon us that ultimately produces fruit.

The hey comes after the yod in God's name Yah...

Adam was formed first, then Eve ~ I Timothy 2:13

...illustrating that in order to be an accurate representation that glorifies God's image, the female/wife must function in submission to the male/husband as in coming underneath the covering of his power, provision, and protection in loyalty and faithfulness...

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. ~ Ephesians 5:22

...which gives image of the whole of mankind, both male and female, of submitting to God Himself through our loyalty and faithfulness to Him...

...submit to God ~ James 4:7

...and as a result being glorious exhibits of His greatness.

Arise, shine; For your light has come And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you ~ Isaiah 60:1-2

Woman represents God's glory and goodness bestowed upon all that He has created.

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The Offensive Aspect of Submission

From a worldly perspective the idea of female submission to men in any form may seem offensive and understandably so in that whatever is not submitted to God is subject to perversion. A man's power not submitted to God and not functioning in love will most often result in control, abuse and selfish manipulation. However when a couple together submit to the purposes of God in their corresponding roles it can gloriously exhibit how beautifully love really functions in God's Kingdom.

A pastor wisely once spoke on this idea of submission and informed the men of the congregation that if they felt they had to control or abuse to gain submission they were doing it all wrong as well as from wrong motives. no woman should be subject nor submissive to such tactics.

Biblical submission isn't about being coerced into doing so. It is a willing act of faith on a woman's part, and the Bible never advises men to demand it. Again this images the God that we serve in that He does not force us to submit to His will and His ways He gives HImself sacrificially to us and offers us the freedom to choose to follow or not.

I take great joy in reporting that this arrangement God has made really does work. I have learned so much about the love of God from the powerful parallels depicted from the love my husband has bestowed upon me. He has made submission a great joy. This wasn't always so with me. For a large portion of my life I was both witness and subject to the abuses of power and control that function outside of God's plan and this concept seemed to be a spit in my face considering my experiences. I, during those times, reflected all the harshness and hardness that I had encountered and vehemently protested such a thought until I surrendered it all to Him, and discovered His true intentions and ways. God gently led me on a course of faith that invited me to trust Him and I can cheerfully say that He did not disappoint!

Conclusion

If we return to Genesis 1:27 we can see both God's person and power are imaged and expressed in what He has created in the forms of male and female and are best and most accurately represented when functioning in submission to His Love and Lordship.

since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and Godhead ~ Romans 1:20

© 2014 Tamarajo

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10 comments

lifegate profile image

lifegate 2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Hi TJ,

Another excellent job. I love your studies on the Hebrew. they're so clear and add much more meaning to the Scripture. Thanks again for some wonderful thoughts!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Bill,

So true that the Hebrew really gives so much depth to the meaning of the scriptures and so beautifully confirms His timeless truths. Culture will always be subject to change but He never changes and these word studies help solidify His unchangeable intentions and ways. "The only Wise God"

Glad you enjoyed. Thank you for reading and encouragement. God bless!


Timlove profile image

Timlove 2 years ago from upstate New York

It has always been the purpose of God to have a bride. A people so submitted to him they take on his character or image. Also " in his name" refers to this same analogy of submission. I think of how submitted Jesus was to the father. Jesus said I do nothing and say nothing that I don't first see and hear the father doing. In the biblical account of the woman caught in adultery the Pharisee were trying to stump Jesus by asking if the woman caught in adultery should be stoned. Jesus just stopped and began writing in the sand, I am sure he was submitting to the father. He was probably thinking Father I will not say a thing until you tell me what to say. That is the type of submission the bride of Christ will also exhibit


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Tim,

Yes and Amen. Great further illustration of the analogous aspects of submission. I so desperately wanted to present this reality in an understandable way considering the distortion and misrepresentation it has received in both culture and the church itself. God's intent is not that of oppression but that He may exhibit Himself and His ways and in a spiritual sense ultimately lifts us up.

humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time ~ I Peter 5:6

Jesus is our greatest example of all as an image of submission as you so well stated.

Interesting in your mention of the woman caught in adultery imaging Jesus submission to the father. I suspect that what Jesus was writing in the dust that day was their names based upon the following verse...

Those who depart from Me

Shall be written in the earth,

Because they have forsaken the Lord,

The fountain of living waters ~ Jeremiah 17:13

His submission to doing as the Father instructed led to the exposure of their not submitting to Him which left them as guilty as the woman herself. Jesus drew upon the image of an adulterous woman to illustrate what we all do when we live independently apart from God.

Thank you for sharing your additional insights! blessed by your visit.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 2 years ago from Rocky Mountains

TJ Well my dear and precious sister WOW. This is fantastic. I love how the Hebrew gives so much more meaning to Gods word. I think in Heaven we will all know Hebrew? You may be a teacher of it!!! I love ya girl and I am so blessed by your works. I love how you closed this as well sharing your personal experience of submission. The scripture came to mind God turns ALL things for the good for those that love Him. Romans 8:28.

Keep going my sweet friend. You rock, one thing for sure you stand on the ROCK. Hugs Galore. Skye

voted and shared!!!

Love the first picture so awesome.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello Skye, Yes, Hebrew adds just another dimension to already revealed truth that it supports. God embedded His truth write into the words and very letters themselves.

It is a tough concept to present because it has been so badly abused by both the world and sadly even more so in the church but if done as God intended with a husband that is willing to lay down his life for his bride as Christ did for the church and a woman who is faithful and trusts him as the church ought to do in Christ it can really host a spectacular image that is not offensive in anyway nor oppressive either.

Thank you Skye always love your visits!! God bless!!


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 2 years ago from Philippines

Hi. Another wonderful study of God's Word. Indeed, man and woman are nothing without God and it is only when God is in control when marriage can truly be a delight. I pray that many marriages will be made whole through the grace and mercy of God.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 2 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you Chin Chin. you are correct "only when God is in control when marriage can truly be a delight" So well said. I too am so desirous to see marriages made whole by His grace and mercy.

I so appreciate your visit and comment. God Bless!


no body profile image

no body 18 months ago from Rochester, New York

Hi Tam. I loved your article here. It is so hard for people who live on their 0wn and by their own wits to see the whole spiritual aspect of submission. So many people in government, in cultural family structure have abused power for so long, people resist any concept of working together. They seem to think that two individuals will travel the same path doing the exact same things and somehow not clash. Some think that clashing is what is supposed to happen not meshing. The two people metaphorically and spiritually and physically fit together. I kind of think of it as a nut and bolt, each useless trying to do two jobs but unified the strength is amazing. I loved it, like I love all your articles. Voted up, and awesome and beautiful. Bob.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 18 months ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Bob, I agree with you that the abuse of these roles and positions have done so much damage to God's intention and purpose of reflecting how He designed relationship to function and I believe the biggest problem that precipitates that is a disconnect from God which always distorts everything from God's original intent. A Godless hierarchy is ultimately dysfunctional.

Another huge problem is mistaking position for value. God has gifted each member with a specific role and purpose some more glorified in the eyes of man than others but it never has to do with anyone being more valuable or important. Respect is essential on both accounts.

Thank you Bob for your always encouraging comments and for adding your insights as well.

God Bless!

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