Man, Woman, and the Image of God
Created in His Image
Some Hebrew word fun and phenomena today with the Hebrew words for "man" and "woman." A Portion of these revelations is borrowed from Dr. Frank T. Seekins, who studies and creates study material on the subject of Hebrew word pictographs.
Pictographs are concept tools that can help us more pointedly define the life application of a word. Each letter of a word is represented by an image that can illustrate the idea behind its meaning.
There are a few Hebrew words that translated man/woman or male/ female in the Old Testament. This word study will apply to the Hebrew words used for "man" and "woman" as it refers 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 term 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 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.
Without God We Are Insatiable
The second revelation is that "aleph" and "sheen" אֵשׁ spell the word for "fire" in Hebrew and symbolize devouring and destruction.
What remains 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
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
It also represents 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.
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.
The following verse gives us an illustrative example as well as communicates 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 the letter "hey," as it does in the term for "woman" "isha" אִשָׁה, also symbolizes something productive. Women carry the unique ability to produce, imaging once again the 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 depict God's love bestowed upon us that ultimately produces fruit. Myles Monroe In His book "The Purpose and Power of a Woman" observes that women naturally incubate. Give women (plant seed) a vision, idea, or purpose and watch as they begin to organize the details of something and bring them together towards that unified goal.
The "hey" comes after the "yod" in God's name Yah...
Adam was formed first, then Eve
— I Timothy 2:13
This verse demonstrates that to be an accurate representation that glorifies God's image, the female/wife must function in submission to the male/husband by 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
This order of operations is animating the whole of humankind, both male and female, submitting to God Himself through our loyalty and faithfulness to Him.
. . . submit to God.
— James 4:7
The result is a glorious exhibit 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
The woman represents God's glory and goodness bestowed upon all that He has created.
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. Whatever is not submitted to God is subject to perversion. The cultural context is deeply defiled and has left us with a poor impression of how this should work and look.
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 submits to the purposes of God in their corresponding roles, it can gloriously exhibit how beautiful love 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 does work. I have learned so much about the love of God from the compelling parallels depicted by the love my husband has bestowed upon me. He has made submission a great joy. The acceptance of this protocol wasn't always so welcomed by 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!
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