As we continue our headship study we need to keep in mind that the Scriptures are almost completely opposed to our modern cultural understanding of family structure, morals and responsibility. One major aspect of this is the role of a husband in this thing we call marriage.
While we generally assume that ‘husband’ means ‘male spouse in a marriage,’ the older definitions, and especially the verb forms are quite instructive:
a married man, especially when considered in relation to his partner in marriage.
British. a manager.
Archaic. a prudent or frugal manager.
verb (used with object)
- to use frugally; conserve: to husband one’s resources.
- to manage, especially with prudent economy.
- to be or become a husband to; marry.
- to find a husband for.
- to till; cultivate.
Husband, in its purest form is a manager of resources or cultivator. One might specifically call to mind a vinedresser, or one who guards, prunes, trains and harvests from a vine.
The Hebrew words generally rendered as ‘husband’ are ‘ish’ meaning ‘man’ (in the context of man and his woman) and ‘ba’al’ meaning ‘master.’
Consider Proverbs 30:21-23 NASB
Under three things the earth quakes, And under four, it cannot bear up:  Under a slave when he becomes king, And a fool when he is satisfied with food,  Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband, And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.
That word translated as husband is: bâ‛al
- to marry, rule over, possess, own
- to marry, be lord (husband) over
- to rule over
- (Niphal) to be married
While these are the roots, the concept of husband as ‘manager and cultivator of resources’ as well as ‘master’ is well supported by Scripture. So, let’s dive in and consider the major roles of the man in a relationship with a woman.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.Genesis 1:26-30
Clearly man has two major functions, dominion over the earth and to be fruitful and multiply. As we have previously demonstrated, God gave woman to man and placed her under his authority for the purpose of being a helpmeet in accomplishing these tasks. Both involve ‘husbandry’ in the sense that he is to manage, till and cultivate both the earth and the woman to accomplish the very mission that Adam was given. In doing so, as also previously explained, man and woman will image Messiah and the qahal/congregation in the world.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.Ephesians 5:22-23, 32
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body…..32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
To accomplish this, throughout Scripture, man is given specific directions on how to lead and what to do. While a broad encapsulation of the Torah, Paul commands,
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;Ephesians 5:25-27
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish
Specifically, it is the responsibility of man to wash his woman ‘in the water of the Word’ to cleanse and sanctify her.
A fascinating topic we will take up in the near future is the fact that very, very few commands are given directly to women in the Torah. Almost all commands are given to the ‘sons of Israel’ and then they, the sons, or men, are accountable to teach their wives and families. Even the Leviticus 12 laws of cleanliness dealing with childbirth are given to the sons of Israel. The situation is identical to Adam, in the Garden, being responsible to teach Eve and then help her be accountable. When they sinned, Eve was not the primary party held accountable.
Just as Messiah is the accountable party for teaching and covering the qahal and Adam was responsible for Eve, so is a man responsible for his own wife. One great example evidencing this authority that man has is in Numbers 30. That authority is to recall and redeem the very words that come from her mouth should she make a foolish vow. Yah is literally relinquishing his own authority and stepping aside in deference to the woman’s master. (The corollary, as previously mentioned, is Numbers 5 wherein the woman is ‘uncovered’ before standing to be judged directly by the Father.) The depth of this cannot be overstated and the responsibility that we as men have with regards to our women is staggering. Men this is serious business and we will be held accountable for what we have done with the women that the Almighty has blessed us with.
The husband is further responsible for protecting and providing for her (Ex. 21:10) as well as being the very visible example of Messiah in her life. Folks, Yeshua is not your boyfriend. He doesn’t negotiate about what he wants his bride to do. He lays it out in black and white along with listing the consequences for disobedience. Then he gives us example after example of how his brides have failed to follow his instructions and how he lovingly disciplined them time and time again. How many of us actually understand the gravity of that fact? How many of us are actually in a position that we would correct our women when their misbehavior merits it? Is Yeshua not our example? Are we not supposed to love our women the same way he loves his brides? Do we even recognize the fact that discipline is love? (Hebrews 12:6) And that is part of the love that Yeshua examples for us with his brides? How many of you just reacted with the thought “there is no way my wife would allow me to correct her” ? If that is what ran through your mind then let me ask you. Are you really loving and leading her as Messiah loves and leads the qahal?
Men, we are tasked with a calling that is so high that we can only fulfill it by being in total submission to the Messiah and learning to walk in his ways! We are incapable of so challenging a task as leading, molding, pruning and loving our women and children apart from the continual enabling and filling of the Ruach!
Men, especially, ponder the gravity of what is written in this post and seek the Father for guidance and direction. Consider, too, the recently discussed aspect of vision and its role in leading your family! May the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya’acov guide and direct you as you grow into the calling He has for you!
Co-authored by Peter and Jeremy
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Thankyou for this timely study which by pressing the link two brides took me back to your relevant study on Judah still being in covenant relationship with Yahwey , but Israel not….I still am looking for the answer to how Yahwey deals with Judah’s return or if she is still married to Him does she not need to in the same way as Israel??????hence your approach to Judah being very controversial as you don’t “evangelise them “…,rather draw alongside in friendship and respect and share your faith in The redemptive work of Yeshua when asked……I cringe when well meaning “Christians” tell Judah ..”you need Yeshua” thus invalidating everything Judah has to say ..refusing to see that they have the Ruach as much as we Israelites do…..I’m probably over simplifying it’s hard to put it all into words …..but my still unanswered question is ..if they are still His bride , not divorced….and I’m thinking now of the prodigal son /Israel when he returned .. the older brother sulked and threw a jealous strop…..and the Father /Yahwey ..said “Son. You are always with me and all that is mine is yours” …So my point is Yeshua died to redeem his faithless bride israel …..what about Judah , his bride still even though her harlotry was worse than Israels …according to Jeremiah 3:8&11….now I’m thinking of Rabbi Shaul …a Jew generically even though a benjamite ….Yeshua revealed Him self to him ..he fell on his knees …and believed…then had the plan of the redemption of faithless Israel , divorced , lost in the nations, time of her punishment coming to an end , and takes the gospel to her in the nations ……Do you have any thing to input here and help me or are you still pondering too?!……I’m in the middle of a provoking discussion with a lady , by email , who contacted Rimona , after the conference in Israel that I attended , where I met you and your family and had wonderful dancing times together with …This lady read about us on line , in In the artical written by the Jewish man who visited us , I can’t remember the name of His on line ministry , …anyway she was interested because her grandmother , Jewish believer , was hugely interested in the whereabouts of the lost tribes, but Yael , just cannot see the truth of The lost tribes being Ephraim …in the nations …even this morning she sent me an email with Jeremiah 3:8-11…….she’s almost anti Judah …anyway my point is really ..that when I was led to your blog this morning , and then clicked on two brides …there was that same verse! So I felt very led by the Ruach to it ! And feel He is saying something to me like”you are grasping the truth …..but there’s more ..keep searching for the missing pieces of the puzzle !”….so I am! ..thanks for your study , and excellent teaching …every blessing to you and your family , looking through your photos this morning gave me a longing to be in the land again ! Margaret .
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Good morning and many blessings, dear Margaret! It is good to hear from you.
Come to Israel with us for Sukkot! We still have room… aniyosef.com for details.
Two brides, a concept well supported in Scripture, though not writ large, is a key to understanding what the Father’s plan and purpose has been and is, even now. And, this concept holds the key, i think, to multiple very deep concepts related to redemption and resyorayion. I’m guessing you have read through much of the challenging material on my ‘Biblical Marriage’ page that explores the Scriptural instructions for marriage and thus the image of Messiah and the Qahal/Congregation. What I have pondered deeply, but not really shared, yet…. is the relationship maintained between brides in a plural marriage. The husband has and is in the process of building one (echad) house, but it contains more than one bride. When this happens in the physical (I know multiple such Godly families, both evangelical Christian and Hebrew roots) there is much challenge on the part of all parties to learn to love each other, walk in peace, not try to mold the other into ones self, be sanctified by the removal of jealousy/selfishness/pride/etc.. think, Jacob and his four brides.
If Christendom and Judaism are two brides, and I can make the case, then we must recognize that each other had a right to exist, is loved by the husband, has a unique ‘personality’, is to be treated with dignity and respect, needs and deserves love, etc… from this perspective we can see a way past the 2700 years of fighting and jealousy toward a place of mutual respect knowing (and this answers the proselytizing question) that it us the Husband’s job, and not our own to correct the respective brides. We can be free to love our sister without concern for being displaced or overlooked. We can relax and not make her into us but be content with loving her and seeing her as He loves and sees her. We can seek her good because it is for the good of the husband and the benefit of the whole house.
HUGE depths here that begins with a paradigm shift on what the family actually looks like… Jacob, Leah and Rachel.
I hope that helps… love the dialog. Many blessings.
An additional quick thought: were you at the Congress where Iris Bowman taught on the ‘Dance of the Two Brides’? She demonstrated, through the two ladies in the interpretive dance exactly what we are talking about here. I’m still impacted from watching that dramatic rendition.
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