There Is No Word For Wife In Torah

No word for wife in TorahWords are used to communicate ideas, and sometimes the words people choose are just not sufficient to deepen our understandings in Yehovah’s word. There is no word for wife in Torah; yet the translators use the word “wife” constantly. Because we use the word “wife” in Torah instead of “his woman” we limit our current, future and deeper understandings.

There Is No Word For Wife In Torah!

In my blog and teaching on  Numbers 30 concerning vows made to Yehovah, I said these words.

Did you know that there are no words for “husband” or “wife” in Torah? Ten times in this chapter my NKJV erroneously translates “her man” as “her husband.” However, we fail to understand that while this woman, whom Moses is talking about, can be what we have come to call, a “wife ” she can also be a servant, concubine, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, mother, grand-mother or other near of kin.

Yehovah’s intent is for EVERY woman in His kingdom to have a man in her life whom she serves. When one of his women makes a vow her man must void that vow or it will stand. (Michael Didier)

Every vow and every binding oath to which she has bound her soul, her man may confirm it, or her man may make it void. Now if her man makes no response whatever to her from day-to-day, then he confirms all her vows or all the agreements that bind her; he confirms them, because he made no response to her on the day that he heard them. (Num 30:13-14)

Numbers 30 discusses 4 kinds of women [ishshah]; a man’s daughter, a man’s woman, a widow and a divorcee. But all 4 categories are an ishshah (woman).

There Is No Word For Wife In Torah!

In Numbers 31, when we went to war with Median and we took for ourselves all the women [nashiym, plural of ishshah] who had not known a man; all the virgin nashiym. These women came in all ages, baby nashiym, to older nashiym; but they are all nashiym, not wives. How come we choose in one chapter to make all the nashiym “wives” and in the very next chapter to make all the nashiym “women”? Does that kind of discretionary choice in translating the same word bother anyone?  It REALLY bothers me, because I see the lies which it promotes. Our understandings of the word “wife” comes with generations of doctrines and traditions of men that are almost impossible to overcome.

There Is No Word For Wife In Torah!

Translating the Hebrew word meaning “his ishshah” as “wife” is just not a crisp translation; it leaves room for poor understandings. “His ishshah” could be “his female servant” or “his servant’s daughter,” “his concubine,” “his niece,” “his aunt” or even “his mother.” These are all women whom “he” covers, “his nashiym” (his women).

I am always reminded by what Boaz said when Ruth first came to his attention. He said,

Whose young woman is this?” (Rth 2:5)

EVERY WOMAN IN YEHOVAH’S KINGDOM IS MEANT TO HAVE A MAN IN HER LIFE! And a widow and a fatherless child are taken care of by their near of kin. Well, this is a great segue for the word Moses received concerning the fatherless daughters of Zelophehad.

There Is No Word For Wife In Torah!

In today’s class we discussed again the daughters of Zelophehad. I am guessing that you are much like me and see in your mind’s eye five “marriageable” women. I thought I saw that also in Genesis 34 when Shechem took Dinah, raped her, and shut her in his house; but then I discovered that Dinah was only 8 years old! This is all part and parcel of learning to have eyes which see. Many times what we think we know, is just NOT so.

In our story today I discovered, as I was finishing Numbers 36, that the word “wives” and the word “marry” were both added many times by the translators, and what it actually said was that these women (nashiym) had to each “become the woman” of a son of Manasseh. But this does not mean that they each had to marry one of the sons of Manasseh. They were instructed to become the women, come under the covering, of some man from their tribe and a near of kin man makes perfect sense; it is Yehovah’s way.

This is what Yehovah commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them “become the women” [תהיינה לנשׁים] of whom they think best, but only within the family of their father’s tribe.’ (Num 36:6)

Consider this! What if a man of Israel is killed and all he has is infant daughters and no son. When the land goes to them, are they going to “marry” one of the sons of their father’s tribe? Of course not! But when they become the infant nashiym (women) of another man, covered by another man, they and their property become that man’s property. The land does not stay with the woman anyway; this is the whole point of this chapter. As Boaz said, “Whose woman is this?”

So much to learn, so little time! In my Sabbath class I work very hard to knock down these false images in our minds. Here is today’s class for your immediate listening or download.

There Is No Word For Wife In Torah!

2N14 Numbers 26-27:11 and 36
[Click to play this audio or right-click and “Save As” to download]

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