The English words “wife” and “husband” are inadequate translations in Torah and leave people with a perverted understanding of Yehovah’s choice of words actually say.
If the translators of the Torah were to translate Yehovah’s words correctly instead of trying to find something in English that gives a similar understanding; or worse, translating His words according to the doctrines and traditions of men, they would sell a lot less Bibles because most people would not like what Yehovah actually says.
Our ignorance of the Creator’s vocabulary has kept people, even most of us who think we have seen the light of His word, in darkness. Please do not feel that I am saying ignorance is wicked or evil; we just do not know. We have believed what others have said or translated and simply do not have the language skills to see and understand Yehovah’s words for ourselves. For this reason I have begun putting together this series of blogs on “Yehovah’s words.”
There are many words that we all use which are defined mainly by how they are commonly used. Words like “the lord,” “God” and “Israel” have gone through an evolutionary process over even the last 100 years. The STATE of Israel did not even exist 100 years ago. Yehovah’s Israel is a growing group of spiritually born men who have left the kingdom of their birth and their old masters, joined themselves to a new kingdom and master (Yehovah) and His “called out” people and then have come into covenant with Him at Passover. These men are currently scattered all over the earth.
When we read these words they stimulate a vast amount of preconceived notions in our minds. It is for this reason that I read the Torah differently than most. When I read the words “the Lord,” in my New King James Version, I know that (in all but two places)Â it actually says “my master.” When I read “the LORD” or “GOD” I know that it is covering up the Creator’s hallowed name “Yehovah.” And when I read I always try to read the English word “God” as “Elohim” because I want to always remember that an elohim is a lawmaker and judge. When my NKJV says the words “The LORD God of Israel” it does not give us the same understanding as “Yehovah, the lawmaker and judge, of a spiritually born group of men.”
There are actually three Hebrew words that I would like to talk about today which, when translated into English, just do not give us the understanding that comes in the Hebrew. The first two are “husband” and “wife.”
Husband And Wife In Torah
The most common Hebrew word for “man” in Torah is אישׁ (pronounced “eesh“) and the word most often translated as “women” is אשׁה (pronounced “ish-shah“). There is no single word for either husband or wife in Hebrew. A wife is the woman [אשׁה, ish-shah] who belongs to a specific man [אישׁ, eesh]. Likewise the husband is the man [אישׁ, eesh] who possesses a specific woman [אשׁה, ish-shah] or women [נשׁים, naw-shim]. But to really understand the relationship between a husband and his woman we must learn yet another Hebrew word; and that word is בעל [pronounced ba’-al]. A בעל is often translated as a noun “master” or “lord” but can also be used as a verb as well; and it is translated as “marry” or “marries“.
A Man Ba’als His Woman
ba-al: A verb meaning to marry, have dominion, or to rule over. In relation to marriage, it refers to marrying a woman (Deu 24:1). (Strong’s)
So let’s look at places where these three words, which Yehovah chose so carefully, are used and see how our understandings change with just a bit of new knowledge. Please read these verses slowly and carefully.
“When a man [אישׁ, eesh] takes a woman [אשׁה, an ish-shah] and marries her, [בעלה, masters her] and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man’s [אישׁ, eesh], if the latter man [אישׁ, eesh] detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or, if the latter man [אישׁ, eesh] dies who took her to himself for a woman [לו לאשׁה, his ish-shah], then her former husband [בעלה, her master] who divorced her must not take her back to him for a woman [לו לאשׁה, his ish-shah] after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before Yehovah, and you shall not bring sin on the land which Yehovah your God is giving you as an inheritance. (Deu 24:1-4)
They [the priests] shall not take a woman [אשׁה, a ish-shah] who is a harlot or a defiled woman [אשׁה, ish-shah], nor shall they take a woman [אשׁה, an ish-shah] divorced from her husband [מאישׁה, from her eesh]; for the priest is holy to his God. (Lev 21:7)
When thou [2nd person, masculine, singular] goest forth to war against thine enemies, and Yehovah thy Elohim hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman [אשׁה, ish-shah], and hast a desire unto her, that she would become to him for a woman [לו לאשׁה, thy ish-shah]; then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband [בעלה, her master], and she shall become to him for a woman [לו לאשׁה, thy ish-shah]. (Deu 21:10-13)
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s woman [אשׁה, ish-shah], nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exo 20:17)
What you will see over and over throughout the Torah is that the English word “wife” is defined by who she belongs to, who her ba’-al is, who her master is. Most often the translation of “wife” comes from the compound Hebrew word [לו לאשׁה, (meaning to him for a woman). While the translation “husband” comes from one of two compound Hebrew words; בעלה, (her master) or אישׁה (her man). Clearly these two words are synonymous; a woman’s man (eesh) is a woman’s master (ba’-al).
Therefore a man [אישׁ, eesh] shall leave his father and mother and be joined by his woman [אשׁתו, his ish-shah], and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man [האדם, ha–dam] and his woman [אשׁתו, his ish-shah], and were not ashamed. (Gen 2:24-25)
In this day and age many women will find a picture like this offensive, and that is because they have not learned Yehovah’s eternal and unchanging ways and instead are on the broad road that leads to destruction. Woman [אשׁה] was created to be an “aide suitable” for the man [האדם, ha-a-dam]. For a women, serving a man is her only place of safety and the only way she has a relationship with Yehovah is under the covering of her man.
Who can find a woman [אשׁת, ish-shah] of value? Her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband [בעלה, her master] safely trusts in her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Pro 31:10-12)
But all this only describes the relationship between a man and His woman. In part two we will see what the relationship is between Yehovah and His man; or at least what it ought to be. We will see that there are far more women of value in the world now than there are righteous men.
Go to Ba’al / Master / Husband In Torah