Love, Truth, Marriage and other Masculine & Feminine Nouns

First, Marriage

In Scripture, "marriage" i.e. a lady becoming "a wife", was the same word for a lady becoming "a man's woman". This etymology of "wife", and its equivalent word in many languages, relates to the word for "queen" i.e. an honored lady. No ceremony is insisted upon in scripture, though a family's permission was naturally required, normally along with some sort of "bride-price" or dowry.

Click here for further history regarding Marriages and Betrothals — in early scripture, in modern Israel, in England, and in Australia.

So, when a lady became a woman (in Hebrew "ishah" spelt "aleph shin hey") of a man (in Hebrew "iysh" spelt "aleph yod shin") it meant that she then had her own "man" — "iysh" or sometimes in Hebrew "baal" — husband i.e. her own leader and protector looking out for her house, yes until death did the two of you part. Click here for further Jewish understanding of these two Hebrew words, iysh and ishah.

Straightforward, as Jesus said, at least that's how it was at the beginning. Adds greater depth to Jesus's words to the lady at the well, yes, she'd had five "men" (leaders/protectors) so far, with an accompanying drop in respect implied for each previous "man", and what she now had, no, he wasn't her "man", there was no leading or protection inferred in the relationship. Pretty poor. Sounds a lot like church (and national) splits.

Next, Love

Hebrew 'ahab (aw-hab)Love (verb) (other-centeredness)
Hebrew 'ahabah (a-hab-aw)Love (feminine noun-connectedness & intimacy)
Hebrew dod (dode) Beloved (Near kin e.g. Uncle) — a term of endearment (masculine noun-to boil)
Hebrew checed (kheh'-sed)Mercy, lovingkindness (masculine noun-love contract)
Hebrew chashaq (khaw-shak')Love (attach) as in Psalm 91:14 (verb)
Hebrew racham (raw-kham')Compassion, womb, spleen (masculine noun)
Hebrew rea' (ray'-ah)Friend, Neighbour (masculine noun)
Hebrew ra'yah (rah-yaw')Love — a term of endearment (feminine noun)
Greek agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o)Love, translating 'ahab in the Hebrew (verb)
Greek agape (ag-ah-pay)Love (noun)
Greek agapetos (ag-ap-ay-tos')Beloved — a term of endearment
Greek phileo (fil-eh'-o)Closeness to, Friendship

In the New Testament "Grace, favour" (charis in Greek) and (chen in Hebrew) is frequently associated with "Mercy" (eleos in Greek) and (checed in Hebrew) in the opening greetings in the letters and elsewhere.

Trench points out that the difference between them is that the freeness of God's love is the central point of charis, while eleos has in view misery and its relief; charis is his free grace, his gift and favour displayed in the forgiveness of sins which is extended to men as they are guilty; his eleos is extended to them as they are miserable. The lower creation may be the object of His mercy (eleos), but Adam alone of His grace (charis); he alone needs it and is capable of receiving it (Synonyms of the New Testament, 163 f).


Third, True (like a Tree)

HebrewEmeth (eh-meth) The firmness of the foundation, contracted from aman (aw-man) — the Hebrew words for "Amen" and "Believed" and "Faithful". Click here for all uses of those two words and similar. Closely associated too with "Yaman" meaning "Right" and "Right Hand".
GreekAletheia (al-ay'-thi-a) To not lie hidden, to be transparent and whole, the opposite of falsehood.

Genesis 15:6 And he (Abraham) believed in the LORD; and he (God) counted it to him for righteousness.


Jesus before Pilate

And that wonderful conversation with Pilate in John 18:33-38 when Jesus declares the truth: that his kingdom no longer lies hidden and that all who are of the truth hear his voice.


Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him, Are you the King of the Jews?
Pilate Matthew 27:11, Mark 15:2, Luke 23:3, 1 Timothy 6:13

Jesus answered him, Do you say this thing of yourself, or did others tell it you of me?

Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you to me: what have you done?

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from here.

Pilate therefore said to him, You are a king, then? Jesus answered, As you say, I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.

Pilate said to him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, I find in him no fault at all.


Meaning of Male & Female

In Hebrew, all nouns are either male or female, masculine or feminine. Masculine nouns tend to be concrete, feminine nouns abstract (i.e. drawn out from the concrete). In most cases masculine nouns are converted into a feminine form by adding one of three suffixes ה (ah), ת (et), or ית (iyt). Click  here for further info.

Accordingly, words like Elohim (God), Ish (man), Aph (nostrils), Fathers, Sons and Houses, Flesh and Blood, Things, Words, the (i.e. the definite article), Names of Seasons and Months, Righteousness, they are all masculine nouns, while the words Ruach (Spirit), Neshamah (Breath) and its related word Nephesh (Soul), words like Chay (Life), Isha (wife / woman), Mothers and Daughters, Jerusalem, Israel, Nations and Peoples, Lands, Countries and Families, Blessing, Faith and Truth are all feminine nouns.

So, for flexibility within the Lord's body, "... there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus" Galatians 3:28

The First Adam and the Last Adam

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written (in Genesis 2:7) The first Adam (from "Adamah", Hebrew word for "Ground"), was made into a living soul (consciousness), the last (uttermost) Adam, into a lifemaking spirit.

Genesis 2:7 God formed Adam (like a potter)

God is a Spirit
The Hebrew word for 'spirit' is ruach. It is an onomatopoeic word (i.e. its name is an imitation of a sound associated with its name) similar to (the verbs) puach and naphach, both of which mean 'to breathe out with a certain amount of violence' or even 'to blow out'. Ruach carries the idea of wind and power. Isaiah 11:4 captures this thought when he says "the Lord will slay the wicked with the breath (ruach) of his lips". So the word ruach stands for strong, hard, violent breathing, as against neshamah which (normally) means ordinary breathing (of oxygen). Dynamics of Spiritual Warfare" — Nickson Banda

Click here to see these verses on each person's spirit (ruach) — the hidden man in the heart — and breath (neshamah).

The Hebrew word for 'nostrils' is aph. It is more frequently translated as 'anger' or 'wrath'.

Thus in Genesis 2:7: And the LORD God formed Adam of the dust of the ground, and breathed naphach into his nostrils aph the breath neshamah (oxygen) of life, and Adam became a living soul (zeal) nephesh (consciousness).

With respect to "Neshamah" meaning "Breath" or "Oxygen", see this article from on "Oxygen" — God's "Breath" of life.

With respect to "Nephesh" meaning "Soul" or "Consciousness", the word is closely related to naphash — the cool refreshing that is found in God's rest. And each one's hidden spirit (the inner man) and outward breathing (through the flesh, the outer body) are connected to this cool, refreshing consciousness (soul) that is contained in each person's blood. Leviticus 17:11

But each person "blows" it, destroys their rest, without exception

As we grow, knowledge of the law, knowledge of God's norms for life, come to each one's consciousness. Then comes knowlege of sin because each one knowingly comes up short, misses it, with the frailty that's in the flesh.

And God's tolerance, and his forgiveness and mercy in Christ

Each one is thus dead (to God) until their spirit can be brought to life, something which can only happen as the spirit submits humbly, soft inside the Holy Spirit, the one who magnifies Christ, in the person of the Lord Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to new life - for each one. And as each one walks on in this special relationship following the Lord, the person becomes a "Christian".

See the point about spirit and breath in Elihu's words in Job 34:14 If he (Almighty God) set his heart to it, if he gather to himself his spirit and his breath (oxygen); all flesh shall perish together, and Adam shall turn again to dust.

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