The Earth belongs to HaShem
"The Earth belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."

Gender, the Holy One and the Bible

By John of AllFaith August 9, 2007

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

This is a topic that could go in myriad directions. We could focus on the great and influential women recorded in the Bible, and there are many! We could look at their vital roles in the development of religion and culture and so on. We could discuss the female prophets, the uplifting relationship of Ruth and Naomi, or the spiritually powerful symbolism of the Shulamite Maiden and her Lover. We could try and perceive the Sacred Feminine in the days before the Hebrew acceptance of monotheism and the patriarchy. We could discus the Bible and homosexuality or consider the beliefs of many that "the missionary position" is the only one acceptable to God! In this particular study however the direction is a bit different. Here I focus on the "sexual principle" within the confines of monotheism and biblical tradition. No short study like this could hope to be fully inclusive of all aspects and viewpoints of such a broad topic. This study then is but a small slice of the vast potentiality of this topic from a perspective that I believe is both scripturally solid and philosophically under examined.

We begin in the beginning:

    Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God here is elohiym ('el-o-heem'): Part of what makes religious studies so fascinating is the multitude of possibilities we find. For instance, concerning the name Elohiym, from a more traditional Jewish perspective, when applied to the One God:

    "...It's actually Elo-h (like the Arabic 'Ilah') meaning 'Diety' or 'G-D', while the 'im' typically would signify plural, but in this case, it reflects the Semetic nuance known as the 'Royal We'. I'm sure you've read the Qur'an? There also, Allah is referred to in the plural, while the Qur'an, like the Torah, does not lack in criticism of polytheism or of attributing multiple personas to HASHEM(such as the idolatrous concept of the Trinity). I hope this answers your question.
    Did you know that the word 'Ad---onai' is also plural? (from a conversation with a Rabbi friend).

From another perspective, "el" references the maleness of the Creator while "'iym" is feminine (hence making the name plural). We therefore see that the One God, as presented in the Bible from this point of view, is inconceivably, simultaneously both male and female and yet neither. We reference God as male more as a social construct than as a literal gender identification. The Holy One transcends all such material conceptions .

In our day of gender inclusive language this presents a distinct problem that we should briefly mentioned before going on as it goes to the heart of this study. While the biblical conception of God isn't really male (despite common opinion) as I will discuss below, the use of feminine pronouns for God goes further than simple inclusivity because the gods and goddess referenced in the Bible are gender specific beings. Until fairly recently the male pronoun was used universally. We're getting away from this now and embracing more gender accurate language, which is good, but in order to understand the historic and textual conception of the God of the Bible we must think in more non-inclusive terms. As English has no gender neutral pronouns, for clarity sake I will use the male pronoun for the Holy One here even as I acknowledge the inaccuracy of this.

Despite this, those who claim that God's "maleness" authorizes males to take the lead in religion and society are, biblically speaking, mistaken. God is not male.

So then, what did Elohiym do next? He created everything ex nihilo, which is to say, from nothingness: And God said, Let there be...

In order to understand God as conceived and presented in the Tanakh (the so-called "Old Testament") or the New Testament we must, at least theoretically, accept His existence as the sole architect and sole creator. We also need to understand, again at least theoretically, that the material multiverses did not evolve from a Big Bang etc. but ex nihilo by the sovereign calling forth of the nothing into something by the One God.

Here was an important departure from most of the surrounding Pagan religions of the day. In most religions gods and goddess procreated and thereby brought about and sustained life. The sex act therefore held a place of great symbolic spiritual meaning. This was defined in countless ways that do not concern our present considerations. Other than one:

There was a common belief and practice among many Pagans the world over that it was possible to enter into a spiritually aware sexual state of consciousness and take part in the ongoing creation and maintenance of the multiverses through intercourse with temple prostitutes as though they were the deities incarnate (or as though the raising of sexual energies elevated the consciousness as in certain forms of tantra yoga, the Kama Sutra etc.). In some cases these acts were purely heterosexual however in others they were homosexual or even multisexual depending on the boon etc. one sought. This practice was common throughout much of the world and is specifically condemned in the Tanakh, the New Testament and the Sunna of Islam as we will see below.

For the Hebrews such practices were deemed utterly blasphemous. We read throughout both the Tanakh and the New Testament about such acts and HaShem's displeasure with them (Leviticus 20 and Romans 1 for instance). HaShem transcends all gender dualities and is fully self contained within Himself. For HaShem to create He merely wills a thing to be and it is manifested by His Word. This essential Truth of Judaism is found in the Shema:

Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.

For Pagans Divine Nature consisted of a Trinity:

    And their interplay.

Gender polarity is vitally important to the Pagan traditions. As my Welsh Traditionalist teacher once told me, "A Circle without both men and women is like a bird with only one wing. It can not fly."

Triple goddesses and horned gods, phallic May Polls, divine consorts, virgin births, immaculate conceptions, lingam and yoni veneration, yin and yang philosophical constructs and the like existed throughout the Pagan religions. The strictly monotheistic Hebrews were constantly confronted with the worshipers of these gods, goddesses, practices and philosophies. Due in part to the sensual aspects of these Pagan rites (if not to what the practices represented) many Hebrews were at times tempted to "go after other gods." Again we read of such instances throughout the Tanakh and New Testament.

Lest certain of my friends be offended, please do understand that I honor all faiths. I am speaking within a specific context here. I follow AllFaith Spirituality. My beliefs embrace all others according to the Light I have thus far been granted.

For the physical and spiritual descendants of Abraham (the Hebrews, Ishmaelites and certain Noahides) who held staunchly to absolute and uncompromising monotheism such practices were unthinkable. What made those who embraced Abraham's spiritual beliefs unique was their fierce devotion to monotheism: the conviction that there exists a single God Who is the Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of all things.

If good happens it is God's blessings. If bad happens God has allowed it. In same cases God may even bring such bad things upon the people to teach or chastise them. For such faithful monotheists HaShem controls every aspect of life. HaShem is not therefore "the God of Israel," although we often reference Him as such. HaShem IS God. There is none other! Anything that compromises strict monotheism is to be rejected as an affront to the Oneness of HaShem.

Of course, it wasn't only the descendants of Abraham who stressed absolute monotheism. In the Sanatana Dharma of India there are said to be 330,000,000 gods! And yet according to the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

    Then Vidagdha, the son of Sakala, asked him: "How many gods are there, Yajnavalkya?
    Yajnavalky said, "As many as are indicated in the Nivid of the Visvadevas - 300 and 3003."
    "Very well," said Sakalya. "How many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Thirty-three."
    "Very well," said Sakalya. "How many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Six."
    "Very well," said Sakalya. "How many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Three."
    "Very well," said Sakalya. "How many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya?" "Two."
    "Very well," said Sakalya. "How many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya?" "One-and-a-half."
    "Very well," said Sakalya. "How many gods exactly are there, Yajnavalkya?" "One."

There is only Ek Devata: The One God:

The Holy One is the property of no race or religion.
No one fully knows or understands the One
No one give or withhold the blessings of the One
This utterly transcendent and imminent Being is not the cumulative totality of all existence and yet all existence dwells within the Ek Devata.
One can not point and say: Here is God! Or: There is God!
Nor yet can one say: God is not here! God is not there!
The most one can say is: "Before Abraham was, I AM!"
Blessed be the Name of the One!

In the Tanakh we find this One God referenced as:


    • El Shaddai: "God Almighty."
    • El Elyon: "The Most High God."
    • El Olam: "The Everlasting God."

    HaShem (YHWH): the Existing One

    • Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): "The Lord will provide."
    • Yahweh Nissi: "The Lord is my Banner."
    • Yahweh Shalom: "The Lord is Peace."
    • Yahweh Sabbaoth: "The Lord of Hosts."
    • Yahweh Maccaddeshcem: "The Lord your Sanctifier."
    • Yahweh Roi: "The Lord my Shepherd."
    • Yahweh Tsidkenu: "The Lord our Righteousness."
    • Yahweh Shammah: "The Lord is there."
    • Yahweh Elohim Israel: "The Lord, the God of Israel."

And yet

"Hear, Israel, HaShem is our God, HaShem is One."

The absolute Oneness of HaShem is maintained even when referencing His diverse attributes! The notion that anything could be added to HaShem is considered blasphemy. It is for this reason, in part, that Jews and Muslims reject the Christian teaching of the Trinity. No matter how righteous Y'shua may have been, no one is equal to HaShem and He will not share His glory with another:

Isaiah 42:8 I am HaShem: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

HaShem is One without a second. HaShem requires no consort because HaShem is the Totality of Divinity. Any adding to His Oneness would limit HaShem's Glory.

And so when the surrounding Pagan religions spoke of their deities and worshipers procreating in the sacred groves the Hebrews shook their heads, knowing this was not the Way of the One God. For the Jews any God who required the assistance or joining of another was a limited being. HaShem has no such needs or limitations. As we read:

    Judges 3:5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:
    6 And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
    7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.
    8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.
    9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.
    10 And the spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.
    11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

Throughout the history of People Israel outsiders and even some Jews had challenged the Oneness of HaShem and paid a dear price for their doubt and disobedience. Others stood firm however. Thus we read:

    Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve HaShem choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve HaShem.
    16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake HaShem, to serve other gods;

This choice faced the Jews time and time again. Sometime they chose wisely, sometimes they did not. When they failed HaShem held them accountable.

Now, what has any of this got to do with gender roles in the Bible? More than you might think!

    Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    Genesis 2:7 And God HaShem formed man ["adam" in Hebrew a male noun -- literally mortal kind] of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul ["nephesh" a femine noun meaning soul].

And so we see that HaShem created a human that was both male (adam) and female (nephesh). In other words:

    Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...

And God did!

(Note the use of the 'Royal We' here. My rabbi friend mentioned this in his comment above. The use of the 'Royal We' does not support the belief that within the Holy One there is more than one "Person" any more than it does when the phrase is used in the Qur'an:

    Qur'an 021.081 (It was Our power that made) the violent (unruly) wind flow (tamely) for Solomon, to his order, to the land which We had blessed: for We do know all things.

... any more than it does when the Queen of England uses it.)

HaShem in eternally One.

According to the Torah humans were likewise created with an essential dual-gender oneness, however unlike HaShem who is complete within Himself:

    Genesis 2:18 And God HaShem said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God chose to take from the man an `ezer, a helper and at this point humans were divided into a duality, into maleness and femaleness. It is this duality that Pagans, Gnostics and others focus on however transcending this duality is the Oneness of HaShem.

    Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

It is for precisely this reason that Judaism stresses the importance of marriage. One who is not paired with a mate is, in a sense, incomplete (I'll pass on the obvious questions this raises about sexual orientation for now. For more on this visit my Grace Inclusive website). My point here is, biblically speaking, men and women need one another and they were both created in the image and likeness of HaShem. As one dependable Orthodox Jewish resource explains:

    The equality of men and women begins at the highest possible level: G-d. In Judaism, unlike Christianity, G-d has never been viewed as exclusively male or masculine. Judaism has always maintained that G-d has both masculine and feminine qualities. As one rabbi explained it to me, G-d has no body, no genitalia, therefore the very idea that G-d is male or female is patently absurd. We refer to G-d using masculine terms simply for convenience's sake, because Hebrew has no neutral gender; G-d is no more male than a table is.

    Both man and woman were created in the image of G-d. According to most Jewish scholars, "man" was created in Gen. 1:27 with dual gender, and was later separated into male and female.

This is my point.

    Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
    18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Whatever the significance of this fruit is understood to be, whether it was a literal fruit or something else doesn't concern us here. For now I note that God told Adam not to eat of it before Eve was even created.

Beginning with chapter three we find that Eve knows of the commandment not to eat, however the clear implication is that she had received this information from Adam rather than from God. After Lucifer deceived Eve into eating nothing happened. It was not until Adam ate than they "knew of their nakedness" (I'll discuss this nakedness elsewhere too). The point is, Eve questioned Adam's instruction, however Adam directly violated Gods direct command. Adam therefore has the greater "sin." 2000 plus years later as the founders of the Roman Universal Church were developing their doctrines this would become an important consideration for their dogmas and world view.

This is hinted at in Paul's writing where we read that:

    I Cor. 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

As I mention in my study: Isaiah 7:14 and the Virgin Birth Christianity has a doctrine that Judaism and Islam does not known as Original Sin. This doctrine comes into play here.

Now listen carefully, Eve did not sin against God, Adam did and so this important Christian teaching says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." How did Adam sin?

    Genesis 3:6 And when the woman [Eve] saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband [Adam] with her; and he did eat.
    7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
    8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Based on these verses the stereotype was developed that women lacked judgment and men lack will power when it comes to women. Women came to be viewed as the temptress and blamed for much that is wrong with the world. History tells us otherwise! Yet we find this theme throughout the Scriptures and most cultures. As one of many examples, consider that Sampson was powerful and righteous and yet his love for Delilah led to his downfall as she deceived him through his desires for her (Judges 16).

Now, if these are mere legions intended to establish the patriarchy we can see how they would be insidious tools for the entrapment of women. Indeed the patriarchy has largely ruled the planet for thousands of years and has used such justifications. If however these are accounts of actual events then we should temper our criticism. For the Believer these accounts are history. The rise and popularity of "textual criticism" that seeks to rationally explain and justify everything once accepted by faith is as much the result of society's loss of faith as a sincere ongoing quest for knowledge. It is for this reason that television stations like the Discovery Chanel often air religious hit pieces on the Bible where they reference groundless theories as facts, "facts" such as that the Red Sea that HaShem parted for Moses and his followers was actually a small creek named the Reed Sea, the "fact" that Moses deceived Pharaoh with frozen snakes that appeared like sticks until the thawed.

Why would this be happening? It is because without faith it is not possible to please God:

    Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

There are plans afoot to do away with faith in God and replace it with faith in Secular Humanism and the coming Dijal or Antichrist. And the plan is working!

Back to Jesus as the "second Adam" and the remission of sin.

The Jewish people frequently had to contend with Pagans who worshiped couples like Baal and Asteroth. Robert Graves references the importance of the Pagan Trinity in his The White Goddess:

    The New Moon is the white goddess of birth and growth;
    The Full Moon, the red goddess of love and battle;
    The Old Moon, the black goddess of death and divination.

The importance of the Trinity to Pagan thought can not be overstated.

  • Al-Lat, Al-Uzza and Manat in the time of Muhammad (Qur'an 53:19-22),
  • Zeus (the father), Leto (the mother) and Apollo (the son)
  • Brahma (the creator), Narayana/Visnu (the sustainer) and Rudra/Siva (the destroyer/transformer)
  • Osiris (the husband), Isis (the wife), and Horus (the son)
  • Jupiter (the father), Juno (the wife), and Minerva (the daughter).
  • Ceres, Liber Pater and Librera
  • Demeter, Dionysos and Kore

Etc.etc. and yet HaShem is One!

Of Ba'al and Ashtoreth, who figure so prominently in the Tanakh, we read the following from a traditional Jewish source:

The noxious elements in such Ba'al-Worship were not simply the degradation of Yhwh and the enthronement in his place of a baseless superstition. The chief evil arose from the fact that the Ba'als were more than mere religious fantasies. They were made the symbols of the reproductive powers of nature, and thus their worship ministered to sexual indulgences, which it at the same time legalized and encouraged. Further, there was placed side by side with the Ba'al a corresponding female symbol, the Ashtoreth (Babyl. "Ashtar") and the relation between the two deities was set forth as the example and the motive of unbridled sensuality. The evil became all the worse when in the popular view Yhwh himself was regarded as one of the Ba'als and the chief of them (Hosea ii. 16). It was in northern Israel, where agriculture was more followed than in the southern kingdom, that Ba'al-Worship was most insidious and virulent. [Source.

The Qu'ran warns of these Pagan rites as well:

    Qu'ran 053.018-029 (Yusufali):

    For truly did he see, of the Signs of his Lord, the Greatest!
    Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
    And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
    What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
    Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!
    These are nothing but names which ye have devised,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah has sent down no authority (whatever). They follow nothing but conjecture and what their own souls desire!- Even though there has already come to them Guidance from their Lord!
    Nay, shall man have (just) anything he hankers after?
    But it is to Allah that the End and the Beginning (of all things) belong.
    How many-so-ever be the angels in the heavens, their intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He pleases and that he is acceptable to Him.
    Those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names.
    But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth.
    Therefore shun those who turn away from Our Message and desire nothing but the life of this world.

These were the goddesses, some say demons, like the Assyrian Lilu, Lilit, and Ardat Lilit. Lilith is to said to have been a goddess of the night or perhaps a goddess of the storms. Her worship never died out and indeed she is once again becoming rather popular among neo-Pagans. Historically Lilith was worshiped and/or feared by certain Jews during their Babylonian captivity and by the pre-Muslim Arabs. Her cult was quite strong for many years, especially among the Israelites. She is mentioned in the Tanakh as the screech owl:

    Isaiah 34:14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr [a "hairy swine god"] shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl [Liyliyth] also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.

According to the Talmud Lilith is a seductress with long hair. She is the Queen of Zemargad and goes about at night, fastening herself upon any one sleeping alone in a room. Again, it is considered vital that one has a spouse according to such traditions. Some even equate Lilith with a vampire that can only be resisted and defeated by the power of a joined soul (a husband and wife) utterly devoted to HaShem. We today will usually relegate such beliefs to mere superstition, however for those who hold such beliefs there is nothing "mere" about them! As the Bard has noted: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Such beliefs hold great power and influence over those who live under their influences! Lilith was a powerful presence in the lives of many Jews and other Mid-Easterners!

For pre-Muslim Arabs however Lilith was the 'holy dame' who healed the sick and brought various blessings to the faithful. Her amulets were worn by many Ishmaelites, her terra-cotta figurines were worshiped and even decorated the Holy Kaaba in Mecca.

Prior to the coming of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), the Ishmaelites of Arabia worshiped 360 different gods, one for each day of the year. Among these was the moon god Allah (often referred to Hubal). The Ishmaelites believed Allah was married to the al-Lat, the sun goddess. Together they produced three goddesses, known as "the daughters of Allah." This trinity of goddesses were: Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat. They were worshiped as divine priestesses who interceded between the people and Allah. This Holy Family: Allah (the father), his wife al-Lat (the mother) and his sun goddess trinity were considered the "high" gods of Mecca.

In time Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) came and proclaimed that the moon god Allah was actually the same Being worshiped by his ancestors Ishmael and Abraham and that he had been appointed by Allah to the be the Nabi, the final prophet. For our purposes here, I want to point out that Allah's daughters form a trinity of goddesses even as Allah, al-Lat and the Allah's daughters did. We find the presence of three-fold deities everywhere! The Monotheistic Jews rejected all trinities.

In time Jews began to view Lilith as a nocturnal demon who, in her owl [or vampire] form stole children and worked all manner of evil against the faithful. She became, to use another term, a boogie man. If a child misbehaved on Shabbat it was because Lilith was messing with it! If a teenage boy had nocturnal emissions surely Lilith was stealing his seed for some nefarious purpose! If a child died or a young person went missing, Lilith was usually mentioned among the usual suspects.

Although there is no biblical evidence suggesting that Adam had a wife before Eve, there remains a persistent belief that Lilith was her predecessor. Reading between the lines the notion might be more plausible than it first appears. Lammert ("Volksmedicin," p. 170) and Grunwald (l.c. vii., col. 2, n. 4) discuss Lilith at some length and adds much to this topic. The belief in Lilith as Adam's first wife seems to have been spread through Buxtorf in his Lexicon Talmudicum as well as through word of mouth.

In possible support of this view its worth noting briefly that Lilith was also depicted as Ailo. Ailo was like Adam prior to the creation of Eve. She was an a-sexual (self-contained) being who was complete within herself. At a certain point however, it is believed, Ailo took on female form as Lilith and established her throne at the Kaaba and elsewhere. Her consort was the Bull Gallu who survived in many different forms through several cultures including as Ig-alima (the so called great galla of Girsu).

But How could such a being as Lilith exist within the confines of the Torah? In Bereshit (Genesis) there seems to be two different creation stories. Much has been written about this interesting biblical anomaly and I wont delve into here, but the case can be made, mainly based on tradition and conjecture, for the notion of Lilith as the first wife of Adam in a tradition predating the rise of the monotheistic Hebrews. As those who are familiar with my beliefs know, I believe that the creation accounts of Genesis are better thought of as the cultural memories of the descendants of Noah's eldest son Shem (ie the Shemites or Semites) than as literal fact.

To some people of the area these were goddesses however by the time the Hebrews embraced monotheism through the realization of Abraham they were deemed fierce demons, false gods and goddess in direct opposition to the One true God that sought to deceive the Chosen People and led them into idolatry. Opposing such beings was required if one wished to maintain the blessings of HaShem ("the Name").

It is therefore reasonable to assume that deities such as Allah, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat were among those gods rejected by Abraham when he destroyed the idols his father Terah was making in his shop and proclaimed his devotion to the One true God HaShem.

Space forbids a thorough discussion of Lilith, I may return to her at another time, however under the teachings of Abraham, the Torah and later Moses the Hebrew religion was defined and established as the monotheistic worship of HaShem, the Elo-h of Israel and it had no room for Pagan gods or goddesses regardless of their origins and steps were taken to prevent them from entering or remaining within in Jewish life.

For the first three centuries of our common era the followers of Y'shua ben Miriam were Jews and Noahide Nazarenes (ie non-Jewish descendants of Noah who embraced the God of Israel through the teachings of Y'shua of Nazareth). Life was tough in those days and the Apostles had ruled, due in part to discrimination against them by the rabbis, that Gentiles who embraced the Way of Y'shua would not be required to seek formal conversion into Judaism (Acts 15). This difficult decision was made over a long period of time. The followers of Y'shua had no desire to leave Judaism, however the anti-Oral Torah teachings of Master Y'shua and their openness to Gentile converts (an openness not practiced by Master Y'shua, compare Mark 7:28) made staying within the Jewish fold impossible.

With the destruction of the Holy Temple in 70 CE the Jewish religion was forced to change in fundamental ways. Without the Jerusalem Temple the Pharisees (ie Rabbinical Judaism) became the leading religious party and they had no use for Y'shua's rejection of their Oral Torah. The Scribes, who also rejected the Oral Torah, were now all but gone and the rabbis wanted to be the sole authorities in all matters Jewish. This was without a doubt due to their certainty that they were following HaShem's Will. Like other Jewish sects (the Karaites and the Essenes, for instance), the followers of the Way were marginalized and Rabbinical (Orthodox) Judaism came to be viewed as the sole authorized form of the religion. For the Nazarene Jews and their converts concerns about other gods and goddesses, demons and the like were just as real as they were to other Jews. It is for this reason that Paul placed strict restrictions on matters of gender:

    I Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
    10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

The priestesses of the Goddess adorned themselves with seductive apparel, they were bold and the equals of any man in all ways, they used wine and other intoxicants, they often danced nude among the sacred groves, they braided their hair and bedecked themselves with jewels and costly finery. They partook in the sex rites and knew no shame. They stood as elders and seers among their people, their opinions and sorceries were often sought by the wealthy and powerful as well as by the poor and disenfranchised. Even some followers of the Way went to their houses of religious prostitution and thereby worshiped the Pagan deities in clear violation to the Jewish Laws and principles. Paul here was speaking specifically of such women. He demanded that they not be allowed within the Church as they worshiped and represented the goddesses and gods of the Pagan religions and posed a serious threat to Jewish and Nazarene propriety alike. He wanted the followers of the Way to be holy unto HaShem and untouched by such beliefs and practices. Why, he reasoned should followers of Y'shua seek such women for wisdom and thereby be tempted?

Such concerns may sound sexist and intolerant to our contemporary ears however this was a very different time and place. Paul and other biblical writers determined that such women should not be allowed to undermine the authority and ways of Y'shua and the Torah! Emphasizing his concerns with scriptural support, as was common and proper for Torah scholars, he cited in his defense that Eve had been deceived by the serpent and pointed out that these "wise women" sought to draw the people into the Roman Pagan Mystery Cults. These were among Paul's concerns as he wrote the various congregations of Nazarenes. Of such practices he writes:

    Romans1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen

Nevertheless even Paul promises release from one aspect of the curse placed on Eve and her descendants (Gen 3:16). For those women who demonstrated faith in the teachings of Y'shua Hashem would reduce the pangs of childbirth. Despite some of the harshness we find in Paul's word we also find freedom and assurance:

    Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
    13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
    14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
    16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

Each person must serve God as he or she sees fit. God looks at the heart far more than at our deeds:

    Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before HaShem, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
    7 Will HaShem be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
    8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth HaShem require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Then came 70 CE when the Temple and Holy City fell to the infidel Romans. The Jews were forced out of their God given homeland, many were killed, they were dispersed throughout the empire and beyond. In time the Christian religion was established by Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (better known as Constantine). Most followers of the Way accepted the new religion of the empire, it was safer and they believed what the clergy told them, but many didn't. Among those who rejected the newly forming Universal ("Catholic") religion, many formally converted into Judaism rather than leave the religion of their master, Y'shua and his first followers. History records that during the second and third centuries CE Rabbinic (Pharisaic) Judaism accepted an unusually high number of converts.

Concerned that the anti-Oral Torah views of Master Y'shua might lead to a schism the rabbis required all such converts to directly and specifically renounce the Nazarene Master and his teachings. Many of the Jewish writers of the period sound overly harsh in their renunciations of Jesus, however it was this very harshness that allowed the Jewish faith to continue through the Dark Ages that were then beginning under the harsh Roman Christian reign.

As head of both the Empire and the Church Constantine and his successors successfully merged the diverse religions of the empire into the new catholic religious structure that was being built upon the framework of the Noahide Nazarene Way, the religion of Constantine's mother. The original Jewish teachings of Master Y'shua were all but lost and a new crime was invented: Judaizing. This was the crime of seeking to understand the Torah and the Jewish origins of Christianity! Judaizers were hunted down throughout the Christian kingdoms. They were tried, convicted and put to death on the grounds of heresy and sedition. Christianity would henceforth be a neo-Pagan religion with a Biblical back story as defined by the Vatican and its papacy.

Other followers of the Way sought to maintain their independent status while honoring the original Jewish teachings of Qoheleth Y'shua (Jesus the Preacher). These people were sometimes known as Arians (not Aryans). Of this group Constantine himself decreed:

    (1.) The great and victorious Constantine Augustus to the bishops and laity:

    Since Arius is an imitator of the wicked and the ungodly [ie the Jews], it is only right that he should suffer the same dishonor as they. Porphyry, who was hostile to anyone who feared God, composed a book which transgressed against our religion, and has found a suitable reward: namely that he has been disgraced from that time onward, his reputation is completely terrible, and his ungodly writings have been destroyed. In the same way it seems appropriate that Arius and those of like mind with Arius should from now on be called Porphyrians, so that their name is taken from those whose ways they have imitated.
    (2.) In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offense, he shall be submitted for capital punishment.

Thus did original Christianity die.

For the next several hundred years we hear about people clinging to older versions of Christianity only to be crushed by Rome and the might of the Church. In time the Protestant Reformation took place but by then so much had been lost that the best they achieved was pruning back some of the more overt Pagan elements, the near deification of Mary, the selling of indulgences etc. The Protestants unwittingly maintained most of the Pagan doctrines created by Constantine and his courts because by that point the original teachings had long since been forgotten, and besides the Reformers were devoted to own their belief systems.

The new Roman Church brought people from all the various religions into its new universal structure. This included those who worshiped goddesses and gods unknown to the Jews and followers of the Way of Y'shua. Both from Christian Rome and from the emerging Islamic Ummah the Goddess was under attack. In the West this assault on Old School Paganism found its fulfillment in the Burning Times and the slaughter of millions of European Pagans. This is the topic of another study.

In brief, Master Y'shua was dressed in the mantle of the god Sol Invictus and became "Jesus the Christ," even though by definition the role of the Christ (Moshiach) is the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel which Y'shua did not accomplish. He was proclaimed the only God of the empire and the worship of any other gods than he was strictly forbidden on pain of death.

Likewise his mother Miriam received many of the divine qualities and appellations of the Goddess and eventually became known as the Theotokos, the Virgin Mother of God who was herself immaculately conceived. The worship of any goddess other than the Queen of Heaven was likewise forbidden.

Popular Pagan holidays and traditions by the score were adopted and merged into the new Church as the new religion became the principle power of the western world, both religiously and politically, for next the several centuries. Even as Rome had historically merged the beliefs of its conquered peoples into Roman religion, so too the Church made behind the scenes deals with its teachings in exchange for loyalty and ever more power even going so far as to renounce Shabbat and embrace Sunday, the holy day of Sol Invictus as its weekly fest day in direct opposition to the Ten Commandments:

    Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The truth is, What we today call Christianity is as much the product of politics as spiritual insight or divine revelation.

To appease the Pagans of the empire the male dominated "One True Apostolic Roman Catholic Church" needed the power of the Mother Goddess and her priestesses, however they also needed to maintain their male centric ecclesiastical power base. The power of the Goddess was in Her sexuality and reproductive abilities. Males can not produce offspring from themselves, only women can. For this reason women held the power of creation in their hands! This was a power men could never know! And yet the male dominated Church craved this power!

If the Church could maintain the Great Goddess' worship and authority but strip away Her power it would be unstoppable! This is precisely what they accomplished with the virgin birth of Jesus, his mother (Mary) and grandmother (Anna). Like the Great Goddesses Herself, Mary's power was in her ability to give birth (even as Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete) however she then surrendered her reproductive abilities to the Church by becoming the eternal virgin (which the Bible never says) and Divine Theotokos ("Mother of God" which doesn't even make sense). Not to put too fine a twist on this similarity, having claimed the birthright of Jesus through Peter as its own, the Church then handed a "rock" to the faithful even as Rhea handed a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes to Cronus. And just like Cronus, they promptly swallowed it and the Roman Universal Church spread like wildfire throughout much of the world! Those who did not accept the new Jesus were executed as heretics. Witches, Jews and enemies of the state and Church.

An interesting footnote to history, there was some thought for a while of making the Holy Spirit female, but as "He" overshadowed and impregnated Mary according to the Bible the Church wisely decided that might not be a good idea! A god born of a deity-human lesbian relationship would have been too much even for those who unquestioningly accepted Papal authority!

But a virgin birth by a virgin born virgin of perpetual virginity would work well! Enter the Divine Theotokos, the Holy Mother of God:

But how? Such a thing had never been heard of in Judaism although it was quite popular throughout the Pagan world. The New Church had to stay close enough to the teachings of Y'shua for his followers to accept it while at the same time be close enough to the various Pagan doctrines for them to convert.

The answer was the doctrine of Original Sin and a single added verse to the Catholic cannon: Matthew 1:18

The Berber philosopher Augustine of Hippo developed the theory of original sin and the Roman Church solidified it into dogma. The entire Christian faith, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and even most of the heterodox systems are based upon this teaching. Question it and people wont be happy with you!

To my readers who accept the Doctrine of Original Sin: I'm just saying.....

According to this widely held Christian dogma every human being is "conceived in sin." And there is some scriptural confirmation for the doctrine even though the Jews, the recipients of Torah, do not interpret it this way:

    Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

The point:

Since everyone is 'conceived in sin', it is taught, only one without sin could redeem the world. If the Church controlled this sacrificial power and ability to grant or withhold forgiveness of sin, it could control the hearts and souls of the world! Who would dare stand up to the Church if its priests had the power to forgive or retain one's sins and to consign dissenters to eternal damnation?

To understand the power of this doctrine we need to understand how sin first entered the world according this view. As discussed above, Genesis says and Paul elaborates that:

    I Cor. 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Adam had no human father according to Genesis. His father was God who said, "Let us make man in our image...". If Jesus had a human father, the argument goes, then he too would have been conceived in sin like the rest of humanity. The "fact" that Jesus alone among all human beings (with the exception of Mary and her mother Anna according to the Roman Catholic Church, but not the Bible) was born without a human father is given as clear evidence that only he could be the savior of the world and hence, only Christianity could be the true Path to God, and therefore since, "There is no name given under heaven whereby we must be saved." and the Church is the sole representative of Jesus having been granted the throne of Peter "the ROCK"... It all worked out perfectly!

As the Roman Church established its theocratic reign over the world it determined the cannon of Christian scriptures, the New Testament. Many books that had been widely accepted by the followers of the Way were rejected by the counsels. Jude 1:14 for instance speaks of the Book of Enoch, we also know of the Gospel of Jude, of Mary, of Philip and many others. Modern research has discovered many of these writings, including the recently found Gospel of Judas (consider Elaine Pagels' The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden . Other books were kept by the Church and declared cannon after certain alterations, additions and deletions were made. Many of the new Church doctrines lacked textual support but the newly approved New Testament presented an approved scripture that supported the accepted teachings and claimed Apostolic authority. The virgin birth was one such doctrine that needed and received textual support.

In support of the claim to Jesus' requisite virgin birth, Matt. 1:18 was added as a link to Isaiah 7:14. One reading the referenced text uncritically would indeed find support for the doctrine. This verse says:

    Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

For believing Christians (most of whom couldn't read for decades to come) this verse provided clear textual support. It further demonstrated that the Jews had no justifiable excuse for denying Jesus! They must be willfully ignoring and rejecting the clear and obvious evidence of Scripture! The Church proclaimed: Behold! Prophet Isaiah hath directly foretold the virgin birth of Jesus!

But had he really?

Were the Jews "without excuse"?

This is a good example of support texts being directly added into the New Testament to support a non-biblical, anti-Jewish teaching. In context there is no way this Isaiah passage is talking about Y'shua's conception or his birth. Let's invest some time looking into this:

First, Matthew's account:

    Matt. 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
    19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
    20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
    21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
    22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
    23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

What could be more clear?

In order to understand the context of the referenced verse in Isaiah we will begin at the beginning of the chapter. Context is essential in understanding any scripture!

    Isaiah 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.
    2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.
    3 Then said HaShem unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field;
    4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.
    5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying,
    6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal:
    7 Thus saith the Lord HaShem, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.

The situation looked hopeless to Ahaz and the House of David, his people. According to the New JPS the armies approached "but they were not able to attack it." In either case, when Ahaz learned that Aram's alliance with Ephraim had been achieved they were very worried! They were heavily outnumbered and their enemies were approaching. There seemed to be no hope. However, HaShem provided them hope! He ordered his prophet Isaiah to meet with King Ahaz and assure him that he and his people, the House of David, would survive. The prophet told Ahaz that the thing he feared "will not take place" In order to build up Ahaz's faith, in the next few verses HaShem explains how things will go with the various peoples involved:

    8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.
    9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

It was vital that Ahaz and his followers have faith in HaShem! It was in the mind of God to save them and preserve the House of David among them, however they needed to have faith and to rely on God's protection. Yet both Ahaz and his people continued to doubt. This was very important and so HaShem offered Ahaz a remarkable boon:

    10 Moreover HaShem spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
    11 Ask thee a sign of HaShem thy Elohiym; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

Notice here the reason Ahaz was offered a sign. He could ask for any sign that would bolster his faith in God's protection, for both himself and his people. The purpose of the sign was to rally the morale of the people involved, to satisfy their doubts at that time and to give them courage to move forward. And yet for reasons not made clear in the text, Ahaz refused to ask for a sign when prompted by HaShem's spokesman! His given reason sounds good at first listen, very pious, but I believe the real reason he refused to ask was because Ahaz was a coward! If HaShem actually gave Ahaz the proof, then Ahaz would have to act upon it!

We hear so many people say, "If only God would prove He is real!" And yet when He does we rationale it, we deny it or we simply ignore it! What greater proof can anyone ask for then the two we all witness in 1948 and 1967!

One cannot trick HaShem however:

    12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt HaShem.
    13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
    14 Therefore Adonai [the Lord] himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
    16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
    17 HaShem shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.

'You have no faith,' Isaiah charges. Not only do you try my patience, but HaShem's as well! OK then, the prophet says, 'HaShem Himself will give you a sign so that you will stand firm before your enemies!'

Who was this sign for? This is very important! Re-read the section if you need to: "... Therefore HaShem Himself shall give you a sign..."

Now having read the verses, ask yourself this question: Was this sign given for people living 800 plus years in Ahaz's future? Did it have anything at all to do with the coming of the promised Shiloh? No! Clearly it was for Ahaz and the House of David there present, so they would stand against the enemies of HaShem. This sign was for the Jews huddled there in fear and indecision waiting for doubting Ahaz to lead them!

Some Bible teachers have argued that since the text says the sign is for the House of David, "Hear now, you house of David," it is for the House of David for all times. But notice verse 2, "Now the house of David was told..." Past tense. The House of David HaShem is clearly speaking to, through His prophet, are the followers of Ahaz present at that time and place and who so fearful of their enemies.

"Therefore..." ie because of something... Because of what? Because these people were afraid to do their duty to HaShem. "Therefore, HaShem himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." HaShem will give "you," Ahaz and your followers, a sign that He is with you.

Is this a sign about a virgin conception to place in 800 years? The word translated as virgin is "almah." Any Hebrew dictionary will tell you that this word does not mean "virgin," it means "maiden" or "girl." That's all it means. Strong's number for it is 5959 (Hebrew), look it up!

    almah: 5959

    virgin, young woman of marriageable age
    maid or newly married

Had Isaiah been inspired to say this was a virgin, he would have called her a "bethuwlah" (Strong's 1330), the word he uses for "virgin" every other time (as does Jeremiah and others). The passage therefore should read, as it does in the JPS:

    Therefore the L-rd Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Or as in the 1917 KJP:

    Assuredly, my L-rd will give you a sign of His own accord! Look, the young woman is with child and about to give birth to a son. Let her name him Immanuel.

In context, there is no way the verse is referring to a girl giving birth to a child 800 years or so in the future! What kind of sign would that be anyway?

    "I know you are all afraid these two kings are going to attack you, but here's a sign: 800 years from now a girl is going to have a baby!"

I don't know about you, but that wouldn't help my courage much! No, the meaning of these verses could not be more clear.

Its worth noting that when Mary's son was born 800 years later, she named him Y'shua (Hebrew, the Greek form is Jesus), not Immanuel. Y'shua, "Yah shua" means "YHVH Saves" while Immanuel, which is a proper name, means, "God is with us." IF Isaiah 7:14 was indeed a prophecy concerning the vigin birth of Mary's child, his parents misnamed him!

How and why such biblically inaccurate teachings came about is discussed in some detail in my study entitled The Noahide Nazarene Way.

When read in it's natural context the meaning is clear: Isaiah is telling Ahaz, if you wont ask for a sign and stand willingly, then God Himself will give you one! See that pregnant girl over there? By the time her son (note that HaShem foretold the child's gender) is old enough to choose right from wrong the kings you fear will all be done for! Now that's a sign that would help! As a reminder to Ahaz and his follower that HaShem cares for them, the child was named "God is with us" (Immanuel)! We continue with the text:

    18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that HaShem shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.
    19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.
    20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.
    21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;
    22 And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.
    23 And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns.
    24 With arrows and with bows shall men come thither; because all the land shall become briers and thorns.
    25 And on all hills that shall be digged with the mattock, there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.

My friend,

    Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

We know that the Torah is textually dependable. We also know from the various manuscripts and scrolls that the text of the New Testament is less so (to confirm this simply look at the footnotes on the New Testament in the new versions like the NIV). However despite the additions and subtractions there is much truth to be had in the New Testament. It contains the record of Master Y'shua and his followers. It is well worth prayerfully studying! We simply must read it a bit more critically than the Tanakh.

And the New Testament says clearly that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." How can this be given the gender phobic, antisemitic, racist, nationalistic history and state of our planet?

It is so because HaShem is no respecter of persons. In this world there are so many limitations, social contracts, prejudices, bigotries, etc. however for those who submit themselves to the One God there is freedom and equality. The pains, sufferings and injustices of this present time are meaningless when contrasted with what HaShem has in store for us in His Kingdom!

The central teaching of the Torah, the Tanakh and the New Testament when rightly understood is that there is freedom and security for all who place their trust in HaShem, the God of Israel and the whole world. Through the Jewish people God is creating a paradise earth. Things will be bleak for a few more years, the Rex Mundi (Dijal, Antichrist) is not yet among us, but "those with eyes to see" can even now behold the Light at the other end of this tunnel!

"Verily I say unto you,

This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" -- Qoheleth Y'shua, our Master

HaShem has chosen the Jews as His emissaries on this planet. However God is no respecter of persons! Whoever you are, whatever your gender, religion or background, you are a child of the Ek Devata, the One God, and the following wisdom from the Tanakh applies to you:

    Micah 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before HaShem, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
    7 Will HaShem be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
    8 He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth HaShem require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Do justly, love mercy
and walk humbly with thy God

Have Faith

Shalom from one who is seeking the Light.

~John of AllFaith (Ben Ruach haKodesh)

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