Course: Introduction to Torah- The Book of Exodus
For those students just recently completing our study on the Book of Exodus, I will be loading pages on information that we were unable to cover during the semester. There are more treasures to mine in this portion of scripture and as you know, I do not want you to miss them. At times, I will update class notes that you were sent. So please be careful to note the updates. Contact me if you have any questions. GOD Bless.
When G‑d instructed Moses to prepare the people of Israel to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai some 3,300 years ago, He said: “Speak to the house of Jacob, and tell the sons of Israel” (Exodus 19:3).
The “House of Jacob,” the sages explain is a reference to the women; “the sons of Israel, or children of Israel” refers to the men (Exodus Rabbah 28:6). In other words, GOD was saying, Speak to the Women First!
Exodus Rabbah 28: Excerpt from Sefaria.org
“…So you shall say to the house of Jacob” (Exodus 19:3) — these are the women. God said to Moshe, speak to them of the general matters [literally: heads of things] that they are able to hear. “And tell to the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:3) — these are the men. God said to Moshe, say to them particulars of things that they are able to hear. Another explanation: why were the women first? Since they are keen with mitzvot. Another explanation, so that they could accustom their children to Torah.”
As my students are primarily from a Christian background, this point needs to be made clear at the onset in order to set the perception aside that the majority of Christian women have of feeling overlooked or disregarded in scripture. I assure you, that belief only comes from the traditions and teachings of man (not the traditions and teachings of GOD), that have overlooked, under-reported, and/or misrepresented the role of women in scripture.
Getting back to the language of GOD in His Scripture, the Rabbi’s were quite aware of this fact and taught everyone accordingly, that when GOD spoke of the two Houses, one as Jacob and One as Israel, that He was speaking of the women as being from one House, the House of Jacob, and the Men of the other.
So, to the Women… “May GOD’s Word, in regards to His recognition of you on the pages of scripture, forever settle the dispute.” He has always acknowledged our importance in His Divine plan. We have just been taught this point incorrectly, or not at all. But GOD is Faithful. Exodus 19:3, is just one example of GOD making it known, of the integral role women, play in the Kingdom.
Studylight.org presents a synopsis of at least 8 Christian Commentaries that do not identify that women are being referred to in the discussion that GOD is having with Moses in Exodus 19:3. So, your point is completely justified… that for many centuries and barely even in the present day, are the significant incidents in scripture brought to light, when GOD is positioning women at the forefront of His Plans.
Present the torah to the Women First...
So why did G‑d give the Torah first to the women? As you can imagine, there are many viewpoints on this subject. The Midrash offers several explanations. One supposition is that, “Women are more ‘religious‘ than men, i.e. women have a higher propensity to be more devoted to GOD than men.
We only have to look around in our churches today, and we still find that women outnumber men in the pews; We can also look to the New Testament and find that it was the women who possessed a keener understanding and insight as to how to care for the anointing. The Rabbis and Sages inherently understood that GOD was recognizing a special quality in the nature of women that they were being called to take note of for themselves. So their collective insight was left them with a determination that, if you get women to agree to accept the Torah, the men will follow GOD too! (that estimation contains so much truth to it, on so many levels).
However, there’s always another way to look at a situation, correct? According to Rabbi Tachlifa of Caesarea, it’s the other way around—the women are the rebellious ones, so GOD’s commandment was given to teach them that the women have to be won over first: The Rabbi’s reasoning was… “G‑d said to Himself: When I created the world, I commanded Adam first, and only then Eve was commanded, with the result that she transgressed and upset the world. If I do not now call upon the women first, they will nullify the Torah.” (Exodus Rabbah 28:2). This too, is certainly within the realm of plausibility.
GOD could have used this expression to make a distinction between the men and the women, as some suggest because women are in charge of the House(1). It could be just as plain as that. In any case, the language, House of Jacob, refers to the women in scripture. It’s important to note that GOD’s language on the matter, does not undermine the purpose of either women or men.
Over and above all the reasonings that one might suppose for GOD’s decision, the case remains, this is how he wanted things done; Speak to the House of Jacob first….. This may appear to be a small matter, from a western point of view. But in scripture, details matter. “Every Word of scripture is given by inspiration of GOD… ” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Man is a critical and central figure in all of creation. Man is a conqueror, but not as we suppose in secular terms. Man’s role in creation is to conquer and banish the earthly/spiritual darkness and bring down light from the heavens into the earth. Woman nurtures that light from the heavens and makes it manifest in the home. She extends that light as a covering to family and community, and the world.
Woman was Created in the Garden…. The Garden of GOD is Like Home
This in fact, should remind us of the Garden Experience. Man was created outside of the Garden of Eden; Woman was created inside the Garden. It stands to reason that woman’s natural desire is to seek Godliness from within the home, from within the Garden…. family and community first. Man. being created outside the Garden, operates in two realms; the world and the Kingdom (GODs Garden). His assignment to conquer darkness, man pulls down & constrains the anointing over the world. Woman, his helpmeet, has the ability to double man’s strength in the spiritual realm. Together, they overcome the kingdoms of this world and constrain the anointing over the territories GOD has given them in the spirit.
Both of us, are integral to the Creator’s plan: our mission in life is to bring G‑d into the world (man was created for this assignment) and to make the world a home for G‑d (the woman’s specialty); to vanquish darkness (male), and to uncover the light implicit within the darkness (female).
We see this dynamic in action in the lives of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham, the Chariot of GOD, brought GODs light into the world and offered the hospitality, care and covering of GOD to his neighbors, even the strangers. Sarah extended that hospitality, care and covering, by making everyone at home in their house. Together they cared for the travelers and strangers.
Abraham brought them the Word of GOD and Sarah helped ensure that everyone understood it, through demonstration and application of the word in the home. Effectively, teaching the people how to make GOD’s Word manifest within the home. For these reasons, the Tabernacle is modeled after Sarah’s home.
Of course, we can each operate in each others assignments. But, how much more efficiently would we be able to work together, if we specialized in and perfected our expertise in our spiritual assignments, as is our priority for the purposes of the Kingdom of Heaven?
Everyone that has served in ministry with me and has ever prayed with me in intercessory groups, knows that whenever we are having difficulty breaking through the Heavens, I will step outside the room and ask the first male I see, even a five-year-old if necessary, to come in and agree with us in prayer. Many times, this would be an usher that was in the sanctuary early to set up. Just the agreement of the man of prayer makes quick work of any and all obstacles blocking the anointing. Even the prayers and agreement of a small male or female child.
*The power of children in prayer is incredible, invaluable and under-utilized. They are virtually an untapped resource in prayer. Their clean hands and pure hearts should not be overlooked. They truly, bring down the Clouds of Glory. I strongly recommend, praying with children, especially when adults at your left and right are too filled with doubt to operate in the capacity of absolute unwavering agreement of faith. When I need something to happen right this minute, and a great push is required, I do not hesitate to grab-a-grandchild and pray! When time is of the essence, tell them what the prayer request is… I highly recommend it.
When men pray, they operate in a level of strength that I relate to the level of strength they have in the natural. Their voices operate on a different level of authority, a level of headship. Meaning their voices contend with spirits in other realms. I’ve witnessed this happen so many times, that I cannot help but agree with the Rabbinic teaching, that men were created to overthrow darkness. It’s just their specialty.
That being said, we need each other in prayer. Men to do their job and women to do theirs. Women have been given the power to crush the head of the serpents from the beginning, to drive nails like Jael through the temples of the adversary. We are relentless in prayer over our children, families, and friends. If there is a cause that is unjust, anywhere in the world, we will not let GOD go until the blessing is released. You know who you are in prayer! Regardless of what the world may say or what opinions are held. The anointing you carry is all based in the Word of GOD.
Your Prayers Are Not Just For Today!
Some may read these words and suppose that I am saying women do not have the strength in prayer that men have. I am saying that women possess a different kind of strength in prayer. We have only to look at the Matriarchs in scripture, whose lives bear witness to the type of persistence and dedication in prayer that is required in order to bear fruit. GOD always had the intention of answering prayer, but He is also grooming the Matriarchs for they type of fight they have to have in them, in order to defend and cover the children of Israel in faith and prayer, not just for today, but to speak into their futures for generations to come.
What we lack as intercessors is the power of agreement. We are not always praying with the right person, who is able to walk with us in the realms of the spirit in complete agreement for the power of GOD to be made manifest, for the situation at hand. We have our Gehazi’s that we have not let go, or have not sent them back into prayer until they see the vision that we see.
Anoint the Women with the Words of This Commandment First!
I believe that GOD had all this in mind when He commanded Moses to give the torah to the women first. Women will construct a home for prayer. Give this commandment to them and my tabernacle shall be built up with prayer before even the foundation is laid upon the ground.
Men have their battles to fight in the Heavenlies,let them break up the darkness… but give them a helpmeet… a woman to nurture the light of torah… to fill the house with the light of GOD, to raise up the generations to know My Name, to cover their children and husbands at the gates on the battlefield, to meet them on the battlefield, having dressed them in spiritual garments before they ever left the home… and they shall deliver many battles, without defeat.
Speak to the House of Jacob……
GOD Never Overlooked the Power of His Women in the Word. Give GOD the Praise!
- Furthermore, Rabbi Yosei said that he always spoke euphemistically: In all my days, I did not call my wife, my wife, nor my ox, my ox. Rather, I called my wife, my home, because she is the essence of the home, and my ox, my field, because it is the primary force in the fields. Shabbat 118b:10 (sefaria.org)
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