Gen 1:1 In the beginning God (‘elohiym) created the heaven and the earth. Gen 1:26 And God (‘elohiym) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
See also Genesis 3:22 and 11:17 where God is spoken of as “us.” ‘elohiym is used of God as a plurality:
The Bible reflects that the first creation, as well as continuing creation, is done in tandem by El (God) and Eloah (Goddess) (also referred to as Hokhma and Ruach). Together, El and Eloah make up the Elohim. See Genesis 1:1-3, 1:26-27; Proverbs 3:19-20, 8:22-31; Job 38:4-40:30; Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10, 24:1-6; Wisdom of Solomon 7:22, 8:1-7, 8:21-9:4, 9:9-11.
Hebrew language scholars have noted that there has been a strange violation of convention in the formation of the word “Elohiym”, in that the female root “Eloah”, meaning Goddess, is used and is then combined with the masculine suffix “iym”. So the word “Elohiym” not only means plural Gods, but Gods with male and female attributes – God (Husband)and Goddess(Wife).God(Elohim) are conjoined twins. They are joined together by the side.
Thus, in Deuteronomy 6, we see the One God spoken of as a plurality:
Deu 6:1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD (Yehovah) your God (‘elohiym) commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: Deu 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD (Yehovah) thy God (‘elohiym), to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Deu 6:3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD (Yehovah) God (‘elohiym) of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Deu 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD (Yehovah) our God (‘elohiym) is one (echad)[ Echad speaks of God as being one as husband and wife are one: Gen 2:24 ] LORD (Yehovah): Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD (Yehovah) thy God (‘elohiym) with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
The Monotheism here is combined with a compound unity of God being one. In other words God is one, but not literally in number but in Substance. The Hebrew word here is the word (‘Echad’) which means compound unity and an absolute. The Scriptures have this Hebrew word ‘one’ which is (Echad) used in other Scriptures which proves the unity of this word. For instance, in Genesis 1:5, the combination of evening and morning comprise one (echad) day. In Genesis 2:24, a man and a woman come together in marriage and the two “shall become one (echad) flesh.
There are many scripture references implying God as God/dess:: Numbers 16:22 and also 27:16.
Deuteronomy 32:both 15 & 17 | Job 3:4, 5:17, 9:13, 10:2, 11:5-7, 12:6, 38:7 | Ezra 4:24 to 6:18, throughout all the verses (27 references) Nehemiah 9:17 | Psalms 82 , (Prov. 1:20-33; 2:2-4; 3:13-19; 4:7-9; 8:1-36; 9:1-5), (Greek name – Sophia) chapter 8 in particular describes her as an eternal being with godly attributes, one that was with God from the beginning, who participated in the creation and teaching Her children. In Proverbs 30:5 we also can read, “Every word of (the) Goddess ( #433 Elowahh, Eloahh) is pure: he (she) is a shield unto them that put their trust in him (her) [masculine is English translation].
The Bible abounds in male imagery and language. For centuries interpreters have explored and exploited this male language to articulate theology; to shape the contours and content of the church, synagogue and academy; and to instinct human beings — female and male — in who they are, what roles they should play, and how they should behave. So harmonious has seemed this association of Scripture with sexism, of faith with culture, that only a few have even questioned it.
Elohim is the Hebrew word that is most often translated as the English “God.” Elohim is gender-combined, plural word. The word Elohim is concurrently male and female, and simultaneously represents both unity and majestic plurality. Elohim is a compound of the feminine singular Eloah with the masculine plural suffix –im. The word Elohim represents a majestic, awesome God that is beyond the ability of the human mind to fully comprehend. We can comprehend some of the attributes of Elohim, but the fullness of the Godhead is beyond our understanding.
El is the masculine singular Hebrew word for God. Although specifically male, in practice, El is often gender-neutral. Eloah is the feminine singular form of the same word, and is correctly translated ‘Goddess’. In Hebrew, the –oah¬, –oh or -ah suffix makes a word feminine. This is very similar to the English suffix –ess, used in such words as waitress, stewardess, or poetess. Eloah is Goddess, the feminine form of God.
Elohim is a combination of the singular feminine word Eloah, to which the masculine plural suffix –im has been added. In Hebrew, the –im suffix is normally added only used to make masculine words plural. The question that naturally arises is, Why add a masculine suffix to a feminine root? The answer is that Elohim is androgynous, being simultaneously male and female in principle and attributes.
Eloah / El Shaddai
El Shaddai or simply Shaddai are other titles of God. As has already been mentioned, El means ‘God’. The word shad means “woman’s breast” [Strong’s 7699], and shaddai  means “breasts”, “breasted”, or “many breasts”. Though El Shaddai is translated as “Almighty God”, “God Almighty”, or “the Almighty” in the English Bible, it literally means “God with breasts” or “[many] breasted [One]”9 There remain some who refuse to properly translate shaddai as “breasts”, however, the parallelism of the language used in Jacob’s blessing, in Genesis 49:25, emphasizes that this is the correct translation. “El Shaddai who blesses you…with blessings of the breasts and womb.”10 The descriptive title El Shaddai depicts the Goddess of Israel.
A fascinatingly important declaration was revealed in Exodus 6:3: “To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob I appeared as El Shaddai, but I did not make my name Yahweh11 known to them.” While there is Scriptural evidence that the Patriarchs were actually aware of the word Yahweh, evidently Elohim related to the Patriarchs primarily in the feminine manifestations of Eloah and El Shaddai. This revelation given to Moses is highly important to our understanding. The Deity the Hebrews knew was the Goddess Eloah, or El Shaddai. Eloah appears 57 times in the Old Testament; two-thirds of those mentions occur in the book of Job. Shaddai or El Shaddai appears in the Tanakh [Old Testament] forty-eight times. Thirty one of those occurrences are found in the book of Job. The fact that Job lived during the days of the Patriarchs, combined with Yahweh’s declaration to Moses about the Hebrew Patriarchs mainly recognizing Deity as El Shaddai, allows us to conclude that the Goddess attributes of Elohim were much more clearly understood in Patriarchal times. Although the names Elohim and Yahweh appear in Scripture many more times than Eloah or El Shaddai13 , we must notice significance in the fact that the earliest Hebrews had a considerable understanding of and relationship with the Divine Feminine. In the book of Job are two specific declarations of the femininity of Eloah. Yahweh announced to Job, “the sea…leapt tumultuous from the womb.” [Job 38:8] Then, Yahweh rhetorically asked, “Out of whose womb came the ice?” [Job 38:29] Obviously, these verses [and others] undeniably attribute feminine characteristics to Eloah.
Eloah is synonymous with Shaddai, the Goddess. “Can you claim to fathom the depth of Eloah? Can you reach the limit of Shaddai?” [Job 11:7]14 “Then Shaddai will be your delight, and you will lift your face to Eloah.” [Job 22:26] “Can he be happy with Shaddai? Can he call on Eloah at all times?” [Job 27:10] A similar verse is, “Now what portion does Eloah allot from above; what fate does Shaddai apportion from [Her] heaven?” [Job 31:2] A number of verses, mostly within the book of Job, mention either El or Yahweh as distinct from Eloah. “I would seek unto El, and unto Eloah I would commit my case.” [Job 5:8] “Does El pervert judgment, or does Shaddai pervert justice…if you search for El and plead for mercy from Shaddai?” [Job 8:3,5] “This is the portion of a wicked man from El, and the heritage appointed him by Eloah.” [Job 20:29] “I swear by the living El who denies me justice, and by Shaddai who has filled me with bitterness.” [Job 27:2] “El judges the Righteous and Eloah is angered by the Wicked every day.” [Psalm 7:11] Similar passages include Job 15:25, 22:17, 23:16, 33:4, 34:12, and 35:13.
In Aramaic, the original language of New Testament times, the word Abwoon is similarly gender-combined, meaning “Father-Mother.” In the original Aramaic, ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ begins with the word Abwoon, but in English translations of the Bible, it has been translated as Father, only. Obviously there is a Biblical Goddess, Eloah, from whose Divine Womb sprang the sea and ice. Ruach ha Kodesh is the Hebrew phrase that means ‘Holy Spirit.’ Ruach is feminine, and the Aramaic equivalent ruah is also a feminine noun. These words are always paired with feminine verbs and pronouns. The Holy Spirit is feminine, and is another designation of Eloah. In the original Aramaic texts, Messiah promised: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that She may dwell with you forever.” [John 14:16] Wisdom is another name for the Goddess. ‘Wisdom’ is the feminine Hebrew word Hochmah; the equivalent name in Greek is Sophia. Although the word ‘wisdom’ definitely is equated with good judgment and astuteness, Wisdom unmistakably refers to Goddess in several scripture passages.
The Messiah said: “Wisdom is proven by Her children.” [Luke 7:35] Wisdom announces that She was brought forth before the physical creation, and She also assisted in the generative process, alongside Yahweh. “Yahweh created Me, first-fruits of His fashioning, before the oldest of His works. From everlasting I was firmly set – from the beginning, before the earth came into being. The deep was not when I was born, nor were the springs with their abounding waters. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before He had made the earth, the countryside, and the first elements of the world. When He fixed the heavens firm, I was there; when He drew a circle on the surfaces of the deep, when He thickened the clouds above, when the sources of the deep began to swell, when He assigned the sea its boundaries (and the waters will not encroach on the shore), when He traced the foundations of the earth. I was beside the Master Craftsman, delighting Him day after day, ever at play in His presence, to play everywhere on His earth, delighting to be with the children of men.” [Proverbs 8:22-31]
The Bible makes numerous references to the Goddess. It instructs us to praise and worship Her; to offer prayer to Her. “I am one who calls on Goddess and expects an answer.” [Job 12:4] “Then Shaddai will be all your delight, and you shall lift your face to Eloah. You will pray and She will hear.” [Job 22:26-27] “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
“The word that is translated as “rule” comes from the root mashal, and not from malakh, which means to rule by domination and is the root of melekh, or king. Mashal has a different connotation: it implies affinity or complementarity. It is the root used in Genesis 1: 16 to say that the sun “rules” the day and the moon “rules” the night. Concerning the zodiac, it is similarly said that each planet “rules” a constellation. The use of “rule” does not mean to dominate; rather, it means to have an affinity for each other, to go together because of complementary qualities… The story of Chavah(Eve) lends itself to further contemplation. For instance, what does it mean when Genesis 20: 7 compares a woman’s desire for her husband to the desire of rain for the earth and the desire of God for Israel? Surely this is not domination!”
The Female side of God is a well-known, but well hidden, aspect of many major faiths,
Christianity being no exception. This aspect however, was hidden in plain sight
almost from the start of Christianity, as we currently know it.
The suppression of the Female side of the Divine is many fold, starting with translations.
The Feminine side of God is Wisdom or Sophia in the Greek, or the Holy Spirit. Taken that way,the Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit takes on a whole new light and make a lot more sense from a human perspective, as it’s a family unit Mother, Father and child.
Now in the Torah the female aspect of God as Skekhinah is still noted,
for the simple reason the texts in question were NOT translated again out of the Hebrew,
but have been studied in their original form from then to now, so they have not suffered as much distortion. According to the Rabbinic Skekhinah is the Bride of God
But the Main texts of the Bible, as it’s currently known, were translations not once, but twice
once from Aramaic to Hebrew, then again to Greek. And the Greek version is all that survived.
Unless one counts the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Now it’s the translation to the Greek, where things really get messed up.
They were translated into Greek, some 400 years after the Death of the Christ.
“A brief summary is that God has an unmanifest aspect, which I like to call pure Being. Another aspect of God is the creator, which is the actual origin of everything that was created in the world a form. To start creation, the creator brings forth an element which can be molded into any conceivable form. This is what the Bible refers to in the saying, “Let there be light. ”The Shekinah! The shekinah is also known throughout the Bible as the Glory of God, the Angel of the LORD and the Glory.
As I explain, God the creator is the acting, or masculine, principle, whereas the Light of God is the receiving, or feminine, principle. So everything in the world of form is created out of the feminine aspect of God. That is why some religions say that everything was created from the Mother God or the Goddess, and that is why some religions worship God as a feminine deity. The Shekinah, the Feminine Womb or Birth Canal of Creation existed before time and space. It is through Her that Light and Energy came into being.
The masculine and feminine aspects of God have always existed. Therefore, in a sense it is meaningless to talk about whether God was masculine before feminine or the other way around. These two principles, or aspects, are inseparable and it really doesn’t make sense to talk about one without the other.”
Using an ancient term for the indwelling or presence of God, the Kabbalists employed Shekhinah to symbolize a particular realm within the divine world. Described as daughter, bride, mother, moon, sea, faith, wisdom, speech, and a myriad of other figures, usually but not always feminine by fact or association, the Shekhinah is the chief object of both the divine and human search for wholeness and perfection. She is the bride of God within God, mother of the world and feminine side of the divine self, in no way fully separable from the male self of God. Indeed, the root of all evil, both cosmic and human, is the attempt to bring about such a separation.
A beautiful being of light, whose most important function was to intercede with God on behalf of her children. Such an entity had to come into being to soften the harshness of the original Judaism.
But how did such a complex entity develop? It started with the changing of God’s dwelling. During Biblical times, people assumed God dwelled in the clouds. When the Israelites built the desert Tabernacle, and later, Solomon’s Temple, Yahweh descended in a cloud and dwelt there.
The word Shekhina, in Hebrew, is derived from the Biblical verb shakhan, meaning “the act of dwelling” but taking the feminine form. Therefore, at the beginning of the Talmudic era, the word Shekhina meant the aspect of God that dwelt among people and could be apprehended by the senses.
For example, one Talmudic verse said: “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell (ve’shakhanti) among them.” However, in a later version, the translation said “Let them make Me a Sanctuary so that My Shekhina will dwell among them.” In other words, a separate entity.
Slowly, the manifested entity became stronger. A complete distinction appears in a Talmudic quotation from the end of the 1st century BCE: “…while the Children of Israel were still in Egypt, the Holy One, blessed be He, stipulated that He would liberate them from Egypt only in order that they built him a Sanctuary so that He can let His Shekhina dwell among them… As soon as the Tabernacle was erected, the Shekhina descended and dwelt among them.”
Another quotation from early 3rd century says: “On that day a thing came about which had never existed since the creation of the world. From the creation of the world and up to that hour the Shekhina had never dwelt among the lower beings. But from the time that the Tabernacle was erected, she did dwell among them.”
Another tradition claimed that she had always dwelt among her people, but their sins drove her, on and off, into Heaven. However, she was drawn back to her children and tried to save them, over and over. By that time, her image was so ingrained into real historical events, that when the Jews were exiled to Babylonia, she transferred her seat there, and appeared alternately in two major synagogues.
She often made herself visible to the congregations there, particularly in one synagogue, which was built of stones and dust taken from a holy place in Jerusalem.
As the Jews dispersed further, sightings occurred in Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia – in every town where Jews lived. Shekhina comforted the sick, the poor, the suffering, and had a particular concern for repentant sinners “These are accepted by the Shekhina as if they were righteous and pious persons who never sinned.
They are carried aloft and seated next to the Shekhina…he whose heart is broken and whose spirit is low, and whose mouth rarely utters a word, the Shekhina walks with him every day..
An interesting Medieval anecdote shows the Shekhina as a total separate entity,in her most important role – interceding on behalf of her children.
“The Shekhina comes to the defense of sinful Israel by saying first to Israel: ‘Be not a witness against thy neighbor without a cause’ and then thereafter saying to God: ‘Say not: I will do to him as he hath done to me..’ ”
This is obviously a conversation taking place among three distinct entities – Israel, God, and the Shekhina.
Another significant passage from the 11th century, describes Rabbi Akiva (a second century sage) saying: “When the Holy One, blessed be He, considered the deeds of the generation of Enoch and that they were spoiled and evil, He removed Himself and His Shekhina from their midst and ascended into the heights with blasts of trumpets…”
Like any good mother, she could punish too.
She descended to Earth to punish Adam, Eve, and the Serpent when they sinned at the Garden of Eden.
She confused the builders of the Tower of Babel.
She drowned the Egyptians at the Red Sea crossing during Exodus.
When needed, she even killed wicked people. Since the beginning of time, six people – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam — could not be taken by the Angel of Death because of their perfect purity.
The mystery of how the Shekinah was “severed” from God, is explained in the Zohar, which points back to the sin of the Golden Calf in the book of Exodus:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 190b, 191a – ‘This is one of those sayings whose significance was revealed to me in a whisper from the school of knowledge in Paradise itself, and which should not be repeated openly. Yet, in spite of all this, I will now reveal it unto you, O my beloved children, my children whom my soul loves! What else can I do? It was told to me in a whisper, but I will tell it to you openly, and when the days of the Messiah shall be come, when we shall see face to face, all the “faces” will give their consent. Now, the sin which the “outsiders”- “the mixed multitude”- committed, and in which the holy people participated, was a sin against the “Holy Mother”, the Shekinah, because they said, “Up, make us a god” (Elohim) (Ex. XXXII, 1)- Elohim, the Glory(Shekinah) of Israel, She who rested upon them like a mother on her children. This is the secret contained in the words: “They changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass” (Ps. CVI, 20). Yea, verily, that is the Glory(Shekinah) of Israel: their Mother. Therefore it also says, “The glory(Shekinah) has departed” (I Sam. IV, 22), because they caused the Shekinah to go into exile with them.
Due to this sin of the Golden Calf, the Shekinah is no longer in her unified position. She is in exile with God’s people, to be reunited one day. The Zohar places the Shekinah in the lowest of the four “heavens,” that of the “lesser He” (the second “H” of Y-H-V-H) – the spiritual realm immediately around us:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 9b – ‘A mystery of mysteries has been revealed to them that are wise of heart. The “He” of the second Temple is in exile with her twelve tribes and their hosts.
Returning to Ezekiel’s Chariot vision, the Zohar indicates that what Ezekiel saw (Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10) was a picture of the Shekinah being in unity with God in the higher and lower realms. Hence, this was a picture of what was to come one day (in the Millennium):
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 198a – “the Lord’s heave-offering” indicates the Divine Throne, so called because they raise it and cause it to ascend on high. [Tr. note: i.e. from the world of beriah to the world of aziluth]. And it is for this reason that Ezekiel, in his vision of the ascending Hayoth, failed to see what it was that they were taking up with them, since it was the Matrona rising to join the Most High King in hidden and supreme glory. “And let every wise-hearted among you come and make all that the Lord hath commanded.” This is an allusion to the sixty well-springs that feed the world and so are enjoined to come and bring with them from the treasury of life, by executing the commands of the Holy One, so as to benefit the world.’
It is no wonder that Ezekiel is also instructed to tell God’s people that they should study the Temple (Ezekiel 43:10-11). It does in fact, contain the mysteries of the universe.
THE SHEKINAH AS BRIDE
The terms of “beriah” and “aziluth” (above) relate respectively to the “third heaven” (Beriah is directly above Ezekiel’s Chariot) and the fourth, or highest heaven (Aziluth), which is the realm of the En Sof. The Zohar describes that this unification of God’s name will include the marriage of the Shekinah to her Spouse:
Soncino Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, Page 198a – Thus Scripture says, “And Moses assembled”, “Moses” being an allusion to Heaven; while the words “all the congregation of the children of Israel” allude to the twelve supernal holy legions. The next words, “and said unto them… This is the thing… Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord”, means, “prepare yourselves, all of you, to take and to bear upon you the glory of the Divine Throne so as to raise it aloft to the divine heights; appoint from among you those supernal glorified chiefs who shall take up that offering containing the mystery of the Divine Throne, in order to bring about a union with the “patriarchs”, (Tr. note: Al. “with her spouse”.) for the Matrona (i.e. the Shekinah) may not come to her Spouse except those youthful bridesmaids follow in her train until she is brought to Him, as it says, “The virgins her companions in her train being brought unto thee” (Ps. XLV, 15), to wit, that she may join her Spouse.
The Shekinah is also called the Ruach Ha Kodesh – The Holy Spirit
Likewise in Hebrew thought, Ruach Ha Kodesh was considered a voice sent from on high to speak to the Prophet. Thus, in the Old Testament language of the prophets, She is the Divine Spirit of indwelling sanctification and creativity and is considered as having a feminine power. “He” as a reference to Spirit has been used in theology to match the pronoun for God, yet the Hebrew word ruach is a noun of feminine gender. Thus, referring to the Holy Spirit as “she” has some linguistic justification. Denoting Spirit as a feminine principle, the creative principle of life.
The 3rd century scroll of mystical Coptic Christianity, The Acts of Thomas, gives a graphic account of the Apostle Thomas’ travels to India, and contains prayers invoking the Holy Spirit as “the Mother of all creation” and “compassionate mother,” among other titles. The most profound Coptic Christian writings definitely link the “spirit of Spirit” manifested by Christ to all believers as the “Spirit of the Divine Mother.” Most significant are the new manuscript discoveries of recent decades which have demonstrated that more early Christians than previously thought regarded the Holy Spirit as the Mother of Jesus.
One text is the Gospel of Thomas which is part of the newly discovered Nag Hammadi texts (discovered 1945-1947). Most are composed about the same time as the Biblical gospels in the 1st and 2nd century AD. In this gospel, Jesus declares that his disciples must hate their earthly parents (as in Luke 14:26) but love the Father and Mother as he does, “for my mother (gave me falsehood), but (my) true Mother gave me life.” In another Nag Hammadi discovery, The Secret Book of James, Jesus refers to himself as “the son of the Holy Spirit.”
“Shekinah means “presence of God” and relates to the feminine aspect of the Godhead. She is the energy that sanctifies from within the dimension of matter or the Holy Spirit. Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the divine presence. One place within the Old Testament she appeared as the cloud that followed the children of Isreal in the desert.”
Among the Hebrews one of the traditional names of God is the Shekinah, and, interestingly, it is a feminine gender noun. Many Hebrews saw her as the mother or feminine aspect of God. The early scribes (later called rabbis) added Shekinah in biblical verses where the verb shakhan is used in relation to God. Shakhan literally means “to dwell” or “to live with”, or even “to pitch one’s tent.” The Shekinah means the God-Who-Dwells-Within, and developed primarily after the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in 587 BCE, especially as it proffered hope to a people lost in bitter exile.
In the bible, the Shekinah of God is called “The Cloud of God’s Glory” and it was the flame that led the Jews in the wilderness, it was also the voice within the burning bush that spoke to Moses. The other name of the Shekinah is “The Glory of the Lord”, the Angel of the LORD and the “I AM” who spoke to Moses.
Shekinah: is what has been called the vessel of creation. In the beginning there was the Shekinah and the Shekinah was with God and the Shekinah was God.
The passage below has as its source not only the very beginning of the Book of Genesis, but also the ancient Jewish concept of “Wisdom” a feminine form of God. In the book of Proverbs 8 the uncreated status of the Wisdom, or Sophia in Greek, is described:
Ages ago I was set up,
At the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs
Abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills
I was brought forth…
When he established the heavens, I was there.
Her power to heal runs more than just the world being healed but also humans and everything that lives. She is the expression of Gods love and light. It is the Shekinah that makes it possible for healing to take place by bringing the spirit to the physical, the feminine aspect of I AM.
The Shekhinah is associated with the transformational spirit of God regarded as the source of prophecy: the Shekhinah in the New Testament is commonly equated to the presence or indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord (generally referred to as the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of Christ) in the believer, drawing parallels to the presence of God in Solomon’s Temple.
In the Talmud it says: “They were exiled to Babylon, the Shekinah with them. They were exiled to Egypt, the Shekinah with them.” And, it says in Lamentations 1, 5, “Her children are gone into captivity,” and immediately after (1,6), “From Zion her splendor(Shekinah) is departed.” (Note the use of “her” for God and “splendour” is also one of the ways to describe the Shekinah). Other terms referring to the Shekinah are “the glory” and “radiance”, and she was the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night that led the Israelites through the Sinai wilderness. She is also closely related to the Sophia tradition in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) in Proverbs and other books. Sophia (a Greek feminine noun) is the Wisdom aspect of God.
One of the meanings of the term Shekinah is “God with us” or “the indwelling of God”. A secular person would call it their “conscience”. A saved person would get a very enhanced version of the conscience called “the Holy Spirit”. Both the “conscience” and the “Holy Spirit” could be thought of as the Shekinah of God.
The Shekinah eventually became an interchangeable term with the Holy Spirit in both Judaism and Christianity. She is often pictured as a bird or dove. In Christianity the Holy Spirit is seen as the Advocate, Guide and Comforter (John 14:16-26 and Acts 9:31), and we can clearly see the Judaic origins of this tradition. There is even a more direct connection to the Hebrew tradition of the Shekinah, as St. Paul, the former Pharisee, stresses the indwelling nature of the Holy Spirit throughout his famous passage in Romans 8: “But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God(Holy Spirit) dwells in you.” (Romans 8:8) There is even a universalist tradition in some Hebrew Midrash writings: “I call heaven and earth to witness that whether it be Gentile or Israelite, man or woman, slave or handmaid, according to the deeds which he does, so will the Holy Spirit rest upon him.” This is reminiscent of John’s report of Jesus’ statements to Nicodemus, when Jesus said: “The wind [Spirit] blows where it chooses . . . ” (John 3:8), that is, the Holy Spirit will serve all peoples, not just Christians or Jews. Paul also offers a similar notion in Galatians 3:28: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave and free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” And, it is well-established that both Paul and John frequently equated Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit as seen in the Romans 8 passages and the Paraclete passages of John 14-16.
Prior to the medieval period Shekhinah (resting, dwelling) meant simply God’s immanent presence in the world. According to aggadic tradition Shekhinah was originally fully manifest in the world, but the disobedience of Adam and Eve ruptured the flow of divine energy and the Shekhinah withdrew. The Biblical patriarchs caused a partial descent of the Shekhinah – it was pictured as riding on their backs – but it was not until the time of Moses and the Covenant between God and the Jewish people that the Shekhinah had a home in this world, resting between the two Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant.
The Shekhinah accompanied the Jewish people on their journeys, and found a permanent home with the building of the First (Solomonic) Temple. From the Kabbalistic period onward the Shekhinah is depicted as being in exile with the Jewish people. Sometimes she is identified with Rachel weeping for her children (Jeremiah 31:15), and with the black-clad figure of Mother Zion.
During the early medieval period the Shekhinah was treated as identical with the divine Glory, an imminent, outward-facing aspect of God (in the sense of “The whole world is filled with his Glory”).
The Kabbalistic traditions concerning the Shekhinah are complex and multi-faceted, and because they interconnect at so many points, they are difficult to dissect. However three key themes stand out:
• the Shekhinah represented as the sefira Malkhut in the Tree of Life.
• the Shekhinah as the divine archetype of Bride and Beloved, according to the imagery of the Song of Songs.
• the Shekhinah as Queen of Creation.
Call upon her for comfort, for advise, for blessing, and for guidance. She will only respond in love and radiant light.
Wisdom (saith Solomon) is to a man an infinite Treasure, for she is the Breath of the Power of God, and a pure influence that floweth from the Glory of the Almighty; she is the Brightness of Eternal Light, and an undefiled Mirror of the Majesty of God, and an Image of His Goodness; she teacheth us Soberness and Prudence, Righteousness and Strength; she understands the Subtlety of words, and Solution of dark sentences; she foreknoweth Signs and Wonders, and what shall happen in time to come.
The Greek ‘feminine’ term for wisdom’, Sophia; translates a Hebrew ‘feminine’ term, Hokhmah. In the book of ‘Proverbs’ contained in the Bible as well as ‘The Wisdom of Solomon’ contained in the Apocrypha; It is clearly shown that the early Hebrews saw God’s wisdom and spirit as female.
“Wisdom is a spirit that is friendly to people, but she will not forgive anyone who speaks against God, for God knows our feelings and thoughts, and hears our every word. Since the LORD’s spirit fills the entire world, and holds everything in it together, she knows every word that people say”. Wisdom of Solomon 1:6-7
When we examine the three aspects of the Godhead, which in theology is designated: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we see God, the Father and the Son of God. There must be a Mother as well in order to complete a family structure in heaven. The remaining third aspect, the Feminine Aspect of God is, of course, the Holy Spirit(The Ruach). Another way to approach the Godhead and more readily realize its meaning is through the terms mind, idea, and expression. The Feminine Aspect of God, Shekinah,Holy Spirit Wisdom, then, would be the Way through which the Will of God expresses its ideas.
By Her fruits we shall know Her. Holy Spirit Ruach is known to be the Living Word of Truth, the Holy Counselor, the Provider of wealth, the Co-Creator with God as Active Intelligence, and our Divine Instructor.
In the Tanakh, the word ruach generally means wind, breath, mind, spirit. In a living creature (nephesh chayah), the ruach is the breath, whether of animals (Gen 7:15; Psa 104:25, 29) or mankind (Isa 42:5; Ezek 37:5). God is the creator of ruach: “The ruach of God (from God) is in my nostrils” (Job 27:3). In God’s hand is the ruach of all mankind (Job 12:10; Isa 42:5). In mankind, ruach further denotes the principle of life that possesses reason, will, and conscience. The ruach imparts the divine image to man, and constitutes the animating dynamic which results in man’s nephesh as the subject of personal life.
When applied to God, the word Ruach indicates creative activity (Gen 1:2) and active power (Isa 40:13). The Spirit of God also works in providence (Job 33:4; Psa 104:30), in redemption (Ezek 11:19; Ezek 36:26-27), in upholding and guiding his chosen ones (Neh 9:20; Psa 143:10; Hag 2:5), and in the empowering of the Messiah (Isa 11:2; Isa 42:1; Isa 61:1).
In short, as the ruach is to the created nephesh, so the Ruach Elohim is to God Himself, part of God and identified with God. Ruach may be understood as the Author of the animating dynamic of the created order, the underlying Principle of creation, and the One that imparts the nephesh to the entire universe.
Holy Spirit = Word of Truth = Wisdom
In the writings of Solomon She is called Wisdom, and Her gender is properly identified.
Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: (Proverbs 8: 1-3)
Hear what Wisdom has to say:
“To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are faultless to those who have knowledge.
(Proverbs 8: 4-9)
Spirit of truth who is The Holy Spiirt–The Mind of God in its executive capacity; she carries out the divine plan of the originating Spirit. She proceeds from the Father and bears witness of the Son.
The Spirit of truth – The Holy Spirit is God’s thought projecting into our mind ideas that will build a spiritual consciousness like that of Jesus. The Spirit of truth watches every detail of our life, and when we by affirmation proclaim Her presence, the Holy Spirit Wisdom brings new life into our body and prosperity into our affairs.
Holy Spirit = Holy Counselor
“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.” (Proverbs 8: 12-14)
The phrase, “fear of the Lord,” which we often find in the Scriptures, does not mean fright or terror. It means a good relationship with God “The Father” based upon reverence and respect. In the passage above the fear of the Lord refers to righteous living. If we listen to the counsel of the Inner Voice Wisdom the Holy Spirit that seeks to guide us, we hear God’s Living Word of Truth and learn to live in accordance with God’s plan.
The Holy Spirit identifies Herself above as “Wisdom.” When we listen to the Voice of Wisdom,
1. We make wise and prudent decisions.
2. We possess knowledge and act discreetly.
3. We release false pride and arrogance which leads to error (evil).
When we heed Her counsel, we gain understanding and power. Then we shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make us free.
Holy Spirit =
Provider of Wealth – Substance of the Universe
Get in touch with this Spirit of God in you! The Holy Spirit! Jesus Christ asked us to “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto you.” The Apostle, Paul, advised us to “Stir up the gift of God that is in you.”
Wisdom The Holy Spirit says the following:-
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full. (Proverbs 8: 17-21)
Holy Spirit- Wisdom = Co-Creator with God
How do we know that the Wisdom about which Solomon writes is in fact the Holy Spirit? Well, She (Holy Spirit) has already identified Herself as Wisdom. Let us read on in Proverbs to help us to identify Wisdom as the Holy Spirit.
“The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the waters would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.” (Proverbs 8: 22-31)
Who was it that was with God before the world began?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God(The Holy Spirit Wisdom) was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1: 1-2)
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
(Genesis 1: 26-27)
“By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place.” (Proverbs 3:19)
Holy Spirit – Wisdom = Active Intelligence
From the beginning we see Holy Spirit as the Breath of Life.
“… the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
Charles Fillmore, describes Spirit as
Spirit–God as the moving force in the universe; Principle as the breath of life in all creation; the principle of life; creative intelligence and life.
Soul = Mind ——- Spirit = Breath of Life
The Soul (mind) of man did not come alive until it was inspired (inbreathed) with Wisdom the Holy Spirit. The word Spirit is derived from the Latin ‘espiritu’ which means breath.
Holy Spirit [is] The activity of God in a universal sense. The moving force in the universe taken as a whole. The Spirit is the infinite “breath” of God, the life essence of Being.
(Fillmore, Revealing Word H – page 98)
“And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).
Our thoughts come alive when they are charged with the energy of the Holy Spirit. This is the Feminine Aspect, feeling nature of God. We can know God, i.e., the existence of God in our mind and thoughts (the masculine aspect). However, we experience God in our Spirit with feeling (feminine aspect). God, the Father (Divine Mind) sends us Divine ideas. God, the Mother (Holy Spirit) breathes life into these ideas by inspiring us with excitement and enthusiasm, the energy that nurtures the ideas as we carry them out into full expression. The Holy Spirit Wisdom, inspires us with a sense of awe and reverence, a sense of beauty and truth, and fills us with love.
Holy Spirit – Wisdom = Divine Instructor
But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)
“Now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8: 32-36)
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. (Proverbs 2:10)
Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4: 5-7)
The Feminine Aspect of God Wisdom is the Holy Spirit. She is the :-
• Word of Truth and Wisdom
• Divine Counselor from whom we seek guidance
• Substance of God that provides our wealth
• Co-creator with God in whose image and likeness we are made
• Breath of life that causes the soul to live and calls forth the expression of Divine ideas
• Experience of God’s unconditional Love
• Our instructor who speaks in a Still Small Voice
• Essence and Presence of God who dwells within our own body temple.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD
– Isaiah 11:2
But it is the Spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.
– Job 32:8
Trusting the Spirit of God – Wisdom the Holy Spirit
• “…so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. ” – 1st Corinthians 2: 5-10 (NIV)
Spirit is Holy
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
• The Spirit is the infinite “breath” of God, the life essence of Being. God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and Man became a living soul.
• “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).
Where then do we begin to search out Wisdom the Holy Spirit, the Source of all knowledge? What must we do to receive Her understanding? We know of course that She exists in all creation, but we are told in the Scripture that we can only come to know Spirit through Spirit.
• ” For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” – 1st Corinthians 2: 11-16
This seems paradoxical. On the one hand it is saying that we can only know Spirit by way of Spirit, and on the other hand it is telling us that the material man rejects spiritual things and cannot discern them. There is yet hope for us human beings. God in the act of creating us in His/Her own image and likeness, left a portion of themselves within us. And so there is much more to us than simply flesh, bones, organs, muscles and nerves limited by material sense perceptors. We are indeed Spiritual Beings because we have Spirit within us, the Power which knows Itself. This is further verified for us in the Bible:
• Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
1st Corinthians 3: 16-17
• Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
We should therefore glorify God in our body and in our Spirit because they belong to God. This is a perfect affirmation for us to practice in our living: “I glorify God in my body, and my Spirit belongs to God.”
Now we have the key – The Holy Spirit Wisdom is the all-knowing Mind of God that dwells within each one of us. We cannot look outward with our physical sense faculties and expect to find and understand Spirit. We must turn within to the very core of our being. Spirit there awaits us, eager to guide and instruct us according to our own receptivity to Her, according to our Spirituality.
Holy Spirit lies within us. She is our source of knowingness, but we can understand and appropriate Her knowledge only to the degree of development of our own Spirituality – the consciousness that relates us directly to our Father-Mother God. Spirituality is a Holy frame of mind that allows us to become aware of the Holy Spirit Wisdom that indwells in us.
How then do we develop this Holy frame of mind?
• “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” – John 14: 15-17
Let us first examine what hinders the development of Spirituality so that this mental posture can be overcome or avoided. The Apostle John admonishes us
• “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.”
– 1 John 2: 15-16
Metaphysically, this refers to the focus of the natural man who looks to the outer material world for satisfaction and completeness of the soul. This of course, is a futile effort.
• “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; [Their thoughts are directed outward to the physical world] but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [They focus their thoughts upon God within.] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God…” – Romans 8: 5-7
This enmity, this hostile opposition against God which the carnal mind holds will lead one to blasphemy. Jesus taught that all sins and blasphemies will be forgiven save one:
• “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. ” – Matthew 12:31-32
• “…For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” – Matthew 12: 34
What is there left for anyone who turns utterly against one’s own Godliness? And as long as this mental posture is maintained, it shuts out one’s receptivity to the forgiving love of God. This is our choice, not God’s. Thus the first and most important step toward developing Spirituality (Holy frame of mind) is to recognize that Wisdom the Holy Spirit indwells our body temple.
Next we must learn to focus our attention inward to attune with this indwelling Spirit. With the inward focus of our mind, we come to know who we really are.
• “…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, <“Abba(means Mother),> Father.” (THE WORD Abba comes from the ARamic word Abaki means Parent).The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” – Romans 8: 14-17
When we feel confused and are not even sure how to pray … Holy Spirit prays for us just as a mother prays for her children.
• ” In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8: 26-28
With this inward focus we begin to bear spiritual fruit in our lives
• “But the fruit of the Spirit (that is to say the Holy Spirit Wisdom) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5: 22-23
Let us therefore live in the Spirit and surrender our trust to the Holy Spirit within. By trusting the Spirit of God we gain wisdom from God:
• “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17
As The Holy Spirit Wisdom is a real, personal being with feelings and emotions, it is to be expected that She will have some way of sharing Her desires and feelings with us, Her children, and of acting in our lives in a way that will be consistent with Her character. God does all of these things by His “spirit”. If we wish to know God and have an active relationship with Him, we need to know what this “spirit of God” Wisdom – the Holy Spirit is, and how She operates.
The Hebrew word translated “spirit” in the Old Testament strictly means “breath” or “power”; thus The Holy Spirit is Her “breathing”, the very essence of God, reflecting Her mind. It is a common Bible teaching that how a man thinks is expressed in his actions (Prov. 23:7; Mt. 12:34);
The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ means both the breath or mind, and also power. Our spirit, the essential us, refers to our thoughts and therefore also to the actions which we take to express those thoughts or disposition within us. On a far more glorious scale, The Holy Spirit Wisdom is the same; it is the power by which She displays Her essential being, Her disposition and purpose. The Holy Spirit Wisdom thinks and therefore does things. “As I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” (Is. 14:24).
Many passages clearly identify the Holy Spirit Wisdom with Her power. In order to create the earth, “the spirit of God(the Holy Spirit Wisdom) moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:2,3).
The Holy Spirit was the power by which all things, e.g. light, were made.
The spirit given to us and all creation is what sustains our life. We have “the breath of the spirit of life” within us (Gen. 7:22 A.V. mg.) given to us by Wisdom the Holy Spirit at birth (Ps. 104:30; Gen. 2:7). This makes Her “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 27:16 cf. Heb. 12:9). Because the Holy Spirit Wisdom is the life force which sustains all creation, Her spirit is present everywhere.
“You know my sitting down and standing up, you understand my thought far off… Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence? If I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there… your right hand (i.e. through the spirit) shall hold me” (Ps. 139:2,7,9,10).
The phrase “Holy Spirit” is to be found almost exclusively in the New Testament. In the A.V. the name “Holy Ghost” is often used, but it should always be translated as “Holy Spirit”, as modern versions make clear. This is equivalent to the Old Testament phrases “the spirit of God” or “the spirit of the Lord”. This is clear from passages such as Acts 2, which records the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Peter explained that this was a fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel, in which it is described as the pouring out of “my (God’s) spirit” (Acts 2:17). The main fulfilment of this will be when Jesus returns (Is. 32:15,16). Again, Lk. 4:1 records that Jesus “being full of the Holy Spirit”(the Spirit of Wisdom) returned from Jordan; later in the same chapter Jesus links this with Is. 61:
“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me”. In both cases (and in many others) the Holy Spirit is equated with the Old Testament term “the spirit of God”.
Notice, too, how the Holy Spirit is paralleled with the power of God in the following passages.
§ “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you (Mary), and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you” (Lk. 1:35)
§ “The power of the Holy Spirit…mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the spirit of God” (Rom. 15:13,19)
§ “Our gospel (preaching) came…in power, and in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thes. 1:5).
§ The promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples was spoken of as their being “endued with power from on high” (Lk. 24:49).
§ Jesus himself had been “anointed…with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38).
§ The “promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5) is defined as “power from on high” in Lk. 24:49. Hence the disciples received power after the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8).
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
Why should we trust Spirit?
The manifestations of Spirit are given to everyone as a help to each of us. There are diversities of spiritual gifts but only one Spirit. We each have our own gifts to assist us in our living. There are gifts of wisdom, knowledge, healing, diverse languages, interpretation of languages. To each of these gifts we must bring something of ourselves. We must bring our faith, our hope and our love. No gift of the Spirit is of any value unless it is applied with love.
• “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1st Corinthians 13
We grow spiritually by placing our faith, hope and love in the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit Wisdom within us. She quickens and grows through…
• Prayer and meditation
• Practicing the presence of God
• Affirming that there is only One Presence, One Power and One Activity in the Universe and in our lives. That is God, and God is only good.
• Allowing ourselves to be inspired by music, fine art, beautiful scenes of nature, poetry, books and of course – the Scriptures.
• Stir up the gift of God that is within you.
We come to know this by turning inward to the Spirit of God , the Holy Spirit Wisdom- within ourselves, within others and within every situation in our lives. Seek and you shall find God. Find God and you will find the highest and the best in all things.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [ruach] of life; and man became a living soul.”
• Genesis 2:7
“The Spirit [ruach] of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.”
• Job 33:4
Genesis 7:22 is literally translated, according to the Hebrew: “All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit [ruach] of life.” When God takes away the breath, body functions quickly end and death results.
“You [God] hide your face, they are troubled: you take away their breath [ruach, spirit], they die, and return to their dust. You send forth your spirit [ruach], they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.”
Proverbs 1:20-23 portrays wisdom as feminine. In the Greek, the word for wisdom is Sophia:
Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my reproof;
Surely, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
Then, in Proverbs 2:10-13:
When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things,
From those who leave the paths of uprightness
To walk in the ways of darkness…
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
Length of day is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her.
(New King James Version)
Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20
“The beginning of Wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love of Her, and love of Her is the keeping of Her laws, and giving to Her laws is assurance of immortality, and immortality brings one near to God; so the desire for Wisdom leads to a Kingdom.”
Wisdom of Solomon 7:7-12
“…I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the Spirit of Wisdom came to me. I preferred Her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with Her. Neither did I liken to Her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in Her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before Her. I loved Her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have Her rather than light, because Her radiance never ceases. All good things came to me along with Her, and in Her hands uncounted wealth. I rejoiced in them all, because Wisdom leads them; but I did not know that She was their Mother.”
God as Mother
Ponder these words from the lips of God:
Isaiah 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . . .
By what it inserts in brackets, the Amplified Bible leaves no doubt as to how its scholars interpret the words immediately prior to these:
Isaiah 66:12 For thus says the Lord, ‘ . . . you shall be nursed, you shall be carried on her hip, and be trotted on her [God’s maternal] knees . . .’
In a beautiful picture of maternal love, Jesus expressed the depth of divine compassion with the words:
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
Since Jesus came to show us the Father (John 14:11-6) it is not surprising that we find in the Old Testament a similarly beautiful picture of God’s love:
Psalms 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
You neglected the Rock who had fathered you; you forgot the God who had given you birth.
The Wisdom of Solomon
Shekinah is the Supreme Spirit
devoted to the good of all people . . .
She shines bright in the bloom of ignorance;
She is unfading;
She is easily seen by those who love Her;
easily found by those who look for Her,
And quickly does She come to those who seek Her help.
One who rises early, intent on finding Her, will not grow weary of the quest–
For one day he will find Her seated in his own heart.
To set all one’s thoughts on Her is true wisdom,
And to be ever aware of Her is the sure way to perfect peace.
For Shekinah Herself goes about in search of those who are worthy of Her.
With every step She comes to guide them;
in every thought She comes to meet them . . .
The true beginning of spiritual life is the desire to know Shekinah.
A desire to know Her brings one to love Her.
Loving Her enables one to follow her will.
Following Her will is the sure path of immortality.
And immortality is oneness with God.
So the desire to know Shekinah leads to God
and His Kingdom – – a never-fading Kingdom.
With all your thrones and scepters you may rule the world for a while,
But take hold of Shekinah and you will rule the world forever.
The Wisdom of Solomon (50 BCE)
was written by an unknown Jewish sage living in Alexandria.
By custom, however, it is ascribed to King Solomon (10th century BCE).
The Original Prayer in Aramic
Translation by Neil Douglas-Klotz in Prayers of the Cosmos
O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us – make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to each other.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.
God as a Mother:
a. a woman in labor (Isa. 42:14) whose forceful breath is an image of divine power . God is threatening to come against Israel in power, a power likened to the forceful air expelled from the lungs of a woman who is in the final throes of labor. mother suckling her children (Num. 11:12)
c. a mother who does not forget the child she nurses (Isa. 49:14-15)
d. a mother who comforts her children (Isa. 66:12-13)
e. a mother who births and protects Israel (Isa. 46:3-4). In contrast to idol worshippers who carry their gods on cattle, God carries Israel in the womb. The message to the people is two-fold: it demonstrates God’s superiority over other gods, and reiterates the divine promise to support and redeem. In short, God’s maternal bond of compassion and maternal power to protect guarantee Israel’s salvation.
f. a mother who gave birth to the Israelites (Dt. 32:18) The biased translation of the Jerusalem Bible (“fathered you”) obscures the feminine action of the verb, more accurately rendered “gave you birth”:
JB: You forget the Rock who begot you, unmindful now of the God who fathered you.
NRSV: You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The Hebrew word in the first line can be translated as either “begot” (male activity) or “bore” (female activity); the context must provide the key. The word in the second line can only refer to female activity. Scholars have taken these two lines either as a male and a female image of God back-to-back, or they take both of them as female, due to the way this verse is located in the overall poetic structure of Deuteronomy 32.
g. a mother who calls, teaches, holds, heals and feeds her young (Hosea 11:1-4) This poem is in the first person, where in Hebrew there is no distinction between male and female forms; the speaker can be either male or female. The series of activities are those that a mother would be likely to do: “it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them up in my arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I was to them like those who lift infants [lit., suckling children] to their cheeks [OR: who ease the yoke on their jaws]; I bent down to them and fed them.” (NRSV)
Given the context, it is possible that Hosea is indirectly presenting Yahweh as the mother over against the fertility goddess mother figure of the Canaanite religion that he is challenging. The images belong in pairs. Israel is presented as a wife in ch. 2 and as a son in ch. 11, that is, as female and male in tandem. It may be that Hosea is making the point that Yahweh alone is God by presenting Yahweh as the husband in ch. 2 and as the mother in ch. 11.
2. Other maternal references: Ps. 131:2; Job. 38:8, 29; Prov. 8:22-25; 1 Pet. 2:2-3, Acts 17:28.
B: Feminine images for God (drawn from women’s cultural activity).
1. God as a seamstress making clothes for Israel to wear (Neh. 9:21).
2. God as a midwife attending a birth (Ps. 22:9-10a, 71:6; Isa. 66:9) (midwife was a role only for women in ancient Israel).
3. God as a woman working leaven into bread (Lk. 13:18-21). This feminine image is equivalent to the image of God as masculine in the preceding parable of the mustard seed.
4. God as a woman seeking a lost coin (Lk. 15:8-10).This feminine image is equivalent to the image of God as masculine in the preceding parable of the shepherd seeking a lost sheep. Both Luke 13 and 15 contain paired masculine and feminine images for God, drawn from activities of Galilean peasants.
C: Additional examples of the divine feminine.
1. Female bird imagery. Yahweh is described by an analogy to the action of a female bird protecting her young (Ps. 17:8, 36:7, 57:1, 91:1, 4; Isa. 31:5; Dt. 32:11-12).
a. The eagle: Dt. 32:11-12: “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead Jacob ….” (KJV). The female eagle, both larger and stronger than the male, does the bulk of the incubation of the eggs as well as the hunting. She is the one who bears the eaglets on her wings when it is time for them to leave the nest. In a sudden movement, she swoops down to force them to fly alone, but always stays near enough to swoop back under them when they become too weary to fly on their own. It is a powerful image of God nurturing and supporting us when we are weak, yet always encouraging us to grow and mature. Cf. Ex. 19:4, “I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself,” and Job 39:27-30.
b. The hen: Mt. 23:37 (par. Lk. 13:34; cf. Ruth 2:12): “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not.” In his lament over Jerusalem, Jesus employs feminine imagery. Whereas the magnificent eagle is associated with light, sun, height, mobility and exteriority, the lowly hen is “associated with the shadows and darkness of the henhouse, and with depth and stillness and interiority beneath the mothering wings” (V. Mollenkott, The Divine Feminine [Crossroad, 1987], 93). Each image illuminates a different, important aspect of God’s relation to us.
2. God as Mother Bear (Hosea 13:8), a fierce image associated with the profound attachment of the mother to her cubs. God’s rage against those who withhold gratitude is that of a bear “robbed of her cubs.”
3. Holy Spirit (in Hebrew, feminine; in Greek, neuter) is often associated with women’s functions: the birthing process (Jn. 3:5; cf. Jn. 1:13, 1 Jn. 4:7b, 5:1, 4, 18), consoling, comforting, an eschatological groaning in travail of childbirth, emotional warmth, and inspiration. Some ancient church traditions refer to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms (the Syriac church used the feminine pronoun for the Holy Spirit until ca. 400 C.E.; a 14th c. fresco depicting the Trinity at a church near Munich, Germany images the Holy Spirit as feminine).