The Hebrew language is deep! Even within its letters are multi-dimensional, idiomatic and dee layers of meaning. Hebrew words, unlike English or any other language, has four levels of meaning.
A significant part of Hebrew is the prevalent mystical level and prophetic element to the words that is not readily detected when translated to languages—especially English. In fact, almost always, the English language translates only the surface or concrete level of Hebrew words, leaving the text void of the deeper Hebrew inferences, rich concepts and hints to other connecting Hebrew words and references.
These different levels of Hebrew words are described in an acronym called Pardes.
P- P’shat (surface meaning)
R – Resh (hints of prophetic meaning)
D – Drash (concepts that connect to multiple places in Scripture and thought)
S – Sod (mystical or spiritual meaning)
It’s only when we study the Bible from a Hebrew perspective that we can fully unwrap the rich meaning of God’s Word.
This is particularly true when we study the beginning of mankind.
When God made the first recorded human being in His image, He made this being out of the dirt elements of the Earth. The Hebrew word for the originally designed human is “ha adam,” which literally means “the red dirt being.”
Ha adam was originally created as an asexual creature—having both genders within its very make up. It wasn’t until later that God created Eve not from the dirt but rather from the original human. I believe its possible God purposely made the integrated tandem of man/woman in order to ultimately create a memory of a once united existence within the separate individuals. And it’s quite probable that this memory is part of the blueprint that motivates man and woman to come together to procreate.
Scripture tells us “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22).
Scripture tells us that God took one of ha adam’s ribs. The Hebrew word for rib in the original Hebrew is tsela, which also means chamber or side. That said, let’s unpack the four Pardes levels of the Hebrew word, tsela.
The P’shat or surface meaning: Tsela = rib
Woman is made from the original ha Adam; She is bone of his bones. This is the primary and most basic level of understanding that most Christians learn about the word that is translated simply as “rib”. We struggle a bit with this meaning and chalk it up to a mystery. God is God and if He can make ha adam from dirt He can also fashion Eve from a bone.
Tsela has several deeper or “drash” level meanings. Drash can best be explained as concepts that connect scriptures together in order to bring a more vivid understanding. It takes some searching or studying to apply drash level meanings to Hebrew words. I will explain two drash associations.
The 1st Drash level meaning: Tsela = Chamber or Womb
Eve, (a name shortened from the Hebrew name Ahava or “love”) was removed from ha adam. Since the original creation of ha adam included both feminine and masculine qualities, it is deduced that all or most that was feminine was removed from Adam. This would include the entire female endocrine and reproductive systems. Part of the reproductive system includes the chamber (tsela) or “womb” that nurtures and grows (along with the seed of man) the spawning of human life. Ahava or Eve means love or “mother of all creation”. When man looks for a wife, he is in essence, looking for love or a mother for his seed. This love of his life is associated in their coming together conjugally. Her nurturing their child is regarded as maternal love. This maternal love creates the hormones to nourish her child through her own breasts sharing the very nutrients she ingests. The Rabbis would say God removed the womb from ha adam for the purpose of His will in creation. Many scriptures can support the importance of fertile ground and the seed that is planted into it to produce a harvest.
The 2nd Drash level meaning: Tsela = side
Another drash level aspect of tsela is side. To better explain this conceptual meaning we must look at the absence of this tsela or “side” as it is removed from Ha adam. It is understood that this balancing “side” taken from the whole would cause the remaining one to walk with a part missing. The common Hebrew implication is explained as a limp. Rabbis teach that removing the tesla would cause changes or deficiencies to occur in the man that would cause him to be bent over or curved – unable to stand upright or to walk in a straight line. The word picture that comes to mind is that Adam, with the extraction of the tsela, is now lopsided, unbalanced and incomplete. It is only when the two are joined together they are counterbalanced and function as a unified “one.” This balance is no doubt depicting a physical picture of what is felt on a spiritual or soulish level.
A woman comes along side of man to complete, aid and balance his life as he balances hers. This counterbalance is evident in the mental perspectives, stature and anatomy of man. Man is ordinarily physically stronger and more rugged. Around a girl he feels stronger (Remember David when he slayed Goliath for Saul’s daughter 1 Samuel 17:25). A man’s brain is wired to “logically” solve problems and by the same token he has a greater ability to disconnect from or stifle his emotions, being governed more by his reason. This perspective when tipped too far may seem out of touch and callous at times to a woman. This is because a woman, often thought of as softer or a more graceful creation than that of man, generally makes her decisions on a combination of her logic and intuition or feelings on a matter. She’s designed to be more in touch on an emotional level to feel the impact of critical situations whether positive or negative. When this emotional side is tipped too far, it is perceived by the male counterpart to be irrational.
The truth is, man and woman are hard-wired to balance the deficits in each other.
The Sod mystical meaning: Tsela = Depiction of the Holy Place
Holy Scripture uses the Hebrew word tsela not only to represent the female side or portion that was taken out of the created human but it the very word that is also used in describing the sides or chambers of the Tabernacle, the Altar, the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple. These sanctified objects or chambers were created as a means of allowing man the ability to approach God and actually coming into the Presence of God within a physical compound. Considering tsela’s use for sanctified chambers, could it be God designed the chamber or womb of a woman to also be a consecrated (holy) place where God Himself would take residence to form His creation in the miracle of a child?
For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13 CJB).
Here is the word of Adonai that came to me: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; (Jeremiah 1:4-5a CJB).
In these Scripture examples, God makes it clear that He is actively taking part in the process of creation and new life. It is by His divine plan and wisdom that He fashions a baby and is, by the testimony of His own word “present” in the gestation of life.
The hymen is a membrane and likened to a veil that protects the womb. Just as the High Priest was the only one allowed go through the veil into the Holy Place, so is it that a husband is the only one consecrated by a marriage covenant to go through the membrane into his wife.
At the moment of consummation, the breaking of this membrane causes blood to pour from the chamber or womb of a woman. This blood letting is a sign of a blood covenant between the man and his wife. Can you see the rich levels of meaning when a word is studied in all the Hebrew levels?
Being a woman is a beautiful privilege. No wonder the enemy has devalued and exploited women and their bodies for ages. The reason why is revealed in the curse that God spoke over the serpent. I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15 CJB).
This animosity and spiritual attacks against women has taken form in various demonic deviancies over the ages of time such as sexual discrimination, debasement and harassment, pornography, rape, extortion and prostitution, sex trafficking, and other sex related violence and crimes. Most crimes against women are sex (tsela) related.
In addition to exploitation, sexual biases against women are masterminded from the offense of the evil one, the enemy of God, going all the way back to the garden. Apparently, according to the prophesy, the serpent would be the spiritual father to a descendent that would one day challenge the Seed of a woman.
God fashioned for Himself, within the womb of Mary, the very vessel that would carry the Holy Presence of God. As God prophesied to Eve, her Seed, which was from the Father of all Creation, would give birth to a Savior. He would be born of a woman having no chromosomes of an earthly Father. What a privilege for women to share in the miracle of God’s creation. And may all women feel the distinct honor and blessing that God chose a woman to deliver the Messiah into the world.
The Resh or Prophetic Meaning: Tsela = The side of Messiah that gives spiritual birth to His bride
The Resh level of Hebrew words points to the prophetic. And the prophetic is always about Messiah’s work of redemption. God is still at work and has been creating another “Eve” from the side of Messiah. Since the Roman spear pierced into the tsela of Yeshua and blood spilled out of his side, God has been forming the body or bride of Christ just as He formed Eve. Yeshua promised that He was going to prepare a mansion in his Father’s house so that His bride would be with him forever. He also said that one day His bride would eat with Him, a covenant meal called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
One of the most beautiful depictions of the Prophetic love of Messiah is the ancient Jewish custom of the passing of the Erysin Cup or the Cup of Betrothal.
When a man wanted to marry a woman, he would approach her father to discuss the price of the bride. The father, realizing the assets and liabilities that his daughter would bring to the marriage, would express his will for the bridal price. After a deal was agreed upon, a covenant cup was poured and placed between the hopeful groom and the women he desired to marry. The man would first take the cup and drink from it indicating he wanted to make a covenant of marriage with her. After he drank from the cup he would customarily “pass the cup” to her like one passes a baton in a race. If she drank from it (as this would be the hope and will of the groom) she was agreeing to wait for him as he would go and prepare a place for her. This “place” traditionally called “a little mansion” was a room built in his father’s house for the purpose of consummating the marriage. Only the groom’s father could say when it was to his specifications and only then could the groom go and get his bride. In ancient times a week-long marriage supper or feast would follow the consummation in the bridal chamber—but only after the blood-stained sheets were displayed for the wedding guests to witness that the covenant had definitely occurred.
Much of this ancient resh level tradition of tsela was fulfilled in the Redeemer on the night Yeshua was in the Garden of Gethsemane. While He was talking with God it was made clear what the will of the Father was for the payment of His bride. His life. After physically manifesting in His body the profound terms of the Father’s will, He accepted what the Erysin cup was demanding of Him and cried out, “Now let this cup pass from me.”
Did this exclamation mean He was rejecting the terms of the cup? On the contrary, it means He accepted or metaphorically drank from the cup and was now passing it (like a baton) to His bride to which, of course, He wanted (or willed) for her to accept and drink too. Then, the most profound statement was declared by our Bridegroom; “Not my will (which is that she would drink and come along my side to be my bride) be done but your will (the terms of God’s covenant or price) be done!
In other words, He would pay the price for His bride whether she chose to drink or not.
What a perfect love! He loves His bride with all his heart, mind and being and He longs for her to complete His work by saying yes!
There are many mysteries in the Word concerning the roll of a woman. She is so beloved of God. Every person born (even men), carry the chromosome of a woman. After all, Yeshua is our New second Adam and we are His bride, the Ahava (Eve) of His life!
So that you, with all God’s people, will be given strength to grasp the breadth, length, height and depth of the Messiah’s love. Ephesians 3:18 CJB