“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
For the LORD has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.
“For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,”
Says the LORD, your Redeemer. Isa 54:4-8
One of the assurances we have been given in this passage, that is to cause us to not fear and to not be ashamed, is that YHVH Himself is our husband. So I wanted to understand the mountain top meaning in Hebrew of this word, so that I could be reassured. 🙂
The word “husband” is Strong’s H1166, a primitive root, ba’al, lub, bet – ayin – lamed. The lexicon says it means, “to have dominion over, to possess.” But the letters themselves mean something. The bet is a tent floorplan, i.e. the house, the household, the family, or in. The ayin is an eye, i.e., to watch, know, or shade. The lamed is a shepherd’s staff – isn’t that beautiful? It means, to teach, yoke, to, or bind.
So, for the mountain top meaning, I am not seeing “dominion over.” I am seeing one who knows, who watches over, and who shades his household like a shepherd watches over his sheep. How does a shepherd watch over his sheep?
“YHVH is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of YHVH forever.” Psa 23
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.” Isa 40:11
A husband, according to God, according to the pure and original definition of the word, is a gentle leader, not a dominator who lords it over his household.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Eph 5:25-29
When YHVH says, “Do not fear, for your Maker is your husband,” all the verbs that I have bolded and italicized are what He means by it.