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Redeeming The Woman

Winter 2002
By Martha Lucia

In many of our previous issues we have written about redemption, the buying back or
restoration of all things. Paul wrote in Acts 3:20-21 that Jesus will remain in heaven
until all things are restored unto Him. The Greek word for "restore" in this passage is
apokatastaseoos, which means, "to restore a thing to its former situation." As we
consider redemption and restoration, we must consider the former state, i.e., how did
God create things before sin entered in? In this issue we are going to focus on the
redemption of women, which will lead us into several other areas. What was Gods
original intent for women? How and why are men, nations, and even God personified
as women in travail throughout scripture? What does travail mean to the Church
today?
As the Church continues to shift into all that God has intended her to be, the loosing of
women into their destiny is an important factor. With the current events of September
11, 2001 and the focus of much of the world being on Afghanistan, we have seen
some distressing reports related to the treatment of women. Many of us cannot
fathom the repression they suffer. However, this repression and bondage has
followed women since the days of Adam and Eve. In Leviticus 19:20 we find an
example of women in much the same type of bondage. The punishment for their
unfaithfulness was death. Regardless of ones religious affiliation, when one is in
bondage to the law, he or she is bound with death. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:2,
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and
death." Jesus came to pay the price to redeem everything back to the Father and to
release the cords of sin and death so that we can enjoy freedom as He designed it.
The Creation of Women
In Genesis 1:26-27 we find Gods thoughts about the creation of man.
"And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have
dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and
over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God
created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female
He created them.""
God created the human race, male and female, in His image to have dominion over all
of His other creation. He fashioned man to make moral choices, to decline or accept
spiritual growth. God formed man and woman as equals (in Gen. 5:2-3, God named
them both "Adam"). He blessed them and gave them their assignment to be fruitful

and multiply, to fill and subdue the earth, to rule over the fish, the birds, and every
living thing that moves on the earth (Gen. 1:28).
When God created woman, she was fashioned to be a "help-meet" ['ezer (H5828)
neged (H5048)]. Many biblical commentaries list the Hebrew as 'ezer kenegdo. In
both cases, the literal translation is "help opposite." If man is worthy, his wife will be
an ezer, a helper. If man is unworthy, his wife will be kenegdo, against him, an
opposing force. The idea of "help opposite" implies that there must be a willingness to
limit oneself and allow the other person to stand, feel, and think opposite. A life
partner must be able to say "no" if necessary, the kenegdo part. God created the
couple so that one can correct, complement, cheer, comfort, help, or be helped by the
other. Only then is the one NOT alone.
As we know, things took an unfortunate turn. Although man and woman remained
together as a couple, the woman was brought under the dominion of her husband,
rather than being his co-equal. This, along with an increase in her sorrow, pain, labor,
worry, toil, and birth pangs, was part of womans punishment for her
disobedience. God also spoke these words to Satan concerning women: "And I will
put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He
shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." (Gen. 3:15 NKJV) In other
words, God proclaimed that the seed of woman and the seed of Satan would be
enemies. They would have hatred and hostility toward one another.
At the time of the fall, Gods relationship with man changed dramatically. The man
and woman had acquired an understanding of good and evil and had responded in
shame to their nakedness as they hid from God. Although God drove them from the
garden, His mercy and desire for relationship with man prevailed when He established
the priesthood and the practice of atonement through Moses. The sacrificial blood
offerings made by the priest provided a way for man to be temporarily reconciled to
God. In Leviticus 12 we find specific instructions concerning the atonement required
when a woman has born a child to redeem her from the flow of blood. Atonement for
the woman is again described in Leviticus 27. This practice continued until the
precious blood of Jesus redeemed all things that had previously required blood
atonement!
As we look at the lives of various women in the Old Testament we will see that God
used many women to bring about His purposes. The stories of these women
represent a foreshadowing of Gods intent as He was looking down through the ages
to the time when His Son Jesus would pay the price of redemption and set the woman
free.
Rahab was a gentile woman who covenanted with the nation of Israel when she hid
the spies sent by Joshua (Jos. 2). As the spies left her house, they instructed her to
tie a scarlet cord in her window, representing the blood covenant between the two and
the ensuing salvation of her household. Because of her actions, God admitted her into
His family and honored her as Davids great-great -grandmother (Ruth 4:21- 22). This

relationship between Rahab, a gentile, and the nation of Israel provides a picture of
how God would adopt the gentiles into His family.
While Hannah was barren she pleaded with God and made the Nazarite vow that if
God would give her a son, she would give that son to the Lord. God honored her with
Samuel and after he was weaned she gave him to the Lord under the care of Eli, the
prophet of that day. The word of the Lord was rare in those days. There was no open
vision, revelation, oracles, or prophecy, and Eli was the last of the prophets. Before
the lamp (progeny, next generation) in the temple of the Lord went out, God called
Samuel (1 Sam. 3:3). Thus through Hannahs commitment, the next generation of
prophets was birthed.
Elisha interacted with two women, the prophets widow and the Shunammite
woman. Elisha sent both of these women to the nations. The prophets widow was
sent to gather vessels to fill (2 Kings 4:3) and the Shunammite woman was directed to
leave her country for a famine was to come upon her land (2 Kings 8:1). The sending
of women to other nations is seen again with the meeting of Jesus and the woman at
the well and with Mary Magdalene and others. With no geographical boundaries
imposed, Jesus sent forth women to testify of Him.
Esther, through the providence of God, was positioned to prevent the annihilation of
an entire nation. The evil, rebellious Queen Vashti was removed and God positioned
Esther to birth His purposes. Esthers response resulted in the decree of death spoken
by Haman being overridden (Esther 9:32).
God used the prophetess Deborah to bring deliverance to Israel and Jael to drive a
tent peg through the head of Sisera (Judges 4 & 5). It is interesting to note that
Deborah acted as a helper (ezer) to Barak, while Jael acted in opposition to her
husband (kenegdo). The enmity God prophesied to the woman in the garden rose up
in Jael, whose name means "to be valuable, useful, profitable - a wild goat." God will
use a multitude of "wild goats" and turn them into tent peg specialists to bruise the
head of Satan.
Ruth, a Moabitess, covenanted with Naomi to go into the land of Israel. Because she
made this unusual decision, she married Boaz who became her kinsman redeemer,
paying a ransom for her. Ruth bore the great-grandfather of David and Naomi became
the childs wet nurse, assuring he grew up and became the pillar of the line of David,
again grafting in the gentiles as with Rahab.
We can see from these examples that God used women in some powerful ways. They
were of great value to Israel and God accepted them into His family.
There were also several evil women portrayed in the Old Testament. T hey were
leading the people of God astray and they had to be removed. Jezebel, Athaliah, and
Queen Vashti were such women. Queen Vashti did not obey the command of the King
and was removed so that the ladies throughout the land would not mimic her

actions. Jezebel was the picture of a whorish woman and a woman of witchcraft and
was killed by Jehu (2 Kings 9:33-37). Athaliah was a wicked woman, a woman of
treason toward God. Her wickedness was passed on to her sons who broke into the
house of the Lord and used the holy things in their Baal worship (2 Chron. 24:7). She
was taken out of the house of the Lord and slain (2 Chron. 23:21).
Jesus Relationship with Women
Everything Jesus did showed what He came to do. Throughout Jesus days on earth
He repeatedly related to women in ways that were in direct opposition to the rabbinical
customs and the Old Testament laws. His purpose was to establish the new
covenant; to fulfill all the law and the prophets; and to bring freedom to those who
were in bondage. Through His redeeming blood the way was opened for mankind to
be restored to its former relationship with Father God, also making man and woman as
co-equals. In Galatians 3:28 Paul made this powerful statement concerning the
human race, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." There is such freedom in
these words, if only we would allow them to flow through us. But often times even
today we find that our minds are still bound. Jesus came to bring freedom and a new
way, lets receive it!
As Jesus related to women, He was opening the door for the woman to be considered
a part of the household of Israel. In Matthew 9:18-26, the woman with the issue of
blood touched Jesus. Under the law an unclean woman was not allowed to be
anywhere near the people (Lev. 12). Yet Jesus received her as "daughter," one who
was part of His family and welcome to touch Him. All of this happened while Jesus
was on the way to the house of a ruler, possibly a rabbi, who had approached Him
concerning the death of his daughter. In that day a female child was not valued as
much as a male child, so this was a radical request. Jesus response once again
demonstrated the newness of life He brought for all to enjoy.
Jesus continued to baffle the minds of the rabbinical priests as He allowed women to
anoint Him on two different occasions (Matt. 26:7-13, Luke 7:37-39). Under the old
covenant only men were allowed to anoint someone. As these women anointed
Jesus, He was giving women the same right as men and the same right as the Old
Testament priests. We are all to be a kingdom of priests unto God with all the
privileges of royalty.
In another expression of the new freedom Jesus came to establish, He allowed Mary
and Martha to sit at His feet and be taught (Luke 10:38-39). In those days only men
were permitted to be scholars and men were not allowed to teach women. He was
turning everything around! Jesus, speaking to Martha, said, "Mary has chosen the
good part, which will not be taken from her." Mary had chosen Him and HIS WORD.
How we need to grab hold of Him and His word and let it permeate our every thought!

Many times Jesus demonstrated various aspects of freedom that women were to
enjoy. He brought double freedom to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4),
freeing her from the stigma of being a Samaritan, one of the Jews hated neighbors,
and of being a woman. He had come as the kinsman redeemer. She had, had five
husbands and the one she was living with not her husband. Jesus had come to be her
husband, her kinsman redeemer. Romans 7:4 says we are all married to Him.
In John 8:3, Jesus saved a woman who was considered an adulteress from being
stoned. At that time, men were not punished for adultery; the act was considered the
fault of the woman. In John 20 we find that when Jesus rose from the dead, He chose
to appear first to a woman, Mary Magdalene, even though the disciples had just been
at the tomb. He sent her forth to carry the good news about Him, demonstrating that
women had the freedom to carry the Word.
We, as the Church, need to understand the freedom that Jesus brought to the
woman. Christ is formed in all of us and as Paul wrote in Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast
therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again
with the yoke of bondage."
Transitioning to a corporate picture of the woman, we see that throughout scripture the
travailing woman and the menstrous woman have been portrayed, each having
different characteristics and purposes. The travailing woman is one who gives birth
while the menstrous woman has been associated with the evil forces of hell. We want
to turn now to these two. Women, men, nations, the prophet speaking the word and
even God have travailed like a woman. But only evil Babylon has been portrayed as a
menstrous woman.
The Travailing Woman
There are two Hebrew words that are translated as "travail," yalad (H3205) and
chalah (H2470). Yalad comes from a primitive root meaning to birth; to bear young; to
beget; and to show lineage. Chalah has various meanings including: to be rubbed or
worn; to be weak, sick, afflicted, diseased, grieved; to make prayer; and to be
wounded. Chalah is compared to two other Hebrew words including chuwl (H2342)
and chalal (H2390). Chuwl means to twist or whirl, dance, writhe in pain, wait,
pervert, bear, bring forth, and fall grievously in pain. Travail is work of a painful or
laborious nature, which requires a physical and/or mental exertion.
"And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in
pain as a woman that travaileth (H3205): they shall be amazed one at another; their
faces shall be as flames." (Isa. 13:8, KJV)
In this verse men were responding grievously in pain after hearing the oracle Isaiah
had spoken concerning Babylon. Isaiah was prophesying that the day of the Lord was
near, a day of Gods wrath, destruction, and fierce anger in which the land would be

made desolate and the sinners destroyed out of it. The kingdom of Babylon had to
fall!
As Isaiah saw a grievous vision of Babylon, he was in the pain of travail.
"Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the
pangs of a woman that travaileth (H3205): I was bowed down at the hearing of it;
I was dismayed at the seeing of it." (Isa. 21:3)
The Lord told Isaiah to station a watchman day and night to look out for the
approaching horsemen, donkeys, and camels. As the vision continued the Lord
allowed the watchman to see the horsemen arriving and proclaim, "Babylon is fallen
and all their images are shattered." This was a foreshadowing of Revelation
18. Although Isaiah was speaking of natural Babylon, this is also a picture of the spirit
of Babylon, which the Church and Jesus will destroy by executing judgment. It will
take travail, exertion in prayer, to pull this stronghold down.
Isaiah 26:17-18 provides an example of the nation of Israel in travail like a woman.
"Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery (H3205), is in
pain (H2342), and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. We
have been with child, we have been in pain (H2342), we have as it were brought forth
(H3205) wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the
inhabitants of the world fallen." (Isa. 26:17-18)
In each of the above passages, sin was rampant, the people had chosen new gods,
and the land was at war and in turmoil. This is a principle we need to keep in
mind. Any time the gods over a nation are changing, war is at the gate. A travailing
Church is the only hope when the world is in this condition.
In Isaiah 42:13-14 we find that the Lord Himself travails.
"The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war:
he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden
my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman
(H3205); I will destroy and devour at once."
The Lord continued to hear the cry and pain associated with travail as He spoke
through Jeremiah. For example, in Jeremiah 4:31-5:1, the Lord heard the voice of a
woman in travail crying out about the pain of war and violence that surrounded her.
The theme of the travailing woman carried over into the New Testament. The story of
John the Baptist is a very powerful picture of one who travailed. John became the
VOICE CRYING (travailing) in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make
His paths straight." His parents, Zacharias and Elizabeth, were advanced in years and
had petitioned the Lord for a child. An angel appeared to Zacharias and said, "for your

prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his
name John." (Luke 1:13, NKJV) The angel continued telling Zacharias:
"He will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn
many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the
spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the
disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
(Luke 1:15-17, NKJV)
The voice of the prophet had been silent for four hundred years when Elizabeth birthed
John the Baptist.
John the Baptist suffered a violent death when the daughter of Herodias, who was
known as a wicked woman, beheaded him. Here again, much like Jezebel, we see
the wicked woman rise up to stop the voice crying in the wilderness. Even today there
are wicked women raising daughters to enter into whorish ways, to dance before their
idols, and to take off the heads of prophets. "From the days of John the Baptist until
now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matt.
11:12)
The Whorish Woman
There is also the portrait of the whorish or menstrous woman. This woman cannot be
pregnant and is thus unable to birth anything. Her actions are in opposition to Gods
purposes. In Lamentations 1:17 we find Jerusalem depicted as a menstrous
woman. God had removed the protective wall around Jerusalem because of the
grievous sins that had taken place there.
"For these things I (Jerusalem) weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water,
because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are
desolate, because the enemy prevailed. Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is
none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his
adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstrous woman among
them." (Lam. 1:16-17)
In Ezekiel 16:30 the work of Jerusalem is described as that of an imperious whorish
woman. To be imperious means to be vixen (shrewish or ill tempered), to dominate, to
give power. This shrewish, domineering spirit drove Jerusalem to commit adultery by
worshipping the gods of the great merchant land of Babylon and sacrificing their sons
and daughters.
The Wicked Woman Representing Babylon
In Zechariah 5:5-11 an angel of the Lord showed Zechariah a vision of a bushel basket
that represented the measure of wickedness that resided throughout the land. Inside

the basket, which was sealed with a lead cover, was a woman who was the epitome of
all wickedness. Upon seeing this wickedness, the angel quickly shoved her back into
the basket and cast the lead weight on its opening. Two women with the wind in their
wings soon came and lifted the basket between the heavens and earth, carrying it to
the land of Shinar (Babylon) where a temple was to be built for the wicked
woman. Babylon is built on a foundation of wickedness.
The Final Battle
The war that is ahead is a clash between the travailing woman, represented by the
Church, and the imperious whorish woman of Babylon. Revelation 12 provides a
picture of the Church. She is seen as a travailing woman:
"And there appeared a great wonder (warning of future events of ominous
significance) in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,
and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in
birth, and pained to be delivered."
The wicked woman spoken of in Zechariah is again portrayed in Revelation 17. She is
described as a woman riding the beast and is named "Mystery Babylon." In
Revelation 19 a tremendous battle takes place and a great sound is heard in HEAVEN
because the wicked whorish woman, the harlot, has been defeated.
The Church, the travailing woman, has to birth something before she can overcome
the whorish woman. Could it be the SONS OF GOD? Paul wrote in Romans 8:14-19:
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have
not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of
adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our
spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and
joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified
together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of
the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."
Romans 8:22-23 continues,
"For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until
now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even
we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of
our body."
The meaning of "travail" (G4944) is "to have pangs in company, concert,
simultaneously, with, to sympathize (in expectation of relief from suffering)." This is
the only place the word is used in scripture.

It will take the corporate Church to birth Gods purposes. It is time to put aside all
discussions about who can do what in the Body of Christ and join Jesus in the work of
intercession. T he time has come to no longer be children, but to move into travail to
see the sons of God birthed. The price has already been paid to redeem the physical
woman, the travailing woman and the Church. We must rise up and join in travailing
harmony with all of creation to possess the kingdom!
Recommended Reading:
Women, Gods Secret Weapon by Ed Silvoso
Redefining the Role of Women in the Church by Dr. Jim Davis and Dr. Donna
Johnson.