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The meaning of male in Biblical Hebrew unlocks Bible understanding. Names and nouns reveal deeper ideas than in your language.
Take the meaning of male, for instance. It immediately conjures up men. In Biblical Hebrew, it refers to much more. Without fuller comprehension, you probably miss most of the understanding, especially the significant spiritual implications. With the meaning of male, you’re in for a twisted surprise.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male (H2145) and female created he them.
We’ll look at female in the next lesson. Here’s the Biblical Hebrew for male:
זָכָר zâkâr zaw-kawr’; from H2142 (זָכַר); properly, remembered, i.e. a male (of man or animals, as being the most noteworthy sex):
KJV – ⨯ him, male, man(child, -kind).
I have to admit that when I saw Strong’s, the most noteworthy sex I figured I was in for a rough time explaining what this meant being a man myself. Strong says that based on the Biblical Hebrew, without explanation here. We know God created the man first and the female out of the male. Those are noteworthy points.
What does God mean when He had the author of Genesis write that the male was the first human, and the female was created out of the male?
Here’s the key, and as a reader, you are already aware of this. Genesis 1 and 2 are not only talking about a physical creation but also and, more importantly, telling us a spiritual story. Bible translations and reading tend to put more emphasis on the physical, superficial, visible level. That is only the tip of the iceberg. So what is the spiritual underpinning of the meaning of male? One Bible verse sums it up.
The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man (Jesus) is the Lord from heaven
Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come (Jesus)
Here we have the physical first man who is the figure of and who foreshadows the spiritual second man. The point is, we can better understand the meaning of the first male, man, from the second and the second from the first. The Old Testament and the New Testament mutually throw light on each other. Each gives us an enhanced understanding of the other because they parallel each other on different planes. The Old Testament is physical; the New Testament is spiritual.
Let’s notice a key characteristic regarding the second man, Jesus.
And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Adam and Jesus are the beginning and firstborn, respectively, of the physical and spiritual worlds. This preeminence of Christ corresponds to the noteworthy sex of Adam. Adam had to be the preeminent gender to fit the parallel. That’s the spiritual meaning of male. Colossians 1:18 confirms this in no uncertain terms, with no less than three descriptions applied to Adam on a physical plane. Jesus is the Head of the body; Adam is the father of humankind. Jesus is the beginning; Adam was the physical human beginning. Jesus is the firstborn of the living who died. Adam is the firstborn of the physical living.
In so many ways, Adam parallels Jesus purely physical. This preeminence makes the male neither better nor more important than the female. They are equal. But it does give the male a different role from the female, as we’ll see in the next lesson. See this article for further understanding of the meaning of male.
With preeminence comes responsibility and obligations. Let’s see what’s involved through an additional meaning of the Biblical Hebrew word in H2142 from which zachar, H2145 derives (see above). Go to UnlockBibleMeaning.com, find the meaning of male and meditate on H2142. What’s the spiritual implication? Do it before getting an answer below.
Another spiritual meaning of male
זָכַר zâkar zaw-kar’; a primitive root; also as denominative from H2145 (זָכָר) properly, to mark (so as to be recognized), i.e. to remember; by implication, to mention; to be male:
KJV – ⨯ burn (incense), ⨯ earnestly, be male, (make) mention (of), be mindful, recount, record(-er), remember, make to be remembered, bring (call, come, keep, put) to (in) remembrance, ⨯ still, think on, ⨯ well.
The Hebrew meaning for male is also remember, and this is probably the most crucial point that should characterize males and humankind. He should remember where he comes from, who his Maker is, and he ought to be mindful of what God has prepared for him and what his responsibilities are.
The primary responsibility of the preeminent is to remember.
Here’s more instruction on the meaning of male. Names and nouns reveal deep spiritual meaning.
The first man, male prefigures the second man, male, Christ. I always wondered what the full value of the following passage about His youth is. One of His major roles was to remember, even from a young age.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing.
49 And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? wist you not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Sam: Christ REMEMBERED His Father).
50 And they understood not the saying which he spoke to them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart (Sam: She REMEMBERED).
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
The first man, adam, humans, humankind as we saw in the last episode, FORGOT his Father. The second man, the male REMEMBERED His Father. Christ’s lifelong Ministry was His focus on doing the work His Father sent Him to do.
Study verses like Deut 5:15, 8:18 “But you shall remember the LORD your God,” and Jude 1:17, Rev. 2:5 “Remember from where you have fallen…”, Rev. 3:3 “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” Males and humankind have a lot of remembering to do.
In the next episode, we will cover the meaning of female, which is just, if not more exciting than zachar.
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