God Transcends Gender

I know, I know. Some tranny is trying to bastardize your religion again. Okay, but hear me out.

The Abrahamic Religions generally view God as a male deity. However, there are various hints in the Bible that may clue us in that maybe God had some feminine qualities. We’ll start with Genesis 1:26-27, which states: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

See? Females were created in God’s image too. Since we’re all made in God’s image, could we perhaps conclude that, at the very least, we all encompass various aspects of God? In other words, rather than (or maybe in addition to) seeing God as an archetype for the Universe, perhaps we could see ourselves as archetypes for different aspects of God?

This implies that every person of every gender, ethnicity, et cetera is a unique representation of God’s image.

Adam and Eve and Genetics

Another thing to consider is how Eve was made. It’s interesting to me that the mantra of so-called marriage traditionalists is “It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Except that if you look at Genesis scientifically (I know, ironic as that may be), we’re basically looking at an example of cloning. Right? God cloned Eve from Adams rib. I mean otherwise what was the point of jacking Adam’s rib?

Even taking a loose interpretation of the passage, Eve was constructed from a male (XY) bone. Eve was made from male parts. Now I’m not saying my girl Eve was a transgender woman. But I don’t see any reason it couldn’t be read that way.[1]

Further, the entirety of the Creation story ends with God saying “and it was good.” The only thing that God saw as not good was when God saw that man was alone (Genesis 2:18), which prompted God to create Eve, possibly because God saw that Creation was incomplete. Perhaps God felt incomplete as a result.

God as the Father/God as the Mother

In various verses, God is referred to as “Father” (Deut 32:6 ; 2 Sam 7:14 ; Psalms 68:5 & 89:26 ; 1 Chron 17:13 ; and many others). In fact, God is frequently referred to as a masculine figure.

In other verses, however, God’s motherly qualities are revealed, such as:

  • Exodus 19:4 “‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.'”
  • Isaiah 66:13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”.
  • Isaiah 66:9 “‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the Lord.”
  • Isaiah 42:14 “I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.”
  • Hosea 13:8 “Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open; like a lion I will devour them—a wild animal will tear them apart.”
  • Psalm 22:9-10 “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”
  • Psalm 36:7 “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
  • Job 38:29 (When God challenges Job from the whirlwind) “From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?”
  • Song of Solomon 2:1 “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.”

As you see here, God carries us under Her wing, comforts us as a mother would her child, delivers us into this world, and protects us like a bear or a lion protects her cubs. You’ll notice that God will even occasionally use feminine pronouns for him/herself.

In Exodus 3:14, after Moses asks God what he should call them, God responds, “‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’’”

“I am who I am.” That’s pretty deep. It’s also pretty unassuming.

Additionally, various Jewish texts use the Hebrew word  Shekinah (שכינה‎‎) to denote God’s divine “presence”, and is notably a grammatically feminine word. The word comes up in II Kings 3:15 (Tractate Shabbat 30b), in the 17th blessing of the daily Amidah prayer, and others. Shekinah also plays a large role in the conception of Moses in the Zohar (Book of Enlightenment).

Hebrew Differentiations

It’s also important to keep in mind that Hebrew is a highly dynamic language that, especially in the beginning, was heavily concerned with action. It’s somewhat abstract for us today to think about. If something behaves like something, then it is that something.

Thus, when God behaves like a father, then he is a father. Likewise, when God behaves like a mother, then she is a mother.

It’s a very different way of thinking that I think makes more sense when thought about in the context of the relative time period. If we reflect back on one of my previous post Of Satanism and Paganism (no, the irony of referencing a Satanic post in a Jewish discussion is not lost on me), we’ll remember how the Canaanite Ba’al Zebul (“Lord of the Heavens”) may have been referred to as Ba’al Zebub (“Lord of the Flies”) when called upon to rid a city of flies (or disease). Likewise, the Greek Apollo was sometimes referred to as Apollo Smintheus (“Apollo of mice”) when called upon to rid a city of mice.

So we see that various civilizations around the same time frame would commonly refer to their deities as being whatever they were encompassing. The Hebrew God was not very different.

It’s honestly a beautiful way of thinking. I don’t just act like a mother – I am a mother. I don’t just play music – I am music (this is actually very similar to the Taoist mantra of Wei Wu Wei, “Doing/Not Doing”, which I’ll discuss in a later post). It’s an amazingly empowering concept.

As Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan says in his essay “Understanding God”, “[E]very name and every description that we may give to God can only apply to His relationship to His creation.”



[1] The only problem here is that the X chromosome contains far less genetic material than the Y chromosome, and the Y is also 1/3 the size of the X. Thus, some scientists believe that the X chromosome may have developed first, and then the Y chromosome may have arose as an underformed X. So perhaps it would make more literal sense if it were Eve who were formed first and Adam were made from her rib.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s