Marriage and the Family in the Resurrection
Paul recorded in Ephesians chapters one to three that each individual Christian (whether male or female, rich or poor, young or old, slave or free) will sit on the right hand of the Father in Christ in an equal and superior status (without the slightest inferiority in social rank). 1 There is, however, a great social change that God will cause in the resurrection. It directly involves social conditions under which we humans live and function. “Marriage” is one such social necessity that will change and change drastically. In fact, the types of human marriages that we have today — even those sanctioned in the Holy Scriptures — will be thoroughly eliminated in the resurrection. How will this be done?
This social change does not mean that there is anything wrong with our present “marriage” arrangement in itself. In fact, a proper marriage relationship between a male and female can be — and should be — a beautiful and wonderful thing, something to be cherished and esteemed. Still, there are certain factors associated with all human marriages, even those conducted in the biblical manner, that are highly deficient, downright cruel, and even full of curses to certain segments of society. There can be improvements. What are some of those deficiencies that God in the resurrection will eliminate and annul?
One custom to cease in the resurrection is that of the woman taking the surname of her husband. This designation is one that indicates ownership. Take my wife Ramona as an example. Her maiden name was Kinsey. In biblical parlance she was said to be owned by her legal father, Gilbert Kinsey, when she was a youth and unmarried. When she married me, the law changed her surname to “Martin” which signifies (in biblical usage) that I now own her. In biblical terms, this means her father relinquished ownership over her and, had he been living at the time of our marriage, would have granted ownership of her over to me who was now her husband, her new owner.
Folks, this is precisely what the original biblical custom meant and we perpetuate the principle today, though we have modern standards prevailing in our application of this social arrangement that mitigate the ownership stigma.
These human marriage arrangements, even those sanctioned by God in the Holy Scriptures, put the woman into an inferior social position, even though marriage itself is a wonderful thing and a normal social requirement that each human should respect. But let’s face it, in human marriages, the woman is subjected to a type of chattel slavery to the wishes and ownership of her husband. 2 Even the word rendered “husband” in Hebrew means “one who owns” and this “ownership” of the wife is fully embraced in all biblical teaching regarding our marriage rules. In biblical terms, the wife is “owned”by the husband just like he could own land, possessions or cattle.
In each marriage that the Bible sanctions there is a social curse transmitted to each woman and this curse was never rescinded in any human marriage mentioned in the Bible. What is that curse?
“Unto the woman he [God] said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow shall you bring forth children, and your desire shall be to your husband [your husband’s wishes will prevail], and he shall rule over you.”
This judgment is in the same context as the curse on the males for Adam having followed the wishes of his wife (Genesis 3:13–19). That curse is still in operation. Even as late as New Testament times, women could not speak in official assemblies and they had to learn in silence in total subjection to their husbands (1 Timothy 2:9–15). Of course, Christian men are told to cherish and love their wives, to be kind to them and most normal Christian men I know try to abide by this godly advice (Ephesians 4:22–33). But in spite of this recommended kindness and love, the social curse placed on each woman and wife was still reckoned to be in force even as late as New Testament times. No woman has been exempt.
As an example of the wife’s lowly position in all social matters in biblical times, note that when Moses gave Israelite men the Ten Commandments, he stated that all under a man’s authority should keep the Sabbath day. NO WORK should be done on that day either by him, his son or daughter, his manservant [slave] or maidservant [female slave], or cattle and this included the stranger that stayed within his property (Exodus 20:10). But note who is excluded from the list. It is the wife. She was not even considered a separate personality in the Sabbath command. Since the wife represented one flesh with her husband, all rules pertaining to him referred also to the wife. But the wife in a social sense was so out of the picture of importance that she was not even thought of as an individual like the son, daughter, male and female slaves, strangers and even the cattle. This is the biblical manner of a proper position for women.
Folks, these are examples of biblical marriages in action. All wives are by social necessity subjected to inferior status in all marriages within biblical law. Do you ladies like this arrangement?
Indeed, some of the biblical laws of marriage were hard even on the males when it came to responsibility. The Scriptures demanded that if one’s brother died without having children by his wife, then the eldest brother would have to take his brother’s widow into his family and produce children by her. This law applied even if the man already had a wife and children of his own. In Matthew 22:23–30 the Sadducees used this precise law (called the levirate law) in their illustration of seven brothers dying childless and the wife of the first having to marry all seven brothers, even if the brothers had wives.
In such situations, a brother would simply take his brother’s widow as his second wife in a polygamous relationship and have sex with her until she conceived an heir for his brother (Deuteronomy 25:5–6). If two of his brothers died without offspring, then the man would have two other wives (widows) besides his own wife. The responsibility could even pass down to another woman who was head of the clan if no men were available. This custom must have prevailed even among Christians in New Testament times because Paul said:
“If any man or woman that believes have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church [the Ekklesia] be charged [with responsibility].”
1 Timothy 5:16
Christ’s answer to the Sadducees’ question (Matthew 22:23–30) was that there would be no levirate marriages in the resurrection. Such social customs for the protection of the brother’s progeny will be under different conditions and customs. Indeed, a change in the type of marriage custom that we humans use will be necessary because in the resurrection there will be no deaths, whereas all marriage arrangements and customs we now have end with death.
Besides the leverite law, there were other types of polygamous relationships that were legally acceptable and governed by God’s holy and righteous laws (Deuteronomy 21:15). As a matter of fact, God Himself married two sisters at one time and had children by both of them. One was called Aholah and the other Aholibah (Ezekiel 23:1–49, see also Ezekiel chapter 16). In the New Covenant marriage arrangement, Jeremiah states that God will marry the two nations (Aholah and Aholibah) again (Jeremiah 32:31–34). As a matter of fact, when God got fed up with the adulteries of the two sisters with the heathen, God divorced them for their waywardness to Him. Sure, we are told that God hates divorce (not polygamy, Malachi 2:16), but God got so fed up with the adulteries of His two wives that He hardened His heart against them and gave them a divorce (Jeremiah 3:8–10). This did not end the matter, however.
Interestingly, God soon was remorseful over divorcing the two sisters (who had children by Him) and He said if they would both repent He would take them both back (Jeremiah 3:14). Taking them back, however, was utterly contrary to the laws to Moses. God demanded that any man who divorced his wife could never go back to her if she had married anyone else (Deuteronomy 24:1–4). Jeremiah called this law to the attention of his readers by stating that God loved Israel and Judah so much that God would violate His own laws to get them back into a marriage union with Him (Jeremiah 3:1). This is precisely what God did.
After the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians got through with Aholah and Aholibah, God said He loved them so much that He would again remarry them, although as shown in Deuteronomy 24:1–4, this was illegal for any normal Israelite man to do. Of course, God can do as He pleases in such matters and does not have to ask man if what He does is biblically legal or not. So, God said He was going to take back Israel and Judah (Aholah and Aholibah) in a new polygamous marriage agreement with the sisters (called the New Covenant). Yes, the New Covenant is a polygamous marriage. Yet there is still another woman waiting in the wings for marriage.
There is a prophecy that God will marry another woman representing a number of nations that existed during the time of Noah shortly after the Flood. This other marriage of God (like those with Aholah and Aholibah) was to the Barren Woman of Isaiah 54:1 through 56:8. This Barren Woman is NOT Israel because the two sisters who comprised the nation of Israel bore children to God from their youth and continued to do so during the Babylonian Captivity — Micah 4:10, especially see Jeremiah 29:4–7. This Barren Woman was refused of God from her youth (Isaiah 54:6). While “married” to God she still thought of herself as a forlorn widow (Isaiah 54:4).
Who is this Barren Wife of God who complained of her widowhood because God refused to grant her legitimate children until the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 would come on the scene? She is the very woman that the “Suffering Servant” of Isaiah 53 (Christ Jesus) will use to finally bring His spiritual seed into the world (Isaiah 53:10). 3
This “Barren Woman” had YHVH for her husband since the time that Noah left the Ark. God mentioned that His “covenant” with her reached back to the time that God had:
“sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn to you [O Barren Woman] that I would not be wroth with you, nor rebuke you.” 4
Indeed, even in the time of Noah (long before God “married” Israel at Mount Sinai), God called this “Barren Woman” His wife — though she never bore Him any children, even in her youth. “For your Maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is his name.” He was the same God who later became “the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 54:5). The sign of this covenant marriage between God and the Barren Woman is the rainbow covenant that God gave to the world in Noah’s time (Genesis 9:12–17). Like the rainbow that is real but illusory, this marriage has the Sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2) giving the sign of marriage, but as soon as one rushes toward the rainbow to grasp the sign, the sign vanishes away.
This illusory sign makes the Barren Woman remain like a widow (a marriage without a husband, or without children). The Sun (God) is there, but He is illusory. In Psalm 19, however, David describes God like the Sun coming as a bridegroom to consummate a marriage (Psalm 19:4–6). This is when the Barren Woman will obtain not an illusory “rainbow” sign from the Sun but a real marriage with God (the Sun Himself) coming to her. This will be when Christ returns. This Barren Woman will then produce numerous children through marriage with the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53:10. “And all your children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of your [the Barren Woman’s] children” (Isaiah 54:13). That is when the new Temple [or, the Tabernacle, see Psalm 19:4] for this “Barren Woman” will be called “an house of prayer for all people” and many Gentile peoples will be gathered into it (Isaiah 56:7–8).
Sadly, people have forgotten that this “Barren Woman” even exists. She represents a marriage covenant relationship that God made with all nations in Noah’s day at the time of the rainbow sign. Most know nothing of her. Nor do they have the slightest clue what her role will be in the Millennium. But the “Barren Woman” (God’s wife of Isaiah 54 to 56) will be given a majestic glory. God will have many children by her. It is sad that she has been forgotten by us, but she has not been forgotten by God. He will finally bring her to Himself and raise up many children by her in the Millennium. Read Isaiah 53:10 through 56:8 carefully; few people realize that this “Barren Woman” is NOT Israel or Judah. She is a separate entity. She is another wife of God.
This means that Christ not only will have Aholah and Aholibah for his wives when He establishes the New (Marriage) Covenant, but He will also possess His wife that never had children (the “Barren Woman”). She will also be His wife and produce many children (Isaiah 53:10). Of course, these “marriages” are national ones, but they are also real and not imaginary. They represent Christ ruling as a Husband over the various nations on earth. He will have “marriage” relationships with all of them. Because of these prophetic teachings, it was important to introduce these marriage laws of God that were socially in force in the biblical period. The polygamous marriages help to show how Christ will deal with nations of the world in the Kingdom of God. He will treat them as a Husband does His wives that He loves and cherishes.
Let me tell you some good news, good news even for the Sons of God as well as the Daughters of God. A big change is coming in the resurrection regarding all these laws concerning “marriage” that we are used to at the present. The time is soon coming when none of us will be subjected to these biblical rules of marriage that dominate us in this human life. Everyone is about to be given by God the Father a complete and full emancipation from any of the curses attached to human marriage arrangements that often impose on females (and even males) the indignity of servitude.
In the resurrection at the Second Advent, men and women will each sit on the same throne in Christ at the right hand of the Father without distinction. And though we will still be males and females in body shape and in emotional qualities, women will no longer be subjected to the slightest inferiority to males in the Family of God. Only to the Father and the Elder Brother will extreme respect be shown, but even then, they will NOT show the slightest taint of inferiority to others in the Family of God. There will then be complete and full equality with no inferiority on any one’s part (Ephesians 2:6 and Romans 8:6). This means the curse associated with being a female (and especially in being a wife in marriage to a human male) will disappear. Each “Son” and “Daughter” of God will still be male and female and have their sexual functions restored fully. However, the types of “marriage” in the Bible that we have been subjected to — which place women in an inferior and cursed position relative to human males, or laws that make a man marry his brother’s widow — will disappear. Indeed, no type of marriage that now governs humans will exist in the resurrection. Marriages today are based on social inequalities.
This is why Christ said that there will not be marriage as we know it when we are resurrected from the dead. We will be like the angels in heaven. Though there are male and females angels, and they are like the “Children of God” with sexual desires as we have seen demonstrated in the Bible, angels are not subject to the same marriage rules that humans are commanded to keep. Female angels are not cursed with domination by male angels and are not subject to ownership by male angels, like females are presently subjected. Females in the resurrection will not be required to unite with males.
In the resurrection, males and females who wish to have an intimacy with each other will do so within the framework of the sanctity of God the Father’s watchful eyes and superintendence. In the resurrection, nuptials will be like voluntary “pledges” between males and females to be faithful and express fidelity to one another for periods of time, much like we desire today in that particular aspect of marriage. Remember that Peter said that even husbands and wives today (and if they wish in the resurrection) are “heirs TOGETHER of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7, heirs of both this life and the future life). So, there must be something like “pledges” to keep that “togetherness” as sanctified by God. None of us, of course, know for sure the details of these future intimate relationships. Factors regarding such matters are not revealed to us.
One thing is for certain, those “pledges” to one another would operate within the boundaries of love, concern, kindness, and social equality that all will cherish and approve of, under the supervision and blessing of the Father and Christ Jesus. But God’s “Manifesto of Freedom and Equality” will be placed in action. Such arrangements will NOT BE pledges that contain the words as we have now, “unto death do ye part” because there will be no death. Nor will any pledge have the words: “to obey” (as a woman now is reckoned to obey). Since no one will die after the resurrection from the dead, and males and females will be equal, I imagine the nuptial “pledge” could be something like: “as long as you wish and are blessed in the relationship.” In fact, even today within our “marriage” situations, the same thing is intended because if a marriage fails (alas), there is always divorce that God will sanction. 5
The main reason that in the resurrection there will be no “marriage” as we know it today (even “marriage” sanctioned by the Bible), is because there is no real equality in the marriage union as demanded by present societies. Today, even in biblical marriage, the man rules and has the right to dominate utterly. That will change when God establishes His “Manifesto of Human Rights and Privileges” for His people in the resurrection from the dead. In my view, I say “thank God” there will be no perpetuation of the type of marriages we presently have on earth, where the woman is socially subject to an inferior status that equates her with the same type of ownership reserved for a man’s lands, possessions, and his cattle. The women need a release from these present social customs.
But one might ask why I am spending so much time on showing from the Scriptures that we will all be males and females in the resurrection? The answer is simple and important. It is to emphasize that we must have our normal shapes and forms (like God the Father has shape and form) for us to be able to sit on His right hand to help govern and sustain the entirety of the universe (Ephesians 2:6). Remember that the Bible teaches in no uncertain terms the resurrection of the body, not simply and solely the resurrection of the spirit. The spirit is something that will be placed in the resurrected body that makes it alive and active once again. And in the resurrection, all bodies have sexual features.
And, regarding SEX and NUPTIALS in the resurrection, do not confuse the ability to have SEX with MARRIAGE, as though the two words are synonymous. They are not in any way equal in meaning. Indeed, one can be married and NOT have sexual relations within the marriage. God’s marriage to the two sisters called Israel and Judah in the Old Covenant was a marriage agreement without any physical sexual relations whatever. The same is the case with His marriage with the “Barren Woman” of Isaiah 54:6. On the other hand humans, “Sons of God,” and angels can have SEX without being MARRIED (which the apostles did not recommend). So, SEX and MARRIAGE are two different things and are not identical.
There is, however, one other explanation concerning the sexual activities mentioned in Genesis 6, and this I formerly believed for 45 years until I understood more about the “Fellows” mentioned by Paul and the psalmist. It may be that the “Sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:1–4 are actually human beings who became demon possessed by the fallen angels mentioned by Peter and Jude (1 Peter3:18–21; 2 Peter 2:4–5; and Jude 6–7). If this is the proper interpretation, then those “Sons of God” are NOT those whom Paul and the psalmist called the “Fellows” of Christ in heaven. While there is no doubt that these “Fellows” are certainly some of Christ’s companions and partners with a condition of equality (but not in rank) in heaven, if this explanation is correct, these “Fellows” could not be the ones who engendered the “giants.”
But let us be realistic. The biblical evidence is strong that the “Sons of God” who had sexual intercourse with human females before and also after the Flood were indeed some of Christ’s equals (his “Fellows”) who came from their heavenly abode to perform their actions. And, many angels joined them in their lusts for intercourse with female humans. After all, “giants” were produced from those unions of the “Sons of God” with the Daughters of Men. Such “giants” would NOT be expected if the sexual unions were simply between human men with human females. Whatever the case, the Father was not pleased with these “Sons of God” nor with the offspring they produced (Genesis 6:3; Psalm 82:1), nor with the fallen angels who collaborated in their errors.
This sexual union of the “Sons of God” with human females presents us with an interesting point. If those “Sons of God” were of heavenly origin and other brothers of Christ (and NOT human “Sons of God”), then the Scripture shows them to be so much like humans that they could even engender children by human females (Genesis 6:1–4). Angels, however, are NOT “Sons of God.” This shows that these “Sons of God” are very much like humans in appearance and functions (though their bodies are made up of a substance formed from spirit elements and are not of physical, earthly material). While this is true, the Bible does not give information about all their characteristics.
The Bible reveals that these “Sons of God” in heaven are simply like we humans who now reside on earth. Christ compared their “God characteristics” with our human experiences (including the fact that both can die like Christ did, see Psalm 82:6–7: John 10:34). Yes, Christ and humans are similar. Even in our fleshly frame, we are like Christ.
Indeed, Christ was called a human (an anthropos) even after He was resurrected from the dead (1 Timothy 2:5). Note 1 Corinthians 15:21:
“For since by man [anthropos] came death [that is, from Adam], by man [anthropos, that is Christ Jesus] came also the resurrection from the dead.”
And, when Christ returns from heaven at His Second Advent, He will still be called an anthropos [a man or a human].
“The first man [anthropos, Adam] is of the earth, earthly; the second man [anthropos, Christ] is the Lord from heaven.”
1 Corinthians 15:47
Because spirit-filled humans are also called the “Sons” or the “Children of God” (1 John 3:1–2), this means that we humans are very much like the members of the divine Family that control and sustain the entirety of this universe. Indeed, we are reckoned by the Father as His divine offspring — His children!
Though angels cannot be called “Sons of God,” they can still be designated as Elohim (gods) without being considered as “Sons” or “Children.” Even the chief evil angel, Satan himself, is appropriately called “a god.” In fact Satan is denominated “the god” (with the definite article); and is called “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4 and see also John 12:31). Satan is a powerful “god” who controls other angels who can also be called “gods” as the Scripture attests. The Bible shows that Satan controls a host of such angels whom God allows Satan to dominate at this time (Revelation 12:7). Satan presents himself to humans as an angel of light whom many people mistake as being the true God in heaven (2 Corinthians 11:13–15).
These spirit (angelic) authorities are real beings whom the Bible designates as “demons” (sometimes translated “devils”), with Satan the Devil as the chief demon (1 Corinthians 10:20). In the Greek world, demons were not necessarily believed to be evil or perverse. They were thought to be spiritual powers — good, bad or indifferent — able to teach mankind about spiritual matters of which humans have little knowledge because of limitations imposed on us through insufficiency of the flesh. These “demons” were professed by Gentiles to be “teachers” of mankind to lead them to an intellectual understanding regarding all aspects of the natural and spiritual worlds. In the Bible they are always referred to in an unflattering sense and with disparaging terms, because demons (the “gods” of the heathen), and Satan (the “god” of this world), often gave instructions to humans contrary to sound biblical teaching. Christians are told to resist Satan and his demons (James 4:7).
The terms “God” or “gods” in the Bible, however, were not limited to spiritual beings (whether to the Supreme God, Christ, the “Sons of God,” angels or demons). Moses was reckoned as if he were a “God” to Israel (Exodus 4:16) and the kings of the House of David will be likened to “Gods” (Zechariah 12:8). The human judges who helped Moses at the Gate of the Tabernacle acted as “Gods” (Exodus 21:6; 22:8–9). 6 The nation of Israel in its relationship to other nations was personified and called a “Son of YHVH” (Exodus 4:22–23 and later Hosea 11:1), which in a prophetic sense referred also to Christ as a child (Matthew 2:15).
Christ was even born with the name Emmanuel: “God With Us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). Paul called Christ “God” in quoting Psalm 45:6–7, saying, “But unto the Son he says, your throne, O God” (Hebrews 1:8). John also reckoned Christians (even in the flesh) as being the very children of God (1 John 3:1–2).
While Paul in Hebrews 1:4–14 taught that angels cannot be called “Sons of God [Elohim],” human beings are most certainly called “Sons of God,” even while still in our fleshly bodies — and this includes the female part of the human race (2 Corinthians 6:18). The fact that human beings are equally called “Gods” and “Children of the Most High” was attested in the Old Testament in Psalm 82:6 and confirmed by Christ. There was not any doubt to Christ that we are now “Gods.”
“Is it not written in your law, I said, You are Gods [theou]?”
We find in the Bible that the Hebrew word “Elohim” and the Greek word “theos” (translated “God” in our English versions) can refer to
But more important than this, the word “Elohim” even describes and applies to every human on earth today who has the Spirit of God within him or her.
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
“… you have received the spirit of adoption [sonship], whereby we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The spirit itself bears witness with our own 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 the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. … because the creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption unto the glorious liberty of the CHILDREN OF GOD.”
And though Christ is the Firstborn Son of God and the Bible shows there are other “Sons of God” in heaven, there are billions of human beings who will rightfully be called “Gods” from the biblical point of view when God will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28). Truly, this will eventually include all human beings who ever lived (1 Timothy 2:4, 4:10–11, Ephesians 1:11 and Colossians 1:18–20). The terms “Elohim” (God) or “theos” (God) do not always refer alone to God the Father in heaven or to His firstborn Son, Jesus Christ. Since this is the case, we need to ask ourselves, just what is God or the Godhead?
When we search the Scriptures to identify the personality called “God” (described as a “Who” because He is consistently shown to be a male person), most of us in the western world think of a unique personality who appears like a single human being, one who occupies space and exists within the environment that we call time. This western concept is very far from the truth.
This concept of the singularity of God and His Family has dominated the thinking of western philosophers in Christendom for the past 1670 years (since the Nicean Council of the Catholic Church in 325 C.E.). It has become a part of our intellectual nature to pride ourselves that we are monotheists and not polytheists (whom we consign to the ranks of the utterly pagan). Though God is described as a Father with His divine Family (Ephesians 3:14–15), our monotheistic belief in its simplistic form is responsible for providing the Western world with the basic belief that God is “One.”
This “oneness” of the Godhead is called by the technical term monotheism. So tenaciously have western theologians and philosophers held to this monotheistic belief, that even when divine status is ascribed to Jesus (the firstborn Son of God) or a similar divine rank is given to the Holy Spirit (which is the essence of the Trinity doctrine finalized in the 4th and 5th centuries), theologians still maintain in a mysterious way the singularity and the “oneness” of the Godhead. They imagine that in some way the Spirit and Christ Jesus are a ramification or an appendage of the one God that western belief in monotheism demands.
There is another way of viewing the issue. Many people do not wish to acknowledge God the Father as a personality. They would rather view Him as a formless spiritual force or nondescript power with no apparent restrictions upon Him such as space and time which having a “body” might suggest. Such people normally think it is a mere figure of speech to use the pronoun “Who” or “It” since many think of Him (or nowadays “Her”) as a nondescript spiritual entity. They believe that the figure of speech denoting His personality simply shows an indescribable force that is unique, singular and without peers or duplicates in the totality of the universe. In a word, “God” implies to many people in our western world a singular power, having in many cases no body form or shape whatever.
The Bible, however, is clear and definitive. It shows the Godhead is headed by a personality whom Jesus called the Father. He is actually the Father of a Family of divine persons, as well as humans and other creatures in heaven and earth. Paul wrote,
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom THE WHOLE FAMILY in heaven and earth is named.”
Ephesians 3:14–15, emphasis mine
This “whole Family” of the Father is made up of many individuals in heaven and on earth. The next chapter will explain in greater detail.
2 Chattel means to be treated socially like personal property or “cattle.” ELM
This Barren Woman will even have a Tabernacle (a holy Temple) built for
her when Christ returns in the Millennium, with a structure and rules
different from Israel’s millennial Temple. It will be much larger than
Israel’s Temple and it will hold more people (Isaiah 54:2). Indeed, all
the Gentiles will come within its enclosure (verse 3). It will even have
eunuchs and strangers within its holy areas (Isaiah 56:3, 6), whereas in
the Temple for Israel no Gentiles or ceremonially unclean persons will
be allowed into it in the Millennium (see Ezekiel 44:9–16).
Bullinger in his Companion Bible views Isaiah 54:1–56:8 as speaking of Israel. Verse 54:3 states “Your seed shall inherit the Gentiles.” But if the seed were Gentiles, they would not have to inherit what is theirs already.
Another suggestion made is that the “Barren Woman” represents Abraham’s other children not through Jacob or Esau, specifically Keturah and her children. While not physically barren like Rachel, Keturah was spiritually “barren” as to the inheritance of Abraham’s blessing. Keturah was a full wife of Abraham, but her children merely received “gifts” from Abraham (Genesis 25:1–6). Perhaps Keturah’s children represent the Gentiles. Keturah’s children were “of Abraham” but did not participate in the blessings or covenant of Isaac or Jacob or the people of Israel. If this is the case, a possible structure of revelation would be:
|Moses||Brides of YHWH||Old Covenant||Israel & Judah|
|Abraham||Bride of Christ||New Covenant||All of Abraham’s children, Israelite & Gentile|
|Adam/Noah||Body of Christ||Mystery||All nations ELM|
4 Note that this may not be a time indicator, but a comparison. “As I swore to Noah … so too I have sworn to you …” ELM
5 Search for the article “What About Marriage, Divorce, Living Together and the Bible” on my website at http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d870301.htm for more information on this subject. Though God hates divorce, He still allows it. ELM
6 See the Hebrew where “judges” are linked to Elohim. These Old Testament usages are always comparisons that humans are “like” or “as” Elohim. ELM
7 As for angels, Scripture says there are millions upon millions of them (Deuteronomy 33:2; Jude 14; Revelation 5:11). ELM
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