Leave Who to Cleave to Her?
(Who is supposed to cleave to who, and at what cost?)
©2013 Chris Schaefer
In countless of marriages across the world, whether they be Christian, Roman Catholic, Messianic, Jewish or whatnot, One of the most commonly quoted verses is thus:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” However, is the popular favor and usage of this verse the correct understanding of it? The real answer might be a shock.
Beresheeth/Genesis 2:5 (Biggs Translation)
5 And all thorn bushes of the field are before they
came to be in the earth (va’aretz)
and all herbs of the field are before they sprouted,
because YHWH Elohim has not cause it to rain upon the earth (ha’aretz),
And Ahdahm was not to
be a servant to the Ahdamah (woman).
6 But there went up (ya’alah-- arose under it’s own power)
a mist from the earth (ha·'a·retz),
and watered (v’hashaqah-- caused to drink)
the whole face of the Ahdamah (woman).6
Something happened to the first woman-- something or somebody did something to her AFTER her initial creation.
Beresheeth 2:18 (HTHS)
18 And YHWH Elohim said, It is not good that
ha’Ahdahm had become alone (hayowt);
I will make him a helper, before him.
Wait a minute-- how did Ahdahm BECOME alone? That means that at one time before, he was NOT alone earlier. Apparently Ahdahm’s first wife had apparently left her subordinate position and had deserted him!
Beresheeth/Genesis 2:21-25 (HTHS)
21 And YHWH Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall
upon Ahdahm, and he slept:
and He took Akhat (compoundly unified, plural) of
his side bones, and closed up the flesh there;
22 And the side with the bone, which YHWH
Elohim had taken from man, he made woman,
and brought to the man.
23 And Ahdahm said, “at this reoccurrence (hapa’am),
These standing in front of my face are bones of my bones,
bones, and flesh of my flesh: they shall be called
Ishah (woman), because these were taken out of
24 Therefore shall a man (ish) leave his Ab and his eem
(mother), and shall cleave to his wives **(see notes): and they
shall be Akhad (compounldy unified) flesh.”
***cleave is from vedavak which means to cling, be joined to , keep close.
First, notice that the women who are taken from Ahdahm’s side are a reoccurence. This means that they are replacments for Lilith, Ahdahm’s first failed wife.
Notice that Ahdahm’s new conclusion of cleaving to his wives is in contradiction to verse 5 where Ahdahm was NOT to be servant (subordinate) to Ahdahmah (woman).
So then after the derivation of Chawa and after Chawa and Ahdahm’s eating of the forbidden fruit of the knowledge of good an evil-- the fall of humankind, does YHWH Elohim agree with Ahdahm’s formula for marriage?
Let’s find out what YHWH Elohim says to Chawa:
Beresheeth/Genesis 3:16b (HTHS)
“and your desire
shall be for your husband,
and he shall have authority over you.”
So He makes it clear: First, Chawa should desire her husband (unlike Lilith who desired demons/fallen angels), Second, Ahdahm is to be superordinate over Chawa-- completely opposite of Ahdahm cleaving to Chawa. YHWH wants Chawa to cleave to Ahadahm!
So then, to test this, what pattern do the patriarchs show: The man cleaving to the woman or the woman cleaving to the man?
Beresheeth/Genesis 24:67 (HTHS)
67 Then Ytzhak brought her into his mother
Sarah's tent, and he took Ribkah, and she became
his wife; and he loved her: so Ytzhak was comforted
after his mother's death.
Now Sarah is dead at this point, but Abraham is still alive and near. So Ytzhak does NOT leave his dad to cleave to his wife, but instead brings his bride to his dad and step-moms, and has his wife Ribkah cleave to himself. (The similarities between the Hebrew name Ribkah and the English word “rib” are purely coincidental.)
Surely, someone will bring up the fact that Yaqub spent 14 years at his in-laws house, but remember this was not his original plan. What happed is that Yaqub, after receiving the inheritance of the firstborn, then on his way with a dowry to obtain a wife, gets robbed, so he has to then earn his wives by indentured servitude at his in-laws (Yahsher 29&30). When he finally gets free, where does he go?
And Ytzchak [Yaqub’s father] was still living those days in the land of Caanan...
Yahshar 45:21 And Yaqub sent to Aram, the son of Zoba, the son of Terahch, and he took for his son Benyamin, Mechalia, the daughter of Aram, and she came to the land of Canaan to the house of Yaqub;
So we see that when Yaqub was able to, then he did return to the land of his father having his wives with him. Both Ytzchak and Yaqub are living in the land of Caanan.
But not only that, the verse shows that Benyamin did not leave his father to cleave to Machalia, but instead he stayed near his father so that his wife could come and cleave to him (Benyamin)!
Some might say that Benyamin’s young age might have had something to do with that. Perhaps, but then what about Benyamin’s other brothers?
Yahshar 45:19 And Zebulun went to Midian and took for a wife Merishah the daughter of Molad, the son fo Abida, the son of Midian, and brought her to the land of Caanan.
Yahshar 45:12 And Asher went forth and took Adon, the daughter of Aphlal, the son of Hadad, the son fo Y’shma’el, for a wife, and he brought her to the land of Canaan.
Yahshar 45:13, 16 And Adon the wife of Asher died in those days; she hasd no offspring and it was after the death of Adon, that Asher went to the other side of the river and took foa wife, Hadurah, the daughter of Abimael, the son of Eber, the son of Shem...
...And after the death of the wife of Asher (Adon), he [Asher] went and took Hadurah for a wife, and brought her to the land of Canaan. And Serach, her daughter*, he also brought with them and she was three years old, and the damsel was brough up in Yaqub’s house. *(from previous marriage-- Hadurah was widowed from Malkeil)
Yahshar 45:9 And Gawd, and Haphtali went to Charan and took from there the daughters of Amuram the son of Utz, the son of Hachor for wives.
And these are the names of the daughters of Amuram; the name of the elder was Merimah, and the name of the younger Uzith; and Naphtali took Merimah, and Gawd took Uzith; and brought them to the land of Canaan, to their father’s house.
Yahshar 45:7b And Dan went to the land of Moab and took for a wife, Aphlaleth, the daughter of Chamudan the Moabite, and he brought her to the land of Canaan.
So the pattern is clear that when a man gets a wife, that she is to cleave to him and she is brought to his father’s household/land. After all, a dowry is so that the man can take the woman with him, since her family will no longer have her. Why was this pattern established? Most likely, because of the trouble that Ahdahm fell into by overcompensating when he LEFT the wisdom of his Heavenly Father and Mother in order to cleave to (the leadership of) his wife-- presumably to prevent what happened to his first wife! It is good when a a woman cleaves to her husband, but when a man cleaves to his wife, he is placing her as the leader and then follows her at the expense of his foundational allegiance to the Heavenly Creator-Parents -- and so that is what the patriarchs subsequently tried to avoid when they’d bring their brides to their father’s household/land.
So then, how do we understand Yahusha’s quotation of Ahdahm?
Yahuchanan Musa (Mark) 10:2-9
2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him,
“is it permitted according to Torah for a man to put
away his wife?” Testing him.
3 And he answered and said to them, “what did
Musa command you?”
4 And they said, “Musa permitted us to write a
certificate of Get, and to put her away.”
5 And Yahushua answered and said to them, “for
the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.”
The hardness of whose hearts? Well, it depends. If the man divorces the woman for a shallow, fickle reason, then it is the man’s hardness of heart. If the woman is chronically rebellious, and the man subsequently divorces her, then it is the woman’s hardness of heart.
6 “But from the beginning of the creation Elohim
made them male and female.”
Notice that he places this order of prominence and authority: the man is first, he is the head. But then Yahusha asks a rhetorical question:
7 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and
mother, and cleave to his wife?”
Now some versions will make this to be a statement, but since we have already seen that the pattern that Elohim has established for marriage is that the man is supposed to bring the woman to his father and mother where the wife cleaves to himself, then it MUST be in question form so that Yahusha can consistently be Torah compliant! So in response to the Hillel Pharisee’s modus operandi of gratuitous divorce, Yahusha establishes the original creation order, but then offers up an hypothetical overcompensation in the form of a rhetorical question, illustrating that a man being subordinate to a wife is not a good solution either!
Then after illustrating the error of a man saving his marriage by being subordinate to his wife, Yahusha re-establishes the original patriarchal order inherent in the creation order: male then female.
8 “And the two shall be akhad (compoundly unified) flesh :
so then they are no more two, but one flesh.”
9 “What therefore Elohim has joined together, let not
man (human) put asunder.”
The what that Elohim has joined together is the man leading the woman and the woman following the man so that they are indeed akhad (compounly unified)
3 The Pharisees also came to him, testing him, and
saying to him, “Is it lawful according to Torah for a
man to give a certificate of Get to his wife for any
Here, Mattityahu gives a more detail, but the principles are the same. The key phrase here is “any cause” Even though Yahusha often agreed with the Hillel school Pharisees, he was in disagreement with them here.
4 And he answered and said to them, “Have you not
read, that which He made them at the beginning
made them male and female?”
Notice that Yahusha re-establishes the order of prominence and authority: the man is first, he is the head. But not only that, in the next verse he is doing a pre-emptive rebuttal against the shcool of Shamai Pharisees who were against most divorces. Yahusha is showing Ahdahm’s error of cleaving to his wife, a.k.a. following the lead of his wife, at the expense of following the direction of his Heavenly Parents.
5 “And said, for this cause shall a man leave father and
mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and the
two shall be one flesh?”
Verse 5 is a a rhetorical question! Half of it is true and half of it is false. Yes, the two shold be one flesh, but NO, the man should not leave the wisdom of his Heavenly Parents to follow the lead of his wife.
6 “Therefore they are no more two, but akhad (compoundly unified)
flesh. What therefore Elohim has joined together, let
no man (human) put asunder.”
Again, the “what” is the patriarchal order.
7 They say to him, “why did Musa then command to
give a certificate of Get, and to put her away?”
8 He said to them,” Musa because of the hardness
of your hearts allowed you to put away your wives:
but from the beginning it was not so.”
Neither gratuitous divorce nor male subsurvience (to hold a marriage together) was Elohim’s intended plan. Patriarchaly, where both the man and woman are willing to walk according to patriarchal order was the original and best plan.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but
nourishes and cherishes it, even as Messiah 5 the
30 For we are members of his body.
31 ‘For this cause shall a man leave his Ab and
Eem (mother), and shall be joined to his wife, and
the two shall be one flesh?’
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning
Messiah and the congregation.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular
so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see
that she reverence her husband.
Even here, Paul is asking a rhetorical question:
Who cleaves to who? Is Messiah supposed to cleave to the congregation or the congretation supposed to cleave to the Messiah? Is the Messiah being brought to the metaphorical Bride, or is the Bride being brought to the Messiah?
** HTHS notes:
Plural ending word for one is “akhat” versus singular ending
word “Akhad.” See Gen 1:9 where it is singular Akhad while here
it is plural Akhat with a Tav ending instead of a dalet.
YHWH took Adam’s SIDE, including his flesh, which can mean
more than one rib. The same word is used in building the tent;
Shemoth (Exodus) 26:20. One side of the tent consisted of
twenty pieces of wood, therefore, we can not say with certainty,
that it was a single rib. This is assumed by many; but is simply
Ha’Paam in the ancient Hebrew hieroglyph has the character
of the Heh, the Head for Peh, the Ayin to walk and Mem for
plural waters, it means women standing in front of him. The Heh
is not just a ‘The’ but “THESE” meaning more than one.
The Hebrew word in verse 22 צלעת†for sides indicates plural
planks as in the Ark of the Tent, and עצם†bones, and not, a
single bone. Those who argue, for a single rib, can not address
the Hebrew language showing us, plural bones, which indicates
the creation of more than one woman at the same time.
מעצמ†2 Bones, in other words more than one woman.
The same Hebrew word can also denote a wife or wives, so
Adam could have been calling her his wife and not just a
woman, these were two women created here one which was
placed in the North axis and the other which was placed in the
south axis, The word Aysh means ‘fire’ or
something ‘hot’ so the idea of a woman also envelopes her
passion towards her husband. The shin character is also used in
the name of the sun for shamesh hence the women are also the
esteem of the man. A man has to keep each wives heat/passion
in control through a loving relationship. Polygyny was present in
the Garden and those who hate it don’t see here two women
were created to avoid incest from the beginning. YHWH indeed
does not change Mal 3:6, only the wise understand this. A
brother and a sister who are from the same mother and father
cannot marry, which is a sin but a brother and a sister from
different wives of the same husband are allowed to marry as
was Abraham and his wife from Terach’s second wife see Gen
11:29 and Gen 20:12. Ruler priests always had two wives
The Hebrew word ואת־אמו†ודבק†באשׁתו†V’at amo V’debak
B’Aishto applies to plural wives and not just a singular woman as
the context of the verse in Gen 2:23 before this was plural Etzim
(bones). We can use it in singular context only when the context
is singular but the word Ishah is singular while here Ishto is a
plural word ending indicative of more than one.
Akhad = one in unity