22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive.”Exodus 1:22 NASB
The Hebrews were multiplying and the new king in Egypt was getting nervous. He began with enslaving the Hebrews and making their lives miserable through forced labor, but when that did not stymie their obedience to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ the Pharaoh commanded that the boys be thrown into the Nile and the girls be left alive. Presumably, he thought to destroy the seed and future headship in one fell swoop.
While we do not know how many were thrown into the Nile or otherwise killed, but we can understand from the grave dangers facing Moses as a child that the dangers were exceedingly great and many sons of Israel died in this type of Shoah. Did it leave a generation of women wringing their hands and wondering how to fulfill God-given desires and Creation order? Did Israel simply allow their precious daughters to leave the fold and seek men elsewhere because of the shortage? Maybe they all just became old maids and spinstresses? Is this even relevant today?
I’ve heard the question quite a few times in recent years. “Where have all the good (Godly) men gone?”
Even ten years ago, before leaving the institutional church, I was involved in multiple ministries and several congregations where I would hear the question. And, almost always, there were more single women than men. Often, women outnumbered men by a ratio of 2:1.
Once my wife and I began learning and walking Torah, we participated in and visited multiple home fellowships and small congregations or synagogues. We’ve participated in and even spoken at conferences, both in the US and in Israel. We have helped lead a couple ministries that connect with people across the planet. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, single women outnumber men. Within the Hebrew roots/Messianic circles the ratio by my observation is closer to 3:1! Godly single women decidedly outnumber Godly single men. In fact, as I sit here, I can reel off the names of 12-15 single ladies that I know from 32 – 70 without even hesitating. I can only think of about three single men over the age of 28.
A friend in India recently sent a picture of his congregation. It was beautiful as 100 or 150 sat in chairs and on the floor for worship and instruction. Then I noticed that, like a Jewish synagogue, the men and the women were seated separately. Easily, there were three times as many females as males. Easily. In India.
A good friend of mine recently recounted the heartbreaking story of a dear single lady he knew. He said,
My friend, a woman who had longed to get married all her life, was once given a word of comfort from the Church.~a friend
She was told that the reason she was still single, well into her fifties, was because her future husband’s current wife hadn’t died yet.
Cold comfort for a woman who has now passed.
Several weeks ago, my wife and I sat at dinner with a recent acquaintance, a happily married man with wife and children that he adores. He sat across the table from us and with tears in his eyes and a tremble in his voice, he recounted four or five single Godly ladies that have come through their lives in the last several years who could not find a husband. One has since left the faith altogether, two married or got into destructive relationships with unbelieving men and one, after earnestly seeking and praying for a husband for eight years, had given up and was distancing herself from God and the church. He detailed that her trajectory was exactly following the others who had left the faith.
Are we so calloused that we do not hear the cries of our sisters?
I am not alone in recognizing this 3:1 ratio. Clyde Pilkington, Jr. details this very obvious and disparate ratio in his well researched book, The Great Omission. He articulates the Church’s blindness and often willful silence on a matter that is deeply hurtful and damaging, not just to the single ladies, but to society as a whole. He also reveals solutions from Scripture. Solutions the church has willfully and knowingly omitted and suppressed.
While we are not losing men to the Nile, we are losing them to Pharaoh, the adversary. Culture, the world, homosexuality, drugs, prison, as well as just deadbeats and ungodliness has seriously depleted the ranks of available Godly men.
So, when the Israelite boys were being thrown into the Nile, what happened to all the girls in the growing male:female ratio imbalance? Were they wringing their hands and weeping over inability to fulfill God-given desires and mandate? Were they allowed to leave the tribe and hunt for men among the Egyptians? Did they live as spinstresses?
NO!! They were married! To Israelite men! There is no other Biblical solution. We know that Israel continued to grow in number and multiply greatly.
Obviously, this challenges our western cultural paradigm, but Hebrews 11 bestows high praise on many men, ‘approved by God,’ who fulfilled their responsibility to provide covering for more than one woman. Consider Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Gideon and David. Others that Scripture proves to be righteous are Caleb and Joash.
Clearly, this is not isolated to one passage of Scripture or a select class of men. Go read Numbers 31 and pay very close attention to vss. 18, 35, 40 and 46… Do a little simple math.
Are we so calloused that we refuse to hear the cries of our sisters? Are we more concerned with tradition or what others think of us than we are with Biblical truth? Are we more concerned with appearance and public relations than our own hurting family? Are we more wrapped up in selfishness than self sacrifice?
Indeed! Where have all the good men gone?
For more challenging study on this topic, go here.