Musings re: Headship and Numbers 30-31

Headship and the Biblical order in both family and nation has been a recurring theme in our fellowship. Over the last few months we have been intensely challenged by the Father to consider HIS model for how men/women/family/clan/tribe/nation are supposed to function and operate. Yesterday was no different. While we had a ‘double portion’ in Mattot and Massei, we never actually got out of the first two chapters.

I thought I’d share a few thoughts that came out of our discussion as it directly relates to the ongoing series on this blog regarding the restoration of kol Israel and the roles of men and women. Consider them food for thought or discussion as we did not fully develop them, nor am I attempting to share every detail of our conversation…

Numbers 30:

  • A husband and father has the authority to interpose himself, as a type of Messiah, for his woman and/or daughter(s). This is supported by Paul in Ephesians 5:22-33.
  • Specifically, Num. 30:5 says, ‘…YHVH will forgive her BECAUSE her father has forbidden’ the oath or vow. Then in v. 15 it says that if the man annuls a vow that he bears the iniquity of that which he annulled. This is very much a priestly/Messianic function and a clear affirmation of the role and weight of headship.
  • No such protection exists for a divorcee or a widow (v.9) affirming yet again that she needs to come under the covering of a man (I Tim. 5:14) except that she be much older.
  • One person in the fellowship was not very happy with Num. 30 being used to support headship reasoning that the passage is narrowly limited to ‘vows and oaths,’ however, the larger context of Scripture dispels the idea that headship in this specific passage is limited to only oaths and vows. (See Gen. 1-3; 1 Cor. 11; Eph. 5; 1 Tim 2, 5; Titus 2; etc….) This passage illustrates well the degree of authority the man has.
  • In a very patriarchal impartation, v.1 tells us clearly that this particular set of instruction was given to the heads of the tribes presumably to be disseminated through the authority structure.
  • That last bullet led to a short discussion on the fact that there are almost no commands, if any, given directly to women. YHVH instituted His authority structure in the Garden and then chooses to operate through it. Over and over, like Adam, the sons of Israel are given commands that they are then responsible to implement within their area of authority. This will be explored more deeply on this blog in the near future.

Numbers 31:

  • In v.7, Moshe specifically commands that all male Midianites be killed. Why? To eliminate the seed.
  • Scripture over and over recounts a central point in the battle between good and evil, YHVH and the adversary. This battle often focuses on the seed. ~ progeny. Think ‘seed’ in Genesis 3:15 and then consider the males thrown in the Nile, child sacrifice, preservation of lineages, undefiled women, no mixed seed, Herod and the baby boys, etc.
  • Moshe is simply pulling a page from the enemy’s playbook and eliminating the Midianite seed.
  • This is recompense to the Midianites for trying to have mixed seed through their harlotry with Israel in Numbers 25:1-9. See Numb. 31:16 for evidence.
  • We discussed further that to insure seed was not mixed even the women who had ‘known a man intimately’ were to be put to death. v. 17
  • Headship is under fire in western culture and even in most of Christendom and parts of Judaism. The purpose is curtailing or eliminating God ordained authority structure. While not currently a physical killing of the seed, it is a controlling and emasculating of men.

Certainly, many of the above points connect to ongoing series on this blog exploring and studying what the Word says regarding men. Women, headship and Biblical roles of authority. And, they again give pause to think on this very important topic woven throughout Scripture.

As a personal testimony, I can tell you that it has not been an easy journey, both in our family and in our fellowship as the Father has been teaching this to us, but the fruit and blessings have begun to manifest in multiple ways! We are seeing the Father show up in our worship and prayer times in much greater power and authority. We are seeing relationships healed as well as peace, true shalom is reigning in a number of homes that previously had chaos or constant wrestling matches for control under the surface.

Take seriously, very seriously, the significance of establishing and walking in proper Biblical order. For kol Israel to be restored, we must begin with the foundation: the man and the family that he is responsible for. Only then can we move to clans and tribes, something the Father will have to give clear instruction on in His timing.

If Jeremy or I can provide counsel, pray with you or simply be a sounding board, we are happy to converse as we are able. Just hit the ‘Contact Us‘ link in the top bar and drop us a note.

Brachot b’shem Yeshua ben David, Sar Shalom!

Author: Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!

3 thoughts on “Musings re: Headship and Numbers 30-31”

  1. One more thought about the Midianite boys being killed. Tom Bradford in interjected that it was a male’s duty to avenge the death of his family, so the boys, when they grew up, would be “obligated” to seek revenge for the killing of their fathers and possibly their mothers..

    Liked by 1 person

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