Who Was She? Deborah, Channah, Edna and Sarah

When I finished Meriyvah and Malchuth, I thought the next woman to be encouraged by, was a woman named Sarah…however I cannot tell her story without including the mother who wept for her son, the mother who wept with her daughter and the wisdom flowing from a grandmother.

Let me first start by introducing them separately and then we will see how their lives are woven together and what deliverance, joy, peace and restorations happen in their lives.

Their story is found in The Cepher of Toviyahu also called Tobit.  This is one of the 23 books of the original scriptures before 1611 (the 23 books were purposely left out so that the scriptures would be lighter).  The book can be found in the Apocrypha, in The Cepher, and online.

Deborah was the grandmother to Toviyahu also called Tobit (I will refer to him as Tobit, because a great deal of this story involves his son also named Tovyiahu) she raised Tobit and encouraged him to care for others.

Channah was a wife to Tobit and mother of one son, Toviyahu.  We don’t know how old she was when they married nor her age when she gave birth to Toviyahu or what family she was from.  She had some type of skill which she was able to use to help her family when her husband could not work.  During this time she not only received her wages but she found favor in those she worked for. Like Rivqah her being was knit to her son and she wept for him.

Edna was wife to Re’u’el and mother of one daughter, Sarah.  We don’t know how old she was when they married nor her age when she gave birth to Sarah, nor what family she was from nor whether she worked or not.   She seemed like she had some type of administrative skill because she helped prepare the written covenant for Sarah’s marriages.  She had a close relationship with her daughter offering encouraging words and weeping at the hope she had for her daughter.

Sarah was the only child of Re’u’el and Edna.  We don’t know how old she was when she first was married, how many years there were between the marriages, nor how old she was at the time we learn about her.  I am sure that she like many girls and women, desired to have a husband and family of her own, however, each time she believed and hoped that she had found one, the husband died.  Not once, not twice but seven times and before the marriage bed was even shared!  She must have thought something was wrong with her.  To add to her frustration, her father’s maids tormented her so bad until she despaired of her life.  Yet YAHUAH had a plan…He had her true husband in His plan.

Next we will see how their stories begin.

 

 

 

Who Was She? Deborah, Channah, Edna and Sarah – Desperate Prayers

These womens stories are found in the The Cepher of Toviyahu also called Tobit, which is found in The Cepher and Apocrypha.

Toviyahu who was also called Tobit was one of the great-grandsons of Naphtaliy (because his son is also named “Toviyahu” I will refer to him as “Tobit” so that it is easier to know who I am writing about).  Tobit was left an orphan and raised by his fathers mother, Deborah.  While he was young, all the tribes revolted and started sacrificing to a pagan elohiym. Tobit chose not to participate and chose to continue following YAHUAH by going to the Feasts in Yerushaliym – often alone.  He would bring a tenth of his increase to the sons Aharon, one tenth he spent, and another part he gave to others as his grandmother had told him to.

“And the third I gave unto them to whom it was meet, as Deborah my father’s mother had commanded me, because I was left an orphan.”  Tobit 1:8

The wisdom given from his grandmother encouraged him to be a giver to those who had needs, not to be selfish, greedy or building a stock pile for himself.

When he was old enough, he married Channah and they had a son whom they named Toviyahu.  Sometime later, they and others were carried away and taken into captivity to Niyneveh by Enemessar king of the Assyrians.  Many of the people, did eat the bread of the Assyrians, however Tobit – kept himself from eating their bread because he remembered Elohiym (the food of the Assyrians was probably unclean).  Because of his choosing to obey YAHUAH, YAHUAH gave Tobit favor with Enemessar and Tobit worked for him.

At one point he left 10 talents of silver with Gavay’el in the city of Madai.  Tobit  still continued to provide for the poor and began to bury the dead.   Eventually though, Enemessar died and his son Cancheriyv reigned in his place.  King Cancheriyv was very wrathful and killed many people.  When this happened Tobit would go and bury the bodies.  Eventually some people told King Cancheriyv what Tobit was doing and he fled because Cancheriyv said that he should be killed.  All of his things were taken from him, except his wife and son.   Fifty five days later, two of King Cancheriyv’s own sons killed him and one of them, Ecar-Chaddon became the ruler.  He appointed Achiacharus to be his cupbearear, keeper of the signet, steward and overseer of the accounts.  Tobit was the uncle of Achiacharus, and Achiacharus asked Ecar-Chaddon if Tobit could return to his job.  King Ecar-Chaddon agreed and Tobit went home again and was restored back to his family.  This happened during the Feast of Shavu’ot and his wife, Channah  prepared a wonderful dinner for him to eat.  However when he saw all the meat she had prepared, he told his son to go and bring the poor that worship YAHUAH into the feast.  He said that he would wait to eat until Toviyahu returned.

Toviyahu returned but there is a problem.  He found one of their people strangled and the body was thrown to the side.  Tobit then went and took the persons body and laid it in an upper room.  Then he cleaned himself and ate his meal in sadness.  At sunset, he made a grave and buried the body.  His neighbors who were watching him, mocked him for what he was doing.

That night he returned home and slept by a wall in the courtyard. While his face was uncovered, sparrows-defecated in his eyes.  A white film covered his eyes and he sought for a physician to help him. But there was nothing they could do. Tobit 2:1-10

Since he could not see, that meant he could not work, so Channah, stepped up and did women’s work (Tobit 2:11-14).  The scriptures do not tell us what she made, only that she did women’s work.  Her family needed her help and Channah did what she needed to do.  She had a willing heart.

Channah was paid her wages for her work and was given a kid (baby goat).  When she came home with it, Tobit asked her where she got it from and reminded her that it was against Torah to eat anything that was stolen.

But she replied, “It was given for a gift more than the wages.”

Tobit did not believe her though and was really upset with her, he was trying to make her take it back to the owners until, she said:

“Where are your alms and your righteous deeds?  Behold, you and all your works are known.” Tobit 2:14

I believe this statement can either be taken two ways:

  1. Either Tobit’s good deeds were known and the owners were doing a good deed in return to him or;
  2. Either Channah was saying that she received extra because of her work.

Tobit began to weep and prayed in his sorrow to YAHUAH (Tobit 3:1-6).  He cried out to YAHUAH in great distress, even asking YAHUAH to take his life:

“O YAHUAH, You are just, and all Your works and all your ways are mercy and truth, and You judge truly and justly forever.  Remember me, and look on me, punish me not for my sins and ignorance, and the sins of my fathers, who have sinned before You:  For they obeyed not Your commandments: wherefore You have delivered us for a spoil, and unto captivity, and unto death, and for a proverb of a reproach to all the nations among whom we are dispersed.  And now Your judgements are many and true: deal with me according to my sins and my fathers’: because we have not kept Your commandments, neither have we walked in truth before you.  Now therefore deal with me as seems best unto You, and command my ruach to be taken from me, that I may be dissolved, and become earth: for it is profitable for me to die rather than to live, because I have heard false reproaches and have much sorrow: command therefore that I may now be delivered out of this distress, and go into the everlasting place: turn not Your face away from me.”

That same day that Tobit prayed, in the city of Madai, Sarah, the daughter of Re’u’el and Edna, was criticized by her father’s maids.  They criticized her because she had been married to seven men, however, the night the marriage bed was to be shared, the men somehow died.

What no one understood was there was an evil ruach, Asmodeus that was killing the men (Tobit 3:8).

The maids made her feel so bad that she thought of taking her own life, however she said:

Before she reacted in her sorrow and torment she thought about the consequences of her actions.  She thought of her father and she did not want to do anything that would cause her father grief and pain.  Then she turned toward the window and prayed to YAHUAH:

Sarah’s prayer is so awesome!  She first acknowledges YAHUAH, blesses Him, then she states her case:

  • I’ve kept myself from sinning,
  • I am the only child,
  • I want to marry but there is no man for me to marry for me to wait for and the men I did have are dead and
  • finally if it is according to Your will, let me die also (not her will, though she felt like dying).

YAHUAH heard both of their prayers…

All along, YAHUAH had a plan for Sarah.  She could not be just any man’s wife.  There was nothing that she was doing wrong.  She belonged to Toviyahu from the beginning.

Sometimes things in life just don’t seem to be happening for us – no matter how we try. We might try different avenues to get or do something “If I sign up for this”, “If I do that”, “If I connect with that person”, “If I look like this” and so forth.  But the result is still the same.  Nothing makes the difference, if anything  the pain, hurt and rejection just continues.

Just as YAHUAH heard their prayers, I know that HE hears ours too.  We like them,  often can’t see His answers in our lives because YAHUAH is working in the background unseen.  We have to walk by faith and not by sight.

Next we see what happens between Toviyahu (the son) and how YAHUAH uses Rapha’el to bring healing and peace in all of their lives.

 

 

 

 

Who Was She? Meriyvah and Malchuth

Their names where  Meriyvah and Malchuth.  They were the wives of Yishma’el and had very different personalities or responses.  At times I have been one but I strive continually to be like the other.  Let’s learn about them now.

After Yishma’el and Hagar are sent away by Avraham (Yashar 21:11-17), they lived in the wilderness for awhile, then they went to Mitsrayim.  Meriyvah, also known as Riv’ah was taken as a wife for Yishma’el, by his mother Hagar while they dwelt in Mitsrayim (Yashar 21:17 and Yashar 25:15) .  She bore him four sons, Nevayoth, Qedar, Adbe’el, Mivsam  and two daughters (Yashar 21:18 and Yashar 25:14-16-only says one daughter Basmath).   Sometime later Yishma’el, his mother, his woman and his children leave Mitsrayim and go back to living in the wilderness, living in tents, traveling here and there.

Avraham desiring to see Yishma’el goes to pay him a visit (Yashar 21:22).  He is old and advanced in years, so Sarah reminded him to stay on his animal (Yashar 21:26).  When he arrives at Yishma’els place he witnesses somethings that disturb him greatly.

It is about noon, when he arrives at Yishma’els place and inquires where Yishma’el is.  Someone direct him to Yishma’els tent where he finds, Meriyvah sitting in the tent with the children (Yashar 21:23).  Avraham asks her where Yishma’el is and she says that he had gone into the field to hunt-she is still in the tent.

Then he asks her for some water, but she answered saying that they had no bread nor water.  She wasn’t prepared at tall.  She was still sitting in the tent.  To add more fire, she was beating the children, cursing them, cursing Yishma’el and reproaching (which means chiding, reproving, criticizing, scolding, blaming) him.  Who knows if that was just her demeanor-you know just how she is, or whether she and Yishma’el had had an argument that morning.  Maybe she wanted to go away with him too?  Why should she be stuck at home with the kids, again?  Wasn’t she important too? Why did his mother have to go with him?   Maybe it was one of those days?  Maybe she was tired?  Maybe she was…..

While we can all fill in the blanks from our own lives with our own attitudes or incidents that at the root of our hearts.  The words of her lips, the actions of her hands and the selfishness she displayed spoke loud and clear.  All of this in front of a stranger.

She could have still been upset but that aside when this stranger came up.  She could have sent someone to get water.  She could have gotten up and introduced herself and found out who this man was.  She could have welcomed this old man with hospitality and offered him to rest awhile (even though he would not have gotten off his animal).  She still could have showed hospitality.  We all know that kids can misbehave, but we must be wise in our actions and word choices with them. We definitely should not be cursing them or beating them.  Furthermore, she should not be speaking ill of her husband at all-rather praying for him.  Praying for his safety.  Praying that YAHUAH would provide meat for their home…

I am not merely pointing the finger at Merivyah but at myself.  In times past, I have spoken ill of my husband, in frustration.  I have taken my frustration out on our kids by speaking ugly words.  I have been selfish not to notice the needs of others. I have.   Yes I have. But many years ago, YAHUAH, told me that I needed to be careful what I said and thought about my husband, especially when I am upset.  One thing I don’t do when I am upset, is call other people.  Why?  Because all it takes it one simple question from them and the flood gates of my wrath are released and I pour forth my feelings.  In times past, at those times it felt great; but later, I regretted the words that I spoke.  Many times, we have had disagreements or one of us is upset over something that simply is taken the wrong way.  Many times it is the enemy causing trouble but we don’t see him in the problem, we see our spouse and they become our enemy.  And we become tools of the enemy through our actions and words.

So, Avraham is very angry and displeased and finally calls the woman to come out of the tent.  Then he told her to tell Yishma’el:

“A very old man from the land of the Pelishtiym came hither to seek you, and thus was his appearance and figure; I did not ask him who he was, and seeing you were not here he spoke unto me and said, “When Yishma’el your man returns tell him thus did the man say, When you come home put away this nail of the tent which you have placed here, and place another in its stead.”  Yashar 21:31

Then he left and went home.

She didn’t ask who he was, even after she had come out of the tent.  She probably didn’t look at him in the face, for if she did I am sure she would have noticed the resemblance of this man and Yishma’el and could have concluded that this was his father.  She certainly wasn’t convicted by his words about her to tell her husband.

When Yishma’el returned, he had to go into the tent and look for her.  She repeated what  Avraham had said to tell Yishma’el and he knew it was Avraham who had come to him and that his woman did not honour him.

Think about that for a long while, I did.

Yishma’el understood the words that his father had spoken and he listened to Avraham and put the woman away/sent her back to her father’s house  (Yashar 21: 36 and Yashar 25:17).

Then Yisham’el went and took a woman, Malchuth from the land of Kena’an  and he bought her to his tent. She bore to him Nishma, Dumah, Massa, Chadad, Teyma, Yetur, Naphiysh and Kedma.

Three years, later Avraham returns.  Let’s see what happens this time.

Again, he arrives at Yishma’els tent at noon.  He asks about Yishma’el and…

Malchuth comes out of the tent and says “He is not here my master, for he has gone to hunt in the fields and to feed the camels.” Yashar 21:40

She stopped what she was doing, came out to greet him, showed respect to Avraham by calling him master and answered his question.  Her demeanor and heart was that of a good servant.  It was no problem for her to stop and talk with the man.

Then she said to Avraham:

“Turn in my master into the tent, and eat a morsel of bread, for your soul must be wearied on account of the journey.”

She shows hospitality and invites him in, offers something to eat and acknowledges his age (she could see he was an old man and more than likely needed rest) and that he had been traveling.  Avraham declines the invitation to come into the tent but asks for some water.

Malchuth runs!  She hastened and ran into the tent and brought out water and bread (she was prepared) to Avraham which she placed before him urging him to eat and drink! He ate and drank and his heart was comforted and he blessed his son Yishma’el, and blessed YAHUAH and then tells Malchuth to give Yishma’el this message:

“A very old man from the land of the Pelishtiym came hither and asked after you, and you were not here; and I brought him out bread and water and he ate and drank and his heart was comforted.  And he spoke these words to me: When Yishma’el your man comes home say unto him, The nail of then which you have is very good, do not put it way from the tent.” Yashar 21:43-44

Then Avraham left and went home.  I can only imagine how relieved he was as a parent that his sons’ spouse was respectful, graceful, hospitable, joyful, pleasant, prepared, and truly a blessing.

When Yishma’el returns home, guess what happens?

She comes out of the tent meeting him with joy and a cheerful heart.

He didn’t have to go searching for her.  She wasn’t too busy to notice his return home.  She wasn’t on the phone with her mother or best friend when he got back.  She was looking for him.  Children can truly test a marriage, whether one child or eight children but even still, she was full of joy and had a cheerful heart.  Lately I am finding many blogs with women who are encouraging wives to be very similar to Malchuth and this is so needed in this  time of technology and idols are taking over the most important relationships we will have.

During our first year of marriage, a married woman gave me a piece of wisdom I have never forgotten.  She said, “When your husband comes home, don’t be on the phone.”  It is important to acknowledge our husband’s return home.  It is something I make an active effort to do.  Even when we are at odds, I still stop what I am doing, greet him, hug him and smile.  I am not perfect, sometimes if we aren’t on good terms I don’t smile.  But YAHUAH is working on my heart here lately to greet him always with a cheerful countenance.

What was Yishma’el‘s response?

“And Yishma’el knew that it was his father, and that his woman had honored him and YAHUAH blessed Yishma’el.”  Yashar 21:48

I would also believe that she had a nice meal waiting for Yisham’el when he returned too!!!

I want to have a more hospitable home.  I want to have blessings spurring forth from my mouth for my husband, for our children and others.  I want to be prepared with water and bread.  I want to do better at greeting my husband when he returns home.  I want others to feel honoured when they are around me; not that I am some bitter woman too busy to notice others, not thankful for the blessings in my life that YAHUAH has given me.  I want what others witness about me, when I am out with our children, to bring honour and esteem to my husband and YAHUAH.

When I first read this chapter, I was convicted of the tone of voice that I use when I am out shopping with our kids.  Some days it is a challenge to take all of our kids to the store.  While it would be easier to go with a few or even I alone, I know that this teaches them how to shop and behave.  Many times I have people come up to me and say they have never seen such well-behaved children.  But what about me?  Is my tone of voice too commanding?  Am I being brash with my tones and not listening to the kids?

What about you?  How do you see yourself now?  Are you being a Meriyvah or Malchuth?

The next woman we will learn about is one who was married man times but an evil ruach slew her husbands’ on the wedding night.  We learn how YAHUAH removed the evil ruach from her life and what happened to the eighth husband.

Devotion: What Is His Name?

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This study was created for our own children to show them why we use the Names of Father YAHUAH and His Son YAHUSHA instead of the paganized names that nearly all religions/faiths use.  One learning tool found useful is a book by Todd D. Bennett called Names from the Walk in the Light series.  This helped us and we have used it to create a study for children who can read and learn on their own (3rd grade and up) however it can certainly be used by any age group as well as used for those just beginning to learn the name of the Father.

There are 39 reading assignments, note taking pages, question and answer sections, word searches and chances for the child to show what they have learned.  The reading can be done at any pace that is digestible for the child.  I plan to assign 2-3 reading sections per week and have a time of discussion so that our children can ask questions as they need to.

Materials needed:

  • Walk in the Light: Names Todd D. Bennett
  • Three ring binder or small notebook
  • Printed reading plan and assignment sheets
  • Tools for creativity – Powerpoint, Word, Poster board, pencils, colored pencils, etc.

Download the Study Here

whatishisname