What Is the Gender of the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit?

For about 12 years I’ve been holding back sharing this information. Now is the time to let it out. By doing so, I’m running the risk of turning people away from reading this blog and maybe even losing some friends over it. But I don’t care. I don’t care about the praises of men, I don’t take their money, and I’m not trying to get a following and I have nothing to sell. I care about only two things: the Truth and pleasing Elohim. If you’re on board with this, then read on. If not, now is your time to bail out…blessings!

I also encourage anyone who reads this article to also read the comments section that is attached to this article. In it, readers ask questions or make comments which I then address in attempts to add (hopefully) more clarity with respect to my understanding of the nature of the Godhead.

— Natan


The Simplicity of Truth

Why do humans like to make things complicated? To the contrary, Yeshua said that unless one becomes like a little child that one would in now way enter the kingdom of heaven, for of such is the kingdom of Elohim (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16–17). There are many valuables insights that we can away from this terse passage, but one of them is this: The basic message of the Bible is so simple that even a child can understand it. 

So what does this have to with the gender of the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit? Simply this. A basic understanding of who Elohim is should not be complicated. Let the Bible speak for itself. On the other hand, be wary of complicated philosophical theologies of men who take simple things and make them complicated. Such will likely not fall under the Yeshua rubric of a child being able to understand it.

It seems that theologians often invent complicated explanations as a way to justify their ivory-tower, super-spiritual and self-righteous existence. Those who want to become initiated into their academic inner circle country clubs and to receive their pieces of paper which confer upon the initiated titles that engender superciliousness must pay exorbitant fees and be willing to bow before and to kiss the feet (and other parts of the anatomy in the nether regions) the false gods of intellectual  pride. 

Now I’m not averse to academic training. I have paid my dues and run the gauntlet of five institutions of higher learned at home and abroad and have earned my papered credentials, and can view it all objectively. The fact is that there were only several formerly trained academicians in Scripture, and none of this got the recipients any closer to Elohim. In fact, Paul, the most learned of all, referred to his academic training as dung (Phil 3:8). Facts are facts and are stubborn things that are hard to ignore.

So now back to the subject at hand. What does all of this have to do with the gender of the Elohim’s Spirit? Much in every way. Read the Bible and let the facts speak for themselves. If the theologies of men line up with the Word of Elohim, then keep them. It not, toss them into the garbage can labeled “vanity of vanities and the traditions of men by which the Word of Elohim is made of none effect” (Mark 7:9, 13). Elohim, the Truth and one person still make a majority regardless of how many theologians, academicians, popes, “rabbis”, pastors, Bible teachers, lay people, churches or denominations say otherwise. 

And now on to our subject of the gender of the Spirit of Elohim. If you are a truth seeker at all costs and willing to let Scripture speak for itself, then read on. If not, then change the channel now.

The Dishonesty of the Bible Translators 

There are several examples in the New Testament where the Bible translators have read their own biases into the Scriptures and mistranslated the gender of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:16, Romans 8:16, 26–27 and 1 Corinthians 12:11 are examples of this. Here the translators refer to the Spirit in the masculine gender when the word Spirit, which is the antecedent, is the Greek word, which pneuma, is a noun in the neuter gender. To be honest, the translators should have said it instead of he. There is no grammatical justification for this mistranslation. This is biased translating to substantiate the idea that the gender of the Spirit of Elohim is male when the Scriptures do not say this.

So Is the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit Masculine or Feminine?

In the Christian doctrine of the trinity, the Father, the Son and the Set-Apart Spirit are said to be all masculine in gender. Is this a biblical way to view the “Godhead” or is this simply a tradition of man that has been passed on down for so long that now no one dares question it? What is the biblical truth on this matter? Are the Father, Son and Spirit all masculine Beings?

One thing we know from the Bible is that the Father is a father and is masculine. Likewise, the Son is the also masculine. What about the Set-Apart Spirit? Masculine or feminine? Who are we going to listen? Men’s traditions or the Bible? Hold that thought; we will come back to this later.

In Genesis 1:27 we find an interesting verse.

So Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim created he him; male and female created he them. (See also Gen 5:1–2.)

From this passage, we find that Elohim (plural) has both male and female components. We know that the Father and the Son aren’t female, so what’s left? Obviously by process of elimination and through logical deduction all that we have left is the Holy or the Set-Apart Spirit of Elohim. The femininity of the Spirit is substantiated by the fact that the Hebrew word for spirit (ruach) is in the feminine gender. This is interesting!

Does the Bible anywhere ascribe a masculine gender to the Spirit of Elohim? Well, sort of, but not in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). This is to be found in the Greek New Testament in only four places.

In Yeshua’s final instructions to his disciples before he went to the cross, he promised to send the Spirit of Elohim whom he referred to in four places as “the Comforter” or “Helper” (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7).  In Greek, the word of Comforter is paracletos, which in Koine Greek is in the masculine gender. On the other hand, the Greek word for spirit in reference to the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit is pneuma, which is in the neuter gender. The word pneuma in reference to the Set-Apart Spirit is to be found in the Greek New Testament more than 200 times. 

So, based on the evidence found in the Scriptures, we have verses that can be used to prove that the Spirit of Elohim is a he, she and an it. The Tanakh (or Old Testament) indicates that the Elohim has a female component and Spirit as in the Spirit of Elohim is in the female gender.  On the other hand, the Greek New Testament, which often proceeds from or comes out of the revelation of the Hebrew Tanakh and, in some cases, is a translation of passages therefrom, refers to the Spirit by both the masculine and neuter genders. When translating the Greek New Testament, the Christian translators were faced with a dilemma. They could take the neuter word pneuma and follow the Hebrew gender of the word ruach and refer to the Spirit by the pronouns she and her, but this wouldn’t be a proper translation of the neuter gender Greek word pneuma. The pronouns relating to this word would be it or its. The other option for the translators was to land on the Greek word paracletos, which is in the masculine gender, and refer to the Spirit as he or him. It seems that this is what they did, even though the preponderance of biblical evidence shows us that the Spirit of Elohim is neither in masculine nor the neuter gender, which leaves us with only one option: the feminine gender.

In fact, Christian Bible translators have been so intent on forcing the concept of a masculine Spirit, thus upholding the cherished all male trinity doctrine, that in at least three places (discussed below), they use the male pronoun he when referring to the neuter word pneuma. In these instances, to be honest to they should they should have used the pronoun it. This is dishonest translating, which upholds a non-biblical tradition of men!

 

30 thoughts on “What Is the Gender of the Holy or Set-Apart Spirit?

  1. Natan. I just found this in my inbox and am excited to read it. Several years ago in some deeper study in the Hebrew and Greek, I believe Abba gave me revelation. I can’t wait to read through this and see if it is confirmed. Will no doubt write again.
    Bless you for your courage. I am enjoying your blog and challenged buy it.

  2. Natan, I have to ask why you believe YHVH’s Spirit is an individual person. We know YHVH is Spirit. Breath, air, wind is an analogy for His Spirit. We also know there is no marrying or giving in marriage in the Kingdom, so there is no need for procreation. When Adam was created, procreation was essential. Adam was made in YHVH image and likeness. It however became obvious that Adam alone would not fulfill his destiny. A suitable partner, which came from Adam was created in Adams image and likeness. A female which had the attributes needed for completing and complementing Adam. This need for a female does not prove that the Set Apart Spirit is female. This is a large subject to comment on and would require an entire article to do properly, so I’ll stop here.

    • I’ve probably already gone down this path too far and now the can of worms is open and the debates are likely to begin. This is something that I don’t want to happen. I know your questions are honest and innocent, but others will jump in and it will lead nowhere good. I have thought through all of the points you bring up for decades, but I can’t share my insights at this point except in private, verbal conversations with those I know and trust. None of these things change our relationship with Yeshua, the Father or the Spirit in any way.

      With regard to the Godhead, humans cannot understand it. It’s beyond our ability to comprehend or quantify those things that are way beyond us. All we have in the Bible is shadows, metaphors, symbols, anthropomorphism and limited language to describe physical not spiritual realities. For this reason, I will not go any further down this path.

      With regard to the Godhead, many realities can be true at the same time, which blows our tiny light sockets.

      I see that I’ve already juggled some people’s thinking and maybe pushed the envelope too far, so we’ll leave the discussion there for now. Blessings to you all.

    • Hello again Steve. I want to address something else that you bring up. Obviously, Elohim is not a gender—he or she. Obviously, the Ruach is not a gender—he or she—in the human sense. At one level, I find it a bit silly to even ascribe genders to deity, yet the Bible chooses to do so in order to relate to human understanding. At the same time, the components of the Godhead aren’t “its” either, since the Bible reveals that the Father, Son and Ruach have personality, self awareness and beingness. So how does the uninvestigatable, the infinite, the unsearchable, etc. reveal himself, herself, itself to finite humans, so that we can grasp a little of who he/she/it is? Not easily, to be sure. It’s like a human trying to communicate with ants on an anthill. How? This is why I believe that so much of the Bible was written in poetic or a literary (drash) style using poetic language, since concrete (peshat) language cannot convey the true essence of who Elohim is. That’s why I refuse to use my Greco-Roman mindset to oversimplify or overquantify that which is impossible to to do. The Greek mindset wants to quantify everything, label it and put it in a box. The Hebrew mindset leaves things outside the box and the doors, windows wide open and the roof totally off. This is where I leave Elohim as well. That’s why I said in the previous comment that many seemingly contradictory truths about the Godhead can all be true at the same time with regard to Elohim. He’s infinite and outside of time and space. We can’t even begin to comprehend that. He/They can be whatever he/she/it/they want to be to accomplish his/her/its/their purposes. There have been times when Elohim is a singular spirit entity, and multiply manifested entity and when, most likely Elohim will be back to a more singualar entity, if I read my Bible correctly. Understanding the Godhead the best we can as finite humans is a matter of what perspective one is viewing Elohim from——the human and physical perspective or the heavenly one. How does one explain the world or the universe to an ant who has never strayed far from the anthill? We’re the ants on the proverbial anthill compared to Elohim. The bottom line is this: Elohim made the unknowable a little bit known through his divinely revealed Written Word and through manifesting himself through his Son, the Living Word incarnate. Then he puts a small piece of himself in us through the Ruach to help us come to him. That’s really all we need to know at this time. When we have our glorified resurrected bodies, maybe the other 90 percent of our brains that we’re currently not using will be empowered to understand better the true nature of the Godhead. In the mean time, I as a puny human simply must content myself to stare up into the starry heavens with jaw dropped open and gaze in wonderment barely grasping anything. It’s in that place of wonderment that I choose to remain all the while loving, worshipping and obeying the Almighty Creator the best I can. Does any of this make sense to anyone out there? Hopefully so. (I’ve purposely chosen to make this comment all on continuous paragraph for a reason: This has all been one long connected flow or stream of consciousness, if you will.) Love and blessings to everyone and please don’t throw too many stones at me if I’ve upset your neat little theological apple cart a little. I’m just a little child with shovel and pail in hand standing at the edge of the vast sea of who Elohim is. If one cannot even comprehend the vastness of the ocean, how can we comprehend the universe, much less the Elohim who is beyond it all and made it all? Look up the meaning of the Latin phrase “Mysterium tremendums et fascinans” that describes my view of Elohim. Shalom

      • First, I appreciate your willingness to discuss because that’s how we learn. Iron sharpens iron. As to knowledge and growing in our understanding, two verses come to mind. Ephesians 4:13, and 2 Peter 3:18. It seems to me one of our purposes in life is a quest to come to know YHVH better, and while we may not come to full knowledge in this life, we are told we can learn much. So keep learning!

  3. I totally agree. I learned this years ago. With Avi Ben Mordechai. There is a pattern in heaven that is copied on earth. The family example. Husband wife and son.

    • I agree. I didn’t mention the aspect of the family pattern in my article, but Paul seems to allude to this in Eph 5:32 (vv. 22–32 for context).

      You mention Avi Ben Mordechai. When Sandi and I were in Israel in 2008, for most of our time there we stayed at Avi’s place in Jerusalem. For a couple of days he personally guided us around the Old City and environs. On the second day, we had just come off the Temple Mount and were on the SE side past the stairs leading up to Hulda’s Gate and had just come to the base of the Pinnacle at the SE corner of the Temple Mount just at the stairs leading down to the Kidron Valley on the other side of which is Garden of Gethsemene at the base of the Mount of Olives. It was at the top of those stairs that Avi shared with Sandi and me about his thoughts on the gender of the Ruach HaKodesh. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to think, but it made sense to me, but I decided to let the whole idea sit on the shelf until I could study it out further and ruminate on it.

      Well, here we are 13 years later, and now I’ve gone public with this idea. Avi shared some additional details I have not put in this article, plus I’ve added some of my own insights that I’ve learned since then.

      Where the church came up with the idea that the Trinity is a male dominated spiritual entity I’ll never know. Some sexism going on there? One wonders. They certainly didn’t get it from Scripture, to be sure, unless I’m missing something huge and am totally blind, but I don’t think so. After more than 50 years of open-minded daily Bible study, you’d think that by now one would have discovered the key to the masculine monopoly of the Godhead, but I haven’t. Onward and upward Truth seekers!

      • Amen!! Avi is currently in Australia. He has a been sharing on Hebrew nation radio. I really enjoy his insights.

  4. I wish I could remember where I learned this concept=the word Elohim is the masculine form of the noun and the name Yehovah is in the feminine form-which makes sense to me since we were created in His image, yet male and female. makes sense.

  5. Shalom
    Thank you for the insight
    We grow so much from you sharing the Torah teaching
    Be encouraged stay strong and never stop sharing
    Shalom

  6. So Natan , I would still like your views on the Spirit being a separate individual in the so called trinity. What scriptures do you believe supper this view? Thanks.

    • Go read the Scriptures that reveal that the Holy Spirit to be a personality that talks, leads, is grieved and so on. This shows the Ruach to be a separate spiritual entity and more than just an extension of the personality of the Father. It is, however, the latter too.

      I don’t believe that this (i.e. the “separateness” of the Ruach) has always been the case. If we study Scripture, it appears that Elohim was a more singular entity before the physical creation, then became a compound unity (the Hebrew word for this is echad) at the time of creation, and that in the olam haba will go back to being a more singular entity as before. This we see at the end of the book of Revelation where there is only one throne and “God” and the Lamb are synonymous terms.

      This is the best that my limited pea brain mind can understand at this time. Please don’t shoot me if you have a little different understanding. Your understanding is probably right as well. As I said in a previous comment to you, in the spirit realm, several (even ostensibly opposing) things can be the true at the same time. Because they don’t make sense to the mind finite humans doesn’t mean they can’t be true outside of the time-space dimension in eternity. Elohim can be everywhere at once and be anything he needs to be all at the same time.

  7. Mysterium tremendums et fascinans indeed. Thank you once again for an inspiring article. I agree 100%. Blessings.

  8. Thank you Natan! I don’t feel qualified to say much, but your post bears witness with my child-like spirit. I have pondered this myself and would like to add that as The Ruach is called The Comforter and Helper, so women were created to be help meets (Gen. 2:18). Women are typically the comforters and nurturers of the family, so that is why my pea-brain thought the Ruach might represent the feminine image of the Trinity. Gen. 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let THEM (male and female) have dominion…” That has been my private thinking. Thanks for opening this subject up. I live in what’s left of the Bible-belt of America, and it’s hard to bring this subject up without getting the giant iron doors shut in ones face, without any scriptural explanation. Blessings!

    • Thank you for your excellent comments and observations.

      Truth in America and elsewhere is becoming rarer by the second, and it is open season (a hunting term) on all those who stand for Truth—even the smallest shred of it.

      Meanwhile, the Christian church and its leaders are largely asleep at the wheel as the car is about to crash. For them it’s bu$ine$$ as usual. When they do speak out, they’re usually taking a stand against the wrong fundamental sin issues the are bringing the downfall of our nation/s. These leaders need to take a long look in the mirror!

      Judgment begins first at the house of Elohim (1 Pet 4:17) meaning that this is where repentance must first begin, and NOT with the godless society as a whole who doesn’t even know their spiritual right hand from their left because the church hasn’t taught them to know the difference the holy/righteous and the profane/evil, and light versus darkness.

      When things become so spiritually dark, even in the church world, the light must go forth and the righteous must take a no-holds barred approach in promoting the light of Truth, even when it goes against the grain. This is what Yeshua did when facing the hypocritical and arrogant religious leaders of his day. What have we got to lose, and what is our other option?

      It is trite to say but true that it is darkest before dawn.

      In Acts chapter three we read,

      Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19–21)

      Let the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth be restored. Come Yeshua come!

      • In my previous comment to Donna, I talked about judgment first coming to the house of Elohim—the churches—because the church leaders refuse to lead their sheeple in repentance for their own sins, and instead keep pointing to the sins of the nation as the cause of judgment against the nation. Well, I see judgment definitely coming on the Christian right now.

        A) For many years, YHVH has allowed the lid to the taken of the garbage can of many Christian leaders’ lives to reveal their sexual sins. The leftist mainstream news media continue to gleefully splash their headlines with these salacious reports.

        B) For many years, YHVH has allowed the lid to the taken of the garbage can of many Christian leaders’ private lives to reveal their covetous greed when it comes to money and material possessions including their lavish lifestyles and how they have innovatively and habitually conned people out of vast sums of money in the name of “God”.

        C) Now Covid has been unleashed upon the world, and the political forces of Antichrist are hellbent on keeping churches churches from meeting (along with family gatherings, holiday gatherings, weddings and funerals), while at the same time allowing riots and demonstrations, sex shops, drug shops, homo shops, porn shops and the like to operate unabated.

        The closing of churches has had a profound negative impact on the finances of most churches such that many are in danger of closing because people have reduced or stopped their financial giving. Financial issues wouldn’t be a problem to the pastors, churches, denominations and ministries if the leaders of these corporate companies masquerading as religious organizations had regular secular jobs or trades like the rest of us. If they were tent-makers like Paul, they wouldn’t need to always have their hand out asking for donations, or they wouldn’t always be trying to peddle the gospel (n the form of videos, books, speaking honorariums, conferences, etc., etc.) to make a buck. Can’t you see how YHVH is using Covid to dry up the funds of these greedy, sheep-fleecing hierlings (John 10:11–13), who are (to use the exact biblical language for them) dumb and greedy dogs (Isa 56:10–11, also see what else Elohim has to say about these folks in Ezek 34)?

        This I can say about myself, as Paul said of himself,

        For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of Elohim; but as of sincerity, but as from Elohim, we speak in the sight of Elohim in Messiah. (1 Cor 12:17)

      • Amen! The word I received for this new year is to repair, restore, and revive. The basis for this is Isaiah 58, Ezra and Nehemiah. Thank you again Natan. I have learned so much from your long, faithful study of the word Elohim!

  9. From the beginning, the Jews have known YHVH to be both male and female, so I have known these things since I was a child. Excellent article.
    Please keep up the good works.
    Ahavah, John

  10. Apparently, the Ruach is a feminine word not only in Hebrew but also in Aramaic and Syriac. Various Christian churches as well as a particular Messianic Rabbi understand the Ruach to be femimine. At this point in time, it doesn’t seem to be important to me. I am more struggling with the question whether the Ruach is the Power of Elohim, as Armstrong taught, or whether the Ruach is a person like Yeshua and the Father.
    What confuses me the most is that Scripture teaches that YHVH is Spirit but then in revelation 4:5 John talks about the ‘sevenfold Spirit of God’ which are before the throne of Elohim who is Spirit. So if Elohim is Spirit and He also is Holy, He is a Holy Spirit; but now we also have ‘the Holy Spirit’. I am definitely confused about the Godhead.
    I am sure that when Yeshua returns, the veil will be lifted and our brain capacity will be increased so that we can better understand the nature of our Creator.
    Shalom, Sonja

    • No need to be confused. Everything that you’re saying in reference to how the Scriptures describe the Ruach can all be true at the same time, as I’ve tried to explain to Steve a couple of times in some earlier comments.The fact that trying to understand Elohim/the Godhead blows the low wattage light sockets of our pea brains shouldn’t be alarming. What would be alarming is if we could understand Elohim. If that were the case, then my mind would be, to one degree or another, on a par with that of Elohim, and it is not, and so my inability to understand him keeps him at a much higher level than me which is where he belongs. And it keeps me in awe and searching to understand the tremendous greatness of who he is. I like it better that way than trying to put him in a box a label it “trinity” or “binary” or “oneness” or anything else. Don’t you?

  11. Brother Natan, I agree with you completely. I appreciate the comments from all of the others. I have held to the view you have for a number of years. Just some thoughts, or rather, some Scriptures to ponder…. Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom has built her house;
    she has hewn her seven pillars. / I see this as suggestive of the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit (Isaiah 11:2 Revelation 1:4), typified by the seven-branched Menorah of the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:37). And then, Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice?… 22“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 23Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
    24When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth,
    26before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.
    27When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28when he made firm the skies above, when he establishedd the fountains of the deep, 29when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
    31rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
    Shabbat Shalom and Natan…. THANK YOU for faithfully serving YAH and for ministering to all of us! Blessings on you and Sandi.

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