June 4, 2018 Matthew

Are Husbands Lords?

Being able to study scripture so deeply and efficiently as we now can is one of the fantastic things of our period of time for the Church. The tools which have become freely available in the last fifteen years via the internet have enabled virtually everyone in the Church to study the scripture like never before. Those who were able to study the scripture exegetically, hermeneutically, linguistically, expositorily, etc. were only those with ready access to a library that contained the commentaries, lexicons, and concordances, or were able to afford to own their own collection. Now anyone can search, cross-reference, cross-compare, make advanced analyses, look up multiple meanings, and find relevant texts and studies on anything. Two of the finest tools I have found are biblehub.com and studylight.com which seem to have the most extensive collection of resources available online, for free, at your fingertips.

The word husband carries a lot of definitions these days. In the Bible, there is no Hebrew or Greek word for husband or wife. Instead the husband is defined by two words, man or lord.

Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew

אָדוֺן adon, singular lord, master (1) reference to men: (a) superintendent of household, or of affairs Genesis 45:8,9 (E) = Psalm 105:21; (b) master Psalm 12:5; (c) king Jeremiah 22:18; Jeremiah 34:5; (2) reference to God, הָאָדוֺן יהוהthe Lord Yahweh (see יהוה) Exodus 23:17; Exodus 34:23 (Cov’t codes); אֲרוֺן כָּלהָֿאָרֶץLord of the whole earthJoshua 3:11,13 (J) Psalm 97:5; Zechariah 4:14; Zechariah 6:5; Micah 4:13; צֻבָאוֺת ׳י ׳הָא, earlier Isaiah 1:24; Isaiah 3:1; Isaiah 10:33; Isaiah 19:4 (אֲדֹנָיIsaiah 10:16 in common MT; not Massora, doubtless scribal error); ׳הָאMalachi 3:1; אָדוֺןPsalm 114:7

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

κύριος kurios is a title of honor, expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants salute their master, Matthew 13:27; Matthew 25:20, 22; Luke 13:8; Luke 14:22, etc.; the disciples salute Jesus their teacher and master, Matthew 8:25; Matthew 16:22; Luke 9:54; Luke 10:17, 40; Luke 11:1; Luke 22:33, 38; John 11:12; John 13:6, 9, 13; John 21:15-17, 20f, etc., cf. 20:18; Luke 24:34; his followers salute Jesus as the Messiah, whose authority they acknowledge (by its repetition showing their earnestness (cf. Winer‘s Grammar, § 65, 5 a.)), κύριε, κύριε, Matthew 7:21; and R G in Luke 13:25; employed, too, by a son in addressing his father, Matthew 21:30; by citizens toward magistrates, Matthew 27:63; by anyone who wishes to honor a man of distinction, Matthew 8:2, 6, 8; Matthew 15:27; Mark 7:28; Luke 5:12; Luke 13:25; John 4:11, 15, 19; John 5:7; John 12:21; John 20:15; Acts 9:5; Acts 16:30; Acts 22:8.

Here’s the scriptures that define husband as adon:

So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord [adon] is old, shall I have pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12)

“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands [adon], ‘Bring, that we may drink!’
 (Amos 4:1)

as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord [kurios]. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.  (1 Peter 3:6)

The husband as lord is consistent from Genesis to the Prophets to the letters of the Apostles. The theme and meaning did not change with the advent of the New Covenant. This does not mean it’s some kind of rule that a wife has to call her husband a lord. That’s stupid. Instead it speaks to something he is. We are told that Sarah recognized Abraham for what he was as a “lord”. It’s worth noting that Peter said a believing wife should not fear anything. Calling a husband lord has more to do with recognizing him as a son of God and a son of Light. In this context a woman can do a man a great benefit by encouraging him in this new creational identity. This makes the woman’s role as helpmate empowering as she is spurring him on to be a source of light. I do not believe this applies to the unsaved. The sons of Adam are dirt, and to the dirt they will return. Any saved wife who is married to a son of Adam and not to a son of God actually makes the unsaved man holy, we are told. So for the unsaved husband, the saved wife is the source of life and light.

For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife… (1 Corinthians 7:14)

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