Shalom Sisters! When studying the scripture it is important to understand from a Hebrew perspective. Today I would like to give the term, keepers at home, in Titus chapter 2 extra attention.
” The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of Elohim be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3 – 5
I have often heard the term, keepers at home, explained as a woman that keeps a clean house. If you take the Greek meaning at face value, that is what the Strong’s definition of keepers at home means.
οἰκουρός oikourós, oy-koo-ros’; root – from G3624 and οὖρος oûros (a guard; be “ware”); a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a “good housekeeper”):—keeper at home.
If you notice in the above definition of the term, keepers at home, there is a root word which means to guard and beware.
Let’s see if we can establish what it means to keep the home from an Hebraic prospective.
Keep – שָׁמַר shâmar, shaw-mar’; a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.:—be ware, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep(-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch(-man). The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon says, ” A close watching of something for guarding or protecting. Shepherds constructed corrals of briers at night to protect the flock from predators.”
Earlier I mentioned that the root word of the Greek word for “keeper”, not only means to guard but also “beware”. Beware also translates to the Hebrew word shamar.
Google defines beware as be cautious and alert to dangers.
Synonyms: be on your guard, watch out, look out, be wary, be careful, be cautious, be on the look out, be on the alert, keep your eyes open, keep a sharp look out
To be a keeper at home means much more than to keep a clean house. It has to do with watching closely in order to protect it from predators. This reminded me of the saying, “she let her guard down”. We are instructed to always have a guard up when it comes to our homes; because we are to protect it.
Let’s look at the Hebrew word for home.
Home בַּיִת bayith, bah’-yith – a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.): comes from the root word בָּנָה bânâh, baw-naw’; a primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively):—(begin to) build(-er), obtain children, make, repair, set (up) The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon says, ” A structure built for occupation. To build or construct a building, home or family.
” Every wise woman buildeth(banah) her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
” Through wisdom is an house builded (banah); and by understanding it is established:” Proverbs 24:3
wise – חׇכְמָה chokmâh, khok-maw’ – skillful, witty, craftiness, shrewdness
Google’s definition of shrewdness is the quality of having or showing good powers of judgement.
Synonyms: astuteness, sharp-wittedness, sharpness, acuteness, intelligence, cleverness, smartness, alertness, canniness, common sense, discernment, insight, understanding, perception, cunning, artful, craftiness, savvy
We see that not only is it the responsibility of the women to stand guard and be the watchman for her house she is also suppose to build it. The scriptures say in Proverbs “a wise women builds her house” and it says that “through wisdom is a house built”. This may give some insight into why Paul instructs the aged women to teach the young women. With age SHOULD come more wisdom.
Let’s look at what the aged women are instructed to teach the young women.
- to be sober (restore one to his senses; to moderate, control, curb, discipline; to hold one to his duty)
- to love their husbands
- to love their children
- To be discreet (safe (sound) in mind, self-controlled, moderate)
- chaste (clean, innocent, modest)
- keepers at home
- good (functional)
- obedient to their own husbands
If we take a few moments to reflect on these elements, we see that the concentration of the entire passage is in instructing a young woman how to guard, protect, and build her house.
First we are told to be sober which means to have good sense and to hold to our obligation of guarding and building. Could a physically drunk women guard her house? If the answer is no then neither can a woman drunk in the mind build a family. She has to be able to think with skillfulness and wit.
In order to build our house we must also love our husband and children. We are to be affectionately attached to them. We have to learn to enjoy our roles as wife and mother. If you earnestly find joy in your responsibility to them you will be able to effectively pour into them and they will receive our wisdom.
We must learn to be discreet. This is closely related to being sober. We shouldn’t be seeking attention when it comes to our desires. Being moderate and having self-control is important.
The young women need to learn to be chaste which means to be clean and innocent in word and in deed.
The Hebrew word for good is tov which means to be functional. Many of us are accustom to conducting ourselves and our homes in dysfunction. We say, “this just isn’t working.” The older women are instructed to train the young to be tov. The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon say, ” The pictograph tet is a picture of a basket, used to contain or surround something. The bet is a picture of a tent or house. Combined these mean “surround the house”. It means the house is surrounded by grace, beauty, love, health and prosperity, something that is functional.
The older women are also instructed to teach the young women to be obedient to their own Husbands. The word obedient is be subject to; to be put under. Let me explain. This is not a bad thing. Yah is an Elohim of order. He placed man as the head of the earthly family. The head of the family should have a vision or a mission for the family from the Most High. Submission means to come under the mission. We as wives have to submit to the vision and the mission our husband has unless it goes against Yah who is the husband of Israel. If your husband’s vision is not going against Yah, submit. You can’t have two visions. ” And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Mark 3:25
Remember: ” Every wise woman buildeth(banah) her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1 If you choose to create a second vision for your family you are plucking your house down.
Earlier I mentioned that before studying the word from a Hebrew prospective, I thought “keepers at home” was about keeping a clean house. Well, it is. You are responsible for cleaning your house physically and spiritually.
We also learned that are not only to be keepers at home spiritually but we are also to be builders of the home. The word says, ” Through wisdom is an house builded (banah); and by understanding (intelligence) it is established (stable):” Proverbs 24:3
” The fear of Yahuah is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. ” Psalms 111:10
First we must build our house by wisdom which comes from Yah. We have to lay a firm foundation in our homes.
- We build our husbands up with kind words, cover him in prayer, be supportive, make his home a refuge, and attend to his needs.
- We build our children by discipline, affection, teaching them to love the Most High and his word, showing respect to their Father, and covering them in prayer.
- Before we are able to build our husbands and children through Yah’s wisdom. We must allow Yah to build us. We have to sober, chaste, discreet, and good. This is work only Yah can do.
Once the house is built. We have to keep it. If a house is built and it is not lived in or “taking care of” it will decay. When this happens oftentimes you have to tear it down and start over. A house has to be attended to often. You have to nurture your house (your husband, your children, and yourself) with the first works.
We must guard and protect what we have built. ” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8
The adversary is seeking a place in your house. That’s why we must be on guard. When we see the adversary coming we must declare, ” “No weapon that is formed against this house shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against this house in judgment shalt be condemned. This is the heritage of the servants of Yahuah, and their righteousness is of me, saith Yahuah.” Isaiah 54:17
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through Elohim to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Elohim… 2 Corinthians 10:4 – 5
Always be ready to fight in order to be a keeper at home and never let it be said of you, “she let her guard down”.
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One Comment Add yours
I really enjoyed this reading. As a wife of almost 5 years and the Mother to a 13 month old, I recognized a lot of areas that I wasn’t fulfilling for my household and some that needed to be tweaked. Thank you for breaking down the role & responsibility that a Hebrew women is to walk in to be acceptable in the eyesight of Yah in lament terms. Very Fulfilling.