In Matthew 23:37 we read, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
To understand this scripture we must understand the following:
Gen. 17:1 – “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty (Shaddai) God (El); walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
When we break down the word El Shaddai (Strong's H7706) - “El” is a generic name for God, “Shad” is the Hebrew word for breast (Strong's H7699) and “dai” (Strong's H1767) means in Hebrew sufficient or enough. So, He is the All Sufficient One. He is a nourisher, a provider, a sustainer of life. This shows reference to Yahweh's feminine image; for Yahweh is neither male nor female but has attributes as both.
We read in Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:21 that “man” (in Hebrew the word is Adam) was made in the image of God. Then God said, “Let Us make man (Adam) in Our image, according to Our likeness, let them …So God created man (Adam) in His own image; in the image of God He created Him, male and female He created them.” Notice the use of the plural here, “them”. Both the male and the female were called Adam by Yahweh.
Many Rabbi's have taught that the original human that God created and called Adam had both male and female qualities, and that what God removed from Adam, when he caused his deep sleep and removed his side, was his female qualities; hence it takes now male and female to make a whole. That's why it was stated that they “two” became “one” flesh. Hence, when God first created them they were Ahdam male and Ahdam Female. The male Adam was called “ish” and the female woman was called “isha”, because she came from him. Adam (male) then called the woman Eve (Havah), after the fall, because she was the mother of all living, but God called them both Ahdam.
God having both male and female characteristics can be seen throughout scriptures. One such analogy is that of El Shaddai, the All Sufficient. The one who sustains, nourishes, and protects. These are female qualities of sustenance.
Another feminine image of God can be seen in his analogy of a mother hen, or bird, who protects her young by hovering over them and covering them with her wings. See Psalms 91:4.
In the Passover story, Exodus Chapters 11 and 12, we read that the firstborn of Israel was spared and the firstborn of Egypt was slain. We like to mention the part about the death angel passing over the Israelites and sparing them. Actually, in Exodus 12: 11-13, the Bible says that it was Yahweh's Passover and that He was the one “passing over” them. In verse 13 it says, “I will pass over you”. The implication here is that Yahweh spread His wings over them for shelter and protection. Those under His wings were in a safe place and those not under His wings were slain.
We could go a step further and ask, why were the firstborn Israelites passed over but the firstborn Egyptians were not? Because the Israelites were obedient. They followed the instructions of Yahweh.
In Psalm 91:1 it states, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. Here is another example of abiding under His shadow, or His passing over, putting one under the shadow of His wings.
How do we get in that secret place of being under His wings? The same way that they did during the Passover; by being obedient. In Psalm 91:4 it reflects more on the idea of being under the feathers of His wings. It also states that “His truth shall be your shield and buckler”.
It is interesting that Pontius Pilate asked Yeshua, what is truth? In John 17:17 Yeshua tells us what truth is. This is a quote from Psalm 119:142. Look at this verse in Psalms and see what the original Hebrew word for “law” is. It is Torah. It actually says, “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law (Torah) is the truth”. How does one define the word “truth”? Does something that is “truth” need changing? Does God change? Absolutely not, that is confirmed in His Word! Neither does a fact from God change. If His Torah was truth then, it is still truth now. If God calls something truth then it does not change! Look it up!
Finally, going back to our original scripture in Matthew 23:37, we should be able to understand that Yeshua (Yahweh in the flesh) wanted to “pass over” His people and protect, nourish and sustain them with His wings, but He could not because of their disobedience to His Word; which is truth. Yahweh never had but one Word, and that Word was Torah. Yeshua said He followed His Father and His commandents, His Word. The Apostle Paul said he followed the words of Yeshua. So, the apostles followed Yeshua's teachings, and Yeshua was following Yahweh's. There has never been but one Word – Torah, and they all followed and practiced Torah – the TRUTH.
Please read the following scriptures as they help to show the importance of the protection of the Almighty's wings. Psalm 17:8, Psalm 36:7, Psalm 57:1, Psalm 61:4, and even Ruth 2:12.