Hebrew nouns have genders. Every noun is pre-determined to be either masculine or feminine. The sound of the noun usually discloses its gender. Feminine nouns normally end with the sound ‘ah’ or with ‘…et.’ So you can tell that ‘To•rah’ and ‘me•no•rah’ (candelabra or lamp) for example, are feminine nouns because they end with ‘ah.’. Likewise, ‘a•tze•ret’ (assembly) or ‘Ki•ne•ret’ (Sea of Galilee) are also feminine nouns because they end with ‘…et.’ So far so good, you’ve learned something important.
Now let’s go further. Rule: all body part that come in pairs (or more than 2) are feminine nouns. Hands, ears, legs, shins, fingers, teeth and more are all feminine nouns. All, except for one pair – breasts! Breasts, the most feminine pair organ in the human body happens to be a masculine noun. Ask my why it is so.
Thanks for asking this very good question. The answer is: because!
Truly, I don’t know the answer and I don’t know anyone who has an educated, intelligent answer for it. This is an internal Hebrew paradox. Perhaps something with a very deep meaning the extends far beyond the boundaries of our limited I.Q.
El Shaddai present the same unexplained challenge!
Shaddai in Hebrew is the word for breasts. Every English Bible translates El Shaddai as The Almighty. The Almighty is a great name for God but it has nothing to do with El Shaddai. It was superimposed on innocent Bible reader and that’s it!
El Shaddai appears 12 times in the Bible. 10 in the Old Testament and twice in the New Testament. 12 is also the number of the children of Israel (Jacob is Israel). Let’s keep for now this number of Israel’s offsprings as a coincidence.
If you check carefully the first three references to El Shaddai in the Bible you’ll be more than surprised. The forth verse below is even more amazing. These are the three cases when God
speaks in first person. Each verse is about fertility and the name Shaddai is stressed. Here is how El Shaddai is connected with fruitfulness:
‘May God Almighty [El Shaddai] bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers…’
‘I am God Almighty [El Shaddai]: be fruitful and increase in number’
‘By the Almighty [El Shaddai] who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts [shadayim] and of the womb [racham]’
Yes, we all know God as the Father. Is it possible that we overlooked and extra dimension of nourishing, motherly manifestation?
One more point to ponder upon: whereas shaddai, breasts, (the letters: Sheen, Dalet, Yood) represent human’s and other mammals nourishment, the rest of God’s creatures are nourished from the field. Guess how we spell field in Hebrew.. Field is ‘sa•de’ and it is spelled with Sheen, Dalet and Hey. Almost identical to the word breast. If you take the last letter of each word (the only difference between the two), Yood and Hey, you get God’s more known Name: ‘Yah.’ And if you still feel this is all just coincidence, you are welcome to resort to the safe translation: ‘The Almighty’.