Honor your father and your mother

Updated: Feb 3

In Exodus 20, amid the listing of the first ten commandments sent by God through Moses, we find “Honor thy father and thy mother.” (Exodus 20:12)  The actual Hebrew states, “Kabed et abika weit immeka,” which literally states, “Honored is the father and the mother,” but also implies, “Multiplies a father and a mother.”


Now, this was not commanded so the greeting card industry could make a buck.  It is not primarily focusing on YOUR father or YOUR mother, although one way to gain meaning is to see a commandment to honor God as your Father, while also honoring the Earth as the mother from which your physical body manifested.  Still, that is a secondary meaning to the primary purpose.  It requires one understand the meaning of “Kabed“: “abounding; achieve honor; boasting; burdensome; distinguished; glorified; held in honor; laid burdens; make it glorious; makes himself rich; respected; and multiplies.” (from Strong’s Hebrew 3513).


For people like Charlie Manson, whose mother was a prostitute and his father was some person who never picked up young Charles on weekends, taking him to ballgames and McDonald’s, allowing him to play in the plastic ball pits and crawl in the hamster tubes.  How can someone “honor” a parent that is absent, abusive, or criminal?  If you read this commandment as a way to judge Charles, for never living up to the high expectations of his parents, your arms will grow tired from whacking all the “motherless” and “fatherless” children who grow up unhappy and fail to stand tall and say, “I love my mummy and da.”


Because we are earthly creatures and not heavenly manifestations, without physical bodies and dangling sex organs, we all have a father and a mother.  For those who like to question, “What came first, the chicken of the egg?”  The answer lies in the order of the words written, where “abika” (abba), or “father” comes before “immeka” (ima), or “mother.”  This story relative to the order of creation of holy priests, as found reflected in Genesis 2, where Father Adam came before Mother Eve.  In Genesis 1, we see that the God the Father of all came first, before He created the Earth Mother (Genesis 1:1).  We also see how the Holy Bible says animal-like human beings (non-priests) followed the same order: “male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)  However, the point of God’s Commandment is that all of us have a father and all of us have a mother, in some manner, regardless of one’s relationship with our parents.


The Commandment is then to BECOME a father or a mother.  YOU honor the LORD by bringing forth babies, by taking on the “burden” of parenthood.  You honor God by taking a spouse, through which children will be born.  Thus, the completion of Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother so you may live long on the land the LORD has given you.”  If you become greedy and selfish and take the land given, but never have babies to teach the same Commandments to, then the land remains long after your dust will be found blowing in the wind, after you die without a spouse who can bear children.


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