God who acts as Heavenly Mother

Athena II speaks of the feminine divine in LDS culture.

I am extremely appreciative where the Bible speaks of God comforting and caring as a heavenly mother.

The Bible is not silent as some would say.

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. – Isaiah 66:13

Unfortunately, my high school teacher of long ago in S.E. Idaho taught that the Bible was plagued with misogynist authors.  I never did understand this.

But John N. Oswalt writes something noteworthy on Isaiah 66:13 in regards to God as our mother:

This verse continues the theme that God is the ultimate source of Zion’s blessings by asserting that when Jerusalem comforts (see above on v. 11), it is really God who comforts.  This is one of the few places in the Bible where God is directly compared to a mother, and most commentators agree that the comparison has been used to reinforce the depth of God’s concern and care for his children.  When he gives them courage, strength, hope, and will (comforts them), these are not merely arm’s-length transactions.  They are an expression of the intimate, personal involvement of a loving, personal God with his people.

At the same time it is instructive to observe what is not said.  God is not compared to a nursing mother; Zion is.  God is compared to a mother who embraces her grown son (Heb. ‘ish, a man) in a hour when his need is much deeper than the one he had as an infant for her breasts (cf. Gen. 24:67; Judg. 17:2; I K. 2:19-20).  His need is not physical but spiritual, as he faces grief, failure, and loss.  Undoubtedly, this careful distancing of God from the nursing motif is for the same reason that God is never said to impregnate or to give birth.  The Bible is at great pains to protect the truth of the transcendence of God.  God is other than we.  He is not an extension of us, or a projection of us, as “nursing” and “bearing” would suggest, and as paganism, whether in its ancient or its modern dress, asserts.  All that is personally and spiritually true of mothers and fathers is true of God.  But he is not of the same essence as we, and to begin to blur the distinction is to lose our grip on reality and be plunged into an abyss.

The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66 (NICOT series), pp. 678-679.

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