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She's a Help Meet For Him.

Loyal
In Torah we read the following about Eve’s primary function:

וַיֹּאמֶר יהוה אֱלֹהִים לֹא־טוֹב הֱיוֹת הָאָדָם לְבַדּוֹ אֶעֱשֶׂהּ־לּוֹ עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ׃

The LORD God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.” (Gen. 2:18)

The Hebrew word for “woman” is אִשָּׁה (isha) and for “man” אִישׁ (ish). What is interesting, however, is that these two words, “man” אִישׁ (ish) and “woman” אִשָּׁה (isha), although they sound similar do not share a common Hebrew root. The word אִישׁ (ish) comes from the root אִוֵּשׁ, connoting “strength”, while the word אִשָּׁה (isha) comes from the root אֲנָשׁ (anash), meaning “fragile”. The Hebrew Bible, while acknowledging the woman to be a “weaker vessel” (as in 1 Peter 3:7), assigned to a woman a very important role indeed.

Unfortunately, the English word “helper” does not sufficiently communicate the power of the original Hebrew meaning. This word is, in fact, a military term. The use of עֵזֶר (ezer) “helper” connotes an active intervention on behalf of someone. It describes someone who is committed to your well-being to the extent that s/he is willing to die or kill for you.

Most English translations (including the one cited above) describe Adam’s life-partner, Eve, as something akin to a “fitting helper”. However, the Hebrew phrase עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (ezer kenegdo), if translated more literally, carries an intriguing meaning. Eve is described in oppositional terms, as “a helper who is against him”. It is also interesting that Proverbs 31:10 in referring to wisdom personified as a woman, calls her a אֵשֶׁת-חַיִל (eshet chayil) “a woman-soldier”!

Bible stories such as Zipporah opposing Moses, Tamar opposing Judah, Rahab opposing the elders of the city, and the Samaritan woman opposing male-sanctioned traditions and politics come to mind as examples. These great women of faith intervened, opposing the will of the men involved, and at great personal risk merited an unprecedented place in Biblical history.

What is your opinion. It does not contradict Word, though it does contradict churchianity doctrine.
 
Member
In Torah we read the following about Eve’s primary function:

וַיֹּאמֶר יהוה אֱלֹהִים לֹא־טוֹב הֱיוֹת הָאָדָם לְבַדּוֹ אֶעֱשֶׂהּ־לּוֹ עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ׃

The LORD God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.” (Gen. 2:18)

The Hebrew word for “woman” is אִשָּׁה (isha) and for “man” אִישׁ (ish). What is interesting, however, is that these two words, “man” אִישׁ (ish) and “woman” אִשָּׁה (isha), although they sound similar do not share a common Hebrew root. The word אִישׁ (ish) comes from the root אִוֵּשׁ, connoting “strength”, while the word אִשָּׁה (isha) comes from the root אֲנָשׁ (anash), meaning “fragile”. The Hebrew Bible, while acknowledging the woman to be a “weaker vessel” (as in 1 Peter 3:7), assigned to a woman a very important role indeed.

Unfortunately, the English word “helper” does not sufficiently communicate the power of the original Hebrew meaning. This word is, in fact, a military term. The use of עֵזֶר (ezer) “helper” connotes an active intervention on behalf of someone. It describes someone who is committed to your well-being to the extent that s/he is willing to die or kill for you.

Most English translations (including the one cited above) describe Adam’s life-partner, Eve, as something akin to a “fitting helper”. However, the Hebrew phrase עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (ezer kenegdo), if translated more literally, carries an intriguing meaning. Eve is described in oppositional terms, as “a helper who is against him”. It is also interesting that Proverbs 31:10 in referring to wisdom personified as a woman, calls her a אֵשֶׁת-חַיִל (eshet chayil) “a woman-soldier”!

Bible stories such as Zipporah opposing Moses, Tamar opposing Judah, Rahab opposing the elders of the city, and the Samaritan woman opposing male-sanctioned traditions and politics come to mind as examples. These great women of faith intervened, opposing the will of the men involved, and at great personal risk merited an unprecedented place in Biblical history.

What is your opinion. It does not contradict Word, though it does contradict churchianity doctrine.
Hebrew is a fascinating language
 
Loyal
I am wondering what Bible you have that adds kenegdo ? None of my translations have that.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
the following does not give permission for a woman to be in your face but then again it may be only one 'interpretation' and may beg some questions?
==========================
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (KJV, Genesis 2:18)

While the KJV translates the Hebrew phrase עזר כנגדו (ezer kenegedo) as "help meet for him," other translations provide additional translations including; "a helper fit for him" (RSV), "a helper as his partner" (NRS), "a helper comparable to him" (NKJ) and "an helper as his counterpart" (YLT). What exactly does this Hebrew phrase mean?

The first word in the phrase, עזר (ezer, Strong's #5828), is simple and means "helper." The second word, כנגדו (kenegedo) is a little more complex. The base word is the word נגד (neged, Strong's #5048), which will be discussed shortly, with the prefix כ (k) meaning "like," and the suffix ו (o) meaning "of him" of "his."

The word נגד (neged) comes from the verbal root נגד (N.G.D, Strong's #5046) meaning "to be face to face." This verb is always used in the causative form where it would literally be translated as "to make to be face to face," and is always used to mean "to tell" in the sense of causing another to come face to face in order to tell them something.

The noun form, נגד (neged), is often used for something that is face to face with something else. An example can be found in Genesis 21:16 where Hagar went and sat down "opposite" her son. Even though she and her son are a distance away, they are sitting "face to face."

Putting all of this together, the phrase עזר כנגדו (ezer kenegedo) literally means "a helper like his opposite." In my opinion this means that Eve was to be his "other half," like him, but with the opposite attributes.

In Genesis 1:27 we read that Elohiym filled the Adam (a Hebrew word meaning human) with his shadow, meaning he placed a representation of himself in the man. We also read in this verse that Elohiym filled them, male and female, meaning that he placed within each his attributes, his male attributes to the man and his female attributes to the woman. We do not normally think of Elohiym as having male and female attributes, but there are many passages in the Bible reflecting this idea.


======================
and then there is the following article:
from : עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (Ezer Kenegdo) in Genesis 2:18

I am a firm believer in the distinction that Krister Stendahl made in his famous article in the Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible between “what the text meant” and “what the text means”. According to Stendahl, biblical theology must first deal with what the text meant in its original historical and literary context before moving on to what the text might mean for us today. Stendahl’s formulation of this principle is problematic on a number of levels, but I firmly believe that this distinction is both valid and necessary for biblical theology.


The failure to maintain this distinction and to allow contemporary theological concerns to dominate one’s reading of the text lies at the heart of many of the most egregious misinterpretations of the Bible, both on a scholarly level and on a popular level. This is especially the case when it comes to such hot-button issues as homosexual practice and gender equality. In this post I would like to focus on a very common (mis)interpretation of the Hebrew phrase עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (ezer kenegdo) in Genesis 2:18. The purpose of this post is not to evaluate this text from a theological, moral, or sociological perspective or to advocate for a particular position on gender roles in the family, church, or society. My purpose is simply to show how this phrase has commonly been misunderstood, both on a popular and a scholarly level.


The Argument

The argument goes like this. The word עֵזֶר (ezer) in Genesis 2:18, which is usually translated “helper”, has wrongly been understood to connote the idea of subordination or inferiority. However, when you look at the word עֵזֶר (ezer) in the Hebrew Bible it is never used of a subordinate – only of a superior or an equal. In fact, apart from a few occurrences, the word is always used of God in his role as saviour, rescuer, or protecor (e.g. Ex. 18:14; Deut. 33:7). So rather than communicating the idea of subordination or inferiority, עֵזֶר (ezer) actually connotes the idea of saving or protecting. The conclusion, then, is that in Genesis 2:18, Eve functions somehow as Adam’s saviour, rescuer, or protector – with any implications that this might suggest about the male-female relationship and gender roles.


Response

It is important to note that those who argue for this position are right to note that the word עֵזֶר (ezer) does not connote the idea of subordination – at least not by itself. In fact, עֵזֶר (ezer) by itself does not indicate anything about the person’s superiority, inferiority, or equality. When the word is being used of a person – it can also be used to simply mean “help”, “assistance”, or “aid” in a more abstract sense (e.g. Ps. 121:1-2) – it simply refers to “a person who makes it easier for another person to do something by rendering their aid”.


That being said, there are a number of problems with this position. First, the word helper does not by itself mean “saviour”, “rescuer”, “protector”, etc. Saving, rescuing, and protecting sometimes result from one person helping another person in certain contexts, but these ideas are not communicated by the word itself but by the contexts in which the word is found. The ideas of saving, rescuing, or protecting cannot be transferred to other contexts where עֵזֶר (ezer) is used if these ideas are not present in the context. A good example is Ezekiel 12:14, where עֵזֶר (ezer) refers to the Babylonian king’s assistants. These assistants no doubt make it easier for the king to accomplish his tasks, but they by no means can be considered his saviour, rescuer, or protector – at least not in this context. It would, therefore, be illegitimate to say that עֵזֶר (ezer) in Genesis 2:18 defines Eve as Adam’s saviour, rescuer, or protector simply because the word עֵזֶר (ezer) is used.


Second, it is illegitimate to say that Eve is not subordinate to Adam in Genesis 2:18 simply because the word עֵזֶר (ezer) is only used of superiors or equals. Besides the fact that עֵזֶר (ezer) does refer to subordinates in Ezekiel 12:14, those who hold this position fail to take into account the use of the verb עָזַר (azar) and the noun עֶזְרָה (ezrah), both of which come from the same root as עֵזֶר (ezer) and have identical semantic ranges. In both instances there are plenty of examples where the helper is a subordinate. A good example is Judges 5:23, where the angelic messenger is chastising the warriors of Meroz for not coming to help YHWH in battle. As I noted earlier, עֵזֶר (ezer) says nothing by itself about a person’s superiority, inferiority, or equality – this can only be determined by context.


What, then, can be said about the relationship between the helper and the person being helped? In every instance – whether for עֵזֶר (ezer), עָזַר (azar), or עֶזְרָה (ezrah) – the person being helped is being presented as the primary person whose interests are at stake in the successful completion of the task. Let me give a few examples. (1) In Joshua 1:14, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half of Manasseh are told to help their brothers conquer the land on the east side of the Jordan River. The primary persons whose interests at stake are the other tribes because it is their inheritance that still needs to be conquered. The Reubenites, Gadites, and half of Manasseh provide aid toward accomplishing that task. (2) In Deuteronomy 33:29, God is called Israel’s helper because Israel is being presented as the primary person whose interests are at stake in defeating their enemies. (3) In Judges 5:23, Meroz is cursed because they did not come to YHWH’s help. In this case, YHWH is being viewed as the primary person whose interests are at stake in the battle.


It follows, then, that the person whose primary interests are at stake in Genesis 2:18,20 is Adam. He is the primary person who is tasked with working and taking care of the Garden (2:15). Eve is being presented as the person who renders assistance to Adam toward that end.


Conclusion

Whenever issues like this are being considered it is important to keep Stendahl’s distinction in mind. One cannot help but wonder whether or not the interpretation being critiqued here is motivated by contemporary theological concerns. More charitably, one wonders whether or not contemporary theological concerns have kept those who hold this view from looking at the evidence fairly. What this text “means” today – in other words, how we evaluate this text and/or apply it today – is a much more complicated issue. But before we can evaluate the text or find some sort of contemporary significance, we have to do the hard work to figure out what this text “meant” in its original historical and literary context.

Mark Steven Francois

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might be that one should ask a woman?


Bless you ....><>
 

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