What Is A Help Meet?

Genesis 2:18 says it was not good for man to be alone, so God made Adam a “help meet.”

Typically people think God made Adam a helper to help Adam do Adam’s stuff. In other words, Adam was down here doing his man stuff and God was like, “You know, Adam could sure get his man stuff done quicker if he had some help.” So then God made a woman to cook and clean for him so Adam could do his stuff.

Help meet seems to imply inferiority for many people. Eve is sort of Adam’s servant to do the busy work while he’s out doing big, important man things. This is, in fact, the way I’ve seen and heard many people describe Christian marriage. I’ve even seen marriages arranged this way and well, the track record isn’t great. The man is out doing man stuff while the wife is at home feeding kids and doing that stuff.

What’s interesting about this take is that many of these same people celebrate the Proverbs 31 woman, who, if you take the passage literally, rarely ever seems to be at home!

The typical understanding of a help meet is task oriented. Eve was created to help Adam get his work done.

The Hebrew words translated as “help meet” are ayzer and nehghed. I am no Hebrew scholar, let me state that upfront and clearly. I must rely on others who know the language.

The first word ayzer does indeed mean and aid or help. There is little debate over that word.

The word translated “meet,” nehghed, has some nuance. Again, many Hebrew words have multiple meanings. Most of the translations of the word elsewhere in the KJV (this is the only time it’s translated as “meet”) are before or against.

And this is where things get interesting! I heard a guy who knows languages say that the literal translation here could be “a help against.” Or one who stands face to face with you. He then backed it up by quoting a Jewish guy who said the same thing.

They went on to both say that Eve was a “help against” Adam. The way they put it was that she was a benevolent and loving adversary.

Now, the fact that two language guys agree on a thing doesn’t mean they are right! So I began looking into the idea.

The idea they conveyed is that Adam needed someone to bounce stuff off of, like ideas, not rocks. Adam would be better off having someone alongside him who cared for him, but also resisted some of the dumber ideas!

I’ve known guys who despise women and all that women say and represent, and they tend to be pretty stupid in various areas of life. I know for myself how much having a wife, a woman around me constantly, has helped me grow.

And this was the idea they conveyed. Both male and female are in God’s image. Adam alone is not the full image of God. It wasn’t good that he was alone. The male and female approach things differently. We need each other. And I’m not even talking about every female needs a husband or every male needs a wife.

Nope, don’t even need to go there. Paul says he preferred that people didn’t marry (1 Corinthians 7:7-8).

What I’m saying is that if you’re a woman and you don’t think you need men, or you’re a man who doesn’t think you need women; you’re crazy.

This is the problem with today’s feminism. I have a book in my bookstore called “Are Men Really Necessary?” The answer of the female author is, “No, not really.” That’s just dumb. Men are pretty handy creatures.

This extreme feminism has also resulted in a backlash of extreme macho maleness. These guys trample women and despise them. Not good.

Men and women will not be helped by trashing each other. It is not good for us to be apart.

Although it may be fun for a time to be a man who does man things and has a wife who says “yes” to everything and never gives a contrary opinion, I also know it would get boring and I would be more of a moron than I currently am.

I personally have a wife, a woman, who is a good help meet. I know she loves me and I also know she disagrees with many things I say and do. I also love my wife and disagree with many things she says and does. We are working on a relationship where that can be worked out peacefully and for mutual benefit.

It aint easy. It is the source of much male/female difficulty and why there is so much divorce and hatred for the opposite sex.

Perhaps if we understood the help meet concept better it would help us all.

So, is the help meet interpretation as a benevolent and loving adversary biblical? We’ll look a little more tomorrow!

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