These days, there’s so much talk about what a woman is. But I’m not here to debate. I’m actually here to show you something about the story of creation that you probably don’t know.
God didn’t make Eve to be a “helper” to Adam.
Surprised? I was too.
My entire life I was taught that the woman was made to be a helpmate, helpmeet or helper to the man. And, well, this is sort of true, but sort of not true. The issue is really that most people don’t know what the word we see in the Bible really means. Let me lay it out for you.
The story of Eve
Genesis 1:27 says that God created man in his own image, right?
And then in Genesis 2:7 it says that God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils and the man became a living being. It goes on to talk about how God planted a garden in Eden where the man lived. God made all the animals and the man, Adam, named everything.
Who was Eve in the Bible?
The man gave names to all the livestock the birds of the sky and every wild animal. But for the man no HELPER (emphasis mine) was found who was like him so the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh of that place. Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man and the man said this one at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh This one will be called woman for she was taken from man. Verse 24 says this is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked yet felt no shame.Genesis 2:20-25
Let’s talk about the word I emphasized above. Helper. That word stood out to me.
I decided to look it up. The definition of that word is unskilled worker, or someone who helps another. This is our current understanding of this word.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with being an unskilled worker, but honestly, that word used THERE just didn’t sit right with me. I knew that couldn’t have been the intent of the original language because in verse 24 it says this is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife.
Why? Because she’s an unskilled worker?
I doubt it.
What is a helpmate?
I looked up the original Hebrew for the word that was replaced with helper. See, this is the problem with the English language. We often have one word that means many different things, and the Hebrew language has multiple words to give further meaning and depth to one.
The word helper here is the word ezer (azur) in the Hebrew.
Guess what…this word ezer is the same word used to describe God 66 times in scripture.
I think we can all agree that God is not unskilled in any way.
And don’t get all worked up, I’m certainly not saying that women are gods.
I am, however, saying that we (both men and women) are made in His image. And this word ezer confirms it.
This word ezer speaks of power, strength, protection and help.
It speaks of being a rescuer.
Doesn’t this change the picture of woman?
Doesn’t it change the dynamic between man and woman? They’re so much more than helpers to each other. They protect and rescue each other.
It should change our idea of relationship. In fact, in the Old testament, the word ezer was only used to express vitally important and powerful acts of rescue and support.
The fall of man
But what happened after God made the woman gravely affected humanity. The serpent came and tempted Eve, and she and Adam ate the fruit that God had instructed them not to eat.
Sin and death entered the world, and everything changed.
It was the beginning of the ages long struggle between men and women. Then Jesus came to make it right, to restore humanity to His original intent.
Yet, I am certain that many of us still view ourselves through the lens of this curse.
But what if we didn’t? What if we could choose to see ourselves the way God made us? Strong and powerful, protecting and rescuing.
We can, and It would change every dynamic.
It would change how we interact with men. Not seeing ourselves as lording over or cowering under. But rather fulfilling the purpose for which we were created.
It would also change how we interact with other women. If we saw other women the way God made them, as an ezer, we could stop competing with them. We could understand that each one of us is here to fulfill a purpose, equally important, equally needed. It would set us up for real friendship.
This is the life we were meant to live. This is the position that Jesus restored us to. We get to choose whether or not we will live like it.