18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (NIV)
18God said, "It's not good for the Man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion." (The Message)
18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” (New Living Translation)
18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (King James)
18And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. (American Standard Version)
Genesis 2:18 introduces the concept of a wife. Several different words are used: helper, companion, helper meet and help meet. I have always wondered…what exactly is a help meet? Sounds like a mistake…those two words don’t go together!
I was surprised to find that most articles/blogs written about this topic emphasize that the correct translation and understanding of the original Hebrew proves that women are neither subordinate nor inferior to men, but rather we are equal. I have never struggled with whether or not women are inferior to men, and I was more interested in discovering what my role is as a help meet.
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew. The Hebrew words used were ezer kenegdo, which happen to be very difficult to translate into English. Ezer is only found 21 times in the Old Testament and is almost always used to describe God when people are calling out in desperation. Through my research, I have found that the word ezer comes from the Hebrew root –z-r, which means “to rescue, to save.” Kenegdo means “alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.”
An example of how the word ezer is used to describe God is found in Psalm 121: 1-2: “I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help (ezer) come from? My help (ezer) comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Verse 7 describes the type of help that the Lord provides: “The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life…”
Maybe my research has created more questions than answers. However, I now understand that my calling as a wife should not be taken lightly! I am much more than a companion who provides help with the everyday tasks of paying the bills, cleaning the house, raising children, cooking dinner, etc. I pray that God reminds me daily of the importance of my role as a wife, er, a help meet.