Eve, the Strength and Power to Her Husband

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.
— Genesis 2:18

March is the month of Eve, a month where Seele is looking at the first woman from 5 angles, over a period of 5 weeks. Though Eve made a costly mistake by listening to the serpent, she is still significant, fascinating and there’s a lot that we can learn from her and apply to our lives.

It’s interesting that God didn’t bring Eve into Adam’s life until he was lonely and ready or it. When a man is ready for commitment and to love a woman, that’s when he will appreciate her. Before he’s ready, it’s most likely pointless to hope that he will commit to you. Women must understand this and not chase men who aren’t ready for commitment. Let a man chase you, not the other way round.

So, that word “helper,” when translated from ancient Hebrew may be the wrong English translation. The word helper in Hebrew is “ezer kenegdo.” Some Bible translations say helper, some say help-mate, some say aid, and some say partner. But the word “ezer” in the Old Testament is used in the context of God’s relationship to man, and it may be that the English word “helper” is not quite accurate. When the word “ezer” is used in the Bible regarding our relationship with God “helper” is not the accurate English translation. It’s deeper.

Hebrew language experts have spent time studying ezer kenegdo, so I’ll spare you the technical details of the sounds of the Hebrew language and how those sounds affect the meaning of words. And I’ll just say this: after all of the linguistic examinations of ezer enegdo, it is believed to mean “strength” or “power”- not helper. So perhaps, this means the game has changed on the meaning of “helper” in Genesis 2:18. Eve and her daughters that marry are “strength” and “power” to and with their husbands. Married women can read Genesis 2:18 as, “I will make a power (or strength) suitable for him.”

The fall of man messed up a lot of things, including how God originally designed a women’s place to be. According to David Freedman in Archaeology Review, “Eve was made to be a power with her husband.” Why? According to Freedman, to “assuage Adam’s loneliness.” When a man feels lonely and is ready to settle down, he is then ready for a wife. His rib has entered onto the scene of his life and he is ready to his “power” and “strength” to walk with him through life.

When Adam saw Eve and composed poetic language to the beautiful woman beside him, he said, “this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man (Genesis 2:23). “Bone of my bones” references this strength/ power that Adam needed because of his loneliness. As Freedman has noted, “’bone of my bones’” is very close relative to “one of us” or in effect “our equal.”

I realize “power and strength” will disjoint some noses and offend various types of Christians. But we can’t argue with direct translations of words. If Eve was meant to be Adam’s “helper” or “helpmeet,” the way that most Bible translations have it, then her role sounds more like an assistant role, a helper- than “power and strength.” But perhaps if we dissect these words “ezer kenegdo,” which God invites us to do though logic and reason with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will get a clearer meaning of the word.

We can deduce that because Adam and Eve ushered sin into the world, that God’s plan for the sexes was changed. We saw last week that a consequence for Eve’s sin that passed to her daughters was that in addition to pain in childbirth that women would “desire their husbands and they will rule over us (Genesis 3:16).  God’s original plan was that men and women would rule creation equally. So looking at all of this in the context of “power and strength,” women, like the first woman Eve are perhaps more than just helpers.

Happy Friday!