Eve the Partner

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Genesis 2:15-25

It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner. (v. 18 NRSV)

When God surveyed his vast creation, he declared, “This is very good” (Gen. 1:31). But
the Bible notes one exception in Genesis 2; it was “not good that the man should be
alone.” So God determined to fix that by making “a helper” for Adam.

Unfortunately, this translation makes it sound to us like the woman is very much
subordinate to the man. Adam was primary. Eve was his helper. Adam was the CEO and Eve his
secretary, brought into the story to help him get his work done.

Wrong! You see, the word used here for “helper” (the Hebrew word ezer [rhymes with
“razor”]) occurs twenty-one times in the Old Testament, and in all but five occurrences it
refers to God as our helper. “Our ezer is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and
earth” (Ps. 124:8). “Happy are those whose ezer is the God of Jacob” (Ps. 146:5).

In other words, whenever we run into difficulties in our lives, we need someone to
stand beside us, to encourage us, to help get us through. God himself is our ultimate
ezer. But he has also provided an ezer with skin on, especially our partners in marriage.
With this sense of equality between male and female, it is no wonder that God goes on to
give his ideal for marriage: that the man and the woman may “become one flesh” (Gen.
2:24).

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for ezers in my life, who help me in times of trouble. Amen.