עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (Ezer Kenegdo) in Genesis 2:18 (2024)

Wow!! That was very good reading. As I read from top to bottom, I almost forgot that this webpage began as an article. With that said, I would just like to say a few things.

First of all, Mr. Mark Francois, you are an excellent writer and scholar. You have patience beyond anything that I can even perceive possible for a human being.

However, if we consider God’s actual (and original) intended purpose for human beings in Gen. 1:26-30 (which includes very detailed roles and responsibilities which involve quite a few animals and the specific locations in which they dwell), today’s humanity is only scratching the surface with regards to their optimal potential.

With that said, I would just like to say that I only clicked on this webpage to get a ‘simple’ answer as to what exactly ‘the woman’s’ role was in Gan Eden with ‘the man’ (the individual so named Adam).

After reading just the blog (article) portion of this page, I added it to my favorites and felt that you had said just enough (quite satisfactory) in making a clear and simple point (she was ‘built’ to be the man’s ‘help’ in accomplishing the role he (not she) was assigned to do by God in 2:4ff).

At the time of his assignment, he was alone (but that may not mean that he was unable to do his job without someone else).

God said that it was ‘not good’ for the man to be alone. He didn’t say that it was ‘not good’ that the man has to work alone on his assigned task.

So did God begin to ‘form’ these ‘animals’ and ‘build’ this woman to ‘help’ the man with his assigned task (to study and protect the garden), OR is it possible (based on what the text actually says and your thorough understanding of the Hebrew meaning) that God brought ‘all’ these ‘potential-companion-candidates’ to the man to ‘help’ him ‘not to be alone?’

If my theory is true or potentially accurate, it makes you wonder (even with all the literature and scholarship on Hebrew meanings and translations) if ‘everyone’ is ‘wrong’ about what ‘ezer’ actually means (especially if people look at the word in it’s authentic and literal context…as you have done so wonderfully in your analysis).

I scratch my head quite often thinking about why God brought these ‘uniquely-formed-animals’ (they certainly were not the same animals that had already been created in the first narrative) to the man ‘first’ before He ‘built’ and brought the woman to him?

If the only purpose here (according to the basic meaning of the text within it’s context) is that the man not be alone, then there was always the possibility that he could have found a ‘companion’ within that ‘animal’ bunch.

Just like Gen. 2:20 says, the man didn’t find an ezer kenegdo in ‘that’ group (as he clearly took the time to individualize each and every one of them by giving them all names).

But then things get a bit strange later when in Gen. 2:24 the ‘narrator’ says (or implies) that now that the man has found ‘an’ ezer kenegdo (who happens to be his equal in the sense that they are made of the same flesh and bones), a new rule (which begins with ‘therefore’) emerges (regarding males and females in their physical bodies, since the instructions for mankind in the first narrative didn’t include ‘how’ men and women would ‘get together’).

But I think the real point I wanted to bring home (since you did an excellent job of isolating this very point) is that it appears that way too many people fail to see that the narrative of Gen. 1 and Gen. 2:4b-3:24 are completely different narratives.

You are right, Adam’s story (as the individual character who actually doesn’t have a proper name as he was never given one, unlike Havah who was named by the man after their punishment) is ‘different’ from the rest of human kind.

In Gen. 1:26-30, mankind was created and assigned a specific assignment on the earth (specifically). When God speaks to mankind in these verses, the Hebrew says that He speaks to ‘them’ (male and female equally).

There are no gender roles specified, only that they be fruitful and multiply.

Technically speaking (if people read the verses carefully), outside of being fruitful, it appears that humans primary relationships are supposed to be with ‘ruling’ over all these ‘identified’ animals on the earth (in the sky, in the ocean, and on earth-as-land).

Where does the bible say in these verses that humans primary roles are supposed to be ‘about’ them (and only them, outside of these vague relationships with just dogs and cats)?

But Adam (who although may be a part of mankind, sharing obvious similarities) was given a specific body (made by God’s own hands, and never born), and placed in a specific location (the Garden of Eden, which is technically ‘not’ earth), and was assigned a specific task (to study and protect Gan Eden).

So when people start to ‘group’ these two narratives together and start ‘applying’ the task of Adam (as an individual in the Garden) with that of all of human kind, this (I believe) is where they make the biggest mistake.

I mean I can see why all the confusion because (as you have pointed out) the Hebrew for both ‘the man’ (as an individual in the Garden) and ‘the man’ as representing all of human kind are exactly the same.

I am sure it was written like this on purpose.

Additionally, I believe that the actions of Adam and Havah in Gan Eden negatively affected the original purpose of the rest of mankind as outlined in Gen. 1:26-30 (as well as their own purposes in the garden before they were thrown out).

But to make such a big deal about gender roles when people try to isolate this Gen. 2:18 verse (especially when one narrative is completely independent of the other) is completely unnecessary.

I mean, isn’t it ‘obvious’ that we (all of humanity, which includes the still living immortal spirits of Adam and Eve/Havah) are presently living in ‘punishment mode’ (for 5781 years now according to Jewish calendar)?

And based on the stipulations as outlined in Gen. 3:16 (which sits in complete isolation in the original Hebrew scrolls), did God not say that part of the woman’s punishment would include some type of dominance (or subservience) to her husband?

I don’t think that any author who writes on the topic of gender roles as it pertains to these critical early chapters of the bible should be accused of ‘sexism’ because (as you so eloquently pointed out) you are simply analyzing a ‘dated’ text (from thousands of years ago) that clearly would not ‘fit’ in this ‘man-made-modern-concrete-world-of-cities-and-technology.’

So yeah, it’s not the author that is ‘sexist’ (whatever that man-made word means, especially as it pertains to the source of this word’s origins and the reliability of that source).

This is why I say you have a lot of patience to answer all these people’s questions who have not taken the time (as you have) to study not only the authentic Hebrew (in thorough scholarship), but who also fail to look at the context (as a whole).

But the fact that you do take the time speaks volumes about you as a person in your role (or goal) to properly educate people on understanding a very complex text (the ancient and ‘sacred’ Hebrew Torah).

People should also keep in mind (yourself included) that no matter how much one is ‘skilled’ at reading the ancient scriptures on the surface (word for word, character by character, and context by context), there are probably a thousand and one ways to read (or interpret) the Torah (including the spiritual ways that cannot be ascertained simply by reading it).

There are tons of secrets, mysteries, and unanswered questions in the Torah that only God (and God alone) chooses to reveal to certain individuals at various times in human history.

With that said, I would like to ask just a few more questions.

Just because Adam and Havah failed in their initial attempt in Gan Eden, does it mean that they will never get an opportunity to fulfill their purposes again in the future (especially since much of the Torah is extremely prophetic)?

If it is ‘written’ in an ‘eternal’ text that God originally had plans for mankind with regards to their roles and responsibilities as laid out in Gen. 1:26-30, does it mean that they (those plans) are not intended to be met at some point in time?

And finally, when people wake up to the world outside in today’s reality, are they viewing (and experiencing) man’s world or God’s world?

What is the difference?

עֵזֶר כְּנֶגְדּוֹ (Ezer Kenegdo) in Genesis 2:18 (2024)
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