Genesis 2:18-20

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.

20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

not good (v.18) — The last act of creation … was that of woman; hence, prior to this final work, the creation was yet incomplete. Man, especially, was incomplete without woman; and this was not good (this does not mean it was evil, but only that it was unfinished and therefore imperfect). — Morris, page 95.

We are being presented here with a thought that has always been in the mind of the omniscient God, and from which, by its presentation here, we are to understand that God—our divine Father—knows what we need even before we ask (see Matthew 6:8)—or, indeed, even before we realize, as Adam here, that we need it! It is for this reason that God waits to meet that need—and in so doing bring His creative work to completion—that Adam might first realize that he has a need which only God, in His love and wisdom, can meet. The response from Adam when this need is eventually met will therefore be a greater sense of gratitude (and hence more glory) to God as well as a greater appreciation of the woman herself. — Wechsler, pages 85-86.

Some commentaries make a point of saying that Adam didn’t name all the animals at this time. Verse 19 doesn’t mention fish or creeping things. Those may have been named later. Also, at this time, only the created individuals of each kind existed. Kinds wouldn’t have had time (this naming may have happened on day 6) to develop into multiple species.

whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name (v.19) — evidence of the dominion over creation that God gave man in Genesis 1:26. In addition, the exercise would have shown Adam that none of the animals could meet his own needs.

In this description of woman—which occurs in the Bible only here [vs. 18 and 20]—there are two key ideas: first, concerning the woman’s role, the word “helper,” according to its usage elsewhere in Scripture, indicates that she is to assist the man, who bears primary authority as well as responsibility, in accomplishing the task that God gave him—to wit, worshiping and obeying God (see Genesis 2:15). Second, concerning the woman’s value or worth, the expression “suitable for him”— literally “facing him,” as one might describe their image in a mirror—underscores that woman is intrinsically all that man is, yet in the feminine, and hence she is of equal worth. This second part of the description, in other words, serves to balance and “head off” any potential misunderstanding of the first part—to wit, the misunderstanding that the difference in the roles of the man and woman, and specifically the man’s holding of greater authority and responsibility, implies differing value or worth. In God’s eyes we are equally valued, and judged according to the same standard of how faithfully we fulfill the roles that we’ve been given. — Wechsler, page 87

1 Corinthians 11:8-9—For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

This entry was posted in Genesis. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *