*Disclaimer: I don't profess to know everything about the Bible or fully understand all of what scripture has to say. I'm daily evolving into what God desire of me and daily seeking to know Him more. I know this is a touchy subject so please don't take anything personal, I only want to start a conversation and grow in the knowledge of His truth.
Genesis 2:18 shows the awesome moment when God realized it was not good for man to be alone. It reads, "The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." The word "helper" was translated from the Hebrew word ezer. This Hebrew word ezer means "strength" and "power" in the original language. It is derived from two roots: `-z-r, meaning "to rescue, to save," and g-z-r, meaning "to be strong." With that being said, could we conclude that a more accurate translation of Genesis 2:18 is, "I will make a power [or strength] corresponding to man." God created for man a woman "fully his equal and fully his match. In this way, the man's loneliness will be assuaged." How did God form Eve? Not from his head that she may rule over him, not from his feet that she may be a slave to him, but from his rib, that she may be his equal. See this article for a more lengthy analysis the word ezer.
The word ezer is used multiple times in scripture. The following is an excerpt from Jonalyn Fincher's Ruby Slippers. This books has been speaking truth to me since I started reading it.
"If ezer is limiting, then God has limited us. If ezer is not limiting, then God has called us to an open, free, deep, and wide place."
Ezer means deliverer, as in "The God of my father was my ezer, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh." Exodus 18:4
Ezer means warrior: "Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people. With his hands he contended for them, And may You be an ezer against his adversaries." Deuteronomy 33:7
Ezer means protection: "Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, Who is the shield of your ezer And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies shall cringe before you, And you will tread upon their high places." Deuteronomy 33:29
Ezer means support: "May He send you ezer from the sanctuary and support you from Zion!" Psalm 20:2
Ezer delivers the afflicted and needy: "But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! Thou are my ezer and my deliverer, O Lord, do not delay." Psalm 70:5
Ezer means a shield: "You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their ezer and their shield." Psalm 115:11
Ezer is capable, vibrant help better than strong mountains: "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my ezer come? My ezer comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2
Ezer gives hope: "How blessed is he whose ezer is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalm 146:5
How's that for a side margin comment on Genesis 2? God's Word is so rich!If ezer signifies so much more than "helper" what does this say about the role of a woman in marriage? Does this mean that woman is also man's deliverer, warrior, protector, supporter, shield, a giver of hope and comforter of the afflicted, and of course, a vibrant help? Does it limit her role, or amplify it? I've seen several websites limit the role of a woman to a "helpmeet." Books have been written about the subject and many women have taken this "helpmeet" translation and argued that a woman must seek to compliment her husband, adapt to his needs, and seek ways to be his helper at all times while being a "keeper of the home." You know, untying his shoes, serving his breakfast, making him lunch, keeping the home clean and in order, among other things. Are these things wrong in and of themselves? Absolutely not. I will gladly serve my husband in ways that make him happy. But I will do this out of love, not because it is my obligation or "role". In the same way, my husband serves me, because he loves me as his equal.
However, to reduce God's design of women to a "helpmeet" to our husbands is limiting, and not what God is about. God created men for grandiose purposes, as he created women for grandiose purposes. That purpose is beautifully displayed in the original meaning of ezer, that powerful word, mistranslated through the centuries.
I'm curious to know what you think! What does being a "helper" or "helpmeet" mean to you in your marriage? What's your understanding of scripture in this controversial area? How do you think we can serve our husbands while also broadening the narrow definition of "ezer"?
I'm linking up with: Wedded Wednesday, Into the Word Wednesday, Winsome Wednesday, and Women in the Word Wednesday, Matrimonial Monday.