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Published Date: April 22, 2022

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Women in Scripture and Mission: Eve

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper (ezer) as his partner’” (Gen. 2:18 NRSV).

Eve at Creation

God declares that it is not good for Adam to be alone, and he rescued Adam through the creation of Eve. Scripture repeatedly describes God as ezer, a Hebrew word meaning “strong rescue.” This is most familiar to us in Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my ezer (my help) come from? My ezer (my help) comes from the Lord, the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth.” Here we understand that “helper” is a strong rescue. In fact, ezer is used 21 times in scripture, most often to describe God’s strong rescue of Israel. 

Created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), as a strong rescue (Gen. 2:18), Eve rescues Adam from governing creation alone. The creation context of Genesis 2 concerns the garden which provides the source for man’s work and sustenance, as well as his need for a strong partner in governing it. Yet Christian teachings have misconstrued Eve’s strong rescue to mean that women’s purpose is to rescue men from their sexual temptations.1 This passage NEVER mentions or alludes to sex or reproduction. In fact, in Genesis 2, God specifically forms the animals to see if they might provide a strong rescue and partner for Adam in governing. They do not. Adam’s rescue can only come from one who shares God’s image, which the animals do not. So, God puts him into a deep sleep and creates Eve from Adam’s side. Then Adam immediately recognizes that Eve shares his substance. In a beautiful poem of delight, we read: 

“This one at last, bone of my bones 

       And flesh of my flesh; 

 This one shall be called ‘woman’ 

       For out of man this one has been taken” Genesis 2:22 (NAB) 

As the garden sustains both Adam and Eve, together they both worked to preserve and care for it. With their shared spiritual and physical origins, Adam and Eve shared authority together in caring for creation.  

To learn more on the creation of Eve, see “Created in God’s Image: Theological and Social Impact” by John Wijngaards.

Notes

  1. Mark Driscoll, pastor of a former mega-church with multiple satellite churches in Seattle, Washington, regularly taught this heresy. See the podcast,
  2. Mike Cosper, “The Things We Do to Women,” July 26, 2021 in The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, podcast, 56 min.