Question: "How was the woman a helper suitable for the man (Genesis 2:18)?"
Answer: In Genesis 2:18, we read of the one thing that was not declared “good” in all of God’s creation: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’” The same verse includes God’s solution: “I will make him a helper fit for him.” Eve was the solution to Adam’s deficiency.
Two Hebrew terms in this verse provide important information to better understand the creation of Eve as the first woman. The word translated “helper” is the Hebrew term ‘ezer. This word is even used of God, sometimes, noting that He is our Helper (Psalm 115:9-11). We would certainly not view God, as a Helper, as subservient to humans, nor should we understand the role of “helper” in Genesis 2:18 as a position of subservience. The concept of an “ideal partner” seems to convey the thought best.
The second important Hebrew word in this verse, translated “fit” is kenegdo. It literally means “according to the opposite of him.” In other words, the focus is on an appropriate match. Eve was not created above or below Adam; she was complementary. The animals Adam had named each had an appropriate companion (Genesis 2:20), and Adam was given a fitting companion as well. Eve was “just right” for him.
Further, God’s statement that it was not good for man to be alone implies that Adam was lonely and incomplete by himself. He had been created for relationship, and it is impossible to have relationship alone. With the creation of Eve, Adam experienced the joy of love for another person.
The Bible is unique in its depiction of women’s valued status as a complementary companion. No other ancient text from the Middle East offers commentary on the creation of women. It is in the Bible that we learn of the important role women have had since the beginning of human existence. Both man and woman were made in God’s image, according to Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
The apostle Paul refers to Genesis when he says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). Husband and wife are to live as one, united in love for God and for one another, modeling the love Christ has for His bride, the Church.