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What Is A Help Meet?

The Bible describes Eve as the help meet to Adam. This description of Eve is often used to define the role of a wife concerning her husband. Yet, what is a help meet? This post will examine the Biblical context of what it means to be a help meet. Let's start by looking at the passage it comes from.

Genesis 2:18-20 - 18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

In this creation account, God saw something that was not good for the first time. He saw that man was alone. Now, this is not saying that God was surprised by this; if you go back to the first chapter and read verses 26 and 27, you will find that in the creation of man, He intended to create male and female. So God never planned for man to be alone in the marital or social sense. This passage emphasizes the need for man to have someone suitable for him to be his companion and mate.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22 - Whoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor of the Lord. It is a good thing to be married.

Going back to Genesis 2:18 and 20, we see the words "help meet" used to describe the person God would bring into Adam's life when He created her.

what is a help meet in the bible


The word help or helper comes from the meaning of being a servant or one who serves. This word is often portrayed as one who comes alongside and assists. Even if it is not intended, the phrase may paint the helper as lesser or inferior to the main person. In a Christian marriage, the word "help" coming from this scripture is often spoken of as the women's role is to serve and assist in submission to the husband. Whatever the husband desires, it's the wife's role to help fulfill that.

While there are scriptural principles of leadership and submission in the home, this post is not addressing that.

In the church, women who don’t fit the accepted mold for a help meet are viewed negatively as not being the Godly wife they should be. This attitude has, at times, created resentment.

I believe if we could receive a Biblical understanding of these terms, wives would be encouraged to be who God created them. It would also help us as husbands to recognize the vital role that our wives play in our marriage relationship and family.

So again, what does the phrase help meet mean?

It is important to note that there are two separate words in this phrase, and to get a fuller understanding; we need to look at each word.


First, let's look at the word "Help". This word comes from the Hebrew word – Ezer. It is derived or related to the word "azar" which means to surround, protect, or help. It is a word that is much more powerful or richer than just the word help or helper in the sense of an assistant or servant to the one receiving help.

“Ezer” is a word used throughout the Old Testament to reveal God’s relationship to man and how God “helped” man. This probably doesn't need to be said, but God is not the assistant or servant of man.

In Exodus, a man was named Eliezer. His name is a variation of the original word, and he was named this because God was His help and deliverer. Exodus 18:4 - And the name of the other was Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and He delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

Here are some other passages which use the word ezer.

Deuteronomy 33:29 - Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help, who is the sword of your majesty! Your enemies will cringe before you, and you will tread upon their high places.

Psalm 33:20 - Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

Psalm 70:5 - But I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!

Psalm 124:8 - Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

These verses describe God as a help to man, a strong deliverer who is present, bringing salvation and protection. Yes, a wife is not her husband's salvation, just as the husband is not his wife's salvation. Yet, could it be that God created our wives to be to us what we can't be as husbands? Something else, men often think of themselves as the family's protector; indeed, that is a role we have. However, could our wives be a strong protective presence that helps shield and guards us as husbands? Could it be that our wife is not merely assisting us but providing us with the very attributes we need? Which we also do as husbands to our wives.


Meet comes from the Hebrew word – Neged. This word means a front, part opposite, a counterpart or mate. The use of this word in scripture depends on the passage's context. Here are some examples of this word from the scriptures.

Psalm 119:46 - I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings and will not be ashamed.

Here in Psalm 119:46, neged has been translated as the word before. It means something standing before (opposite to and in front of) something or someone else.

Here is another use from Proverbs 21:30 - There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against (neged) the Lord.

Neged is being used to mean something that is against something or someone else. This proverb says there is no wisdom, understanding, or counsel equal to God's, and it cannot prevail against the Lords.

The word can also mean something that is physically opposite in position to something else. Look at Ezekiel 40:23 - The gate of the inner court was opposite (neged) the gate on the north, as on the east. And he measured from gate to gate, a hundred cubits.

In Genesis 2:18 and 20 the word "meet" describes someone who stands in front and before Adam, who is equal to Him, and who is the complementary mate for Adam.

Eve was created out of the body of Adam but was formed differently from Adam. Her design was his complementary counterpart possessing the qualities, responsibilities, attributes, and abilities which made her the perfect and suitable mate for Adam. Likewise, Adam is the ideal counterpart for Eve; he was just created first. You even see this complementary aspect between a man and woman in the sexual and physical body design.


So, where does this bring us? From scripture, we see role of a help meet is far more profound than just someone who is there to come alongside and assist or help. The help meet, the wife, God designed, is someone strong and capable, who is there to surround and even protect her husband. She is present to help and do what her husband cannot do without her. Similarly, by implication, the husband is also a help to do what the wife cannot. She doesn't stand behind her husband but before him as his co-partner. She is different, yet the equal complementary and perfect mate to her husband. Both Adam and Eve are incomplete without each other.

I hope this further explains qualities and roles God has established. God has purposed the wife to have an important place in a family and relationship with the husband. If you are a wife, your role is necessary, and there is no replacement. If you are a husband, honour your wife and see the incredible person and mate that God has given you, she is there as your counterpart and help meet as described above.

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