Help Meet Defined

I love word history. Going in depth to find the meanings of things is exciting for me!

So, today I will take you on a wild ride into the history of a few words with the hope that you, too, may be blessed by them. Sometimes in translations the real meaning and beauty of what God meant gets lost, veiled or mistaken.

Here they are, the words most women begrudge: “help meet” or “helper suitable”.

I wonder if you cringed at that, as I once did? Maybe just a bit of an irritation deep down in your soul. If so, I hope you stick around!

I would love to have you catch a glimpse of the the beautiful truth that you are designed precious, unmatchable and irreplaceable. Put on your hip-waders,because it’s going to get deep in here!

A word study of a Woman's Divine Design

The Lord God said, 

“It is not good that the man should be alone. 

I will make him an help meet for him.” 

~ Genesis 2:18 ~

The common way “help meet” or “helper suitable” are understood is that God gave the man a helper who was worthy of him, or appropriate for him. While this is not incorrect, there is a much more to be understood about this term. With that let’s dive into the original Hebrew.

The words “help meet” are translated from “ezer kenegdo”.

The words “help” or “helper” are translated from the Hebrew words “ezer” or “azar”.

  • EZER means “help”. It is derived from words meaning “power” and “strength”.
  • AZAR means to surround, protect, aid, help, succor, defend

“Ezer” is most commonly used in the Old Testament as God being an “ezer” (help, helper, protector, defender, power, strength) to humans. The Bible consistently explains itself, so grab your Bible and consider these examples:

1 Samuel 7:12 “Samuel named [the rock] Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us”. ‘Eben’ means rock, ‘ezer’ means help: Rock of Help.

Exodus 18:4 Moses had named his son “Eliezer, for he said, “My father’s God was my helper“. Eliezer is defined as “my God is helper”.

In the next few verses, God is again defined as our helper:

Deuteronomy 33:29 “He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword.”

Psalm 115:11 “trust in the Lord- He is their help and shield.”

Psalm  121:1-2 “where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord…”

In each of those examples, the helper (the ezer), has a strength and power the one being helped does not have and cannot function properly without.

PLEASE NOTE, I am not suggesting a wife ranks as God to her husband. EVER. (see Eph. 5)

Only that God designed her to be an irreplaceable being, who is able to help her husband in ways he cannot help himself. In God’s eyes, the man He created first was not quite complete. So He designed an “ezer”; a completing power, a finishing strength; a gift unmatchable in it’s ability to defend and aid the the man.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her

 

Let’s move on to the word “meet”. It is translated “kenegdo”.

  • “KENEGDO” means corresponding to, counterpart to, equal to, matching

God did not create the woman of lesser value, but rather values her equal to the man. He created the woman to be a counterpart to the man. Not a doormat, slave or possession; a gift unmatchable, yet matching to. A gift of protection and strength (ezer) that he himself does not possess, yet she is equal to him (kenegdo). Neither greater nor less.

Look at your hands. They look the same, but looking closely, you find noticeable differences. One hand cannot accomplish much without the other. One hand does not work as efficiently as two. Consider tying your shoe with one hand…opening a letter…changing a diaper…not happening very efficiently!

In the same way, a wife is a counterpart to her husband. She is similar in appearance, equal in ability, corresponding in tasks.

Let’s put these words together using their synonyms and definitions from above.

FUN FACT: The word “kenegdo” only appears once in the entire Hebrew bible. Neither is it used to describe anything else in the entire language. God designed something so remarkable that He used a word like no other to describe her. I don’t know about you, but that fact thrills me just a bit!

Now, knowing the history of these words, and seeing the synonyms put together, let me ask you the questions I had to stare directly in the face.

Are you a strength matching or a strength debilitating your husband?

Are you an aiding correspondent? An able bodied and able minded equal?

Are you the protective counterpart of your husband? Ok, so maybe not in all the big muscle stuff. But, what about his heart? Proverbs 31:11-12 in KJV, describes a wife as this kind of protector:

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

 The heart of your man…..are you protecting it?

The heart of your husband...are you protecting it? Click To Tweet

 

Dear friend, I hope you could say YES! I couldn’t at one time. I’m still working on it. I’m going to be working on it for the rest of my life.

I hope this has been as beautiful to you as it is for me. Knowing that I was created with beauty, purpose and worth in mind, sets my mind at ease and my soul on fire to to live up to my calling as an irreplaceable strength.

May you and I live worthy.

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51 comments

  1. Cathy says:

    Beautiful post! I love history too and I didn&#39;t know some of these Hebrew words and their meanings. Makes Scripture come more alive when we study them! Thanks for sharing.<br /><br />I&#39;m visiting from the Living in the Word link-up. : )

  2. Beth Stiff says:

    What wonderful wisdom. I just loved how you dived into scripture here. That is something I need to do a better job of doing. So glad you shared with Three Word Wednesday. I&#39;m delighted to have you as a part of our writing family.

  3. Caroline @ Anchored In His Grace says:

    I love your explanation &amp; taking us straight to the Hebrew words w/o making it cumbersome for those of us operating on little brain cells. 🙂 Some things are just over my head, but this was presented simply &amp; understandably. I also appreciate you sharing the importance of women in the lives of their husbands without undermining their important role in scripture. Well done! Linking up

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Caroline! I like simple, understandable &amp; straightforward, too 🙂 Its probably not a lack of brain cells as much as it is just not liking all the fluff &amp; foo-foo 😉 I to get lost &amp; distracted easily! Glad you were encouraged! Bless you for sharing!

  4. Kat Y says:

    I absolutely LOVE This post. It is so refreshing to see someone talk about the different roles of husband and wife and do so from a biblical perspective that is true! Thank you for this…your last scripture you quoted…is on my bathroom mirror! <br /><br />And congratulations…you have been selected as featured on The Sunday Social!! Thank you so much and don&#39;t forget to stop by again

  5. Sarah Cross says:

    Eye opening. I don&#39;t shy away from the title of Help Meet or the adjective of being submissive, but written out the way you have, I have even more respect for my title. Looking forward to reading the 5 part series!

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Hi, Sandra! Thank you for visiting! This is a tough topic to address since most of us shy away from it. I was so enlightened &amp; encouraged when God led to this knowledge, I felt it ahd to be shared!:) Blessings to you &amp; yours!<br />

  6. Deb Wolf says:

    Great post Kaylene, I&#39;m a new visitor and I love the way you are encouraging women to love and encourage their husbands. I&#39;ve talk retreat sessions on the horrible word . . . submission and I share many of the same points. Another thing I love is that Jesus calls the Holy Spirit &quot;the Helper.&quot; God has given us a wonderful blessing in being our husband&#39;s helper. I&#39;m hoping

  7. passagethroughgrace says:

    I love that you dug into the history of a &quot;help meet&quot;. This term is new to me but you explained it all beautifully. I love that women can be the balance to their partners – their husbands Blessed to be visiting from Make a Difference Monday. Mary

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Hi Mary! Thank you for reading! I was greatly enlightened &amp; encouraged upon His leading me to search the meanings. &quot;Help meet&quot; is from the KJV &amp; &quot;helper suitable&quot; from NIV &amp; a few others. I&#39;ve only heard how women don&#39;t like those two, often shying away from them the same as with the word &quot;submission&quot;. So now im curious, What translation do you

  8. Candy says:

    This is my first time stopping by your site and I&#39;m so glad I did. I love getting to the &quot;root&quot; of words! Thanks so much for sharing your insight. Blessings to you!

  9. Leah Adms says:

    What a post! Oh my word, how convicting is that? I love the word study. I’m all about those because they do help you understand what the original intent of the word was. I have not always been a protector of my husband, but in the past few years, the Lord and I have been working on it. Popped in from #gracetruth. Blessings, friend.

  10. Tiffany says:

    So beautiful Kaylene! I love word studies, and I think this just may be one of my new favorites ? I so desperately needed to hear this too, I love how perfect God’s timing is. Blessings friend!

  11. Angelica says:

    Thank you Kaylene, for sharing the word in a such a beautiful way. I had a lot to reflect on as a wife! This reading was an eye opener and a very humbling experience as well! God Bless You!

  12. Dana kunz says:

    I had an argument with my husband and decided to go to the store to cool down. All the way down our hill I drove and talked with Jesus and went on and on out loud about how he was wrong. After venting for a good 5 minutes I heard in my mind “Just guard his heart” I was surprised, and it wasn’t anything I would have been thinking as I was still angry so went on with a “but” and continued my rant. I heard it once more. By the time I got home I still had that on my mind and when I saw my husband I felt what he was feeling so I apologized and told him he could trust his heart with me, that I promised to guard it. I had no idea this was in the Bible! This happened a year ago but that simple 4 word phrase has stayed.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Isn’t it amazing how God has set eternity in the our hearts and inspires us say, feel, and do things that are later revealed as Him working in us? 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!

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