Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ezer Kenegdo

Let’s look at the Hebrew word “ezer” which some have been translating as a diminuitive help-er.

(Hebrew = azar)
azar = prime root: to surround, ie, protect or aid: help, succour
Gesenius adds that the primary idea lies in girding, surrounding, hence defending
(Hebrew = kenegdo) corresponding to, counterpart to, equal to, matching

The traditional teaching for the woman as help (meet) is that of assistant or helper subservient to the one being helped. This definition would appear to line up with Strong's definition of the word. However, if you look at the context of every other use of the word ezer in the scripture, you will see that ezer refers to either God or military allies. In all other cases the one giving the help is superior to the one receiving the help. Adding kenegdo (meet) modifies the meaning to that of equal rather than superior status. God says just what He means.
(Fr. God's Word to Women —

Exodus 18:4
And the other was named Eliezer, for he said, "The God of my father was my help (ezer), and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."

God as our ezer is not following our lead by helping us. He is being our strong ally. When God reformed the woman from the very tissue of the man, she was to become the strong help that he needed as one who is like him yet different. Help in what? Help in his aloneness.

Gen. 2:18 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

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