Helpmeet

SOURCE: Guy N. Woods, in Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary, 1946, pages 156-157.

An Helpmeet Made for Man (Genesis 2:18).

And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” The Revised Version has a marginal note over the words “help meet,” which reads “answering to,” that is, woman is an help answering to man’s needs. The Jewish commentary by Hertz offers these comments on this passage: “‘It is not good.’ From this verse the Rabbis deduce that marriage is a divine institution, a holy estate in which alone man lives his true and complete life. Celibacy is contrary to nature. ‘A help.’ A wife is not a man’s shadow or subordinate, but his other self, his ‘helper’ in a sense in which no other creature on earth can be. ‘Meet for him.’ To match him. The Hebrew term k’negdo may mean either ‘at his side,’ i.e., fit to associate with; or, ‘as over against him,’ i.e., corresponding to him.”

The practice of celibacy, to live in an unmarried state is, therefore, contrary to the design of God who created us. It is a sad commentary on man’s perverted character to note that great portions of the human family subscribe to the view that it is better to live an ascetic and hermitic life than to live as God ordained. As Clarke observes, “As man was made a social creature, it was not proper that he should be alone: for to be alone, i.e., without a matrimonial companion, was not good, whether it be on the side of the man or the woman. Men may, in opposition to the declaration of God, call this a state of excellence and a state of perfection; but let them remember that the word of God says the reverse.”

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