[Milton-L] help meet

James Rovira jrovira at drew.edu
Thu Jan 8 20:47:15 EST 2004

It sounds like you're looking for scholarship on different English
versions of Genesis, so I'm sure this isn't what you're looking for, but
it may be helpful other ways:

"He [man or Adam] needs a 'helper matching him' (18,20).  Elsewhere [the
Hebrew word for helper] 'helper/help' usually refers to divine
assistance, but it is used in three prophetic passages of military aid
(Isa. 30:5; Eze. 12:14; Hos. 13:9).  To help someone does not imply that
the helper is stronger than the helped; simply that the latter's
strength is inadequate by itself (e.g. Josh. 1:14, 10:4,6; 1 Chron.
12:17,19,21,22).  The compound prepositional phrase 'matching him,'
literally, 'like opposite him' is found only here.  It seems to express
the notion of complimentarity rather than identity." (68)

>From Wenham, Gordon J. Word Biblical Commentary (1), Genesis 1-15. 
Waco, TX:  Word Books, 1987.

>From this, it seems "help meet" would be most appropriate, if we
understand the word "meet" as "fitting" or "appropriate."


Margaret Thickstun wrote:
> Friends--recently I read a critical discussion of the Genesis verse
> "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet
> for him" which took issue with the later conflation of "a help meet
> (of 'fit') for him" into "a helpmeet."

More information about the Milton-L mailing list