[Milton-L] help meet

William Shullenberger wshullen at slc.edu
Mon Jan 12 12:00:37 EST 2004


Hi Margie,

I don't know the reference you mention, but I do recall some interesting
commentary on the passage in The New Eve in Christ, by Mary Hayter.  She
discusses the Hebrew & observes that the term in question appears several
other times in Hebrew scripture as a descriptor of God in God's relation
to humanity. So the term is not intended to diminish but to magnify the
importance of the "Earthling's" (Adam's) new partner.  I am in Heidelberg
now and it is some years since I read this passage in Hayter, but I think
I have it right.  If it doesn't answer your question, it surely bears on
your curiosity.  I thought Hayter's book is quite wonderful, by the way: 
what Diane McColley helped us to discover in Paradise Lost, Hayter helps
us to see in the Bible.

Cheers,
Bill S.

 > 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."
>
> Alas, I cannot remember where I read this or whose work it was.  At  the
> time I was thinking about fallen angels, not about marriage.  If  anyone
> can point me toward a likely suspect, or is willing to claim  authorship
> of this elusive piece of scholarship, I would be grateful  for the
> guidance.
>
> Margie
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