What is an Ezer Kenego?

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  Gen 1:27

Have you ever sat back and really thought about God’s “Divine Design” of male and female?  Most of the time the differences between the genders are the brunt of derogatory jokes.  Mark and I have taught seminars on how our gender affects our communication and outlook on life.  We are so much better off if we seek to understand one another.  Not only are we each created with a unique personality and temperament, but our gender brings different ways of looking at and talking about life.

In the seminar, Mark points out that no one is all “male” or all “female.”  Since we are created in the image of God, we possess some traits of each gender.  If you would like to read more about Mark’s research on this topic, see http://mark.cowpersmith.org

Mark goes right to the beginning and examines God’s purpose for this Divine Design.  God created male and female in His own image and therefore the union of man and women (when under His influence,) will reflect Him.  When God created woman He said “ I will make a helper suitable for him.”  Gen 2:18  The Hebrew words used for helper suitable are ezer kenego.

Some Hebrew scholars have said “helper suitable” is an unfortunate translation.  Skip Moen writes – The woman was never meant to be an assistant or “helpmate” to the man.  The word “mate” slipped into English since it was so close to the Old English word “meet,” which means “fit to” or “corresponding to” the man which comes from the phrase that likely means “equal to.”  What God had intended, then, was to make a “power” or “strength” for the man who would in every way “correspond to him” or even “be his equal.””

Quote from “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim and Kathy Keller – “The English world “helper” is not the best translation for the Hebrew word ‘ezer “Helper connotes merely assisting someone who could do the task almost as well without help.  But ezer is almost always used in the bible to describe God himself.  Other times it is used to describe military help, such as reinforcements without which a battle would be lost.  To “help” someone then, is to make up what is lacking in him with your strength.  Woman was made to be a “strong helper” Page 173-4

The word ezer is used 21 times in the Old Testament, 16 times God uses it to describe Himself.   Ps 121 is a popular Psalm that uses the word ezer I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

There are other Hebrew words that could have been used to describe the concept of a helper, but the one God chose is a helper like Himself, that is comparable to man.  WOW

God’s Design is so awesome.  The more I understand my uniqueness, both as a woman and as a child of God, I stand up taller and put my shoulders back.  I say confidently, “I AM MADE FOR THIS.”

In the following blog posts we will explore how we can walk out our destiny, fueled by God.

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