Maybe I am asking the wrong question, but it is a question I would like answered. In light of the textual meaning of ezer k'negdo, it seems an entirely appropriate question. It may not be a question addressed in the commentaries and that is ok. It is my question and maybe there is an answer.
What has happened to move “very good” to “not good”? Woman has not been separated from the adam (human) at this time. What has Adam done or not done that makes it “not good” for him to be alone/unseparated? To make it necessary for him to have an ezer-kenegdo = a helper corresponding to as well as opposite or opposed to him?
Creation at this point in time was not in self destruction mode, and YHVH changes not, so what brought about this change from very good to not good? To have dominion over all the earth is Adam’s mandate. That includes what is already in existence as sin as well as nachash (literally: shining one - translated into English as serpent.). What was nachash doing in the garden? Was this something Adam was supposed to have taken care of and didn’t, thereby bringing “not good” into the mix? Is it possible he is ignoring the part of him that would address this problem? Is this why the separation has to happen? This would certainly support the function defined for woman as ezer kenegdo - we will start with ezer.
ezer comes from the root azar (St. 5826/TWOT 1598) which initially meant to surround or encompass and defend. It shows up mostly in military situations. In Ez. 30:8 we see this verb used in connection with soldiers rushing to aid each other during battle. The main usage occurs where God is doing the helping as in 2 Chron. 12:18.
These are the listed actions that are ezer. The word implies one who is much capable or who has superior military strength and can also be trusted in the same way YHVH is trusted. The Scriptural sense of ezer is a fellow warrior, someone you need to help insure your survival, a comrade in arms, a trusted partner. The separated man and woman become a unique partnership of counterbalances that are at the same time individual entities and one flesh. The word ezer is used 21 times in the Tenach. 2 times it is used in Genesis in relation to the first woman. 3 times it is used in a military context and 16 times it is used of God. In the last two instances, the help discussed is vital and powerful. Of course, we make the connection of these attributes with YHVH when HE is described as ezer, but have not rightly applied the same to the woman. WHY?
If first usage determines the way a word is used in following passages and ezer is defined as a subordinate helper to the man when first used in Genesis, then this meaning would have to hold true for the later places this word is used of YHVH as helper. Is there anyone who holds to the doctrine of subservience of the woman who would agree that YHVH in the role of helper to man is subservient to man? There are just too many problems with this way of thinking for me to see it as viable.
coming soon - k'negdo