Study Of The Pertinent Sections Of The Old Testament
1. In this first section of the Introduction we will discover that man and woman stand equally before God in his kingdom of grace for salvation. In God’s kingdom of grace there is no difference between man and woman. Both are equals and co-heirs of salvation through faith in Christ. We discover this from the following Bible verses:
Galatians 3:26-28 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way live with your wives with understanding, showing respect as to a weaker vessel, the female, as also to a fellow-heir of the grace of life, so your prayers may not be hindered.
2. In this second section of the Introduction we will discover that our response of faith as Christian men and women to God’s undeserved grace in Christ by which we are saved is loving and serving him and our Savior Jesus Christ. The following Bible verses reveal this:
1 John 4:19 We on our part love, because he first loved us.
2 Corinthians 5:14,15 For the love of Christ impels us, having come to this conclusion: that one died for all, consequently, all died; 15 and he died for all, in order that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again.
The Aim Of This Bible Study:
God has graciously made us his children and heirs of heaven through Christ Jesus, his Son. This is the gospel of good news. In response to his graciousness our faith desires to serve him in every way that is pleasing to him. He tells us how we can serve him in a pleasing manner in his inspired Word that reveals his holy, immutable (unchanging) will for us all, which is his moral law.
This Bible study of the roles of man and woman is a study of God’s creative plan for the relationship of man and woman on this earth. It is called God’s Order of Creation, which is a part of his holy, immutable will, or moral law, for life on this earth that applies to all people.
The aim of this Bible study on the roles of man and woman is to discover how we men and women, as a fruit of our faith in Christ, can serve God in a pleasing way according to the roles he has established for men and women in his Order of Creation, which are his holy will for us all.
1. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them in 6 consecutive days of 24 hours each. The following verses reveal this:
Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Exodus 20:11: For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them. Then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Note: The Hebrew verb “create” means to produce. Its basic meaning is to cut and to carve out. It is used a total of 53 times. Whenever it is used to mean to create, its subject is always God. Only God creates. Man never creates.
2. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that God's having created all things as he did tells us much about what was his will for what he had made. In creating all things as he did, God created all things as he wanted them to be. The creation with all its creatures and what he created them to be and to do were according to his will that suited his purpose and was pleasing to him. The way in which God created all things to do what was pleasing to him reveals what was his will for them. The following Bible verses states:
Psalm 115:3: Now our God is in heaven, he does all that he desires.
Psalm 135:6: All that the Lord desires, He does in the heavens and in the earth, In the seas and in all their depths.
3. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that what God had created and ordained for his creatures in the beginning cannot be improved upon. The reason for this is simple: All that he had made was very good, that is perfect, as the next Bible verse plainly states. Being perfect, his creation and what he had ordained for his creatures could not be made better than it was. It was already a perfect world. By faith we will now recognize that we ourselves cannot improve upon what God had made and established for us men and women in the beginning according to his Order of Creation. Therefore, we will exercise our faith and show our love for God by accepting what he has established for man and woman in the beginning as his Order of Creation and as his blessing for us men and women today.
Gen. 1:31: Then God saw all that he had made and behold, it was very good. And it became evening and it became morning, the sixth day.
4. In this section we will discover that on the 6th day of creation the Trinity expressed their inner intentions, will and purpose to create man in their image. Then God did create man, meaning the human race, in his image with the role and function of ruling over the other creatures God had made.
Genesis 1:24-27 states: 24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind: domestic animals and creeping things and wild animals of the earth according to their kind.” And it became so. 25 And God made the wild animals of the earth according to their kind, and the domestic animals according to their kind, and every creeping thing on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. And let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the domestic animals, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth. 27 So God created the man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.
Verses 24 & 25 tell us that on the 6th day by the power of his Word God made all the land creatures -- the livestock, other ground creatures, and the wild animals, each according to its kind. They were all good, that is perfect.
In verse 26 God said, “Let us make...” The word “us” refers to the three persons of the Godhead Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In verse 26 the words “Let us make” tell us about the inner thinking and purpose of God. These words take us into the inner council of the Godhead and into what the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were proposing to do. These words reveal the inner intentions, will, and purpose of God, which was to make man who had not yet been made.
In light of verses 24 and 25 and the previous verses of Genesis 1 that tell us what other creatures God had made, the term “man” in verse 26 is to be understood generically in the sense of a creature that is distinct from all the other creatures God had made previously. Man is to be understood, not in the sense of the male gender, but as a term denoting the human race and mankind.
The following verses confirm the understanding that the term “man” in verse 26 is a generic term meaning mankind and the human race.
Genesis 5:2 states man consisted of a male and a female. This makes it evident that the term man was used in the sense of the human race, mankind.
Genesis 5:2: Male and female he created them, and he blessed them, and he called their name “man” at the time of their being created.
Exodus 13:15 makes it clear that man is a distinct creature from the animals God had made.
Exodus 13:15: And it came to pass, when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, that the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt from the firstborn of man even to the firstborn of animals.
Genesis 1:26 reveals God willed to make man, that is the human race, with the attribute of his own image and likeness.
Verse 26 also reveals that God intended and willed that man’s role and function was to be the ruler over God’s creation. God willed that mankind should rule under him over the other creatures on earth.
5. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that on the 6th day of creation God created, not merely two persons--Adam and Eve, nor a husband and a wife, but the first male and female of their kind, who represented their respective sex that would inhabit the earth as God’s creature man.
Genesis 1:27 states: So God created the man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God followed through on what he willed and intended in verse 26. He created man, the human race, in his image. When God created his creature man, verse 27 tell us he specifically created a male and a female, the two different sexes and genders.
God made me an individual who happens to be a male. God made you an individual who happens to be a male or a female. On the 6th day of creation, however, verse 27 draws our attention to God’s creating, not just two individual persons, but the first of the two distinct genders that make up the human race. In creating Adam he made the male sex. In creating Eve he made the female sex. This is further supported by Genesis 5:2. It states, “Male and female he created them, and he blessed them, and he called their name ‘man’ at the time of their being created. ”
In view of the fact that God created the male and female sexes on the 6th day of creation, Adam and Eve bore more significance than their just being individual persons such as you and I are. Being the first male and the first female, each represented his and her respective sex and kind that would inhabit the earth as God’s creature man.
6. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that Genesis 2:7-9 and 15-25 provides additional evidence that substantiates that on the 6th day God created, not merely two individual persons, but a male and a female who were the first of their kind and represented their respective gender in God’s world.
Genesis 2:7-9 and 15-25 state: 7 Then the Lord God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In this way the man became a living being. 8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden toward the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And the Lord God caused to sprout from the ground every tree desirable to look at and good for food, and a tree of life in the middle of the garden, and a tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat from every tree of the garden; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it, you will surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “The man’s being alone is not good. I will make for him a helper corresponding to him.” 19 Now the Lord God had formed from the ground every wild animal of the field and every bird of the sky, and he brought them to the man to see what he would name each one. And whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the domestic animals and to the birds of the sky and to every wild animal of the field. But for man he did not find a helper corresponding to him. 21 Then the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept. And he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at the place. 22 And the Lord God built a woman with the rib that he had taken from the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This one this time is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. This one will be named woman, because from man this one was taken.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will cleave to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 And the two of them, the man and his wife, were naked and were not ashamed.
Note: Like a newspaper report the account of creation in Genesis 1 provides the main story. Its headline is its 1st verse: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” which at the same time tells us that on the first day of creation God created all the raw materials from nothing, which raw materials he would use in creating the universe. Beginning with its 2nd verse Genesis 1 reports the main parts of the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. Starting at Genesis 2:4 a report on the history of the heavens and the earth is given that continues through Genesis 4. The history of what happened in the heavens and the earth begins with the details of God’s creating the most important creature that God made--man, who was the crown of God’s creation. Genesis 2:7-25 is a divine commentary and elaboration of how God created his creature man on the 6th day of creation. Genesis 2:7-25 explains more fully what was reported in Genesis 1:27.
Verse 7 declares God created the first human being, his creature man, by forming the man from the dust of the ground and then breathing into his nostrils the breath of life so he became a living being.
Verse 8 reveals that after creating the first man, God put him in the Garden of Eden.
Up to the moment of verse 18 on the 6th day of creation everything in God’s creation was good and perfect. But verse 18 states that God noted something that was not good. What was not good was the man’s being alone. This has been called a “not good of incompleteness,” because God’s creative work was not yet done.
Note: At the moment of God’s assessment in verse 18 that the man’s being alone was not good, the entire human race consisted of Adam. He was, and represented, the entire human race at that time. This is why he was given the name Adam. The name Adam in the Hebrew text is the word for “man”. So it was that the first human being, from whom all other human beings would come, and who represented all of mankind at the time, was appropriately named Adam, or Man. We might paraphrase his name as Mr. Human Being.
Genesis 2:18-25 indicates that Adam himself understood that what was said about him in verse 18 applied to him, not solely as one individual person, but as a male and the first of his male kind who would follow him. The term “man” in verse 18 is the Hebrew word “adam,” which means “man, a human being. The term “man” in verse 23 is a different Hebrew word. In verse 23 the word for “man” is “ish”. This Hebrew word “ish” is a noun that is used for a male in contrast to a female, whether human or beast. Examples of this meaning of the Hebrew word “ish” can be seen in Genesis 4:1, which says, “brought forth a man,” and in Genesis 7:2, which says, “a male and its mate.” Now the man, the “adam” of verse 18, referred to himself in verse 23 as a male, an “ish.” This reveals that Adam did see himself and understood himself to be a male, an “ish,” who was the first of his gender. He saw himself and understood himself to be the male of Genesis 1:27 who had been created. He understood that the words of Genesis 2:18 applied to him, not as one individual person, but as a male who represented his male gender.
Since Adam saw himself as being a male, he also saw and understood that the helper who was made for him was not just one individual but was the first female of her gender. This is why he named her, not with a personal name such as Eve, but for her gender “Woman.”
Genesis 2:19, 20 further substantiates that on the 6th day of creation God created not just two individual persons but the first male and female of their respective gender. We do not know for how long on the 6th day of creation Adam was alone. We do know that God left him alone on the 6th day long enough to name the other creatures God had made. God gave Adam the privilege of naming the other creatures to teach Adam a valuable lesson in preparation for what God intended to create next the woman. The object lesson that God wanted Adam to learn from naming all the other creatures was that he did not have a helper corresponding to him like all the other creatures had. A buck had a doe. A bull had a cow. A lion had a lioness. But the male Adam had no one who corresponded to him.
In naming the creatures Adam learned that the other creatures had helpers who were females corresponding to them. When he looked at himself, verse 20 states that he noted that he had no such helper who corresponded to him. Since Adam learned the helpers of the other creatures were females, when his helper was created and brought to him, he understood that she was a female, which is why he named her “Woman” in verse 23. This clarifies that Adam understood and saw himself and Eve, not as merely two individuals, but as a male and a female who were the first of their respective kind and genders. Adam likewise understood that the helper, of whom God spoke in verse 18, was not one individual but the entire female gender.
Note: The internal evidence of verse 23 really substantiates that Adam understood and received Eve, not as one individual person, but as the first female of her gender, a woman. For after naming the other creatures and learning they had a female counterpart that he did not have, looking at Eve he literally said in the Hebrew: “This one, this time, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’ (Hebrew ishah), for she was taken out of man (Hebrew ish).”
Verse 22 supplies additional internal evidence that the text of Genesis 2:18-25 is not merely about two persons, Adam and Eve, but is about the first male and first female who represented their respective sex. For verse 22 states that God did not create Eve from Adam’s rib but he created a woman, a female, from Adam’s rib.
7. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that in the New Testament Jesus himself provided additional evidence to substantiate that on the 6th day God created, not just two individuals, but a male and female who were the first to represent their respective gender in God’s world.
Matthew 19:3-6 below reveals that Jesus understood that the account of Adam and Eve in Genesis 1 & 2 did not apply to them only as two individual persons but primarily as male and female, the first of their respective gender. Jesus indicated that what took place with that first male and female established a divine principle that was applicable to all males and females, as indicated by the words “for this reason.”
Matthew 19:3-6: And some Pharisees came to him, testing him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 And answering he said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh?’ 6 Consequently, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
8. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that the Scriptures substantiate that the words in Genesis 2:18 are true for men of all ages. God’s statement that the man’s being alone was not good and that he needed a helper were not only true for Adam but for all men.
The following Bible passages verify it is good for a male to have a female helper and companion.
Proverbs 18:22 states that a man’s finding and having a wife is good. Contrarily, his not finding and having a wife is not good.
Proverbs 18:22: He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And he obtains favor from the Lord.
Malachi 2:14 reveals that a wife is a man’s partner and companion for life. This was established by their consent to be married. The man, therefore, ought not to break faith with his wife and partner by divorcing her and sending her away. He should keep her and remain with her.
Malachi 2:14: Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has born witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt faithlessly, though she is your companion and the wife of your marriage covenant.
Ephesians 5:31 states that a man leaves his parents’ home to have a wife of his own for his companion. He joins himself to her and is to remain glued to her for life. The term glued” is used here, because this verse is a quotation of Genesis 2:24 where the Hebrew term for “united” means to cleave to something, like being glued to something.
Ephesians 5:31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN WILL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BE ONE FLESH.
Proverbs 5:18 clarifies that a man ought to rejoice in his wife, and see that his having her is a blessing of God for his good.
Proverbs 5:18: Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Since the fall into sin men are tempted to commit adultery. For this reason 1 Corinthians 7:2 states that it is good for men to have a wife and not be alone. Having wives of their own enables them to live a morally pure life within marriage and not fall into the sin of adultery.
1 Corinthians 7:2: But because of acts of illicit sexual intercourse, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
Christian husbands today can exercise their faith and serve their Savior God by what they think of their wives. They can look upon their wives as God’s answer to their need of having a helper and a companion for their good. They can thank God for blessing them with the wife he has given to them.
Christian wives, on the other hand, can exercise their faith and serve their Savior God by what they think of themselves in their role of being their husbands’ helpers. They can look upon their role of being their husbands’ helpers as a blessing of God to fulfill an important need. They can accept their role of being their husbands’ helpers as a great good and their life as a mission their God has given them to fulfill. They can see their position as a grand and lofty one. For creation was not completed until the coming of the woman into the world to serve a most needed function.
9. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that Adam’s and Eve’s representing their respective gender has a significant implication for all males and females in God’s world. What God said in Eden about the first male and female, Adam and Eve, pertains to all men and women in God’s world. For this reason what is stated in Genesis 2:18 below also apples to all men and women, even to us today.
Genesis 2:18: Then the Lord God said, “The man’s being alone is not good. I will make for him a helper corresponding to him.”
Since Adam and Eve represented their respective gender, God’s will and intentions for them were also his will and intentions for all males and females who were to follow them. The roles and functions that God designed for and assigned to Adam and Eve as the first perfect, representative male and female were also applicable to all the males and females who would in time follow after them. When God created the human race male and female on the 6th day and intended and willed that they should rule over the other creatures, it was not God’s will that only the first male and female, Adam and Eve, rule over the other creatures, but it was God’s will that all males and females who would come to live on the earth would also rule over the other creatures.
Likewise what God said in Genesis 2:18 about the man’s being alone and the woman’s being the man’s helper also applies to all males and females in God’s world, including us.
Therefore, Christian men and women today can exercise their faith and serve God with regard to the roles and functions that God has assigned to them as males or females. They can hold a positive attitude about those roles and functions, accept those roles and functions as God’s will for them, and with his help strive to fulfill the respective role that God has assigned to them as a male or a female.
10. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that when God created male and female, he did not create one sex inferior to the other.
Genesis 1:27 below states that God created man, meaning the human race, male and female, in his image. This clarifies that both sexes, male and female, were created in the image of God.
Genesis 1:27: So God created the man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.
Since both male and female were created in the image of God, neither of the sexes was inferior to the other as a creature of God. There could have been no inferiority in either the male or the female, for both were in the image of God and perfect creatures, as we know from God’s seeing them and all that he had made as being good, that is perfect.
Genesis 2:22 below states that God made the woman from the man’s rib. Genesis 2:23 below states that the woman was the man’s flesh and bone. Having been made from the man, her physical qualities as compared to those of the man would have been of the same quality. She would not have been inferior to him, nor would he have been inferior to her. They would have been equally good.
Genesis 2:22, 23: And the Lord God built a woman with the rib that he had taken from the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This one this time is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. This one will be named woman, because from man this one was taken.”
Genesis 1:31 below states that the condition, not only of all of God’s creation, but of the male and female God had created, were perfect. This being true, neither could have been any better than they were, and neither could have been inferior to the other.
Genesis 1:31: Then God saw all that he had made and behold, it was very good. And it became evening and it became morning, the sixth day.
Today we can exercise our faith to serve God by what we think of the opposite sex. We can view the opposite sex as a creation of God that was made in his image and is not inferior to us. We can resist the temptation to think that our sex is superior to the opposite sex. We can hold the attitude that both sexes were made equally well.
11. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that on the 6th day of creation God blessed both the male and the female. In blessing them God revealed that his will for both sexes was to reproduce, to fill the earth and subdue it, and to rule over the other creatures in God’s world. This is made clear in Genesis 1:27 & 28 below.
Genesis 1:27 & 28: So God created the man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that crawls upon the earth.”
The blessing that God bestowed on them was given in the form of a command that revealed his will for the male and the female, not just for Adam and Eve but for all males and females. Verse 28 shows that God’s blessing and will for all males and females in his creation was: 1) To reproduce children and increase in number. 2) To populate the earth in time and to subdue it. The Hebrew word for “subdue” means to wrestle with the earth, to master it and make it do what they wanted. The female, as well as the male, was to be active in using her God-given abilities and talents in this subduing of the earth. 3) To rule over the other creatures on earth.
Mankind lost the blessing of ruling over the other creatures through the fall into sin. But God still gives us males and females today the blessing of bearing children and subduing the earth to master it.
Today we can exercise our faith to serve God with regard to these blessings he has given to us. By faith we can consider our children a blessing of God and thank him for them. By faith we can use the talents and abilities God has given us to do our part in working to subdue the earth and to make it serve and benefit us and others.
12. In this section of this Bible study we will discover from Genesis 2:18 below that God made the human race and the man and the woman to be sociable people with others of their own kind.
Genesis 2:18: Then the Lord God said, “The man’s being alone is not good. I will make for him a helper corresponding to him.”
God’s noting that the state of man’s being alone was not good tells us that God made the human race and the male sex to be sociable persons who had companionship with others of their own kind. The man needed companionship. The woman, whom God would make for the man, was to provide that companionship. Thus both man and woman were made to be sociable people. Their having companionship with others was God’s will for the role and function of all people in the human race, man and woman alike.
Today we can exercise our faith to serve God by what we think of the other men and women around us. We can see them as a blessing of God for our good to give us companionship as our friends and associates. We can understand that our life would be miserable if we were all alone with no one with whom we could converse and be friends.
13. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that Genesis 2:18 clarifies that according to his Order of Creation the role and function that God designed and assigned to the woman was being the man’s helper.
Genesis 2:18: Then the Lord God said, “The man’s being alone is not good. I will make for him a helper corresponding to him.”
Genesis 2:18 teaches us that God said his remedy for the male’s problem of being alone was to make a helper suitable for him.
God’s making a helper for the male Adam to remedy his problem of being alone tells us that the role of the female was that of being the male’s helper and her function was to provide companionship for the male.
Genesis 2:18, in the light of Genesis 1:27 that Eve was made a female and as such was the representative of the female sex on the 6th day of creation, clarifies that the role of helper and the function of providing companionship for the male was true, not only for the first female, Eve, but for all females who were still to be brought into existence to be like her.
Some have argued that Genesis 2:18 referred to Adam and Eve as husband and wife. Accordingly, those individuals have argued that the role of helper and the function of providing companionship apply only to the woman in the marital relationship. Genesis 2:18, however, does not speak of Adam and Eve as being husband and wife. So the role of helper does not apply only to the marital relationship. The role of helper and companion applies to the relationship of females to males in general even outside of the marital relationship. This becomes clear when the following are considered: 1) Genesis 1:27 states God created a male and a female, not a husband and wife. 2) When God spoke the words of Genesis 2:18 Adam was alone and Eve had not yet been created. These two factors show that God created a male and a female, not a husband and a wife. When the male and female were created, they were not yet married. Eve did not even exist when God spoke the words of Genesis 2:18, so she could not possibly have been married to Adam at the time. The marital relationship did not come into existence until God later brought the woman to the man. Therefore, what God said in Genesis 2:18 was true generically for the relationship of the males and the females as an entire class and group in general, and, no doubt, in preparation for and with a view to marriage.
Bearing in mind what was noted above about the female being the male’s helper and companion, God’s grand design for the men and women who would live in fellowship with God on earth in his perfect world becomes clear. In God’s perfect world women would live in harmony with their Creator God and with the men as their helpers and companions. Being perfect women, whose will was united with God’s will for them, they would find joy and fulfillment in their role and function of being men’s helper and companion. At the same time, being perfect men, the men would look upon the women as being a blessing of God for their good. The men would rejoice in having the women’s help and companionship, and would treat them accordingly with love, respect, and appreciation. A perfect harmony would have existed between men and women, each loving and honoring the other for what they were.
Today we Christian men can serve God as a fruit of our faith by what we think about all women in general. By faith we can see that women are a blessing of God that he has given to us men for our good, to provide us with help and companionship. We can rejoice in women in general and treat them with love, respect, and appreciation.
Today Christian women can serve God as a fruit of their faith by what they think about their role and relationship to men in general. Christian women can gladly accept their role and function with regard to the men, live in harmony with them, and treat them with love and respect.
Some have thought that saying the woman was made to fulfill the role of being man’s helper is demeaning to women. They consider being made to fulfill such a role a contrived assertion that should not be forced upon women. But it is untrue that having been made to fulfill a role or position is demeaning. God made other creatures to fulfill a certain role and function as well. God at times raised up individuals to fulfill a certain role and position. That was not demeaning to that creature or creation of God or to that person. Since it was not demeaning to others, it should not be asserted that being made a helper is demeaning to the women in God’s creation. The following are examples of this:
By saying that it was not good for the man to be alone in Genesis 2:18, God was saying that he made the human race, both man and woman, to be sociable beings with others. This was how they were to function. Their being made to be sociable was not demeaning to them.
In 1 Samuel 12:6 Samuel said to the people of Israel that the LORD had appointed (literally in the Hebrew “made”) Moses and Aaron and brought their forefathers up out of Egypt. God made Moses and Aaron the leaders over his people. That was the role he had made for them and had given to them, to lead his people. Acts 7:22-35 clarifies this as well. Having been made and raised up for that role and purpose was not demeaning to Moses and Aaron.
Genesis 1:14, 15 state that God made the sun, moon, and stars to serve the function of signs, seasons, days, and years, and to give light on the earth. When God had made them for those purposes, God said it was very good. Thus those purposes and functions could not have been demeaning to those creations of God. The functions they would serve were perfect.
Jeremiah 1:4, 5 state that God made and appointed Jeremiah to be his prophet. This was God’s will for Jeremiah even before Jeremiah was born. Having been made and born to be God’s prophet was not demeaning to Jeremiah.
14. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that the words “for him” in Genesis 2:18 indicates the woman was made for the benefit of the man.
Note the words “for him.” In the Hebrew the word translated “for” means “on behalf of anyone, and for the benefit of someone”. This clarifies that God said he would make a helper for the benefit of, and on behalf of, the male the man.
Today we Christian men can exercise our faith to serve God with regard to the female’s having been made for our benefit. We can thank and praise God for his goodness in providing the female for our benefit. We can consider all females, especially our wives, as a great benefit and blessing from God.
Today Christian women can exercise their faith to serve God with regard to their having been made for the benefit of the male. They can thank and praise God for having made them such great benefactors and blessings, and for having given them such a grand and elevated position in his world. For since God said it was not good for the man to be alone, it is clear that the world and men would not be good without the women in this world. Christian women can see their role as a most important and beneficial function for great good.
15. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that the woman’s role of being the man’s “helper,” as stated in Genesis 2:18, does not mean the woman is inferior to the man but in God’s Order of Creation she is subordinate to the man.
Consider the passages that follow. They say that the Lord with respect to us is our help.
Psalm 33:20: Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
Psalm 70:5: But I am afflicted and oppressed; Hasten to me, O Lord. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.
Since the Lord is our helper, and that is not demeaning and degrading to him, the woman’s being the man’s helper is not a demeaning and degrading role for her either.
Since the woman was made a helper for the benefit of the man, the man’s role with respect to the woman was the head and the leader. The woman’s role with respect to the man was not superior, or coordinate, but subordinate and submissive to the man’s role.
Scripture interprets Scripture. In our study of Genesis 3 and the pertinent parts of the New Testament that follow, we will discover that those portions of the Scriptures uphold and clarify that the woman’s role of being the man’s helper was a subordinate, submissive role with respect to the man.
Genesis 1:28 enables us to understand in what ways the woman would be the man’s helper.
Genesis 1:28 states: And God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that crawls upon the earth.”
This verse reveals three ways in which the woman would be the man’s helper:
1. Being fruitful, reproducing and raising children, which man could not do by himself.
2. Filling the earth and subduing it with the man by using her talents to accomplish this also.
3. Ruling over the other creatures God had made.
Today we Christian men can exercise our faith to serve God with a proper attitude about the woman’s being the man’s helper. We will not consider the woman’s role as a degrading position that makes us better than women. We will not lord it over the women, nor will we desire to put women in their place. By faith we will love them for what they are and treat them with respect. By faith we will also strive to fulfill our role as the leader by carrying out our leadership responsibilities for the benefit of the women.
Today Christian women can exercise their faith to serve God with respect to their role of being man’s helper. By faith they can accept their subordinate, submissive role as God’s will for them according to his Order of Creation, desiring to fulfill it as his servants who are eager to do his will. They will not covet the man’s role of leadership.
16. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that the words “corresponding to him” in Genesis 2:18 means the woman corresponded to the man. She was his flesh and bone, a human being like him. She was his matching partner who went with and belonged with him.
Geneses 2:18: Then the Lord God said, “The man’s being alone is not good. I will make for him a helper corresponding to him.”
Genesis 2:18 states that the woman was made “corresponding” to the man. Adam had learned from naming the other creatures that none of their female helpers corresponded to him. When God made the woman from the man’s rib, she did correspond to him. “Corresponding to” is a good rendering of the Hebrew word. The Hebrew word is used to make comparisons of things that are set opposite of each other. As the saltshaker corresponds to the peppershaker, so the woman corresponds to the man. She is opposite and different from the man, but she corresponds to him, and together they make a matched pair. Adam recognized this truth when he saw the woman, and after seeing that none of the females of the other creatures corresponded to him, he literally said, “This one, this time, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
Today we Christian men can exercise our faith in seeing that women correspond to us. By faith we will see that all women are our flesh and blood, special creations of God who correspond to us as no other creature of God does. The women fill out our lives, which otherwise would be very lonely and miserable without them.
17. In this section of this Bible study we will discover from Genesis 2:22-24 below that the particular relationship God established for man and woman in which they could fulfill their respective roles was the marital relationship. God established the marital relationship to be a blessing for man and woman. In marriage their need for companionship could be met, and they could enjoy the blessings of sexual happiness and children.
Genesis 2:22-24: And the Lord God built a woman with the rib that he had taken from the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This one this time is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. This one will be named woman, because from man this one was taken.” 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will cleave to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
Genesis 2:22 states God brought the woman he had made to the man. God’s bringing the woman to the man established the holy state of marriage.
Genesis 2:24 indicates that God’s joining the first man and woman in marriage established an important principle for the men and women who would come into God’s creation after them. Men would leave their parents to marry their wives to establish new family units.
In marriage a woman fulfills man’s need for companionship and has her need for companionship satisfied as well. Taking into account the statement in Genesis 2:24 that the man and the woman would become one flesh, and recognizing the blessed command in Genesis 1:28 that they were to be fruitful and multiple, God gave man and woman the additional blessings of sexual happiness and children.
Today men and women can exercise their faith to serve God by cherishing marriage as a blessing of God for both the male and the female, in which both are blessed with companionship, sexual happiness, and children.
18. In this section of this Bible study we will discover that God’s grand design for man and woman in his perfect world was upset and ruined by their fall into sin. This is evident from the following sections of the Bible.
Genesis 2:15-17: Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat from every tree of the garden; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it, you will surely die.”
Genesis 3:1-24: Now the serpent was more shrewd than any wild animal of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Is it even so that God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’ ” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it and you shall not touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes and the tree was desirable to become understanding, then she took from its fruit and ate and gave it also to her husband with her and he ate 7 and the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made aprons for themselves.
¶ 8 Then they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the breeze of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 And he said, “I heard your voice in the garden and I became afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
11 Then he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you indeed eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 And the man said, “The woman, whom you gave to be with me, she gave to me from the tree and I ate.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”
14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all the domestic animals
And all the wild animals of the field!
Upon your belly you will always slither (go),
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life.
15 And enmity I will put
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He will crush your head,
And you will crush his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain and your conception.
In pain you will bring forth children.
Yet your yearning will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.
17 Then to the man he said, “Because you listened to the voice of your wife and you ate from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it,’
Cursed be the ground because of you.
By hard labor you will eat of it
All the days of your life
18 Now thorns and thistles it will continually sprout forth to you,
And you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread
Until you return unto the ground.
For from it you have been taken.
For dust you are,
And unto dust you will return.”
20 Now the man called the name of his wife Eve, because she indeed would be the mother of all the living.
21 And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skin and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man is like one of us to know good and evil, and now lest he stretch out his hand and also take from the tree of life and eat and live forever “
23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
24 So he drove the man out; and to the east of the Garden of Eden he made the cherubim dwell and a flaming sword that flashed this way and that to guard the way of the tree of life.
God gave the man the command not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man could eat from any other tree but that one. This command gave the man the opportunity to love, respect, worship, and serve his Creator God by obeying that one command.
God told the man that the penalty for disobeying his command would be death.
God’s giving that one command to the first man, who represented the entire human race at that moment, and expecting him to obey it, tell us what God’s will was for all people who would come to live in his perfect world. God’s will was that all people would live with him in loving and respectful obedience and be like God himself. They would reflect the image of God by doing only what was good and right. Their doing so would redound to the glory and honor of God.
This account of the fall into sin is well known. We need not discuss it in detail. There are certain facets of the fall into sin, however, that we should explore, because they pertain to the role of man and woman in God’s world. And we should remember that at the time in Eden, the man and the woman comprised the church, the family, and society all at the same time.
Genesis 3:6 reveals that the man was with the woman at the time that she was being tempted by Satan to disobey God’s command not to eat from the forbidden tree. Having the leadership role, the man should have spoken up to warn the woman. He should have warned her that snakes do not talk, that that snake was telling her to disobey God’s command, and that she should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But he said nothing. In this way he failed to uphold his role of leadership that God had given to him. He reneged on his responsibility of providing leadership.
The woman’s fall into sin also upset and overturned the roles that God had established for man and woman. Genesis 3:6 and 17 reveals that when the woman had sinned herself, she usurped the leadership role of the man by giving him the forbidden fruit and telling him to eat it. She became the leader and the man became the submissive follower.
After the fall into sin God came seeking the man Adam first.
God’s seeking the man first tells us that God held the man responsible for what happened in Eden and for the fall into sin.
The Scriptures in Romans 5:12-19 below uphold that the man was responsible for the fall into sin, and that by what he did he brought sin upon the whole human race.
Romans 5:12-19 Therefore, just as by one man the sin entered into the world and the death by the sin, even so the death passed through to all men because all sinned 13 For before law sin was in the world, but sin is not charged to one when there is no law; 14 and yet the death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of him who was to come. 15 But the gift of divine grace is not like the transgression; for if by the transgression of the one man the many died, by much more the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ was present in abundance to the many! 16 And the gift is not like what resulted through the one man who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment resulting in condemnation followed one transgression, but on the other hand the gift of divine grace resulting in a verdict of acquittal followed many transgressions. 17 For if by the transgression of the one man the death reigned through the one man, by much more those who received the abundance of grace and the free gift of the righteousness will reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18 So then, as by the transgression of one man a sentence of damnation for all men, so also by the righteous deed of one man an acquittal that brings life for all men. 19 For as by the disobedience of the one man the many were declared sinners, so also by the obedience of the one the many will be declared righteous.
God held the man responsible for the fall into sin, even though the woman sinned first. God’s holding the man responsible for what occurred in Eden makes it obvious that he was the one who held the position of leadership, not the woman. The man was responsible for not providing the necessary leadership that was expected from him. He had failed as a spiritual, family, and social leader in the church, home, and society.
Genesis 3:16, which is printed again below, clarifies that God reinstated and reasserted the roles he had established for man and woman before the fall into sin. He reinstated the leadership of the man. God told the woman her husband would rule over her. The term rule is a neutral term. In itself it does not convey a sinful tyranny or domination. Sinful men have done this of course. But this verse cannot be cited as justification for such sinful behavior. It should also be remembered that God and our Savior Jesus Christ rule over all things. They certainly rule without being guilty of any sinful tyranny or domination.
Genesis 3:16: To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain and your conception. In pain you will bring forth children. Yet your yearning will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
In Genesis 2 we observed that the man Adam named the helper God had made for him “woman”, naming her for her sex and gender. Genesis 3:20 below reveals that Adam did not give her a personal name that recognized her as an individual person until after the fall into sin. He then named her Eve, because she would be the mother of all the living. His naming her, rather than she taking a name for herself, also indicates that the man was exercising authority as the leader over her.
Genesis 3:20: Now the man called the name of his wife Eve, because she indeed would be the mother of all the living.
Genesis 3:12, which is again printed below, shows that the fall into sin upset and ruined God’s grand design for man’s and woman’s living together in his perfect world. The perfect harmony, love, and respect that God had designed to exist between man and woman ceased. Having become sinful, the man quickly and without hesitation turned against the woman and shifted the blame for his sin to her as well as to God. His love and concern had become self-centered and he had become preoccupied with what he thought was in his best interest, rather than thinking first of the woman and what was to her benefit.
Genesis 3: 12: And the man said, “The woman, whom you gave to be with me, she gave to me from the tree and I ate.”
As a result of the first man’s and woman’s fall into sin and their passing their sinful natures on to their children, who became the men and women in God’s world, God’s grand design for the role of all men and women in relation to one another was overturned and ruined by sin. Men and women have been sinning against one another ever since, instead of living in harmony with one another and exhibiting a perfect love and respect for one another.
Like Adam, we Christian men can fail to serve God by faith and renege in fulfilling the role God has given to us. We also fall into sin and disobey his commands. We can fail to serve God by failing to provide the leadership we are responsible for providing in our homes, society, and church.
Like Eve, Christian women can fail to serve God by faith and overturn the roles of man and woman that God established. They too can fall into sin and disobey his commands. They can usurp the leadership role and foster a power struggle for control.
To summarize what we have discovered in this section of this Bible study: In the fall into sin the first male failed to provide the leadership expected of him for the family, church, and society. The first female usurped the leadership role, leading the male and telling him what he should do--to disobey God’s command. God clearly showed that the man was the leader by seeking him out first to give an account of what he had done. God reinstated and reasserted the roles he had established for man and woman by telling her that her husband would rule over her. Adam’s not giving the woman her personal name of Eve until after the fall into sin reinforces that on the sixth day of creation she was recognized and accepted and addressed as a female, the first of her gender, and was named according to her sex, not as an individual person. Adam’s giving the woman the name of Eve also shows that he was exercising authority over her as the leader. Because of the fall into sin God’s grand design for the role of man and woman in relation to one another has been upset and ruined by us sinful men and women, who fail to fulfill our respective role as we should according to God’s Order of Creation. We men can fail to abide by God’s Order of Creation to provide the leadership expected of us in our homes, society, and the church. Women can fail to abide by God’s Order of Creation by struggling for control and leadership in their homes, society, and the church.