What does it even mean?
The best resource we have found on this subject was written by one of our favorite theologians, Marg Mowczko.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Genesis 2:18-20
In English, the word “help” has a broad range of connotations. “Help” can refer to a simple, modest act, or it can refer to something much more vital and significant. An example of vital help is the assistance provided by doctors. In Hebrew, the word for “helper” used in Genesis 2:18 and 20 is ezer (pronounced “ay-zer”), and it is always and only used in the Old Testament in the context of vitally important and powerful acts of rescue and support.
The word ezer is used twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Twice it is used in the context of the first woman. Three times it is used of people helping (or failing to help) in life-threatening situations. Sixteen times it is used in reference to God as a helper. Without exception, these biblical texts are talking about a vital, powerful kind of help. Yet when ezer is applied to the first woman, its meaning is usually diminished to fit with traditional and cultural views of women’s roles.
For more, please check out Marg’s blog. We highly recommend the following posts:
-used with permission-