The Wife from The LORD (Proverbs 18:22 & Proverbs 19:14) (Part 2)

The Companionship of Love

The Creation of woman is ascribed to the need of this “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). In a marriage a man’s wife is his best friend. Fellowship of soul makes the union more than a mere contract of external relationship. Now, this fellowship is greatly needed for solace amid the cares of life, and strength to face its difficulties. The wife is able to give it to her husband, and the husband to his wife, as no persons in the outer circle of social relationship can hope to offer it.

Mutual Helpfulness

In the narrative of the Creation, God says, concerning Adam, “I will make him a help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). The wife who understands the Christian calling will aim at ministering to her husband in all ways of helpfulness that are within her power, but chiefly in helping his walks with God and the duty of her husband towards the wife will be similar.

  • Help – The word for “help” (exer) is used for both help and helper. It is used nineteen times in the Old Testament and fourteen times it alludes to God as our Help (Helper – Psalm 70:5). The word means: “surrounding, defending, girding, helping, succouring.” Man must have a help meet (wife), one sufficient for him, not an inferior aid, for this word “help,” as we have seen, is used fourteen times of God.
  • Meet – The word for “meet” (neged) means the front part, the front, or over against, opposite to each other, those who answer to each other (accountability), who are alike.  Placed before Adam, his wife in whom he could recognise his own likeness, his reflected image, one who would correspond to him in every way, succouring and aiding, entirely identified with him. The Syriac translation is “a help similar to him.”
  • Rib (Tsela), translated “rib” in Genesis 2:21, 22, in the plural is translated beams (as in the ribs of building). It is used of a side of a man, or inanimate things such as the tabernacle, altar, side chambers, cells of the temple, of the whole of that part of the temple comprising three stories (Ezekiel 41:5, 9, 11; Ezekiel 41:9), it is word used for space between the two walls of the temple, intended for these chambers. This is the reason, no doubt, why the Septuagint used the Greek word “pleura,” the lining membrane surrounding the ribs, lungs and heart. The rendering “rib” has its origin in the rabbinical writings. How could Adam says, “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” if only a little bone such as a rib had been taken from him?”

What Adam needed was God’s Creation after his own kind. We read that God took one of Adam’s ribs and from this rib made, a woman. When the Hebrews word “tsela” is translated rib it conveys a more limited idea than the Hebrew original. The word is never translated “rib” except in the Genesis account, but always “side,” or “flank.”

This is the true meaning also of the Latin word by which it is rendered in the Vulgate costa as shown in the French côte and our coast…….Woman was not framed out of one of  Adam’s many ribs, of which he would not feel the lost. She is one side of man; and though he may have several sides to his nature and character, yet without woman one integral portion of him is wanting.

Closed up the flesh instead thereof, literally, “closed up the flesh under it,” that is, in its place. This does not mean that man now has flesh where before he had this “side,” but that a cavity was prevented by the drawing of the flesh on the two edges close together, Metaphysically it means that man has no compensation for what was abstracted from him, except in the woman, who is the one side of his nature which he has lost;……She is something  which he once had, but has lost, and while for Adam there is simply the closing of the cavity, the woman is moulded and refashioned and built up into man’s counterpart. She brings back more than the man parted with, and the Creator Himself leads her by the hand to her husband. Note the following comments:

  • Porter – “Man when alone is incomplete” (Porter, Dr. Footnote Kitto, J.: Daily Bible Illustration, Morning Series, p.172).
  • Matthew Henry – “The woman was not made out of his head to top him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him.” (Matthew Henry: An Exposition of the Old and New Testament {London, Frederick Westley & A. H. Davis} 1836, Vol.1, p.12, note 4).
  • Otto Von Gerlach – “In the case of the animals, both sexes could be created side by side; in the case of man, however, where marriage is intended to be a communion of soul in the service of God – where the education and training of the fruits of marriage for God’s service and kingdom, the ordering and governance of the house and of the earth, formed a main part of the task imposed – there must be  the origin of the woman to point to the indissoluble union by which two persons become one until their life’s end. The woman taken out of the man (and out of that part of him which lay nearest to his heart), in order to show that this union of soul in love extended to the unity of the flesh likewise – embraced all…….and was indissoluble.”  (Ott Von Gerlach: Commentary on the Pentateuch (Edinburgh, T & T Clark), 1860, p.56).
  • Bishop Wordworth – He describes Eve as: “a helpmate exactly adapted to his moral and spiritual nature; literally ‘a help as over against him, before him,’ so as to ‘meet’ him, fully and ‘correspond’ to him as his counterpart…….” (Wordworth, Chr.: The Holy Bible with Notes and Introductions {Lond, Rivingtons}, 1880, Vol,1. P.17).

It was God who, with what He took from man, made literally built and created, woman (Genesis 2:22). The outcome of God’s creative act was marriage and the fruit of that union, the family. Woman was not made out of the dust of the ground, as Adam was, but by a separate, creative act which has no parallel in history. Matthew Henry commented: “Man being made last of the creatures, as the best and most excellent of all, Eve’s being made after Adam, and out of him, puts an honour upon that sex, as the glory of the man (1Corinthians 11:7). If man is the head, she is the crown; a crown to be husband, the crown of the visible creation. The man was dust refined, but the woman was dust double-refined, one removes further from the earth.”

To be continued……. Stay Tune.

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