Genesis 2:18 ‘Ezer Kenegdo “Cook’s Helper or Equal Partner?

Listen to Episode 2 HERE

Study Guide prepared by Joanne Hagemeyer.

(See below for links to resources for further research.)

Though the status of women almost always improves with the introduction of Christianity to a new culture group, this had not happened in the Mono and Ngombe villages. Even after twenty-five years. Why not?

Because the foundation of their Christian education included incorrect doctrine that hindered the growth of faith and ministry.

A misreading of Genesis 3:16 had led to a misreading of Genesis 1:26-28 and 2:18-25.

Genesis 1 and the Persons of the Trinity.

Each Person of the Godhead is unique and acts in unique ways yet is also One with the other Persons. Each Person of the Godhead is also fully God, fully infinite, eternal, and equal in Being. Each Person of God-Three-in-One shares the same essence, attributes, power, glory, and authority.

Exercise: Develop a correct understanding of God’s creative acts in Genesis 1.

1. Read Genesis 1:1-3

a. Using a Hebrew-English lexicon, define the Hebrew word Elohim. (Blue Letter Bible includes a lexicon.)

b. In each verse, describe which member of God Three-in-One is being portrayed:

Verse 1

Verse 2

Verse 3

2. Read Genesis 1:26-31

a. How is Elohim portrayed in these verses?

b. God made the first man,

· In whose image? (1:27)

· With what mandate? (1:27-28)

· With what summation? (1:31)

c. God made woman,

· In whose image? (1:27)

· With what mandate? (1:27-28)

· With what summation? (1:31)

3. To understand the nature of God-Three-in-One, we need to ask and answer What other information can we also glean about the creation of men and women?

Genesis 2:4-25. The focus on Day Six of Creation. We see God forming the man, planting the Garden, giving instruction, explaining about the two Trees in the Garden, and forming the woman.

When God creates the woman, she is described in relation to the man. In two Hebrew words packed full of meaning, ‘ezer kenegdo, God describes how the two are designed to go together. They are equal partners made for each other, and once together, they are to be a resourceful and satisfied pair, at home together in Eden.

Exercise #1: Build on what we know from Genesis 1 with details we learn in Genesis 2.

1. Read several translations of Genesis 2:18-25. (Such free online Bible apps as Bible Gateway, Bible Hub, and Blue Letter Bible enable you to find other translations.)

a. Survey Genesis 1. How often is the word “good” spoken by God?

b. What is “not good” in Genesis 2?

c. Compare Genesis 1:22 and 1:28 with the man’s condition in Genesis 2:18, and explain what God meant by “not good.”

Exercise # 2. Using a Hebrew-English lexicon, if possible, define the Hebrew words

a. ‘ezer

b. kenegdo

Exercise #3. How is ‘ezer portrayed in each of the following Bible passages?

Exodus 18:4. The God of my father was my help and delivered me….

Deuteronomy 33:7, 26, 29

Psalm 33:20

Psalm 70:5

Psalm 89:19

Psalm 115:10-11

Psalm 121:1-2

Psalm 124:8

Daniel 11:34

Hosea 13:9

Further studies in the Hebrew use of the word kenegdo by Rosenzweig show that those who are in this kind of relationship are partners. He translates ‘ezer kenegdo as “equal partners.” It takes two to be partners. The woman cannot be an equal partner on her own. Both are involved in an equal partnership.

Exercise #4. Characterize the woman God made, and the relationship she was to share with the man.

Notice the direction we took in learning about the human beings God made: we moved forward in the narration, from Genesis 1 to Genesis 2. However, many Biblical scholars move backward in the narration from Genesis 3 back to Genesis 2.

Exercise: Trace the backflow of a wrong translation of Genesis 3:16 and therefore a wrong interpretation of Genesis 3:15-16 to a wrong translation and interpretation of Genesis 2:18

1. Compare Genesis 2:18 in several Bible translations.

a. What words are used to translate ‘ezer kenegdo?

b. How is the ideal relationship between the man and the woman typically described—as equal, or requiring a leader?

2. Because of the incorrect perception that God cursed the first woman in Genesis 3:16, explain how Genesis 2:18 has been mistranslated and misinterpreted?

3. How have these incorrect ideas touched the everyday lives of people in your culture?

Review: The correct translation of Genesis 3:15-17 

Genesis 3:15-17

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.

16 To the woman he said,

I will greatly increase your-sorrowfultoil


yet your desire shall be for your husband,

and he shall rule over you.

17 And to the man he said,

Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,

and have eaten of the tree

about which I commanded you,

‘You shall not eat of it,’

cursed is the ground because of you;

in sorrowfultoil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

Review: The correct translation of Genesis 2:18

Genesis 2:18

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man is alone; I will make partner equal with him.

Exercise: Write a better interpretation of the creation of woman based upon a correct translation of Genesis 2:18.

Here are links to our resources for further research. 

1. Blog post on the True 2 Hebrew Words (

2. Easy diagram of Genesis 3:16 (

3. Dr. Joy Fleming’s doctoral research: The e-book summary in 48 pages (

4. Bruce C. E. Fleming’s Workshop video summarizing Genesis 3 with slide presentation (

5. Join the Tru316 Project! (

6. Podcast weblinks: and

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