Genesis 2:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 2:18, NIV: "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, ESV: "Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”"

Genesis 2:18, KJV: "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him."

Genesis 2:18, NASB: "Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'"

Genesis 2:18, NLT: "Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.'"

Genesis 2:18, CSB: "Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.""

What does Genesis 2:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For the first time in the Bible, we hear God describe something as "not good." Until this point, God has seen everything He has made as good or very good, including the first man. All of the created world was perfect in form, function, and potential until this point. Now something wasn't right.

What's especially interesting about this statement is that, at this point, God is wholly responsible for the state of the world. This is not after the fall of man, but before it. Why, then, is something God created being called "not good?" And by God Himself, no less? In short, only God can be perfect. So, anything which is not God cannot be completely perfect. And, we have already seen God choose to create through a process of creation and modification (Genesis 1:9–12). It is not only logically possible, but inevitable, that part of God's creation will be less than perfect, in the sense that God is "perfect."

What, exactly, is the problem which God intends to correct? The man was alone. God didn't design human beings to live in solitude. Specifically, marriage between man and woman was part of His plan for humanity from the very beginning, even before sin entered into the world. God declares that He will make a helper that is fit, or suitable, or "corresponds to" the man. In other words, He will make another person like the man: another human built with the purpose of being the man's helper and companion.

Some see the description of the first woman as the helper of the first man as demeaning. Some assume this means she is lesser in position or purpose. However, God often describes Himself with the same root word used here for helper: 'ezer (Psalm 33:20; Psalm 70:5; Psalm 115:9). In any case, the woman will be provided to the man for his good. She is part of God's provision to him, as he will be to her. God's intention and design is for the man and woman to live and work and walk with Him together.

The following verses will also show that God intends humanity to see each other—not animals—as their true companions and equals. God will create animals for Adam to name, and point out that none of them are a suitable match for him.