The Wife, A Help Meet
Written by Diane Bills 2022
Genesis 1:31, “And Elohim saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…” This verse in Genesis tells us that YHWH had said that everything He made was very good. That is, until we get to Genesis 2:18, “And YHWH Elohim said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”
What does it mean to be a help meet? The word phrase ‘help meet’ in this verse is Strong’s H5828 עֵזֶר ʻêzer, ay'-zer; from H5826; aid:—help. The Hebrew text actually says “suitable helper’, which is Strong’s H5048 כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃ (kə·neḡ·dōw) and means a front, part opposite, a counterpart, mate, over against, before. Unfortunately, in translating this verse, the KJV left the descriptive word ‘suitable’ out of the text. This word is very useful when one is studying to find out what the helper actually does.
I will make for him a suitable helper. The word suitable can mean adapted to a use or purpose, satisfying propriety (the condition of being right, appropriate, or fitting), and able or qualified. I like the definition for the word able, which can mean having sufficient power, skill, or resources to do something. It makes me think of the Scripture passage of Proverbs 31:10-31, specifically verses 13-27, which say, “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
The help meet displays many different skills and is extremely resourceful. And, she has sufficient power in that, along with honor, it is part of her clothing. This reminds me of the very first article I posted in regards to The Woman’s Head Covering. How she has power on her head. A verse that I’m reminded of is Proverbs 12:4, “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” Not only does the woman have a crown of power on her head (the physical head covering), but the man also has a figurative crown on his head, which in this verse, is his wife (if she is virtuous). I think that is really interesting. The Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon states that whatever is an ornament or dignity to anyone is figuratively designated a crown. A couple examples of this are Proverbs 17:6, “Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” and Proverbs 14:24, “The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.”
So, YHWH created the wife to have sufficient power, skills and resources. That sounds to me like an excellent help meet for her husband. No wonder why He said in Proverbs 18:22, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of YHWH.” This is more than likely because she is able to provide her skills and resources to help him. The word ‘good’ in this verse is the Hebrew word H2896 טוֹב ṭôwb, tobe; from H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense, which can mean: good, excellent (of its kind). So, she is considered an excellent wife.
Genesis 2:21-23 states the following, “And YHWH Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which YHWH Elohim had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And, Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” The word ‘rib’ in verse 22 is צֵלָע tsêlâʻ, tsay-law'; or (feminine) צַלְעָה tsalʻâh; from H6760; a rib (as curved), literally (of the body) or figuratively (of a door, i.e. leaf); hence, a side, literally (of a person) or figuratively (of an object or the sky, i.e. quarter); architecturally, a (especially floor or ceiling) timber or plank (single or collective, i.e. a flooring):—beam, board, chamber, corner, leaf, plank, rib, side (chamber).
The Outline of Biblical Usage has the following uses for this word, rib:
I. side, rib, beam
A. rib (of man)
B. rib (of hill, ridge, etc)
C. side-chambers or cells (of temple structure)
D. rib, plank, board (of cedar or fir)
E. leaves (of door)
F. side (of ark)
What’s interesting, is letter F, side (of ark). It reminds me of what Deuteronomy 31:26 says, “Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of YHWH your Elohim, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” The book of the Law was to be put in the SIDE of the physical ark of the covenant to be a witness against the people for when they would sin. Woman was taken from the SIDE of man. Is she to also be a witness against him for when he sins? What I mean by that is, part of the function of the wife as being a help meet, is she to be a witness against her husband when he sins by reminding him of what the Scriptures say? Now, I don’t mean that she is teaching over him, I only mean that she is helping him to grow in his walk by bringing edification to him through her conversation. This is exactly what we see in 1 Peter 3:1-2, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”
The word for ‘conversation’ is Strong’s G391 ἀναστροφή anastrophḗ, an-as-trof-ay'; from G390; behavior:—conversation. We know that the fear of YHWH is to depart from evil, which is defined in Proverbs 3:7, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear YHWH, and depart from evil” and in Proverbs 16:6, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of YHWH men depart from evil.” By this, we can see that one of the biblical definitions of fear is to depart from evil, which we know by doing so, we would be obeying His commandments. Evil would be disobeying His commandments, which is also transgression of the Law. So, by the wife’s chaste behavior that is coupled with fear (most likely the fear of YHWH), she would be a witness to her husband (because she would be obeying YHWH’s commandments), without speaking any words, if he were to not obey the word of YHWH.
Now, the question is, what is she to help her husband with? Well, looking back at the passage in Proverbs 31, she helps him by working willingly with her hands. Verse 16 says that she plants a vineyard, which is the Hebrew word H3754 כֶּרֶם kerem, keh'-rem; from an unused root of uncertain meaning; a garden or vineyard:—vines, (increase of the) vineyard(-s), vintage. See also H1021. She helps with providing food for her family. This helps her husband to be able to use the earnings that he would have needed to use to purchase produce from the merchants for other important necessities.
Now, I know that not every family is in the position to be able to plant a garden due to living circumstances. Some live in apartments, or trailer parks or other places that do not allow gardens and/or do not have the adequate space for them. That is ok. We are in our Babylon, so we have to work with what resources we have available to us. Unfortunately, we don’t all own our own homes with land. Even though that is the Father’s will for each of our lives, we may not all be in the position to do that at the moment due to choices we have made on our journey here on earth as we pass through. But, it could be something we can work towards. Maybe until we can get to that point of owning our own homes and land, we can do what we can in regards to growing some of our own food. We can even attempt to grow food in containers and have container gardens. It would definitely help with providing some nourishment for our families.
How do I know it is the will of the Father to own our own homes and land? Well, I noticed one day while reading the Scriptures that there was a passage that referenced that topic to the children of Israel when they were in Babylon. The passage is found in Jeremiah. YHWH told the prophet Jeremiah to write a letter and send it to the children of Israel that were being held captive in Babylon. Jeremiah 29:4-7 says, “Thus saith YHWH of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And, seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto YHWH for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Even though the children of Israel were captives in Babylon, YHWH told Jeremiah the prophet to send a letter to them instructing them to build houses and dwell in them and to plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. I saw that passage and my eyes were opened to that being one of the Father’s will for my life. So, in specific regards to planting a garden, I have taken the necessary steps in that direction.
Just a side note, I also noticed in that passage that YHWH said to pray for the peace of the city that they were located in. That is another example for us today. We are to pray for the peace of the city that we dwell in here in our Babylon. The Father says that we shall have peace in the peace of the city that we are praying for.
It was the Father’s will for mankind to farm, not to work for corporations like we see in modern times. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an agricultural society. But, the Father’s will has not changed. His will is for us to grow our own food and own our own homes and land, even while we are in Babylon, just as His will was for the children of Israel while they were in Babylon. For myself, I had never really thought extensively about or even had a desire to farm. I think it may have been because of how much work would be involved. But, once I learned the truth of that being one of the Father’s will for me, I now have a desire for and began growing a garden. And, not to my surprise, I found out real fast that it is just as I had originally thought, a lot of work.
The first year was a container garden. The year after that was an earth garden. Last year I had planned on it being a combination of those two as well as adding a couple/few raised bed gardens due to the soil in our yard not being very easy to grow in. But, I was not able to plant a garden because we were going to be moving. Even though we had an extremely small area of yard space to garden, I was doing what I could at the time with the resources I had available to me. We lived in a trailer park and the part of the yard that was available to use for a garden, was very clay-like and did not receive much sunlight, which affected the amount of abundance that was and wasn’t produced. But, it did give me some fantastic experience for where we reside now. We have more yard space here and it appears to be some fantastic soil for growing food. I am currently in the process of planning our garden for this year. I do understand that not all wives are able to garden due to physical limitations and resources, but that is ok. They can do what they are able to do in that regard, maybe do some container gardening and/or focus on other areas of being a help meet to their husbands.
Genesis 1:27-28 states, “So, Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim created he him; male and female created he them. And, Elohim blessed them, and Elohim said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Wives are to help their husbands be fruitful by replenishing the earth and subduing it. Going back to the letter that YHWH told Jeremiah to send to the children in captivity, they were told to marry and multiply their families. So, nothing has changed in His plan for mankind. Not every woman has the ability to conceive. But, that does not diminish her worth whatsoever at all. She can assist her husband in other important ways.
Once children are born, the wives are then to help their husbands train them up according to the Father’s ways. Proverbs 22:6, says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Even though I believe that the main responsibility for this proverb is to the Husband, since he is in the leadership role that Father YHWH has placed him in as the head of the household (under Yah’u’shua), this responsibility probably falls more so as the wife’s responsibility than as the husband’s. The reason I say that is because the wife is usually the one who is with the children more than the husband, due to how our current culture operates. He is typically the one needing to work in a profession outside of the home due to our living in a mostly non-agricultural society.
The wife, if she is fortunate, is able to stay home with the children. That is not always the case though. In a lot of instances, both the husband and the wife need to work outside of the home to make ends meet while others are training up their children. And, more often times than not, those others are not training the children up in the ways of the Father, but in the ways of the world. Personally, I believe it is of the enemy for both parents to work outside of the home while the children attend public schooling. It is not of the Father. I can see that according to the Scriptures. But, for those who are in the situation of working outside of the home, they just have to do the best they can to train their children up when they are home together. And, be in prayer so much more for the Father’s assistance to get to a point where at least the wife can be home with the children.
I know it can be extremely difficult in this day and age to make ends meet in the household. Before our son was born, I worked. And, my husband and I did not have a lot of funds left over after paying our responsibilities. But, the Father put it on our hearts for me to stay at home with our son. So, 2 months after he was born, I quit my job working at the bank. That was 8 years ago this next month. Praise report, the Father caused that to happen. My husband and I didn’t know how we were going to pay all of the bills, but Father YHWH has provided all of these years. It is a truly amazing testimony, considering at the time of me quitting my job, we were just making ends meet. And, especially considering that He knew what was going to happen down the road to our son at 13 months of age. But, that is something I will reflect on more in depth in another topic at a future date.
Another way that the wife is to be a help meet is stated in Proverbs 31:12, “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Doing good is not always necessarily doing a specific task for someone. We see in Proverbs 31:15 that the wife "rises while it is still night and gives food to her household and a portion to her maidens". This is a task that she does. It is a good task, but, doing good can also be doing something on someone’s behalf.
One example from Scripture that we can see that is something good that a wife did for her husband is in the story of King Ahasuerus. Who was King Ahasuerus? Well, that was the husband of Queen Esther. She, unknowingly to him, and probably to herself as well, did him good. How so, you ask? Well, when she petitioned the king on behalf of her people, the king gave her favor and, as a result, her people’s lives were spared and the king’s life was possibly spared as well. The reason I say his life was possibly spared as well is because we see examples in Scripture of kings doing evil to YHWH’s people and then those same kings are destroyed because of it. So, looking at those examples, it’s very possible that Queen Esther spared her own husband’s life when he ended up not annihilating her people. Therefore, she did him good.
Another example of a wife doing good to her husband is in the story of Abigail, Nabal’s wife. Nabal was a wealthy man, but he was evil in his doings. David, before he was king, sent some of his men to Nabal and blessed and saluted him, then asked for favor for David and his men in regards to food and water. Well, Nabal did not know who David was and his answer to David’s men did not make David a happy camper when his men relayed back to him what Nabal had responded. So, on David’s orders, he and about 400 of his men prepared to return back to Nabal. But, in the meantime, one of Nabal’s servants told Nabal’s wife, Abigail, what had happened and about David’s plan to do evil to her husband and his whole household.
Upon hearing the evil plotted against her husband, Abigail gathered together many goods as gifts to David and sent them with her servants ahead of her. She did not inform her husband of what she was planning to do. So, she left and upon encountering David, she fell at his feet and requested that he give her audience to hear what she had to say. She told David that YHWH is the one to revenge and blessed David by saying that YHWH will certainly make him a sure house and that he would be appointed king over Israel. She also requested that David would remember her when YHWH Himself, not David, avenges Nabal.
At that point, David received the gifts that she had brought him and spoke peace upon her and sent her back home. Upon arriving home, Nabal was found feasting a feast of a king and was drunk. She held her peace until morning when he was sober and informed him of what had all transpired. I’m sure it was in the hopes that he would change his wicked ways, but that didn’t end up happening. The Scriptures then say that his heart died and he became as a stone. It goes on to say that 10 days later YHWH smote Nabal and he died. I could be wrong, but I’m thinking that his heart may have frozen in fear of what she had told him and that he was still alive, but had possibly become paralyzed from the fear and couldn’t move and that YHWH smote him 10 days later where he actually died. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me at this point.
So, when David heard of what had happened to Nabal, he thanked YHWH that he himself was kept from doing evil in regards to revenging Nabal with his own hand. Afterwards, David sent men to tell Abigail that she was now to become his wife. So, she actually spared her husband at the time, Nabal’s, life at the hand of David, even though it ended up being for a short time. But, ultimately, YHWH killed him anyway because of his evil doings. This may not have been the greatest example to use, but it does show that Abigail did have a heart to plead for her husband’s life to be spared at the hand of David, even when she knew it meant that David could’ve easily ended her life as well because the Scriptures say that when she fell at David’s feet, she requested that her husband’s iniquity be placed upon her. So, she was aware that her life was in David’s hands, but still chose to do good to her husband by pleading for his life on his behalf. Although she mentioned to David that YHWH would revenge Nabal, I don’t believe she knew how or when that was going to happen. So, she attempted to do what she could to keep her husband alive at the time for however long that would end up being. Therefore, she did him good.
Now, in regards to doing evil towards a husband, an example we see is in the case of Ananias and his wife in Acts 5:1-2. This specific example reminded me of Adam and Eve, but in reverse. Eve was the one who sinned first by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So, in actuality, Eve did evil towards her husband, Adam, by being an avenue that the enemy used to cause her husband to sin in disobeying YHWH’s instructions. Although the Scriptures say that Adam was right there with her, so, on his part, he should’ve reminded Eve of the commandment the Father gave to him. Scripture reveals that YHWH gave the commandment to Adam, Genesis 2:16-17, “And YHWH Elohim commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam then would’ve needed to relay the message to Eve. We can assume a lot of things about how all of that played out. For instance, did Adam remind Eve of the commandment and she gave him a hard time about it and then he gave in? We don’t know. We can make all kinds of assumptions, but we have to stick to what the Scriptures reveal, which the Scriptures do not say that Adam reminded her. But, if he didn’t, he should’ve. The example of Adam and Eve for us in regards to a wife doing evil towards her husband is that wives must make sure that they aren’t avenues that the enemy can use to cause their husbands to sin in disobeying YHWH’s instructions. Therefore, Eve did evil to her husband.
Now, going back to Ananias and his wife, Acts 5:1-2 says, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.” We see here that Ananias made a decision, along with his wife, to sell a possession and keep back some of the funds that they received from the sale. What should have Sapphira, the wife, have done? She should’ve reminded her husband of the commandment to not lie. But, instead, she went along with it herself. Now, just like with the case of Adam and Eve, we can make assumptions of Sapphira possibly reminding Ananias and he gave her a hard time about it and she caved, but we have to again, keep to what the Scriptures reveal.
So, not only did Sapphira do evil towards YHWH, she did evil towards her husband as well by not reminding him of YHWH’s commandment to help him stay on the narrow path as well as herself, which also like Adam and Eve, led to their demise as we can see as we read the rest of the story. Acts 5:3-11, "But Kepha said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Set-apart Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto YHWH. And, Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the spirit: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. And, the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. And, it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And, Kepha answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then, Kepha said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of YHWH? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then, fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the spirit: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And, great fear came upon all the assembly, and upon as many as heard these things.”
Proverbs 31:26 says, “She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” If Sapphira would’ve opened her mouth with wisdom (which the Scriptures define as the Word of YHWH, according to Proverbs 2:6, “For YHWH giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding”; YHWH’s Word out of His mouth is wisdom as well as knowledge and understanding), she would’ve spoken truth (which, according to Yah’u’shua our Master and Savior is defined as the Word of YHWH when He was speaking to the Father saying in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy Word is truth”) to her husband and would’ve eventually saved her own life, even if her husband would’ve kept on that road to destruction by himself, if he had not heeded her reminder of keeping the Father’s commandment to not lie. Again, we don’t know if she did remind him, but we can see that even if she had and he refused to heed warning, she would’ve saved her own life in the end by being truthful herself. Therefore, Sapphira did her husband evil (as well as herself in the process).
In closing, I’d like to say that in regards to a wife being a help meet to her husband, she has a great responsibility. But, YHWH has provided her with many great resources to be an excellent wife, specifically and most importantly, His written Word, which imparts wisdom. I also want to say that even though Proverbs 31 mentions many things that a wife does as a help meet, I found something extremely interesting in that passage that really caught my attention, and actually, excited me. If you look closely, it also mentions that she herself has help to do those things. Going back to verse 15, it mentions that she has maidens. The word maidens is the Hebrew word נַעֲרָה naʻărâh, nah-ar-aw'; feminine of H5288; a girl (from infancy to adolescence):—damsel, maid(-en), young (woman). It can also be a female attendant or female servant. So, she has help to do all of those things that are mentioned. Some wives have young daughters to assist with some of the necessary tasks and responsibilities that are needed to be completed for the household, which is absolutely wonderful. But, specifically for those who don’t have any help, don’t feel overwhelmed. We only need to do the best we can within the circumstances that we find ourselves in.
Although, if you can make all of your family’s clothing, grow all of your food, make merchandise to sell, spin and weave, homeschool your children, clean your home, mow your lawn, prepare every meal from scratch, etc, etc, all by yourself, fantastic! That is quite amazing! I stand and applaud you! Praise YHWH! Please teach me how to do all of that too :) The main point is that she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness (Proverbs 31:27). Wives are not to be idle, which is the Hebrew word עַצְלוּת ʻatslûwth, ats-looth'; from H6101; meaning indolence:—idleness, sluggishness, laziness, to be slack. So, as long as we as wives are not being idle, if we aren’t physically able to do all the things listed in Proverbs 31, that is ok. Our Master Yah’u’shua knows what our situation is. As long as we do our best, that is what we are to do. We just need to make sure we are busy doing what we have been instructed to do. And, as we are busy doing our responsibilities, we can have joy in knowing that we are doing our Father’s will for us. Then, when we get tired from being busy throughout our day, we can look forward to the Sabbath day of rest from all of our work we have been busy doing all week. What a blessing the Father has given us with His set apart Sabbath day of rest!
Now, by saying what I am about to say next, I am not in any way demonizing anyone who may be doing any of these things. But, in the day and time that we live in, it is something that is extremely needful to say. Watching movies or tv, running here and there with friends, leisurely shopping, playing on social media, chit chatting on the phone every other minute, involving ourselves in hobbies, or vegging out on the couch for hours and hours isn’t what we have been instructed to do. Those things can actually hinder us from doing what we’ve been instructed to do, distracting us from what is important, doing the will of the Father. Wives can also get addicted to doing them and even start to believe that they aren’t able to function without doing those things. Those are all things that the flesh likes to do. But, we are not to live by the flesh. Also, for millennia, wives got along just fine without all of the entertainment that is in those things that are available to wives today. And, I will add, they were not missing out on anything whatsoever by it either. They, as well as the whole households, were actually better off for not having all of the technology and department stores we have today.
Proverbs 14:1 says, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” May YHWH help us as His daughters to be wise women who build their houses and do our best at assisting our husbands on that narrow road that leads to life. Not only is the wife a help meet to the husband, but she and he are both one in YHWH. Matthew 19:6 says, “Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore Elohim hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” They each are like hands. They are opposite one another and facing towards one another. But, one is typically stronger than the other (think right handed or left handed dominance). They, too, are like the wings of an eagle. Both wings are needed for the eagle to fly. It cannot fly without both wings. So, each are extremely vital in getting that eagle to its destination. For a husband and wife, they have the same destination. It is to become more like our Master Yah’u’shua in obedience to the Father’s instructions, bringing glory to His wonderful Name. This was not an exhaustive study as I am sure there are many other things and examples that could’ve been said and referred to. But, I do hope that this minimal study brought you, my dear sisters in covenant, edification to be a suitable help meet to your husbands.
Shalom, Sisters in Yah’u’shua!