(Genesis 2:18) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
God was not alone, because God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit communicated with each other, loved each other, and worked together before and after God created all that exists. God wanted Adam to have someone like himself as a companion so he would not be alone. God is infinite, and people are finite. God is all knowing and everywhere present, but people can never be equal to God (all knowing and everywhere present). People need other finite beings like themselves to communicate with, to love, to grow and learn with, and to work together with under the Lordship of their Creator. God wanted Adam to have a helper and partner like himself. The Father, the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit are Helpers and Partners in the perfect sense, as Jesus demonstrated, and as Jesus said the Holy Spirit would demonstrate after Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to His followers. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit worked together in the creation and redemption of human beings. God wanted people to experience the joy of living and working together with others similar to themselves.
(Genesis 2:19) And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
God had already made the plants and the animals (see Genesis 1). But depending on your translation of this verse, it is possible that to help Adam learn more about God’s creation, God may have created two of these animals male and female once again from the dust of the ground; then, Adam could learn how to be creative in the image of God (though Adam could not give them life). Part of God’s teaching Adam how to rule over all that God had formed out of the ground included telling Adam to name each living creature. Perhaps God explained how and why He had created each living creature before Adam named them; then, Adam would learn what it meant to be creative and create. Created in the image of God, Adam would also be creative and create from what God had made. As God had made Adam out of the dust of the ground; later, God would make a woman for Adam out of his rib and the dust of the ground. God did not name the animals. God helped Adam develop his imagination and reasoning ability. God also helped Adam discover that he needed someone more like himself to have a real helper and partner.
(Genesis 2:20) And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
God was not experimenting to learn something, for God knows everything that can be known. God was helping Adam to discover truths about the world in which he lived; these truths and the names he gave the animals were a foundation for his developing powers of reason and the ability to rule wisely over God’s creation. God may have taken “years” or “a long time” helping Adam develop his mind, understanding, and governing abilities through learning about and naming the living creatures. Based on all Adam learned about these animals, Adam concluded that none were equal to him in the image of God or fit to be his helper and partner.
(Genesis 2:21) And the LORD God 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;
God did not want Adam to experience pain. God created Adam with the ability to experience pain, but pain would not come to Adam until after he disobeyed God. God performed a medical operation on Adam; therefore, we know that operations to heal are part of our ability as people created in the image of God and operations to heal people are permitted by God. We may rightly conclude that God explained to Adam what He would do, and Adam felt no fear or anxiety, because Adam did not have these painful emotions until after he failed to trust God and sinned against God.
(Genesis 2:22) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
The Book of Genesis does not tell us all we might like to know or answer all our questions, but it is possible that after God took Adam’s rib and closed up the place with flesh, God allowed Adam to watch Him create the woman out of Adam’s rib and the dust of the ground. If God enabled Adam to see Him create Eve from his rib, Adam could have learned more about what it meant for him and the woman to be created from the dust of the ground, and Adam would know that part of himself was within the woman as created by God. Because God taught Adam about what God was doing (or did), Adam could exclaim that the woman was bone of his bones and her flesh was like his (from the ground).
(Genesis 2:23) 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.
When God brought the finished and living woman to Adam, perhaps after God explained how He blew the breath of life into both Adam and the woman, Adam declared what he knew intellectually to be true, the woman was bone of his bones. Adam also expressed the emotion of appreciation at least, if not love, to God and to the woman who had come from a part of him and would be his partner. Just as Adam named the animals, so he would name the woman, Eve.
(Genesis 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Based on the creation of men and women, both created in the image of God, they can be partners. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament give the reason for men and women to be husband and wife. On the basis of natural law, we know how God created men and women to be one flesh and how as husband and wife they would conceive and bear children in their image and in the image of God.
(Genesis 4:1) And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
The personal name “Adam” means “ground” or “earth,” from which Adam was formed by God. Adam knew his wife Eve in a more personal way than the word “know” is usually used: the NIV translates the word “made love.” The personal name “Eve” means “living one” or “source of life;” the first mother of us all. Eve conceived and gave birth to Cain. The name Cain has been interpreted to mean “spear.” Cain became the first murderer after the Fall of Adam and Eve. Eve praised the LORD for the birth of her first son when she acknowledged that she gave birth to Cain with the help of the LORD. The proper name “LORD” is Yahweh or Jehovah, and LORD is used for the first time in Genesis 2:4. She may have given birth to daughters prior to Cain’s birth, the Bible does not tell us whether she did or not. She acknowledged that Cain was a man, like Adam.
(Genesis 4:2) And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Next, she gave birth to Cain’s brother, Abel. The proper name “Abel” means “breath” or “futility,” probably because his life was cut short when Cain murdered him. The two men began two different ways of life or occupations that have sometimes brought conflict between the two groups. Abel became a shepherd and Cain became a farmer.
1. If Adam could talk to God and have God’s help, why do you think Adam was alone (even though Adam did not feel the pain of loneliness) and needed a helper and partner?
2. Why do you think God first brought animals to Adam before God brought a woman to Adam?
3. Why do you think God wanted Adam to name all of the animals and birds rather than just name them Himself and tell Adam their names?
4. Do you think God allowed Adam to stay asleep when God created the woman from Adam’s rib, or do you think God woke Adam so Adam could watch God create the woman from Adam’s rib?
5. What kind of clothing did God give the animals, the birds, and Adam and Eve when God created them? How did they feel about the clothes they wore?
“So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found” (Genesis 2:20).
Beginning with the first book in the Bible, we learn many truths about God and ourselves. We learn God created us as finite replicas of the infinite God; therefore, we have many of the abilities and attributes of God. Like God, we can use our abilities in a myriad of indescribable ways. However, since God created us with human limitations, we need rest each day. Though God does not need rest, God chose to give us an example to follow when God rested on the seventh day of creation. Since God gave us the abilities to think, reason, and create, God helped Adam develop his God-given abilities when God told him to name all the animals and birds. Since people need sleep each day, God may have taken years to teach Adam how to use his imagination and name the animals. God also created us with the ability to make choices, and God probably helped Adam use this ability when he decided what to name each animal. God also created us with a moral compass, so we can have the freedom to choose between doing right or wrong. To use his moral compass, God gave Adam only one law to follow so Adam would have the freedom to choose between obeying God and disobeying God. God created us with the ability to evaluate our experiences, and Adam discovered that none of the animals could be a suitable helper for him. After God helped Adam reach this conclusion, God created a suitable helper for Adam when God created woman and Adam named her Eve. – LG Parkhurst Jr.
This Bible Lesson is also available in three easy-print handout sizes for your students.
Ask questions and discuss the lesson with other Bible students and teachers at the International Bible Lessons Forum!