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Part One: Woman -- Man's Helper or Slave?

Part Two: God Formed the Man and Fashioned the Woman

Part Three: The Team Marriage

Part Four: Good Rather Than God

Part Five: Relationship Glue


God Formed the Man and Fashioned the Woman

By David Eckman, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Kesed Seminars -- How are men and women different? Genesis 1 and 2 answers the question. Genesis 1 relates humanity to the earth. God created the Heavens and earth and then formed and filled the planet with life. The next chapter, Genesis 2, relates man and woman to each other. God first formed Adam. While Eve was not there, God gave Adam a series of purposes to fulfill and the goal of not eating from the Tree of Good and Evil. We can say the male was formed to be a purpose fulfiller. Humorously, that very quality is sometimes maddening to women. In the first five days of His creative work, God commented at the end of the day that what He had made was good. But in the making of men and women, in Genesis 1:31, God said that man and woman were very good. Each gender would be very good at what God created them for. The man would be focused on purpose and activity. That would be his glory, but at the same time, it could easily become a weakness. For good or for bad, he would be very good at completing purposes.

Genesis 2 has two different words for the forming and fashioning of the man and the woman. The two words give insight into the differences between the genders. Genesis 2 states that God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground. The Hebrew word is yatser, meaning "to fashion as a potter." A pot is simple and straightforward. It is usually filled with one thing at a time. That nicely illustrates the man as a purpose fulfiller. In a sense, a man is focused upon purposes, and when he is pursuing the purpose, he is filled with that one thing.

The word for the fashioning of the woman is banah, used for making palaces, a temple, or forms of art. It implies that the woman was meant not only to be a companion, but an aesthetic work. Part of the creative work of God is that this aesthetic work would have the capacity to sustain her own beauty. Researchers tell us that one out of ten men are color blind, while one out of two hundred women are color blind. That implies that God built into women the capacity to be aesthetically sensitive.

In Genesis 2, a gap existed between the forming of the man and the fashioning of the woman. The gap has significance. God created a multitude of animals in front of the eyes of Adam and asked him to name them. After naming them, Adam was asked by God if he wanted any one of them as a Helper. Adam answered in the negative. Finally, after Adam developed depth perception as to what he wanted, God placed him in a sleep and fashioned Eve out of his rib. When he came to consciousness, he was in a place where he could appreciate the gift of the great Helper.

In appreciation of the gift, Adam broke out in Hebrew poetry. He rhapsodized, "This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man." A Hebrew word play is in the text, because the woman is actually described as a female man.

The conclusion is that the woman and the man are intended to be an interdependent team. One partner, the male, would be focused on purposes, and the other, the woman, would be focused on relationships. The woman would be an aesthetic work of art, and the man would be a utilitarian force. Together, under the grand purposes of God, they were to govern the earth.


David Eckman is the co-founder and senior lecturer for Kesed Seminars, a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing people to Gods loyal love. The organization name, Kesed, comes from the Hebrew word for loyal love. Kesed Seminars is a seminar and training team that works with Campus Crusade, churches, denominations, schools, and other parachurch organizations to bring spiritual transformation to their constituencies. Dr. Eckman and his wife, Carol, have been married for 30 years and have two children.

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