In Wild at Heart, author John Eldredge takes some effort to describe the language used in Genesis 2:18 to refer to Eve. While some translations and commentors translate the hebrew "עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃" (ezer kenegdo) "suitable helper" or "help mate", Eldredge comments on the weight of that description while discussing the sanctity and gravity of the marriage union,

It means something far more than just "helper"; it means "lifesaver." The phrase is only used elsewhere of God, when you need him to come through for you desperately. "There is no one like the God of Jesherun, who rides on the heavens to help you" (Deut. 33:26). Eve is a life giver; she is Adam's ally.

While meditating on this, I was reminded of what Jesus said to the disciples before his crucifixion:

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; (John 14:16, NASB)

Do any of the Church fathers compare Eve and the Paraclete?

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    Not sure why it's not showing. I up voted this question. It's awesome. – Daisy May 2 '16 at 14:05
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    It seems to be drawing a long bow if you are only relying on two random usages of the same (or similar) word to make this association. – Dick Harfield May 2 '16 at 21:28
  • @Andrew I like this question. what about the Hebrew vs. Greek – hernan43 May 2 '16 at 21:30
  • @hernan43 Septuagint Greek is βοηθέω (from βοη, "intense exclamation" and θέω, "run") – properly, to run and meet an urgent distress-call (cry for help); to deliver help, quickly responding to an urgent need (intense distress)." It seems Eldredge's reading of "life-saver" is justified. – Andrew May 3 '16 at 1:56
  • @DickHarfield I am not only relying on two uses of a translated word (helper), but I am considering types (helper). – Andrew May 3 '16 at 1:58

Perhaps not surprisingly, in light of Ephesians 5, church fathers widely connect Eve with Christ's Church. This seems to displace other interpretations, like a connection between Eve and the Holy Spirit. However, it is at least hinted at in Chrysostom, when he compares the Old Testament man to the New Testament man:

Then [i.e., OT times] He said, “Let us make for him a help,” but here [i.e., NT times] He said nothing of the kind. What other help shall he need, who has received the gift of the Spirit? What further need of assistance has he, who belongs to the Body of Christ? (Homilies on John, 25.2)

That is, in the OT the "help" God provided to Adam was Eve, but in the NT, he has already provided the "gift of the Spirit," so no additional help is required.

Granted, the connection is weakened because Chrysostom goes on to describe other ways in which the New Testament believer has already been provided with "help." Nonetheless, it's clear that Chrysostom connects the "help" for Adam of Genesis 2:18 (Eve) with the "gift of the Spirit" for the New Testament believer.

  • Is it within scope of this Q & A to wrap the OT archetype of Wisdom being feminine into the answer, or is that a reach? – KorvinStarmast May 3 '16 at 17:56
  • @KorvinStarmast That seems like a bit of a stretch to me. But if there's a church father that connects Eve and the Holy Spirit in that context, go for it. – Nathaniel May 3 '16 at 18:53

Great question, I had heard the same thing (Eve / paraclete) so was searching Google and found this thread. The connection is not as founded as I had hoped it turns out. I think I was told at some point that the Greek word used in the LXX for the Hebrew "ezer" was "paraclete", but that's not the case after looking into it myself. What I did find in my search was a very helpful and well written article expounding on the significance of Eve as "ezer" - It had a similar feel to the nature of the question you are asking, I hope it's helpful for you as well: https://margmowczko.com/a-suitable-helper/

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    Please edit your answer to summarize the main points at the link, since "link only" answers are not a good fit for our format and tend to get deleted. Welcome to Christianity.SE, Noah. Please take the tour and visit the help to get an idea for how the SE format is different from an internet forum. I am looking forward to seeing the major points at that link added to your answer. – KorvinStarmast Jun 30 '18 at 20:37
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE! When you have a moment, please take our tour and visit our help center to learn more about us. – JBH Jul 1 '18 at 17:25

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