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
    Commented May 2, 2016 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. Commented May 2, 2016 at 21:28
  • @Andrew I like this question. what about the Hebrew vs. Greek
    – hernan43
    Commented May 2, 2016 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
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 1:56
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    Let's avoid Mary, who was the spouse of Joseph. I'm interested in the linguistic and typological association between Adam's paraclete and ours (who is the Spirit), and whether any historical sources exist that discuss that association.
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 14:52

3 Answers 3


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? Commented May 3, 2016 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. Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:53
  • The earliest and most prevalent and consistent connection of Eve by far is with Mary as the new Eve, i.e. the antithesis of fallen Eve. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 14:07

The 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: A SUITABLE HELPER (IN HEBREW).

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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. Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 20:37
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    – JBH
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 17:25

Do any of the Church Fathers draw a connection between Eve and the Holy Spirit?


This is not coming from a Church Father view, but the writer had written on Eve and the Holy Spirit, see the link;

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND EVE AS HELPERS Posted by Marg | Aug 1, 2019 | All Posts on Equality, Gender in Genesis 1-3, The Holy Spirit | 19 https://margmowczko.com/holy-spirit-eve-helpers/

The Church Fathers draws a connection to Eve and Mary as the New Eve.

Early Church Fathers on Mary as the New Eve by Joe Heschmeyer

Last week, I talked about how Mary is presented in Scripture as the New Eve, through a number of remarkable parallels. In that post, I quoted St. Irenaeus, who wrote in 180 A.D. about what he called “the back-reference from Mary to Eve,” namely, that “the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith.”

But Irenaeus wasn’t the only Father to point this out. Nor was he even the first. Twenty years earlier, in about 160 A.D., St. Justin Martyr wrote:

For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, ‘Be it unto me according to thy word.’ And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.

So add that to the list of parallels between the Fall and the Redemption. Eve was visited by a fallen angel who enticed her to disobedience from God. Mary was visited by an angel, and responded with total obedience. Note also the distinction Justin draws between “virgin” and “undefiled.” That is, Eve was both a virgin and freed from all sin, original and actual, prior to the Fall.Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 220 A.D.)

The Catholic Church and scriptures has teaching on Mary and Her relationship with the Holy Spirit as Her Beloved Spouse.

Spouse of the Spirithttps://www.catholic.org/mary/sots.php

Magisterial Documents: Mary and the Holy Spirit https://udayton.edu/imri/mary/m/magisterial-documents-mary-and-the-holy-spirit.php

But the Church seems to be silent and even the scriptures in the Book of Genesis does not described the relationship of Eve to the Holy Spirit.

Book of Genesis narration, stated God breathe in to Adam the Holy Spirit;

And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul. (Genesis2:7)

The Book of Genesis did not mention God breathing to Eve the "breathe of life".

The Holy Spirit is the Breath of Life

Our soul lives by the Holy Spirit, through Him we pray, through Him we become purified, through Him we save ourselves. "As breath is necessary for the body, and without breathing man cannot live, so without the Breath of the Holy Spirit the soul cannot live the true life. What the air is for the body, the Holy Spirit is for the soul. Air is likened to the Spirit of God. The Spirit breathes wherever It wishes." "He who prays by the Holy Spirit." "Prayer is the breath of the soul, as air is the breath of the natural body. We breathe by the Holy Spirit. You cannot say a single word of prayer from your heart without the Holy Spirit." https://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/SJK1/breath.shtml

So, it would appear in the Book of Genesis that Eve had no explicit relationship with the Holy Spirit.

The question is, who gave Eve the "breathe of life" or the "gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The word "ezer or helper", now comes into play. Adam was a Priest and and since God gave him power to rule over the garden, it follows that Adam is like a Bishop. A Bishop in the Catholic Church likes all the Apostles of Christ can confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit and ordain a servant to become his "helper or a deacon".

Adam as the First Priest in Eden as the Garden Temple (G. K. Beale)

First, the temple later in the OT was the unique place of God’s presence, where Israel had to go to experience that presence. Israel’s temple was the place where the priest experienced God’s unique presence, and Eden was the place where Adam walked and talked with God. The same Hebrew verbal form (hithpael) used for God’s “walking back and forth” in the Garden (Gen 3:8), also describes God’s presence in the tabernacle (Lev 26:12; Deut 23:14 [15]; 2 Sam 7:6-7; Ezek 28:14).3

Second, Genesis 2:15 says God placed Adam in the Garden “to cultivate it and to keep it.” The two Hebrew words for “cultivate and keep” (respectively, ʿāḇaḏ and šāmar) are usually translated “serve and guard.” When these two words occur together later in the OT without exception they have this meaning and refer either to Israelites “serving and guarding/ obeying” God’s word (about 10 times) or, more often to priests who “serve” God in the temple and “guard” the temple from unclean things entering it (Num 3:7-8; 8:25-26; 18:5-6; 1 Chron 23:32; Ezek 44:14).4 Adam also is portrayed as wearing priestly attire in Ezekiel 28:13, https://sbts-wordpress-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/equip/uploads/2018/10/SBJT-22.2-Adam-as-Priest-Beale.pdf

The ordination of deacons - "in order to serve"

1569 "At a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons, who receive the imposition of hands 'not unto the priesthood, but unto the ministry."'53 At an ordination to the diaconate only the bishop lays hands on the candidate, thus signifying the deacon's special attachment to the bishop in the tasks of his "diakonia."54http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a6.htm

If Adam is a Bishop and he ordained and confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit to Eve to become "helper or deacon", where is their Temple or God Sanctuaries?


The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom He had formed. And from the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and bad. A river issues from Eden to water the garden, and it then divides and becomes four branches . . . The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till and tend it (Gen: 2:8-10, 15).

Is this the Temple of God in the garden of Eden?

That Eden was originally understood as a sanctuary can be confirmed by examining the Bible for supporting evidence. A partial listing includes the description of the Tabernacle as God's dwelling place: And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them (Ex. 25:8). Implicit in the Garden story is the idea that Eden was God's dwelling place, where He dwelt in close proximity to the first man and woman. In Deuteronomy the Temple is called God's habitation (12:4). While this is not the precise language used in Genesis, the Garden is portrayed as the place where God's presence abided. When They heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day, they recognized Him (implicitly from other encounters), and Adam and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Gen. 3:8). This point is reinforced by linguistic parallels. The Hebrew mithallekh is precisely the verb used to describe both God's "walking about" in the Garden and His moving about to protect the Israelites in the desert, where they are instructed to keep their camp holy (Deut. 23:15).

Adam's role in the Garden also alludes to the sanctuary. His task in the Garden is to work it and guard it (Gen. 2:15). These two verbs are precisely the ones used to describe the work of the Levites in caring for the Tabernacle, suggesting a priest-like role for Adam (Num. 3:7-8) https://jbqnew.jewishbible.org/assets/Uploads/412/jbq_41_2_gardenofeden.pdf

If Adam is a Priest and Eve is his deacon or helper, what are they offering in the Temple of God? St.Paul has the answers in his letter to the Romans;

A Living Sacrifice 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans12:1)

In closing, we can see that Adam is a Bishop a Ruler in the garden of Eden and Eve was given to him by God as his "helper", and since as a Bishop he can ordain and confer the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Adam ordain Eve as a "deacon" in the Church language today.

Now accepting the priesthood of Adam and diaconate of Eve will lead us to understand the nature of their fall.

What do you think the serpent told Eve that convinced her to listen to the serpent and eventually convinced Adam too, to commit the sin of disobedience?

If Adam & Eve, were offering their bodies and work of their hands as a pleasing & living sacrifices to worship God in the Temple in the Garden of Eden, what can possibly the much better offering that the serpent can suggest?

By the way, God sees that it is not good for Adam to be alone in worshipping Him, because the bible teaches us "For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.” (Matthew18:20)

So, what did the serpent told to Eve that is a much better offering to their own bodies and to the work of their hands?

If we know the answer then we will know the "original sin"...the keyword is "Jesus Christ is the firstborn". , the symbolic fruit of the "Tree of Life". The most pleasing sacrifice to God.

The Eucharist, the Fruit of the Tree of Life

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ

The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our Faith because it is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. This is why we may not partake of the Eucharist if we are in a state of mortal sin. Because the Eucharist is the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary, when we partake of the Eucharist, we unite ourselves to His sacrifice, and thus become united to God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity and receive an outpouring of grace from the Holy Spirit. http://www.catholic365.com/article/2586/the-eucharist-the-fruit-of-the-tree-of-life.html

This is the reason After the Fall of Adam and Eve, they must be prevented from eating the Fruit from the Tree of Life, because it cannot be eaten if one commits a mortal sin, it would be a sacrilege.

1 Corinthians 11:27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.

The serpent "beguiled" or seduced Eve, to look and imagine if She can produce Her own "Fruit" from the "Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil", and ofcourse She will need the cooperation of Adam to produce the their own "Fruit", their "firstborn" to offer to God as their sacrifice.

It is a good idea coming from the serpent, but like King Saul his offerings were rejected by God because of "disobedience" and like King Saul, Adam had alos lost his position as Ruler or King.

In contrast, the Fruit from the Tree of Life was produce from the chosen Woman, the New Eve..

"Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus"..(Hail Mary prayer)

I will end by citing the poem of St.Hildegard to support the word "beguiled" as a form of sexual seduction, to induced Eve to imagine bearing Her "firstborn" as an offering in the Temple of God in the Garden of Eden.

"She destroyed her womb by her ignorance...(St.Hildegard, Doctor of the Church)

  • If Adam was a bishop and Eve his deaconess. Never heard of this in any denomination! This runs like it wants to promote women’s ordination in the Catholic Church. This actual question deals with Eve and not Mary.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 12:08
  • @KenGraham Well see this link from a Catholic site; "Adam: High priest of humanity"catholicnewsagency.com/resources/sacraments/holy-orders/… .Look at the body of question, the OP cited "ezer" and he link it all the way to John14:16. It's no longer "ezer but a Paraclete", and if it is the "another Advocate" then Mary the New Eve will be the point of the subject. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 14:38
  • @KenGraham This is the OP main question, "Do any of the Church Fathers draw a connection between Eve and the Holy Spirit?" and "Do any of the Church fathers compare Eve and the Paraclete?. Eve was created to be a "helper or ezer" and not a "paraclete". Eve & the Holy Spirit has no explicit connection in Genesis, but the Church Fathers has a numerous teachings on the New Eve & the HS. I had answered it in the context of Church Fathers teachings for clarity, and give the proper meaning to "helper or ezer" is a typology of a "deacon", why? Because Adam is a Priest, a Ruler or Bishop. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 14:49
  • "Do any of the Church Fathers draw a connection between Eve and the Holy Spirit?" This is the question that should be answered and not between the New Eve and the Holy Spirit. You should ask your thoughts as a separate question.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 21:50
  • @KenGraham I added a bounty and put the specifics to bring more light into the questions about the OP stating two different classification, I highlighted the difference of "ezer in Genesis" from "Paraclete in John14:16, And numerous Church Fathers teachings look in particular the relationship of Eve and Mary, this is the direction of the line of thought coming from the Church Fathers. I simply follow and stated their teachings on my answer plus I added a link of Marg Mowzco writings to addressed the OP main question. Commented Nov 12, 2019 at 22:35

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