After God created Adam, He said this:
“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18).
If we were reading Genesis for the first time, we’d be struck by the fact that the phrase not good is used in connection with the creation. Throughout the first two chapters, we’re told over and over again that what God created was good (1:4,10,12,18 . . .). To hear that that something was not good should is meant to draw our attention and pique our curiosity.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the way God made man, 2:18 is meant to tell us that God wasn’t finished in His creation of Adam with just the male (see 5:1-2 where both male and female are referred to as Adam/man). What we’re being told is that Adam was not created to be independent and autonomous. He was created for relationship—thus, it was not good for him to be alone.
The next surprise is that rather than immediately address this, God brings all of the animals before Adam. His naming of them is not only a demonstration of his sovereignty over them (1:26,28), but underscores Adam’s aloneness since “for Adam no suitable helper was found,” (v. 20). Adam spent a day at the zoo but didn’t find anything he wanted to take home! God then does for Adam what he could not do for himself and out of his sleep (death), He brings life. We are meant to see that the creation of Eve is an act of Yahweh’s grace.
Centuries later, the writer of Proverbs would say:
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD (18:22).
When Adam awoke from his nap, he had a good stretch, took a (long) look at Eve and Moses tells us he had this to say:
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.” (v. 23)
With apologies to Handel, this is the original Hallelujah Chorus. I don’t think our translation does justice to the excitement and enthusiasm he undoubtedly felt. The namer of all of the animals, named the one before him. He called her woman because he understood there was something about her that was far different from all of the animals he had seen. She was his counterpart in every way. She came from him. He would come to her. They would be one. Truly, he had found favor from the Lord.