Adam's Helper, why not an outside-of-garden woman?

If Adam and Eve created in garden and other people outside of it, why does God create Adam first, ask him to find a helper, and he looks for a helper among animals outside the garden but not the existing women outside the garden? Then God creates a woman out of his rib? Thanks in advance for your help!

Hello Mark, and welcome to Peaceful Science. :slight_smile:

As for your question I say, sure - why not? There may be others here who can give you more useful answers.

The purpose of GAE is not to make the story less silly or God’s motivations or actions more rational. It’s to harmonize the story with what we know about the real world to the extent possible.


Thanks for the reply, Dan. I guess I’m just confused why Adam wouldn’t consider any of the hundreds/thousands/millions of women already existing? Maybe not choose one of them as his helper, but doesn’t even consider them, yet considers all the animals.

TBH, this if far from being the part of the story that I find most confusing and inexplicable.


Thank you, John. My question does go beyond the scope of the book itself, but I was wondering if anybody would be willing to entertain the question. I think the answer could help facilitate more fruitful conversations.

I don’t think that the presence of people outside the garden makes much difference. Why search for a helper amongst the animals? Why use a rib to create a woman? Those questions are independent of whether there are other people somewhere in the world.

If you insist on taking the story literally, then God had presumably decided that the people outside the garden were unsuitable right at the start.

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In keeping with your line of questioning, why would God first look for a helper among animals at all?

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Have you considered that the history, if taken as such, is also meant to convey a meaning carried forward in the biblical references to it. If we take this as real events, taking someone from outside he garden wouldn’t necessarily carry the same importance for the relationship between man and woman as the method used. God could be both doing something, and making a point by doing it?

10 posts were split to a new topic: Comments on Adam’s Helper

I don’t think that it is an interesting question. Even if you think that the story should be taken literally (why???) then we’ve already got God creating a man rather than using one of the people who already exist. Why would there be a different reason for creating a woman?


I’ve always pictured him as looking for a helper among the animals inside the garden.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19 So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all cattle and to the birds of the air and to every animal of the field, but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.”[1]

Are these understood to be additional animals that were created after the initial six days of creation? If so, the word “every” would make little sense. Of course, it might be an imprecise translation. But another likelihood is that these are two completely independent stories that just ended up in the same book.

I really pity the people who feel compelled to make the Old Testament into an accurate historical account.

Quite so. But either way this entire passage creates a ridiculous situation.

For example, “why didn’t God create a woman in the first instance, and then create a man as her helper?” Or even, “why God didn’t create a man AND a woman in the first instance”?

I know nothing of Biblical exegesis (spelling??) or interpretation but I do know that the Bible is and has been used in order to put women into a role of subservience to men. The Roman Catholic Church (my own upbringing) are expert at this.

Why did God create man or woman in the first place, regardless of the “details?” The Abrahamic God of Judaism, Islam and Christianity is perfect in its existence. In other words, it has no wants, needs or desires. Why even bother with creation? It seems utterly superfluous….


The biggest reason not to take the Adam and Eve story literally is that it reads like a polytheistic pagan myth. The sort of thing that even educated pagan polytheists did not take as literally true.

Taken literally, God wants a gardener - nothing more. The garden has a tree with magic fruit that bestow an ability that the gods wish to reserve for themselves. There’s a talking snake who reveals the truth about the fruit - and it turns into a just-so story explaining why agriculture is hard work, childbirth is painful and why humans and snakes don’t get along.

It really doesn’t fit with the preceding creation story or really with Christian ideas of God.

So why would anyone insist on taking it literally ?


I’ll just post a link here to a related discussion we had three years ago:

Why were Adam and Eve cast out of Eden? - Peaceful Science

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