A Previous Helpmeet was Shown to Adam before Eve
We are not finished with the provocative evidences for Lilith to be found in verse 18 of Ge 2. The literal
Hebrew of that passage concludes with the amazing statement that a helpmeet was previously shown to Adam
before Eve. The key word leading to this interpretation is k’neged’v (wdgnk). It literally means ‘as shown
before him’. The root word of k’neged’v is neged or its sister nagad (dgn - Strongs 5048, 5046). Neged
means ‘before’, as in being in front of something. Nagad means ‘to show’. Neged and nagad are essentially
the same word with different implied shades of meaning. When something is placed neged (before) a person,
it is nagad (shown) unto him. K’neged’v is the neged root prefixed with a kahf (k) inseparable preposition
meaning ‘as’ and suffixed by a vahv (w) singular masculine pronominal suffix meaning ‘him’. Thus k’neged’v
literally means ‘as shown him’ or ‘as [set] before him’. Perhaps it is best just to combine both shades of
meaning into a composite, ‘as shown before him’.
The use of k’neged’v in verse 18 has long puzzled translators and commentators. Although the word’s literal
meaning is simple enough to understand, interpreting what it is implying in the passage has perplexed
traditional interpreters. The literal Hebrew is saying that God was going to make a help for Adam “like shown
in front of him”. It is implying that Adam had personally seen a previous mate right in front of his face.
Traditional interpreters go to great lengths to explain this. They are forced to revert to tortured Hebrew and
allegory to explain the literal Hebrew. The KJV goes so far as to completely ignore the word in its translation
of verse 18. Many commentators hold that k’neged’v indicates that Adam’s helpmeet would be before him,
near, close, and personal. However, these explanations would really only make sense with the absence of the
kahf preposition. Adam Clark attempts to explain k’neged’v as implying that Eve would be standing before or
opposite to Adam in the since of being “one like” or “as himself”. However, having k’neged’v to connote this
allegorical meaning is tortured Hebrew. Rashi argues a similar meaning for the word, in that it indicated
“opposite” and “opposed to him”. Rashi explains this that meant that “if he is worthy she shall be a help to
him; if he is unworthy she shall be opposed to him, to fight him.” Thus suffers similar problems to Clarke’s
translation, and provides a completely unsubstantiated claim for what the word implies.
All explanations outside of the Lilith legend fail to address the literal Hebrew of k’neged’v in verse 18 (and
20). The verse is clear that God was going to make for Adam “a help as shown before him”. This implies that
before Eve even existed, a helpmeet stood before Adam and/or was shown to him. Besides Lilith, none can
explain this previous woman.