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The passages in this question are all from Genesis 2.

After creation God expresses how no suitable companion could be found for the man

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

God brings the animals to man for naming

9 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

Again after the naming ceremony God expresses the similar sentiment of how no suitable companion have been found for man

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found

Somehow this statement seems to come after parading the animals before man during the naming ceremony.

Did God ever consider the animals as suitable help for man?

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    +1. It is an interesting question. Other similar interesting questions are: What limited help could the animals offer man? and; Will there be animals in heaven? Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 11:07
  • Squirrels can gather nuts, and monkeys fruits. Commented Jan 17, 2021 at 14:07

5 Answers 5

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The short answer is definitely NO. While animals can be of some assistance to man and excellent companions, they lack at least three important elements that make them, over-all, not suitable in every way

  1. Intelligence to discuss matters together
  2. Ability to be intimate and procreate with man together
  3. Ability to understand and appreciate and share the fellowship of God together

Thus, an animal cannot bond with a human in anything like the ways that another human can do. Another animal cannot really think in abstract terms and cannot be a partner in marriage.

The Cambridge commentary observes:

an help meet for him “meet”: or answering to. The word “meet” means “suitable,” or “adapted to.” The Lord God will make for man a “help” corresponding to his moral and intellectual nature, supplying what he needs, the counterpart of his being.

“Help meet,” which has become a recognized English word, fails to give the full sense of this passage from which it is derived. Man will find help from that which is in harmony with his own nature, and, therefore, able adequately to sympathise with him in thought and interests. It is not identity, but harmony, of character which is suggested.

The pulpit commentary is more detailed:

The Divine judgment of which the preceding chapter speaks was expressed at the completion of man's creation; this, while that creation was in progress. For the new-made man to have been left without a partner would, in the estimation of Jehovah Elohim, have been for him a condition of being which, if not necessarily bad in itself, yet, considering his intellectual and social nature, "would eventually have passed over from the negative not good, or a manifest want, into the positive not good, or a hurtful impropriety"' (Lange). "It was not good for man to be alone; not, as certain foolish Rabbis conceited, lest he should imagine himself to be the lord of the world, or as though no man could live without a woman, which is contrary to Scripture; but in respect of

(1) mutual society and comfort,

(2) the propagation of the race,

(3) the increase and generation of the Church of God, and

(4) the promised seed of the woman (Willet).

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As I explained in another answer (What is the difference between of Genesis 1:24 and Genesis 2:19?) the Bible account of the God's preparation of an apt mate for Adam must be viewed through an anthropomorphic lens. God did already know that animals cannot provide an apt mate for Adam (all the physical, anatomical, mental, and emotional structures of man reveal this basic truth). The Creator wanted Adam were fully aware that, in spite of several points of contact between him and the animals, he was a very different creation. So, he had need for a very different mate (compared to animals).

We have to remember that only for humans God said (bold is mine): "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Gen 1:27, KJV)

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I personally disagree with the answers above. Animals could originally talk in the Garden of Eden. Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22 was also able to communicate intelligently providing a brief example of how animals would’ve been able to communicate with humans in the garden. Not everyone is born with a strong sex drive. Some are fine with non-sexual companionship, and still others are just fine serving God/Elohim alone, as He is their ultimate helper through the Ruach. In Adam’s case, the animals didn’t suffice. And because he wasn’t fully focused on God, the Word shows how he fell and sinned - due to his fleshly weakness and the influence the enemy had on him through his wife.

Plenty of people today remain single. Some with pets or other animals (farming, etc.) some with nothing physical at all for constant companionship. The Ruach is a helper to all of those who ask. Without the Ruach, it is definitely not good for man to be alone, which is why we were created with a “void” to begin with. It’s our decision how to fill that void. To be married, to be celibate and focused on God alone, or to be content with animal (non-sexual) companionship.

And as far as “communion with God,” all things were made to worship Him.

Revelation 5:13 ESV

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

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I like Thomas Aquinas's answer to this question. He says that the scripture is obviously referring to a helper in the task of procreating and building a family. The reason he gives for this is that if the scripture were referring to a helper of another kind (such as a helper in tending and keeping the garden), a second man would have been a better helper than a woman! Thus the creation of specifically a woman indicates the nature of the problem Adam was facing.

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Animals play crucial roles in human life, each contributing to our well-being in various ways;

  1. Agricultural Assistance: In ancient time before the advent of machinery, they help in agriculture.
  2. Nutrient-rich Milk: Animals provide nourishment through their milk. The biblical reference to the "promise land flowing with milk and honey" highlights the significance of dairy products in sustaining human health.
  3. Sacrificial Role: They serve as offerings in worship ceremonies, symbolizing atonement for human's sins.
  4. Wonders of Creation: They reveal God's creativity and order. As stated in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse."
  5. Teaching Love and Compassion: Animals, whether pets or wildlife, teach us empathy and compassion. Our interactions with them foster love and care, nurturing our hearts from an early age.

Despite all their roles and benefit to human, animals cannot fulfill the ultimate purpose of bringing forth godly offspring, as emphasized in Malachi 2:15;

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

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