(22) What is the meaning of the expression, “And whatever he called each living thing, that was the name thereof?” (#Ge 2:19). We must consider that Adam gave names not only to all living creatures, but also to plants, and to everything else which is inanimate, beginning with the more excellent class; for the living creature is superior to that which has not life. Therefore the scripture considers the mention of the better part sufficient, indicating by this mention to all who are not utterly devoid of sense, that he in fact gave names to everything, since it was easy to fix names to things without life, which were never likely to change their place, and which had no passions of the soul to exercise, but the giving of proper appellations to living creatures was a more difficult task on account of the motions of their bodies and the various impulses of their souls, in accordance with the imagination and the variety of the outward senses, and the different agitations of the mind from which the effects of their works proceed. Therefore the mind could give names to the more difficult classes of living creatures. And on this account it was a very proper expression to employ, that he gave them names as being easy to name, because they were near.
(23) What is the meaning of the expression: “But for Adam there was not found a helper like to him?” (#Ge 2:20). Every thing was helping and assisting the prince of the human race: the earth, the rivers, the sea, the air, the light, the heaven. Moreover, every species of fruit and plant co-operated with him, and every herd of cattle, and every beast which was not savage. Nevertheless, of all these things which were assisting him, there was nothing like himself, inasmuch as they were none of them human beings. Therefore, God gave a certain indication that he might show that man ought to be an assistant to and co-operator with man, being endowed with perfect similarity to one another in both body and soul.