View RSS Feed


Gen. 1:26 - digging DEEPER.......

Rate this Entry
Quote Originally Posted by freelight View Post

Concerning the proper interpretation of the "us" in "let us make man in our own image", the best translation would appear to be the 'heavenly council' view, which holds God is speaking from the collective consciousness of himself and his heavenly assembly of divine sons or 'elohim', his angels. Also being true to the intentions of the writer and the cultural-theological context of Genesis, this appears to be the most appropriate and correct interpretation of this and similar passages where God refers to himself as 'us'. Excellent documentation and support for this view is found here (from Hebrew Streams). - highly recommended

Rashi's commentary -

Let us make man: From here we learn the humility of the Holy One, blessed be He. Since man was created in the likeness of the angels, and they would envy him, He consulted them. And when He judges kings, He consults with His Heavenly household, for so we find regarding Ahab, that Micah said to him, (I Kings 22:19): “I saw the Lord seated on His throne, and all the host of heaven were standing by Him, on His right and on His left.” Now do “left” or “right” apply to Him ?! But rather, [the passage means that] these [angels] were standing on the right to defend, and these [angels] were standing on the left to prosecute. Likewise, (Dan. 4:14): “By the decree of the destructive angels is the matter, and by the word of the holy ones is the edict.” Here too, He took counsel with His heavenly household. He said to them, “Among the heavenly beings, there are some in My likeness. If there are none in My likeness among the earthly beings, there will be envy among the creatures of the Creation. ” - [from Tanchuma, Shemoth 18; Gen. Rabbah 8:11, 14:13]

Let us make man: Even though they [the angels] did not assist Him in His creation, and there is an opportunity for the heretics to rebel (to misconstrue the plural as a basis for their heresies), Scripture did not hesitate to teach proper conduct and the trait of humility, that a great person should consult with and receive permission from a smaller one. Had it been written: “I shall make man,” we would not have learned that He was speaking with His tribunal, but to Himself. And the refutation to the heretics is written alongside it [i. e., in the following verse:]“And God created (וַיִּבְרָא) ,” and it does not say,“and they created וַיִּבְרְאוּ.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 8:9]


Another view is that God was speaking to the elements of 'earth' and 'heaven',...since man's soul is composed of both matter and spirit, so the 'us' creating man includes a composition of elements. God here speaks as the whole of creation, its elemental parts and substances as coming together to create. - however the 'heavenly council' or 'angelic assembly' view seems more fitting if God was including sentient beings in 'audience' of his will.


Did Somebody Find the Trinity in the First Chapter of the Bible? To Whom Was God Speaking to When He Said, "Let Us Make Man in Our Image"? (2 articles, one with some commentary by trinitarian bible commentators)

Brother Kel below expounds on different interpretations of Gen.1:26, plus expands on the theme of Wisdom, a kind of cohort of God before and during creation. - another possible referential.

Also Brother Kel's commentary here. (as noted in his video-lecture above he expounds more on 'Wisdom' (Sophia), as being with God from the beginning, who is also a type of 'Christ' in some ways, but the correlaries are to be interpreted according to particular terms and contexts. - what is shown is that many different interpretations besides a Trinitarian one of Gen. 1:26 are more logical and appropriate to the total context involved.)



Total Trackbacks 0
Trackback URL:
About us
Since 1997 TheologyOnline (TOL) has been one of the most popular theology forums on the internet. On TOL we encourage spirited conversation about religion, politics, and just about everything else.

follow us