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Genesis 1:26

Posted By: Tom

Genesis 1:26 - Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:26 AM

I have a question that was posed to me recently. Gen. 1:26 reads: "And God said, Let us make man in our own image...."
If what I am told is correct, the believing Jews in the OT would not have understood this to be referring to the Trinity.
I am curious, what would they have understood this verse to mean?

Posted By: JesusFan

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:08 PM

They would have probably seen it as being a mention to Plurality, but in the sense of God speaking of Himself and the angelic hosts.
The Trinity is there even within the OT scriptures, but the formal meaning would wait until the NT revelation of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit proper.
Posted By: PerpetualLearner

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:17 PM

John Gill in his commentary on Gen. 1:26 reads in part:

"And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness,.... These words are directed not to the earth, out of which man was made, as consulting with it, and to be assisting in the formation of man, as Moses Gerundensis, and other Jewish writers {f}, which is wretchedly stupid; nor to the angels, as the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, and others, who are not of God's privy council, nor were concerned in any part of the creation, and much less in the more noble part of it: nor are the words spoken after the manner of kings, as Saadiah, using the plural number as expressive of honour and majesty; since such a way of speaking did not obtain very early, not even till the close of the Old Testament: but they are spoken by God the Father to the Son and Holy Ghost, who were each of them concerned in the creation of all things, and particularly of man: hence we read of divine Creators and Makers in the plural number, Job 35:10 ..."

Matthew Poole comments on this verse: "Heb. my Makers, in the plural number..." The literal is "Ones-Making-me" according to the Zondervan Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament. Is there not a good, standard English translation that shows the plural without causing confusion with tritheism?
Posted By: Tom

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:23 AM

Maybe I am a little too tired to be understand what John Gill is saying; because I just got off work.
However, did he answer my question?

Posted By: PerpetualLearner

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:56 PM

Tom, I believe Gill answered your question, if I understood your question correctly. John Gill is highly respected for his scholarship on the Jewish teachings and in many of his commentary remarks he references writings of the Jews. If you don't have access to the commentary by John Gill, it is online. I'll paste the URL for this Gen. 1:26 comment so you can read the full passage.

The Jews seemed to have 3 views, according to Gill:
The plurals "us" and "ours" refer to God speaking of Himself along with the earth as the Creators.
Or, the plurals refer to the angels along with God as Creators
Or, the plurals are expressive of honor and majesty, not to be taken literally as plural.

My last two lines of text were a reference to Job 35:10 and that may have been misleading to you.
Posted By: JesusFan

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:14 PM

All of those were to be seen as viable options at time of Genesis, but the additional revelation of God as being Truine Persons in the NT would have us see that as God addressing Himself among the trinity!
Posted By: Tom

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:30 PM

Posted By: Tom

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:32 PM

Ok, now I understand. Sometimes it does not pay to study these kind of things when I am tired. Doesn't usually stop me, but it probably should.

Posted By: PerpetualLearner

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:11 PM

Tom, the Jewish Encyclopedia is online and may be helpful on this question -

"Two Natures in Adam.

[Linked Image] Rabbati, ed. Epstein, p. 17; Pirḳe R. El. xiii.; Chronicle of Jerahmeel, xxii.; and Koran, sura ii. 34; xv. 30), according to which all the angels were commanded by Michael the archangel to pay homage to the image of God; whereupon all bowed before Adam except Satan, who, in punishment for his rebelliousness, was hurled from his heavenly heights to the depth of the abyss, while his vacant throne was reserved for Adam, to be given to him at the time of the future resurrection. Henceforth, Satan became the enemy of man, appearing to him in the guise of an angel of light to seduce him (compare II Cor. xi. 14). A somewhat modified midrashic legend (Gen. R. viii.) relates that the angels were so filled with wonder and awe at the sight of Adam, the image of God, that they wanted to pay homage to him and cry "Holy!" But the Lord caused sleep to fall upon him so that he lay like a corpse, and the Lord said: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" (Isa. ii. 22). Another version (Pirḳe R. El. xi.; Tan., Peḳude, 3) is that all other creatures, marveling at Adam's greatness, prostrated themselves before him, taking him to be their creator; whereon he pointed upward to God, exclaiming: "The Lord reigneth, He is clothed with majesty!" (Ps. xciii. 1). Still, the Book of Wisdom (ii. 23, 24) seems to allude to the older legend when saying, "God created man for immortality, but through the envy of Satan death entered the world" (compare Josephus, "Ant." i. 1, 4; Ab. R. N. i.; Gen. R. xviii., where the serpent is represented as moved by jealousy)."
Posted By: PerpetualLearner

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:22 PM

I did not know what the "Censored" emblem is, but I just noticed only the last half of the article posted. Here is the first.

"[Linked Image]
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:52 PM

The "censored" smiley is automatically displayed when profanity or a word that could be construed as profanity is detected. It is not always correct for a part of a word is sometimes determined to be vulgar and the censored image is inserted. It's part of the board's programming and its intention is certainly good. But it is only a program and thus it doesn't have the ability to discern things like a real person. grin
Posted By: PerpetualLearner

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:23 PM

Thanks Pilgrim, I wondered how I erred, so now I understand. The article out of the Jewish Encyclopedia does have a lot of contractions, etc. smile Since I gave the URL, a reader can go to the page and read it if they are interested.
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