Genesis 1:26

This verse clearly sets out God’s purpose for man and woman.   It involves how we are created, and the scope of our responsibility.


”GOD said, Let us…”

The word for God here (Hebrew “elohim”) is referring to the Creator Himself because “God said” occurs 10 times in the creation record, consistently identified by singular pronouns (he, his, I or him occur 16 times). In verse 26, God, the One who intervenes by His agents, is speaking to the angels, who assisted in creation.  It was God’s initiative to create man in His image (verse 27). “Elohim” is translated God more than 2300 times  In addition, it is used about 250 times, mostly of false gods (in the plural – see footnote *)

Examples of translation:

“Thou shalt have no other gods Deuteronomy 5:7
“The LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” 1 Kings 18:36
“God made him lower than the angels” Psalm 8:5
“His master shall bring him to the judges Exodus 21:6
“I have said ‘Ye are gods’ and all of you are children of the Most High” Psalm 82:6 

Man was created like God – the animals were not created in such a way.  As a result, we have the ability to understand and reason on the things of God, and so we have the capacity to become “like” the angels.    Cp Luke 20:36

2 Key points:

1 The pattern by which we are made – “in the image and likeness”

This gives us the manufacturer’s specifications, the pattern for man to follow.  God is displeased when men make other images, hence the command “Ýe shall make no idols or graven images” (Leviticus 26:1).  “Some changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the image like to corruptible man…” (Romans 1:23)

2 What man’s destiny is – “let them have dominion over all THE EARTH”

No other place was promised to mankind.  (cp Psalm 115:16)  In the last book of the Bible, it is rulership over the earth which is promised “.. and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10)

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