Who are the “Us” in Genesis 1:26
|By: Rev. Sam Harris; ©2000|
|When God says “Let us make man in our image,” who are the “us”? Is this a good passage to “prove” the trinity? Rev. Harris explains.|
Who Are the “Us” in Genesis 1:26?
In Genesis 1:26 it says “Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness. . .” Who are the “us” and “our?”
This is one of my favorite questions as I asked it in a Young Adult Sunday Class several years ago, and one lady, very seriously, answered: “Mrs. God!”
Throughout history, there have been several explanations. Some have suggested that God was addressing the angels, but this is unlikely because in verse 26 it reads: “Let us make man in our own image” while in verse 27 we read: “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him,” not in the image of angels.
Still others have concluded that “us” and “our” refer to the Trinity. Certainly John 1:1ff. tells us that Jesus, as the Word, was in the beginning and was involved in the creation process, and Genesis 1:2 reminds us that the Holy Spirit also took part in the creation of the world.
If you study the Hebrew text and grammar, the plural Hebrew noun “elohim” which is translated “God,” used in verse 26, requires that the plural pronoun “us” and “our” be used in this passage. Thus, this verse should not be used to prove the Trinity as there are many verses that foreshadow the Trinity in the Old Testament (Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 63:7, 9 & 10; Proverbs 30:4), and those which clearly teach the Trinity in the New Testament, (for example: Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2).
Finally, other scholars have suggested that the plural is used as a figure of speech called a “majestic plural.” As Geisler and Howe point out in their book, “When Critics Ask,” God is speaking of Himself in such a manner as to indicate that all of His majestic power and wisdom were involved in the creation of man.
Thanks for a great question!