“Let us” in Genesis 1:26 is NOT the Trinity


As a supposed “proof” text that Jesus Christ, “pre-existed” before his birth, theologians in the Roman Catholic and fundamental Christian churches have used Genesis 1:26; they claim the phrase, “Let Us make man in OUR image after OUR likeness...” refers to the three-headed Deity known as the “Trinity.”  The Trinity is a manmade, demonically inspired doctrine that defaces and insults the very nature of God who IS one, not three-in-one, according to Deuteronomy 6:4, Mark 12:29, James 2:19, 1 Timothy 2:5 and a host of other scripture passages.


The Trinity espouses three persons of God and its proponents use the plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26 as illegitimate support for their Triune godhead.  The Trinitarian position explains Genesis 1:26 by saying, “This is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit having an active dialogue about the creation.  The three persons of God are discussing the creation of man by saying, ‘Let US make man in OUR image.’”  In this so-called Triune dialogue they affirm Jesus was “one of three persons of God” planning to make man in their (his?) image (s?).  You see the problem.

Dilemma #1

The first dilemma with the Trinitarian interpretation is CONTEXT; the immediate context (chapter one) of Genesis 1:26 does not reveal who the “Us” is.  An honest student of scripture does not assign names or titles to “Us” in the text of Genesis 1:26 to describe “who” the plural pronouns are referring to, except to specify mention of “God” (Hebrew for God = Elohim).  Furthermore, one cannot deduce how many individuals “Us” and “Our” is unless there is enough internal evidence within the text to determine such a number. 

Dilemma #2

The second problem with assuming the “Us” of Genesis 1:26 is referring to the Trinity is found in the verse following 1:26:


Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.  (KJV)


Notice the personal pronouns in Genesis 1:27 (“his” and “he”) are all SINGULAR, whereas the personal pronouns in Genesis 1:26 (“Us” and “Our”) are all plural.  In Genesis 1:27 only one individual is actually doing the creating…God! 


To explain the variant of plural pronouns in Genesis 1:26 and the singular pronouns in Genesis 1:27 Trinitarians say, “In Genesis 1:27 we only see singular pronouns used because the mystery of the Triune God is being revealed; that is, God is letting us know that even though He is three, He is also three-in-one.”


To bolster this logical fallacy, Trinitarian scholars point out the word for “God” in both Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 1:27 is “Elohim.”  “Elohim,” they assert, “is a plural word in the Hebrew, indicating more than one person.  Therefore when Elohim says, ‘Let Us make…’ it is the three (plural) persons of the Trinity speaking as one person.”


While it is true elohim is a plural word in the Hebrew, it is not used to indicate plurality in number when constructed together with singular nouns or pronouns, as in Genesis 1:27, which reads, “So God (elohim) created man in His own image, in the image of God (elohim) created He him; male and female created He them.” 


Elohim is known in Hebrew grammar as A PLURAL OF MAJESTY.  It is derived from the Hebrew verb “el” meaning, “strength,” and thus elohim amplifies the meaning of strength (el).  In Hebrew, the literal rendering of elohim would read, “The strongest strength” or even, “the strongest of the strong.”  To introduce the polytheistic concept of the Trinity into the monotheistic Hebrew scripture by twisting the meaning of elohim is ignorance, dishonesty or outright deception. 


Trinitarianism is illogical, confusing, and contrary to scripture.  It is a Roman Catholic dogma that originated in 323 AD.  The word “Trinity” is found nowhere in scripture.  Three NEVER equals one, and the perception of a deity who is ‘three-in-one’ is intangible, abstract, elusive, ethereal and inexplicable theology.  To imply Genesis 1:26 is a reference to “three persons of God” is yet another futile reasoning of man seeking the ‘easy-way-out’ of a complex passage of scripture.  Trinitarian ministers say, “The Trinity is something we simply cannot comprehend; we can apprehend it, but it is beyond our human ability to comprehend it.  It is the inexplicable mystery of God.”


If there is really more than one person of God making man in Genesis 1:26-27, as Trinitarians assert, then the plural pronouns of “us” in Genesis 1:26 would not contradict the singular pronouns of “he” and “him” Genesis 1:27.  Without further scrutiny and careful Hebrew research, this apparent contradiction would challenge the divine inspiration of scripture.  Why would God inspire something contradictory?


Genesis 1:27 uses the singular pronouns “He” and “Him” to refer to Elohim (i.e. – God).  One individual, not three, did the creating of man.  Other passages of scripture agree with this interpretation, especially the context of the first chapter of Genesis! 


All of the verses preceding AND following Genesis 1:26 consistently use the SINGULAR pronoun “He” when referring to the Creator.  This is solid refutation of the doctrine and lie of the Trinity and its polytheist twaddle.


Genesis 1:5 And God called the light day, and the darkness He (singular pronoun) called night.  And there was evening and there was morning, one day.  (NAS)


Genesis 1:10 And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He (singular pronoun) called seas; and God saw that it was good.  (NAS)


Genesis 1:16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.  He (singular pronoun) made the stars also.  (NKJ)


Genesis 5:1-2 This is the book of the generations of Adam.  In the day when God created man, He (singular pronoun) made him in the likeness of God.  He (singular pronoun) created them male and female, and He (singular pronoun) blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.  (NAS)


Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He (singular pronoun) made man.”  (NAS)


A few other scripture verses to consider in light of God (elohim) as the sole Creator are:


Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one Father?  Has not one God (singular number) created us?  Why do we deal treacherously with one another by profaning the covenant of the fathers? (NKJ)


Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His (singular pronoun) invisible attributes, His (singular pronoun) eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  (NAS)


From the context, and the overall tenor of scripture, only the singular pronouns “He” and “His” are used in reference to God when He created man.

Dilemma #3

The third problem with using Genesis 1:26 as proof the Trinity is making man in their image is the grammatical construction of the verse.  The context of Genesis 1:26 indicates future tense action.  In the Hebrew, the verb translated as God, “said,” is constructed in the Waw Consecutive, indicating a continuous narration, which is referring to the future only because the first verb is in the Imperfect.  Once again there is a variant with Genesis 1:27, which is in the present and active tense, “So God created man… “


The literal Hebrew translation of Genesis 1:26 reads, “In the future, let us make, with existing material, human beings who will be our imprecise, instrumental representative figure and as our correspondent(s).”


When God first made man, Adam and his wife were created in His likeness:


Genesis 5:1-2 This is the book of the generations of Adam.  In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.  He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.  (NAS)


Unfortunately, Adam violated God’s command and he sinned.  In so doing, his sin brought about death, and death spread to all men, because all of mankind sinned.


Romans 5:12-14 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned –13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.  NKJV


Adam’s transgression was unique, because he was created in the “likeness” of God (Genesis 5:1-2).  God offered him a choice; he could eat from all the trees of the garden, but was told by God to refrain from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  No other human being in history has ever had this exact same opportunity.


Genesis 2:16-18 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die."  18 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."  (NAS)


The command not to eat of the forbidden tree came from God to Adam BEFORE God formed Eve from Adam’s side. 


Genesis 2:21-25 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place.  22 And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib, which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  23 And the man said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man."  24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.  25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.  (NAS)


Adam was the FIRST human being created in the “likeness” of God and Eve was the second; together however, God refers to both Adam and Eve collectively as, “man.”  In fact, the Hebrew word for “man” is “adam” and it means, “ruddy; reddish-brown; clay-like.”


Genesis 5:2 He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man (adam) in the day when they were created. 


Adam had a unique responsibility to obey God, and he failed.  The consequences of his disobedience were catastrophic:


Genesis 3:17-24 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.  18 Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field; 19 by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."  20 Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all {the} living.  21 And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.  22 Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"—24 therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword, which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.  (NAS)


Genesis 3:22 reveals the supreme consequence for Adam’s transgression, and introduces another plural pronoun to the narrative of God: Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--

 Dilemma #4 – Who is the “Us” in Genesis 1:26

While Trinitarians believe the “US” of Genesis 1:26 is a reference to three persons of the Trinity, Oneness Pentecostals believe that this verse is a “prophecy” referring to 4000 years in the future.  They claim Elohim is speaking in “prophetic anticipation” (whatever that means!) of the time when He would use Christ’s redemption to make his disciples back into the likeness and image of God.


Such a view has some merit, as there are definitely verses in the New Testament mentioning how the church is to be changed from glory to glory into the image of Christ.  The problem with this interpretation is that is ASSUMES a prophecy is here without honestly examining other possibilities.


To solve the 4 dilemmas mentioned, it is vital to establish only one essential fact:  Who is God speaking to?  Once we know the answer to this question, there will be no doubts as to how many persons are involved, and it will give us an idea what is being communicated between them.

“Let us make man in our image”


At creation, Adam was given authority to have dominion over the earth, seen in how he named all the living creatures (Genesis 1:27-30; 2:19-20).  Having God’s authority meant Adam was beneath God’s authority, and in subjection to Him.  A hedge of protection was round about Adam and his wife.  At the onset of creation they had dominion collectively, or so it appears.  It also appears that Adam had a greater degree of responsibility, having been created first, and having been given the first commandment (not to partake of the forbidden tree).


Genesis 1:26-31 26 God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.  27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it using all its vast resources in the service of God and man; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.” 29 And God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground--to everything in which there is the breath of life--I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it completely. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. AMP

The account in Genesis 1:27-31 is vital in understanding what transpired at the beginning of creation.  The Hebrew style of writing was to give a general overview of creation in chapter one of Genesis, and then, in chapters two, three, four and five, more detail is added to show specifics and details regarding time sequence of events.  Thus, Genesis 1:27 shows that when God created man in His own image and likeness He created him, “male and female,” and uses a plural pronoun, “He created them.” 


Later, in Genesis 5:1-2 we learn, “In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them MAN in the day when they were created.”  The Hebrew word for “man” is “adam” meaning, “clay-like; earthy; ruddy.” 


Why does God who created, “them,” (plural) male and female call them, “man,” (singular)?  It is because the two were considered, “one flesh,” in Him; their relationship had not yet been tainted by lies and deceit, so together they enjoyed mutual fellowship with Yahweh, and together heard the audible voice of God; together they shared dominion over the creation BECAUSE they kept in complete subjection to their Creator.


The Hebrew words translated, “subdue it,” and, “have dominion over,” in Genesis 1:28 is a mistranslation.  These words are defined as follows:


·         “Subdue” means “to control; bring into bondage, to make subservient; to subdue, to dominate, to tread down.”


·         “Have dominion” means to “crumble off or to scrape out.”


The man and his wife were to “crumble off” whatever they needed to live and subsist on from all the trees God caused to grow from the ground, including the tree of life, but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They were to subdue, control and make subservient ALL of the living creatures on the earth, INCLUDING the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. 


In other words, God instructed them to live off of the land, but keep their own lives subservient and in the control of God.  The passage in Genesis 1:26 is an enigma to Trinitarian and Oneness people alike, because it has to be explained away in a prophetic context to make sense, or even more absurd, as three persons of the Trinity brainstorming to figure out how to make man in their image.


One could surmise the words, “Let us make,” is futuristic and prophetic of God redeeming man, and then making him into His image through the redemption and reconciliation found in the atoning work of Jesus Christ when he gave himself as a ransom for sin and redeemed fallen man.  However, this interpretation of Genesis 1:26 violates a basic tenet of Bible hermeneutics.  That is, ALL scripture should be interpreted from a LITERAL point of view FIRST and FOREMOST.  Figurative and/or allegorical interpretation applies ONLY after the LITERAL approach fails to make sense.

Understanding Elohim’s likeness & image


The Hebrew word for image and likeness in Gen 1:26 is defined as follows:


·         Image” = 6754 tselem (tseh'-lem); from an unused root meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence, a representative figure, especially an idol: KJV-- image, vain shew.


The word tselem is a noun, and refers to a “person, place or thing.” Hebrew nouns have two states, Absolute (normal) and Construct.  In Genesis 1:26 tselem is NOT in the Construct state; it is in the Absolute state.  Because tselem is also a ‘Pronominal Suffix’ it is technically in a subclass of personal pronouns. These pronouns are not freestanding, but are attached to the ends of words. With prepositions, nouns, and particles they have a genitive or possessive function: my, thy, his, her, etc. In Genesis 1:26, it would be, “Our image.”


In Genesis 1:26 tselem DOES have the Prefixed Preposition because the Hebrew letter ‘beth’ is prefixed to it. The prefixed preposition beth indicates location or instrumentality. In Genesis 1:26 it can be rendered “Our instrumental (active, involved & functional) image.”


Tselem is not an exact duplicate; in other words, just as someone’s shadow is a distorted outline of them, so tselem is not an identical twin of the original.


In Psalm 39:6 tselem is used only as the shadow of a thing; it is representing the original in an imprecise manner, lacking the essential characteristics (reality) of the original (cf. Psalm 73:20 for a dream image). 


The use of tselem in Genesis 1:26 relates to a future state of existence for man (in God’s image), though the plural pronouns, “Us,” and, “Our,” show that more than one of the original ALSO exists (presently) in God’s imprecise image.  In other words, in His future plan for mankind, God will make human beings into an imprecise image to represent Him and someone else who PRESENTLY shares His image.  This is the logical deduction.  We must determine who that “someone else” is, and that will answer the enigma of who the “Us” and “Our” refer to in Genesis 1:26.


A completed and accurate rendering of tselem (image) as it is used in Genesis 1:26 (the Hebrew text) reads:


·         “Let us make man our own instrumental (active, involved & functional) yet imprecise (inexact) representative.”


Next we will look closely at demuwth, the Hebrew word translated as “likeness” in Genesis 1:26:


·         Likeness” = 1823 demuwth (dem-ooth'); from 1819; resemblance; concretely, model, shape; adverbially, like: KJV-- fashion, like (-ness, as), manner, similitude. 


·         The root origin of the Hebrew demuwth is 1819 damah (daw-maw'); a primitive root; to compare; by implication, to resemble, liken, consider: KJV-- compare, devise, (be) like (-n), mean, think, use similitude.


The word demuwth is in the same Absolute construct form as tselem, and it is also a Pronominal Suffix, indicating a personal pronoun use.  Demuwth also has the Prefixed Preposition, but it is not ‘beth’; rather the Prefixed Preposition attached to demuwth is ‘kaph.’


The prefixed preposition kaph indicates comparison or a special relation to the noun to which it is attached. Since demuwth is attached to tselem, there is a special relationship between the two nouns. 


A summary rendering of the original Hebrew words, “tselem” and “demuwth” used together in Genesis 1:26 reads literally:


·         “Let us make man our own instrumental (active, involved & functional) yet imprecise (inexact) representative and as our correspondent.”


The Hebrew word demuwth defines man’s role as the visible resemblance for or on behalf of God.  Man is to be made into something that will “model” God, as it were, to other men, because God exists in a spirit form, which cannot be seen by the naked eye.


AMG Complete WordStudy Bible says of the word for LIKENESS (1823 demuwth):


LIKENESS” - 1823 Demuwth; this fem. noun comes from damah (OT: 1819; see below).  It means likeness, resemblance, similitude; image, model, pattern, shape. It is used as an adverbially, “like” or ‘as,” in Psalm 58:4 and Isaiah 13:4.  As a noun it occurs twenty–six times in the OT.  Ezekiel never claims to say that he saw God, only the ‘appearance” of God (Ezekiel 10:1;  cf. Daniel 10:16; Revelation 1:13). Isaiah 13:4 uses the word for audible and structural similarities.  The two most important passages are Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 5:1.


·          OT:1819 damah (daw-maw'); a primitive root; to compare; by implication, to resemble, liken, consider


It is necessary to combine the use of demuwth and tselem in the text of Genesis 1:26 because if demuwth was used by itself, then man could be likened or compared to God, which would contradict other familiar scripture, and reduce God’s existence to that of a mortal being.  By adding tselem, man is said to be made into an “imprecise” representative form, and would be compared to God in some ways, but not exactly.


Isaiah 40:18 To whom then will you liken (damah) God?  Or what likeness (demuwth) will you compare with Him?   NAS


For example, God alone is the Creator, so man can never be likened to God exactly, nor can man ever be “made” to model God’s precise (exact) likeness.  At best, even without sin, man can model God in limited ways.


The Strong’s reference numbers are:


·         Image 6754 tselem

·         Likeness; 1823 demuwth


AMG Complete WordStudy Bible says of the word tselem:


IMAGE” -6754. Tselem; this masc. noun comes from an unused root which probably meant, “to shade.” The meaning is image, likeness, resemblance, illusion; a representative figure, an idol; a phantom, nothingness. This word is used sixteen times in the OT.  Five of them refer to man, who was created in the image (tselem) of God.  Most of the time it denotes an idol. Twice it refers to the golden copies of the mice and swellings, which afflicted the Philistines (1 Samuel 6:5, 11). These were mere representational images.  Note that the golden Cherub, though it was a sculpture, was not forbidden, because it was never intended to symbolize God Himself. However, it was a forbidden, idolatrous statue in Numbers 33:52 and 2 Kings 11:18.


The following is a list of all the Hebrew texts containing tselem, as it is associated with the “image” of man.  The reason for such a brief list of verse is simple; all the remaining texts in the Hebrew OT that use tselem are referencing idols, not God’s image.  This proves the use of tselem in scripture was never intended to show mankind as an exact copy of God.


IMAGE - tselem 6754


·         Genesis 1:27 And God created man in His own image (tselem), in the image (tselem) of God He created him; male and female He created them.   (NAS)


·         Genesis 5:3 When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image (tselem), and named him Seth.   (NAS)


·         Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image (tselem) of God He made man.   (NAS)


With the exception of Genesis 1:27, there are NO OTHER OLD TESTAMENT PASSAGES using tselem to associate mankind with God’s “image.” 


**NOTE: One very important note about Genesis 1:27; this verse uses tselem twice, unlike any of the other scripture references.  This is the KEY to understanding this whole issue.  When tselem (image) is used twice in this one verse, it indicates “precise representation” as opposed to the “imprecise representation” found in Genesis 1:26. 


To prove this point, a literal translation of Genesis 1:27 is needed below:

Genesis 1:27 Appropriate Translation

“So Elohim, the strongest (of all) strength, initiated and brought the man into existence by carving him out of nothing (Latin = ex nihilo) as His exact or precise instrumental representative, in the shadow of His strongest (of all) strength He created him, male and female created He them.”

To summarize thus far, here are the facts:


1.      Genesis 1:27 says God created man out of nothing by Himself, (with no help from another).  Because tselem is used twice in the same verse, it indicates “precise representation” as opposed to the “imprecise representation.”  This verse speaks of the ACTUAL CREATION OF MAN, unlike Genesis 1:26, which is future tense.


2.      Genesis 1:26 uses tselem once and demuwth once; this verse speaks of FUTURE ACTION; it is action to be taken by God, as He co-labors with others that exist in a state of being called God’s “imprecise image” representative(s).  Hence, these others (yet to be identified) will work with God to “make” (not create) man into their same imprecise image.  This is a character building process to make man into an imprecise yet acceptable representative of God.


3.      With the exception of Genesis 1:27, 5:3, & 9:6 tselem is never used of God’s image, and is predominantly used as a Hebrew word describing idols.  Since idols are never the exact duplicate of what they represent (the original), tselem as used throughout scripture refers only to creatures made in God’s “imprecise” image. 


4.      The use of demuwth in Genesis 1:26 emphasizes that God was, in the future, going to “make” (as opposed to “create” in Genesis 1:27) man as the “resemblance” of Himself; something visible that could speak for and act on His behalf.  This “making” of man into an outward form of representation for God implies a character building process.

Who Shares God’s image & likeness?

So far we have learned in Genesis 1:27 that God made man in His own precise image without the assistance of anyone.  The literal rendering of Genesis 1:27 proves God made the man in, “His exact or precise instrumental representative, in the shadow of His strongest strength created him, male and female created He them.”   This is a long-winded way of saying God created man in the EXACT way He wanted.  This is not a contradiction with what has been taught thus far, because we differentiate God’s creating with exactness and the actual way man can and will resemble Him on earth.


To give an example, let’s use an automobile.  Imagine a master craftsman who had the capability to both design and build an automobile to the precise specifications of his design.  He gathers the needed materials and builds his car, and it is exactly what he wanted it to be.  Now someone other than its creator must drive the car.  Will the driver or drivers use it to the precise specifications?  Of course not!  Only the master craftsman knows those specifications, and this is what sets him apart from those who use his masterpiece.


Only God can CREATE man as His precise model or shape; (not that God is shaped like anything); man was created precisely as God intended in order to be a resemblance of His invisible attributes.  Like the analogy of the automobile, the product itself was made to exacting standards, and this is what is being seen in Genesis 1:27.


Genesis 5:3 says God made man male and female into His “likeness” (demuwth).


·         Genesis 5:1-3 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness (demuwth) of God.  He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created.  When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of {a son} in his own likeness (demuwth), according to his image, and named him Seth. (NAS)


The reason demuwth is used in Genesis 5:2 is due to the fact God is speaking of the time when He made the woman from the man’s side, and called them one flesh.  At this very moment, the two could be said they precisely represent God’s nature to all (on earth) as He intended.  The reason for Genesis 5:3 including both male and female is because the man and his wife represent relationship and communication, which is the preferred medium by which God reveals Himself.  This precision would quickly digress to imprecision as man tested his mortality at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."  To whom is God speaking?  It is not the Trinity, as proven earlier.  It is not a prophecy, because the text mentions other parties to whom God could be talking. 


Except for Adam and his wife, the serpent is the only other creature mentioned in the garden, and it can be proven the serpent.  We know from many scripture passages the serpent is Satan, but Ezekiel 28:13 makes it clear that AT FIRST Lucifer was in the Garden of Eden as a protector and benefactor.  In fact, from the day he was created, Lucifer also was blameless in all his ways, qualifying him to be the person God is talking to in Genesis 1:26.


Ezekiel 28:12-19  "You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.  13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; the lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; and the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you.  On the day that you were created they were prepared.  14 You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.  You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.  15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.  16 By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God.  And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.  17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you. 18 By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade, you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you.  19 All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have become terrified, and you will be no more."  NAS


Many things mentioned in the text above point to Lucifer as being one of the key players in Genesis 1:26.  Consider the qualities (attributes) Lucifer possessed before he rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden:


·          He had the seal of perfection (Ezekiel 28:12)

·          He was full of wisdom (Ezekiel 28:12)

·          He was perfect in beauty (Ezekiel 28:12)

·          He was in Eden, the garden of God; God placed him there (Ezekiel 28:13-14)

·          He was the anointed cherub who covers (Ezekiel 28:14, 16)

·          He was on the holy mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:14)

·          He walked in the midst of the stones of fire (Ezekiel 28:14)

·          He was blameless in his ways from the day he was created (Ezekiel 28:15)


The word Lucifer is from a Latin word, and is used in the King James Version of the Bible to translate the Hebrew word used in Isaiah 14:12.  The Hebrew word heylel means the morning star, in the sense of the brightest celestial body (star) still visible in the translucent early morning sky.  The word heylel originates from another word halal meaning to be clear, of either sound or color; it also means to shine.


Isaiah 14:12-14 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!  13 For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north;14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'  NKJV


Using both texts of Ezekiel 28:12-19 with Isaiah 14:12-14 it is obvious Lucifer was a cherub with the capacity to reflect God’s light and resemble Him CLEARLY.  Lucifer had the seal of God’s perfection, was full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, and to prove he is at least one of the personages to whom God says, “Let Us make…” Lucifer was placed in the Garden of Eden BY GOD (Ezekiel 28:13-14).  Furthermore, the context of the third chapter of Genesis reveals God conversing with the serpent after he sinned, and thus he fits the bill for being involved in the discussion of Genesis 1:26.


Lucifer was a covering cherub that was, “blameless in all his ways” (Ezekiel 28:15).  The word cherub is used in the Old Testament first when God gives the specifications for building the Ark of the Covenant to Moses. 

Two golden cherubs were to be placed inside the ark, and they were to be positioned at each end of the mercy seat.  Their wings were to cover the mercy seat, and the tips of the wings were touching each other.


Exodus 25:17-20 And you shall make a mercy seat (a covering) of pure gold, two cubits and a half long and a cubit and a half wide.  18 And you shall make two cherubim (winged angelic figures) of solid hammered gold on the two ends of the mercy seat.  19 Make one cherub on each end, making the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat, on the two ends of it.  20 And the cherubim shall spread out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, facing each other and looking down toward the mercy seat.  AMP


More than one cherub was in the ark where God revealed His glory, and it is safe to say that at least one other cherub would be involved in Genesis 1:26 when God said, “Let US make man into OUR image, after OUR likeness.”  This is apparent from the design specifications of the mercy seat, which was one piece with the cherubim.  Since God IS the mercy seat, or mercy Giver, it is obvious those cherubim that are one with Him are involved in the process of “making” man into His image and likeness.

Genesis 1:26 The Appropriate Translation

Elohim was saying, “In the future, let us make, with existing material, human beings who will resemble us as an imprecise, instrumental representative figure and (act) as our correspondent(s); and let them scrape off the fish, subjugate the large beast, the birds of the air and darkness of the heavenly realm, and make subservient every reptile that glides swiftly and over all that walks with short steps or crawls or swarms upon the earth.”


Jesus takes over the role of light bearer that Lucifer failed in


Lucifer used his position in God’s kingdom selfishly; he failed to “make man” into the image and likeness of God.  He failed to do what a cherub is supposed to do, and that is to direct man to God’s bountiful mercy.  Had Lucifer done his job right, he would never have rebelled and tempted the woman and her husband to eat the forbidden fruit.  And if the man had eaten to fruit without his being aided by Lucifer, the covering cherub should have been there to direct him to seek God’s mercy and forgiveness.


We don’t know who the other cherub was, but one could speculate it was Michael, since we find Michael in a long-standing rivalry with Satan, the name given to Lucifer after he fell from glory.


Michael continued doing warfare on behalf of God, and Adam was only able to make sons and daughters in his own earthly image and likeness.  It would take another man, someone like Adam that would work in sync with God’s plan to make man into His image and likeness. 


It is important to pay special attention to, “This is the book of the generations of Adam…” in Genesis 5:1-3 because it is a key phrase when connected to the genealogy of the Messiah in Matthew 1:1-17 & Luke 3:21-38 (please read both accounts completely).  The generations of Adam are all who have been made in his “likeness.”


Under the terms of the new covenant believers in the last Adam (Jesus Christ) have the potential to be made as “imprecise instrumental representatives” by God as He works together with His only begotten son and the members of his spiritual body.


·         1 Corinthians 15:45-49 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”  The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.  As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.  And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.  (NKJ)


Note in 1 Corinthians 15:49, “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”  Since the time of Adam’s transgression, all of mankind inherited the “image” of an imprecise likeness, “As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust.”


·         Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  (NKJ)


·         2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  (KJV)


The two gospel lineage accounts of Adam only record the actual bloodline of Joseph, husband of Mary, and mother of Jesus.  Both accounts point to the anointed lineage of Messiah, NOT his genetic family.  This is important to comprehend when ascertaining the intended prophetic implications of Genesis 1:26.


Genesis 1:26 is not the literal creation of man; the literal creation of man in God’s own image happens in Genesis 1:27.  Genesis 1:26 is the conversation God has with Lucifer, his anointed cherub, placed in the garden to give man wisdom and guidance, and without violating man’s free will, guide him in avoiding the consumption of the knowledge of good and evil.


Genesis 1:26 became God’s PLAN in the future (extending beyond Adam) to make human beings as His own imprecise representatives and correspondents.  After the failure of Lucifer to work with Elohim to make man in His image and likeness, the plan changed and Genesis 1:26 became written instructions from Elohim to His only begotten son Jesus, making Jesus aware of what his Father has planned.


The list of the generations of Adam, as recounted in the two gospels, reveal the lineage of men and women of faith who worked as God’s representatives, albeit they were inexact and imprecise correspondents.


Jesus the Christ became the very first man after Adam to be a precise representative for God.  He was the beginning of God’s new creation, and Jesus’ life, death and resurrection would set in motion God’s prophetic plan in Genesis 1:26.  Through the redemption found in the sacrifice of Jesus, man once again had access to God’s throne of grace.  Through his glorification and position with the Father, Jesus could be called alongside all who believe in and rely upon him for wisdom and guidance because; unlike him they are imprecise divine representatives and correspondents.


More Reasons “Let Us” Is NOT The Trinity


Other reasons why Genesis1: 26 is not referring to the Trinity, nor to what Trinitarian theologians call, “The Pre-incarnate Christ,” (meaning the second person of the Triune godhead) are as follows:


A.  Jesus was born 4000 years after the creation story in Genesis therefore he could not have existed in the O.T.


B.  If there were more than one person of God creating mankind in His image, and likeness as prophesied in Genesis 1:26, this would involve some form of polytheism.  The doctrine of the Trinity states God is “three persons of God.”


C.  Genesis 1:26 cannot refer to three persons of God discussing how they would make man into their image, because it would read “images” (plural).  Besides, if God were “three persons of God” in one mysterious being, why would he (they) discuss a future plan if that plan were foreknown by them? 


·         Romans 8:29 says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Notice the use of ALL singular pronouns)


D.  Genesis 1:26 says, “Let us make,” where as Genesis1:27 says, “So God created...” The Hebrew words for “make” and “created” are completely different:


·         “Make” =asah” meaning, “to create from existing material (i.e. – material that already exists).  In the account of creation, ‘asah’ is broader in scope and dealt with refinement. In other words, the emphasis was on fashioning the created objects that were already in existence.


·         “Created” = Bara; to create, form, make, produce; to cut, to cut down; to engrave, to carve. This word occurs in the very first verse of the Bible (Genesis1:1). Bara conveys the thought of creation ex-nihilo (out of nothing).  Bara emphasizes the initiation of the object, not manipulating it after original creation. (See AMG Complete Word Study Bible & Reference CD)


E. Genesis 1:26 is speaking of God’s plan for the future; the words in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make (Hebrew = asah), into a future state of being, [and with] existing material, persons [who will be] a shade (i.e. - representative figure) of our likeness…” prove it is not three persons of the Trinity discussing creation of man.


·         A similar example of Genesis1:26 is found in Exodus 5:8, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God (NAS).'  This is speaking of future action, and like Genesis 1:26, it cannot be an event that has already happened. 


F. Genesis 1:26 differs from Genesis 1:27.  Genesis 1:27 says literally, “So God created by carving out of nothing, the human existence…” The words, “human existence” refers to man’s soul and spirit, not merely his physical body of flesh.


·         Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (NAS)


G. God is not a plurality of persons.


·         Trinitarian theology uses the “Us” in Genesis1:26 to prove their “three persons of God” doctrine.  In ignorance of the Hebrew language and its’ grammatical word structure, they boldly claim, “The Hebrew word for “God” is the plural Hebrew noun “elohim.”


·         The Hebrew word “elohim” (which is a plural word in the Hebrew) is translated “God” throughout the Old Testament.  While elohim is a Hebrew plural, it does denote a numerical plural as in the English language. 

Elohim Is Not A Plural Of Numbers

(It is not three-in-one)

As noted previously, the literal Hebrew meaning of elohim is, “strongest Strength.”  This Hebrew plural emphasizes the strength of God; He is the strongest of the strong.  It would be akin to an English phrase, “king of kings.”


Hebrew reference works validate that elohim is a word that signifying the plural of majesty (e.g. - like king of kings, or another literal translation, ‘mighty one of mighty ones’).  Elohim usually takes a singular verb; therefore no implication of any plurality in the divine nature can be inferred from the fact that the word is plural.


·         Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God (i.e. - elohim) is one LORD.  (KJV)


Notice that Deuteronomy 6:4 does NOT say, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is three in one LORD.”  If God were truly “three-in-one” why didn’t he inspire this verse to reflect a plurality of persons?  The plural Hebrew noun “elohim” is properly defined below (highlighting & underlining added):


·         “Elohim” = GOD, SECTION II-1, (IN THE OLD TESTAMENT) “It is, therefore, a general term expressing majesty and authority, and it only came to be used as a proper name for Israel's God in the later period of abstract monotheism when the old proper name Yahweh was held to be too sacred to be uttered. The meaning of the root 'El, and the exact relation to it, and to one another, of 'Elohim and 'Eloah, lie in complete obscurity. By far the most frequent form used by Old Testament writers is the plural 'Elohiym, but they use it regularly with singular verbs and adjectives to denote a singular idea. (From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Electronic Database Copyright (C) 1996 by Biblesoft)


·         The Emphasized Bible by Rotherham says, “It should be carefully observed that although elohim is plural in form, yet when, as here (Genesis1:26-27), it is construed with a verb in the singular; it is naturally singular in sense; especially since the ‘plural of equality’ or ‘excellence’ abounds in Hebrew cases where the reference is undeniably to something which must be understood in the singular number.”


Elohim is a plural Hebrew word, but when used with singular verbs, it refers to a singular being.  One cannot use elohim in Genesis 1:26 to prove a multiplicity of persons; the pre-incarnate Christ cannot be suggested by the use of the Hebrew word elohim.  Elohim is a plural of majesty, and the word is used to enhance God’s greatness.  Elohim means the “mighty one of mighty ones” or “strongest of the strong.”


Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary below defines Elohim:


·         GOD - “430  ‘elohiym (el-o-heem’); plural of 433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: KJV-- angels, X exceeding, God (gods)- dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty. 


Elohim comes from a root word 'el (ale), which means strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity).  Thus, elohim enhances the word el, showing that the Almighty is one who has the greatest strength of all.


To summarize, Genesis 1:26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion...” was first God speaking with Lucifer and another of His anointed cherubs.  This plan failed, but the written record of the conversation remained.  This written record then became written instructions to Jesus, God’s only begotten son, to work together with Him to make man into the image and likeness of God.


Genesis 1:26 is therefore now prophetic of the continuing plan of God to make mankind His image (as representatives) and likeness.  In the gospels and the New Testament we read how God accomplished His future plan…through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.  Jesus read the Pentateuch, and when he received insight and understanding from God, he saw Genesis 1:26 as the plan and purpose for his entire life…to work together with his Father God, making mankind into their image and likeness, because Jesus became “one” with God.


·         John 17:20-24 "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.  The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.  Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”  NASU


Genesis 1:26 The Appropriate Translation

The strongest Strength was saying, “ In the future, let us make, with existing material, human beings who will be our imprecise, instrumental representative figure and as our correspondent(s); and let them tread down (subjugate) the anxious fear, the roar of the nations (sea), and let them have dominion over the darkness of the heavenly realm and over the giant beast and over the whole earth and over the whole of the serpent’s {kingdom} that swarms upon the earth.”

We, the body of Jesus Christ, are to be co-laborers with him in making mankind into his Father’s image and likeness.  We are partakers of the divine nature, and as such, we too are admonished by Genesis 1:26 to go into all the world, making disciples of Jesus on behalf of his Father God.  By reconciling men to God thru Christ, we are making man into God’s image, after His likeness, and are becoming what we do.



Selah… think about it.



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