Sunday, 20 January 2019
Question of the Day: Given these words ... Genesis 1:26a "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness!'" What does that mean?
Answer: The Hebrew clearly says (God is speaking) "WE will make man." I will address how God speaks of Himself in the plural in a moment. Then it continues in the plural by saying "in Our image, like Our resemblance." Even the first use of any name for God, found in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim, which is also plural.
Rabbi Trail: In Hebrew there is great distinction (more than we find in English). For instance, in English we have the word "you." But that could mean you or you all or all you all. It could be spoken to men, women or a mixed gender group. All of this is specific in Hebrew.
In Hebrew there is also singular, then there is a structure for two of something (like the body parts, legs, arms, eyes, ears, etc.) and there is another distinct structure for plural more than two. These plurals in Genesis 1:26 are of the "more than 2” type. For the record, 3 is more than 2. End RT.
How are we made in the image of God? The Shema notwithstanding, God is 3 in 1, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You might try to argue that Jewish people don't agree with that. Well, the Hebrew Scriptures are very clear about this. All three are in this one verse from Isaiah 48:16 "Come near unto me, hear this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord (YHVH) hath sent me (Yeshua), and his Spirit (Ruach)."
Proverbs was written by Solomon. This is in the Jewish Bible (it's not a Christian invention). Proverbs 30:4 "Who has gone up into heaven, and come down? Who has gathered the wind in the palm of His hand? Who has wrapped the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name and what is the name of His son - if you know?"
Want another "more obvious" example? Isaiah 9:5a(6) "For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us ..." (then check out His names, all in the Hebrew Scriptures) "... His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace."
Then the rabbis are left with the argument that, "Okay, there is a Savior, but He has not come YET." But according to Daniel, He had to come before the Temple was destroyed. The last 3 verses of Daniel 9 make this clear. Now let's deal with our being created in the likeness of God.
How are we 3 in 1? We have a body (guf - physical parts), and a soul (nefesh - intellect), and a spirit (ruach - the life that allows us to relate to the infinite all powerful God). It is the Ruach that comes to life (born again) when we put our trust in the provision God has made for us through His Son, Yeshua. Yes, we are made in the image and likeness of God.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,