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Monday, May 16, 2011

Leupold Genesis part 56 verse 26 Image of God

26. And God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the domestic animals and over the whole earth and over every thing that moveth about upon the earth.

A divine counsel precedes the creation of man. By this means the singular dignity of man is very strongly stressed. From every point of view man is seen to be the crown and climax of God's creation.

The hortative "Let us make" (na'aseh), is particularly striking because it is plural. Though almost all commentators of our day reject the view that this is to be explained in connection with the truth of the Holy Trinity and treat this so-called trinitarian view as a very negligible quantity, yet, rightly considered, this is the only view that can satisfy. Koenig (K. C.) may brush it aside with the very briefest remark to the effect that "the number three cannot be expressed by the plural," yet he like many others labours under a misunderstanding of the trinitarian view. Those that hold that a reference to the Trinity is involved do not mean to say that the truth of the Holy Trinity is here fully and plainly revealed. But they do hold that God speaks out of the fulness of His powers and His attributes in a fashion which man could never employ. Behind such speaking lies the truth of the Holy Trinity which, as it grows increasingly clear in revelation, is in the light of later clear revelation discovered as contained in this pural in a kind of obscure adumbration. The truth of the Trinity explains this passage. It would not occur to us to call this an express and unmistakable, clear presentation of the full trinitarian truth. So also, in substance, Keil. So practically also Luther, after he has valiantly championed the trinitarian view even beyond what we might deem the legitimate statement of the case, goes on to remark: "Therefore what is first presented more or less dark, difficult and obscure, Christ has all made manifest and clearly commanded to preach. Nevertheless, the holy fathers held this knowledge through the Holy Spirit, yet by no means as clear as we now have it."

Some have seen the solution of the difficulty to lie in calling this the majestic plural, such as sovereigns are wont to employ in edicts. This type of plural, however, cannot be demonstrated as used in the Scriptures. Luther's somewhat ironical remark should also be considered here: "The Holy Spirit is not wont to employ the courtesies employed for royalty" (kanzleiische Hoeflichkeit). Rightly speaking, a kind of potential plural is involved (K. S. 260 a-e), as the fullness of the potentialities that lie in God is expressed by the plural of 'elohim, which may even be used with a plural form of its predicate adjective (Judg. 24:19; Ps. 58:12), but abstract plurals like these are not yet quite the same thing as a verb used in the first person plural, hortatory, as Strack tries to persuade himself to believe.

The common explanation, perhaps the most popular at present, that God is addressing the angels has been shown up in its deficiencies by Koenig (K. C.). It cannot be denied that on occasion God addressed the angelic host before His throne; (Isa 6:8; 1Ki 22:19-22). Angels are found standing in His presence (Job 1; 38:7; Da 4:14; 7:10). But never once does God actually counsel with them. The distance between God and angels is seen to be a very pronounced one. Even in (Isa 6:8) this important difference stands out: "Whom shall I send?" God acts independently without angelic counsel. Besides, it must be considered that neither here nor by the time 3:22 is reached has anything been revealed about the creation of angels. And lastly, man is not considered in the Scriptures to have been made in the image of angels. If this remark included angels, man would be made in an image which blurred the divine and the angelic into one. The Old Testament does not muddle such important concepts.

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