Genesis 1:26
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 fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
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(26) Let us make man.—Comp. Genesis 11:7. The making of man is so ushered in as to show that at length the work of creation had reached its perfection and ultimate goal. As regards the use of the plural here, Maimonides thinks that God took counsel with the earth, the latter supplying the body and Elohim the soul. But it is denied in Isaiah 40:13 that God ever took counsel with any one but Himself. The Jewish interpreters generally think that the angels are meant. More truly and more reverently we may say that this first chapter of Genesis is the chapter of mysteries, and just as “the wind of God” in Genesis 1:2 was the pregnant germ which grew into the revelation of the Holy Ghost, so in Elohim, the many powers concentrated in one being, lies the germ of the doctrine of a plurality of persons in the Divine Unity. It is not a formal proof of the Trinity, nor do believers in the inspiration of Holy Scripture so use it. What they affirm is, that from the very beginning the Bible is full of such germs, and that no one of them remains barren, but all develop, and become Christian truths. There is in this first book a vast array of figures, types, indications, yearnings, hopes, fears, promises, and express predictions, which advance onwards like an ever-deepening river, and when they all find a logical fulfilment in one way, the conclusion is that that fulfilment is not only true, but was intended.

Man.—Hebrew, Adam. In Assyrian the name for man is also adamu, or admu. In that literature, so marvellously preserved to our days, Sir H. Rawlinson thinks that he has traced the first man up to the black or Accadian race. It is hopeless to attempt any derivation of the name, as it must have existed before any of the verbs and nouns from which commentators attempt to give it a meaning; and the adâmâh, or “tilled ground,” of which we shall soon hear so much, evidently had its name from Adam.

In our image, after our likeness.—The human body is after God’s image only as being the means whereby man attains to dominion: for dominion is God’s attribute, inasmuch as He is sole Lord. Man’s body, therefore, as that of one who rules, is erect, and endowed with speech, that he may give the word of command. The soul is first, in God’s image. This, as suggesting an external likeness, may refer to man’s reason, free-will, self-consciousness, and so on. But it is, secondly, in God’s likeness, which implies something closer and more inward. It refers to man’s moral powers, and especially to his capacity of attaining unto holiness. Now man has lost neither of these two. (Comp. Genesis 9:6; 1Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9.) Both were weakened and defiled by the fall, but were still retained in a greater or less degree. In the man Christ Jesus both were perfect; and fallen man, when new-created in Christ, attains actually to that perfection which was his only potentially at his first creation, and to which Adam never did attain.

Let them have dominion.—The plural here shows that we have to do not with Adam and Eve, but with the human race generally. This, too, agrees with the whole bearing of the first chapter, which deals in a large general way with genera and species, and not with individuals. This is important as an additional proof that God’s likeness and image belong to the whole species man, and could not therefore have been lost by the fall, as St. Augustine supposed.



Genesis 1:26 - Genesis 2:3

We are not to look to Genesis for a scientific cosmogony, and are not to be disturbed by physicists’ criticisms on it as such. Its purpose is quite another, and far more important; namely, to imprint deep and ineffaceable the conviction that the one God created all things. Nor must it be forgotten that this vision of creation was given to people ignorant of natural science, and prone to fall back into surrounding idolatry. The comparison of the creation narratives in Genesis with the cuneiform tablets, with which they evidently are most closely connected, has for its most important result the demonstration of the infinite elevation above their monstrosities and puerilities, of this solemn, steadfast attribution of the creative act to the one God. Here we can only draw out in brief the main points which the narrative brings into prominence.

1. The revelation which it gives is the truth, obscured to all other men when it was given, that one God ‘in the beginning created the heaven and the earth.’ That solemn utterance is the keynote of the whole. The rest but expands it. It was a challenge and a denial for all the beliefs of the nations, the truth of which Israel was the champion and missionary. It swept the heavens and earth clear of the crowd of gods, and showed the One enthroned above, and operative in, all things. We can scarcely estimate the grandeur, the emancipating power, the all-uniting force, of that utterance. It is a worn commonplace to us. It was a strange, thrilling novelty when it was written at the head of this narrative. Then it was in sharp opposition to beliefs that have long been dead to us; but it is still a protest against some living errors. Physical science has not spoken the final word when it has shown us how things came to be as they are. There remains the deeper question, What, or who, originated and guided the processes? And the only answer is the ancient declaration, ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’

2. The record is as emphatic and as unique in its teaching as to the mode of creation: ‘God said . . . and it was so.’ That lifts us above all the poor childish myths of the nations, some of them disgusting, many of them absurd, all of them unworthy. There was no other agency than the putting forth of the divine will. The speech of God is but a symbol of the flashing forth of His will. To us Christians the antique phrase suggests a fulness of meaning not inherent in it, for we have learned to believe that ‘all things were made by Him’ whose name is ‘The Word of God’; but, apart from that, the representation here is sublime. ‘He spake, and it was done’; that is the sign-manual of Deity.

3. The completeness of creation is emphasised. We note, not only the recurrent ‘and it was so,’ which declares the perfect correspondence of the result with the divine intention, but also the recurring ‘God saw that it was good.’ His ideals are always realised. The divine artist never finds that the embodiment of His thought falls short of His thought.

‘What act is all its thought had been?

What will but felt the fleshly screen?

But He has no hindrances nor incompletenesses in His creative work, and the very sabbath rest with which the narrative closes symbolises, not His need of repose, but His perfect accomplishment of His purpose. God ceases from His works because ‘the works were finished,’ and He saw that all was very good.

4. The progressiveness of the creative process is brought into strong relief. The work of the first four days is the preparation of the dwelling-place for the living creatures who are afterwards created to inhabit it. How far the details of these days’ work coincide with the order as science has made it out, we are not careful to ask here. The primeval chaos, the separation of the waters above from the waters beneath, the emergence of the land, the beginning of vegetation there, the shining out of the sun as the dense mists cleared, all find confirmation even in modern theories of evolution. But the intention of the whole is much rather to teach that, though the simple utterance of the divine will was the agent of creation, the manner of it was not a sudden calling of the world, as men know it, into being, but majestic, slow advance by stages, each of which rested on the preceding. To apply the old distinction between justification and sanctification, creation was a work, not an act. The Divine Workman, who is always patient, worked slowly then as He does now. Not at a leap, but by deliberate steps, the divine ideal attains realisation.

5. The creation of living creatures on the fourth and fifth days is so arranged as to lead up to the creation of man as the climax. On the fifth day sea and air are peopled, and their denizens ‘blessed,’ for the equal divine love holds every living thing to its heart. On the sixth day the earth is replenished with living creatures. Then, last of all, comes man, the apex of creation. Obviously the purpose of the whole is to concentrate the light on man; and it is a matter of no importance whether the narrative is correct according to zoology, or not. What it says is that God made all the universe, that He prepared the earth for the delight of living creatures, that the happy birds that soar and sing, and the dumb creatures that move through the paths of the seas, and the beasts of the earth, are all His creating, and that man is linked to them, being made on the same day as the latter, and by the same word, but that between man and them all there is a gulf, since he is made in the divine image. That image implies personality, the consciousness of self, the power to say ‘I,’ as well as purity. The transition from the work of the first four days to that of creating living things must have had a break. No theory has been able to bridge the chasm without admitting a divine act introducing the new element of life, and none has been able to bridge the gulf between the animal and human consciousness without admitting a divine act introducing ‘the image of God’ into the nature common to animal and man. Three facts as to humanity are thrown up into prominence: its possession of the image of God, the equality and eternal interdependence of the sexes, and the lordship over all creatures. Mark especially the remarkable wording of Genesis 1:27 : ‘created He him male and female created He them.’ So ‘neither is the woman without the man, nor the man without the woman.’ Each is maimed apart from the other. Both stand side by side, on one level before God. The germ of the most ‘advanced’ doctrines of the relations of the sexes is hidden here.

Genesis 1:26. God said, Let us make man — We have here another and still more important part of the sixth day’s work, the creation of man. Having prepared a fit habitation for man, and furnished it with all things necessary for his use and comfort, God now proceeds to create him. But this he does, as it were, with deliberation, nay, and consultation, using a phraseology which he had not used with regard to any other creatures, thereby showing the excellence of man above every other being which he had made. And it appears from hence, that all the three hypostases, which still bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, were peculiarly concerned in the creation of man. For God did not speak thus to angels, who, although they were present, and rejoiced at the creation of the universe, (Job 37:4; Job 37:7,) yet had no hand therein, sundry passages of Scripture testifying that it was the work of God alone. In our image, after our likeness — Two words signifying the same thing. Here again we see the excellence of man above all other creatures of this world, none of which are said to be made after the image or likeness of God. Indeed, his pre-eminence above the brute creatures, and his high destination, are apparent in the very form of his body, the erect figure of which, set toward the heavens, points him to his origin and end. It is, however, in the soul of man, that we must look for the divine image. And here we easily discern it. Like God, man’s soul is a spirit, immaterial, invisible, active, intelligent, free, immortal, and, when first created, endowed with a high degree of divine knowledge, and with holiness and righteousness; in which particulars, according to St. Paul, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10, the image of God in man chiefly consists. He was also invested with an image of God’s authority and dominion, and was constituted the ruler, under him, of all the inferior creatures. For God said, And let them — Male and female, (here comprehended in the word man,) with their posterity; have dominion over the fish of the sea, &c. — All the creatures, both wild and tame, are here included, over which our first parents, while innocent, had entire and perfect power and dominion, as they had also over the productions of the earth, and over the earth itself, to cultivate and manage it, as they should see fit, for their comfort and advantage.

1:26-28 Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an honour and a favour to him. Yet man was made the same day that the beasts were; his body was made of the same earth with theirs; and while he is in the body, he inhabits the same earth with them. God forbid that by indulging the body, and the desires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts that perish! Man was to be a creature different from all that had been hitherto made. Flesh and spirit, heaven and earth, must be put together in him. God said, Let us make man. Man, when he was made, was to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Into that great name we are baptized, for to that great name we owe our being. It is the soul of man that especially bears God's image. Man was made upright, Ec 7:29. His understanding saw Divine things clearly and truly; there were no errors or mistakes in his knowledge; his will consented at once, and in all things, to the will of God. His affections were all regular, and he had no bad appetites or passions. His thoughts were easily brought and fixed to the best subjects. Thus holy, thus happy, were our first parents in having the image of God upon them. But how is this image of God upon man defaced! May the Lord renew it upon our souls by his grace!Here we evidently enter upon a higher scale of being. This is indicated by the counsel or common resolve to create, which is now for the first time introduced into the narrative. When the Creator says, "Let us make man," he calls attention to the work as one of pre-eminent importance. At the same time he sets it before himself as a thing undertaken with deliberate purpose. Moreover, in the former mandates of creation his words had regard to the thing itself that was summoned into being; as, "Let there be light;" or to some preexistent object that was physically connected with the new creature; as, "Let the land bring forth grass." But now the language of the fiat of creation ascends to the Creator himself: Let us make man. This intimates that the new being in its higher nature is associated not so much with any part of creation as with the Eternal Uncreated himself.

The plural form of the sentence raises the question, With whom took he counsel on this occasion? Was it with himself, and does he here simply use the plural of majesty? Such was not the usual style of monarchs in the ancient East. Pharaoh says, "I have dreamed a dream" Genesis 41:15. Nebuchadnezzar, "I have dreamed" Daniel 2:3. Darius the Mede, "I make a decree" Daniel 6:26. Cyrus, "The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth" Ezra 1:2. Darius, "I make a decree" Ezra 5:8. We have no ground, therefore, for transferring it to the style of the heavenly King. Was it with certain other intelligent beings in existence before man that he took counsel? This supposition cannot be admitted; because the expression "let us make" is an invitation to create, which is an incommunicable attribute of the Eternal One, and because the phrases, "our image, our likeness," when transferred into the third person of narrative, become "his image, the image of God," and thus limit the pronouns to God himself. Does the plurality, then, point to a plurality of attributes in the divine nature? This cannot be, because a plurality of qualities exists in everything, without at all leading to the application of the plural number to the individual, and because such a plurality does not warrant the expression, "let us make." Only a plurality of persons can justify the phrase. Hence, we are forced to conclude that the plural pronoun indicates a plurality of persons or hypostases in the Divine Being.

Genesis 1:26

Man. - Man is a new species, essentially different from all other kinds on earth. "In our image, after our likeness." He is to be allied to heaven as no other creature on earth is. He is to be related to the Eternal Being himself. This relation, however, is to be not in matter, but in form; not in essence, but in semblance. This precludes all pantheistic notions of the origin of man. "Image" is a word taken from sensible things, and denotes likeness in outward form, while the material may be different. "Likeness" is a more general term, indicating resemblance in any quality, external or internal. It is here explanatory of image, and seems to show that this term is to be taken in a figurative sense, to denote not a material but a spiritual conformity to God. The Eternal Being is essentially self-manifesting. The appearance he presents to an eye suited to contemplate him is his image. The union of attributes which constitute his spiritual nature is his character or likeness.

We gather from the present chapter that God is a spirit Genesis 1:2, that he thinks, speaks, wills, and acts (Genesis 1:3-4, etc.). Here, then, are the great points of conformity to God in man, namely, reason, speech, will, and power. By reason we apprehend concrete things in perception and consciousness, and cognize abstract truth, both metaphysical and moral. By speech we make certain easy and sensible acts of our own the signs of the various objects of our contemplative faculties to ourselves and others. By will we choose, determine, and resolve upon what is to be done. By power we act, either in giving expression to our concepts in words, or effect to our determinations in deeds. In the reason is evolved the distinction of good and evil Genesis 1:4, Genesis 1:31, which is in itself the approval of the former and the disapproval of the latter. In the will is unfolded that freedom of action which chooses the good and refuses the evil. In the spiritual being that exercises reason and will resides the power to act, which presupposes both these faculties - the reason as informing the will, and the will as directing the power. This is that form of God in which he has created man, and condescends to communicate with him.

And let them rule. - The relation of man to the creature is now stated. It is that of sovereignty. Those capacities of right thinking, right willing, and right acting, or of knowledge, holiness, and righteousness, in which man resembles God, qualify him for dominion, and constitute him lord of all creatures that are destitute of intellectual and moral endowments. Hence, wherever man enters he makes his sway to be felt. He contemplates the objects around him, marks their qualities and relations, conceives and resolves upon the end to be attained, and endeavors to make all things within his reach work together for its accomplishment. This is to rule on a limited scale. The field of his dominion is "the fish of the sea, the fowl of the skies, the cattle, the whole land, and everything that creepeth on the land." The order here is from the lowest to the highest. The fish, the fowl, are beneath the domestic cattle. These again are of less importance than the land, which man tills and renders fruitful in all that can gratify his appetite or his taste. The last and greatest victory of all is over the wild animals, which are included under the class of creepers that are prone in their posture, and move in a creeping attitude over the land. The primeval and prominent objects of human sway are here brought forward after the manner of Scripture. But there is not an object within the ken of man which he does not aim at making subservient to his purposes. He has made the sea his highway to the ends of the earth, the stars his pilots on the pathless ocean, the sun his bleacher and painter, the bowels of the earth the treasury from which he draws his precious and useful metals and much of his fuel, the steam his motive power, and the lightning his messenger. These are proofs of the evergrowing sway of man.

26. The last stage in the progress of creation being now reached—God said, Let us make man—words which show the peculiar importance of the work to be done, the formation of a creature, who was to be God's representative, clothed with authority and rule as visible head and monarch of the world. In our image, after our likeness—This was a peculiar distinction, the value attached to which appears in the words being twice mentioned. And in what did this image of God consist? Not in the erect form or features of man, not in his intellect, for the devil and his angels are, in this respect, far superior; not in his immortality, for he has not, like God, a past as well as a future eternity of being; but in the moral dispositions of his soul, commonly called original righteousness (Ec 7:29). As the new creation is only a restoration of this image, the history of the one throws light on the other; and we are informed that it is renewed after the image of God in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness (Col 3:10; Eph 4:24). God had now prepared all things necessary for man’s use and comfort. The plurals us and our afford an evident proof of a plurality of persons in the Godhead. It is plain from many other texts, as well as from the nature and reason of the thing, that God alone is man’s Creator: the angels rejoiced at the work of creation, but only God wrought it, Job 38:4-7. And it is no less plain from this text, and from divers other places, that man had more Creators than one person: see Job 35:10 John 1:2-3, &c.; Hebrews 1:3. And as other texts assure us that there is but one God, so this shows that there are more persons in the Godhead; nor can that seeming contradiction of one and more being in the Godhead be otherwise reconciled, than by acknowledging a plurality of persons in the unity of essence. It is pretended that God here speaks after the manner of princes, in the plural number, who use to say: We will

and require, or, It is our pleasure. But this is only the invention and practice of latter times, and no way agreeable to the simplicity, either of the first ages of the world, or of the Hebrew style. The kings of Israel used to speak of themselves in the singular number, 2 Samuel 3:28, 1 Chronicles 21:17, 1 Chronicles 29:14, 2 Chronicles 2:6. And so did the eastern monarchs too, yea, even in their decrees and orders, which now run in the plural number, as Ezra 6:8, I (Darius) make a decree; Ezra 7:21, I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree. Nor do I remember one example in Scripture to the contrary. It is therefore a rash and presumptuous attempt, without any warrant, to thrust the usages of modern style into the sacred Scripture. Besides, the Lord doth generally speak of himself in the singular number, some few places excepted, wherein the plural number is used for the signification of this mystery. Moreover, this device is utterly overthrown by comparing this text with Genesis 3:22:

The Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us. Therefore there are more persons than one in the Godhead. How many they are other texts plainly inform us, as we shall see in their proper places. And whereas he saith not now as he did before: Let the earth or waters

bring forth, but, Let us make; this change of the phrase and manner of expression shows that man was, as the last, so the most perfect and the chief of the ways and works of God in this lower world.

After our likeness. Image and likeness are two words noting the same thing, even exact likeness. For both of them are used of Adam, Genesis 5:3:

He begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and they are separately and indifferently used in the same sense, man being said to be made in the likeness of God, Genesis 5:1, and in the image of God, Genesis 9:6.

Quest. Wherein doth the image of God in man consist?

Answ. 1. It is in the whole man, both in the blessedness of his estate, and in his dominion over the rest of the creatures.

2. It shines forth even in the body, in the majesty of man’s countenance, and height of his stature, which is set towards heaven, when other creatures by their down-looks show the lowness and meanness of their nature, as even heathens have observed.

3. It principally consists and most eminently appears in man’s soul.

1. In its nature and substance, as it is, like God, spiritual, invisible, immortal, &c.

2. In its powers and faculties, reason or understanding, and freedom in its choice and actions.

3. In the singular endowments wherewith God hath adorned it, as knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, in which St. Paul chiefly placeth this image, Ephesians 4:24 Colossians 3:10.

The male and female are both comprehended in the word man, as is expressed, Genesis 1:27, together with their posterity.

Over the cattle; by which he understands either,

1. Both tame and wild beasts, the same word being used here in a differing sense from what it hath Genesis 1:25, as is frequent in Scripture. Or,

2. Tame beasts, which are particularly mentioned, because they are more under man’s dominion than the wild beasts, and more fitted for man’s use and benefit, though the other be not excluded, but comprehended under the former, as the more famous kind, as is usual in Scriptures and other authors.

Over all the earth; over all other creatures and productions of the earth, and over the earth itself, to manage it as they see fit for their own comfort and advantage.

And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness,.... These words are directed not to the earth, out of which man was made, as consulting with it, and to be assisting in the formation of man, as Moses Gerundensis, and other Jewish writers (f), which is wretchedly stupid; nor to the angels, as the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, and others, who are not of God's privy council, nor were concerned in any part of the creation, and much less in the more noble part of it: nor are the words spoken after the manner of kings, as Saadiah, using the plural number as expressive of honour and majesty; since such a way of speaking did not obtain very early, not even till the close of the Old Testament: but they are spoken by God the Father to the Son and Holy Ghost, who were each of them concerned in the creation of all things, and particularly of man: hence we read of divine Creators and Makers in the plural number, Job 35:10 and Philo the Jew acknowledges that these words declare a plurality, and are expressive of others, being co-workers with God in creation (g): and man being the principal part of the creation, and for the sake of whom the world, and all things in it were made, and which being finished, he is introduced into it as into an house ready prepared and furnished for him; a consultation is held among the divine Persons about the formation of him; not because of any difficulty attending it, but as expressive of his honour and dignity; it being proposed he should be made not in the likeness of any of the creatures already made, but as near as could be in the likeness and image of God. The Jews sometimes say, that Adam and Eve were created in the likeness of the holy blessed God, and his Shechinah (h); and they also speak (i) of Adam Kadmon the ancient Adam, as the cause of causes, of whom it is said, "I was as one brought up with him (or an artificer with him), Proverbs 8:30 and to this ancient Adam he said, "let us make man in our image, after our likeness": and again, "let us make man"; to whom did he say this? the cause of causes said to "`jod', he, `vau', he"; that is, to Jehovah, which is in the midst of the ten numerations. What are the ten numerations? "`aleph', he, `jod', he", that is, "I am that I am, Exodus 3:14 and he that says let us make, is Jehovah; I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God: and three jods testify concerning him, that there is none above him, nor any below him, but he is in the middle:

and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air; that is, to catch them, and eat them; though in the after grant of food to man, no mention as yet is made of any other meat than the herbs and fruits of the earth; yet what can this dominion over fish and fowl signify, unless it be a power to feed upon them? It may be observed, that the plural number is used, "let them", which shows that the name "man" is general in the preceding clause, and includes male and female, as we find by the following verse man was created:

and over the cattle, and over all the earth; over the tame creatures, either for food, or clothing, or carriage, or for all of them, some of them for one thing, and some for another; and over all the wild beasts of the earth, which seem to be meant by the phrase, "over all the earth"; that is, over all the beasts of the earth, as appears by comparing it with Genesis 1:24 so as to keep them in awe, and keep them off from doing them any damage:

and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; to make use of it as should seem convenient for them.

(f) Vet. Nizzachon, p. 5. Lipman. Carmen Memorial. p. 108. apud Wagenseil. Tela ignea, vol. 1.((g) De confusione Ling. p. 344. De Profugis, p. 460. De Opificio, p. 16. (h) Tikkune Zohar, correct. 64. fol. 98. 2.((i) Ibid. correct. 70. fol. 119. 1.

And God said, {s} Let us make man in our {t} image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

(s) God commanded the water and the earth to bring forth other creatures: but of man he says, Let us make... signifying that God takes counsel with his wisdom and virtue purposing to make an excellent work above all the rest of his creation.

(t) This image and likeness of God in man is expounded in Eph 4:24 where it is written that man was created after God in righteousness and true holiness meaning by these two words, all perfection, as wisdom, truth, innocency, power, etc.

26. Let us make] LXX ποιήσωμεν, Lat. faciamus. The use of the 1st pers. plur. is a well-known crux of interpretation. How are we to explain its occurrence in the utterance of the Almighty? The only other passages in which it is found are (1) Genesis 3:22, “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us”; (2) Genesis 11:7, “Go to, and let us go down, and there confound their language”; (3) Isaiah 6:8, “And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Very different explanations have been given.

i. Until recently, the traditional Christian interpretation has seen in the 1st pers. plur. a reference to the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. The requirements of a sound historical exegesis render this view untenable: for it would read into the Book of Genesis the religious teaching which is based upon the Revelation of the New Testament.

ii. It has been regarded as a survival of polytheism, and has been compared with “Elohim,” a plural word for “God” which some regard as a relic of polytheism. But “Elohim, in the present context, is always combined with a verb in the singular. Why should “said” be in the singular, if “let us” indicates the plurality of Gods? Again, any departure from the strictest monotheism is unthinkable in the writing of the Priestly Code. The explanation may safely be dismissed as improbable in the extreme.

iii. It has been explained as the plural of Majesty. It is pointed out that the commands and rescripts of royal personages are conveyed in the 1st pers. plur.; and reference is made, in support of this view, to Ezra 4:18, 1Ma 10:19; 1Ma 11:31. It may be allowed that the view is tenable; but the examples adduced are drawn from a very late period of Biblical literature, and, as an explanation, it appears to be little in harmony with the directness and simplicity of the passage.

iv. It has been explained as the “plural of the fulness of attributes and powers.” It is pointed out that not only is the word for God (Elohim) plural in form, but also the words for “Lord” (Adon) and “Master” (Ba‘al) are often used in the plural of a single person. “It might well be that, on a solemn occasion like this, when God is represented as about to create a being in His own image, and to impart to him a share in that fulness of sovereign prerogatives possessed by Himself, He should adopt this unusual and significant mode of expression” (Driver, in loc.). It may, however, be questioned whether the passage in Genesis 11:7 satisfies the exacting requirements of this finely described test. Again, while “the plural of plenitude” in a substantive or adjective is unquestioned, it may be doubted, whether we should be right to explain the 1st pers. plur. of a verb on the ground that the speaker is one to whom the plural of the fulness of power can justly be attributed.

v. It has been explained as the plural of Deliberation. It has been truly remarked that there is more solemnity and dignity in the words, “Let us make man in our own image,” than would have been conveyed in the words, “Let me (or, I will) make man in my own image.” The entire simplicity of this explanation tends to recommend it.

vi. It was the old Jewish explanation that God is here addressing the inhabitants of heaven. In the thought of the devout Israelite, God was One, but not isolated. He was surrounded by the heavenly host (1 Kings 22:19); attended by the Seraphim (Isaiah 6:1-6); holding His court with “the sons of God” (Job 1:6; Job 2:1). We are told in a poetical account of the Creation, that when the foundations of the earth were laid, “all the sons of God shouted for joy,” Job 38:7 (cf. Psalm 29:1; Psalm 89:7; Psalm 103:19-22). It is claimed that, at the climax of the work of Creation, when man is about to be formed, the Almighty admits into the confidence of his Divine Purpose the angelic beings whose nature, in part, man will be privileged to share (Psalm 8:4-5, cf. Hebrews 2:7). At the risk of appearing fanciful, we may remind the reader that the birth of the Second Adam was announced by “the angel,” and “there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God” (Luke 2:13)

It has been objected against this view (1) that the Priestly Narrator nowhere mentions angels, and (2) that the explanation tends to detract from the dignity of man’s creation. But (1) angels are not here mentioned; and if the plur. indicates their presence in attendance upon the Almighty, the picture which it suggests is in harmony with the religious thought of the Israelites; and (2) the work of creating man is neither delegated to, nor shared with, others. God “created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:27); but, before creating him, He had associated with Himself all those who, through participation in image and likeness with Himself, would henceforth be allied to man.

The two last explanations appear to be the most probable.

man] Heb. âdâm. This, the first mention of “man” in Holy Scripture, is spoken by God. It denotes “mankind” generally. Note the plural “they” in the next sentence. On “Adam” as a personal name, see note on Genesis 2:7.

in our image, after our likeness] LXX reads “and after our likeness.” Some distinction must clearly be drawn between “image” (Heb. ṣelem; LXX εἰκών; Lat. imago) and “likeness” (Heb. d’mûth; LXX ὁμοίωσις; Lat. similitudo). The former is more permanent, the latter more fleeting. But the distinction cannot be pressed. In Genesis 1:1 we read “in the likeness (d’mûth) of God made he him,” and Genesis 5:3, “And he (Adam) begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image.” The most we can say is that “image” suggests reproduction in form and substance, physical or spiritual: and “likeness” gives the idea of resemblance and outward similarity. The words contain a truth which was wont to be exaggerated by Jewish and Patristic commentators. Man’s nature is made “in the image of God”; he possesses divine qualities indestructible and inalienable, which no animal possessed. He is made “after the likeness of God”; his character is potentially divine. He is capable of approaching, or receding from, the “likeness” of God. The resemblance can never be perfect: but it can increase, and it can diminish.

The view that there is any reference to the conception of an outward resemblance, in shape or form, to the Hebrew idea of the Personal Deity is wholly improbable, and is contrary to the spirit and teaching of the religion of Israel.

and let them have dominion, &c.] As this dominion is promised to man in virtue of his creation in God’s image, this sentence will helpfully shew that man’s superiority arises, not from physical strength, but through the equipment of his higher nature.

and over all the earth] It seems strange that mention of “the earth” should be interposed between two of the four classes of animals, “the cattle” and “every creeping thing,” over which man should rule. There can hardly be any doubt that the text, which is that also of the LXX and the Latin, has suffered from an early omission. We should read, with the Syriac Peshitto, “over all the beasts of the earth.” The addition of the words “beasts of,” in the sense of “the wild beasts of,” will complete the classification of living creatures, as (1) fish, (2) birds, (3) domestic animals, (4) wild beasts, (5) creeping things. This enumeration reproduces the animals previously mentioned (Genesis 1:20-25).

SPECIAL NOTE A, ON Genesis 1:26

Professor Davidson, On the plural form of the word Elohim.

“The plural form of the word Elohim might be supposed to have some bearing on the question of unity. And, indeed, by many it has been supposed to bear testimony to the plurality of gods originally worshipped among the Semitic peoples; and by others, who seem to consider the name Elohim part of God’s revelation of Himself, to the plurality of persons in the Godhead. The real force of the plural termination … is not easy, indeed, to discover. But a few facts may lead us near it. In Ethiopic the name of God is Amlâk, a plural form also of a root allied to melek—a king. All Shemitic languages use the plural as a means of heightening the idea of the singular; the precise kind of heightening has to be inferred from the word. Thus waterמַיִם—is plural, from the fluidity and multiplicity of its parts; the heavensשָׁמַיִם—from their extension. Of a different kind is the plural of adonlord, in Hebrew, which takes plural suffixes except in the first person singular. Of this kind, too, is the plural of Baal, even in the sense of owner, as when Isaiah uses the phrase בְּעָלָיו אֵבוּם (Genesis 1:3). Of the same kind, also, is the plural teraphim, penates, consisting of a single image. And of this kind probably is the plural Elohim—a plural not numerical, but simply enhancive of the idea of might. Thus among the Israelites the might who was God was not an ordinary might, but one peculiar, lofty, unique. Though the word be plural, in the earliest written Hebrew its predicate is almost universally singular. Only when used of the gods of the nations is it construed with a plural verb; or, sometimes, when the reference is to the general idea of the Godhead. This use with a singular predicate or epithet seems to show that the plural form is not a reminiscence of a former Polytheism. The plural expressed a plenitude of might. And as there seems no trace of a Polytheism in the name, neither can it with any probability be supposed to express a plurality of persons in the Godhead. For it cannot be shown that the word is itself part of God’s revelation; it is a word of natural growth adopted into revelation, like other words of the Hebrew language. And the usage in the words baal, adon, rab, and such like, similar to it in meaning, leads us to suppose that the plural is not numerical, as if mights, but merely intensifying the idea of might. Nor can it be shown to be probable that the doctrine of a plurality of persons should have been taught early in the history of revelation. What the proneness of mankind to idolatry rendered imperative above all and first of all, was strenuous teaching of the Divine Unity.” Davidson’s Theology of the O.T. pp. 99, 100 (T. and T. Clark).


Note on the Jewish Interpretation of Genesis 1:26

(a) Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan, “And the Lord said to the angels who ministered before Him, who had been created in the second day of the creation of the world, Let us make man in Our image, in Our likeness.”

(b) Pesiḳta 34a (ed. Buber), “God took counsel with the ministering angels, and said unto them, Let us make, &c.”

(c) Philo (i. 556, ed. Mangey), “The Father of the Universe discourses to His own Hosts” (ταῖς ἑαυτοῦ δυνάμεσιν).

(d) Rashi, Commentary.

Humilitatem Sancti illius Benedicti hinc discimus, quoniam homo ad similitudinem angelorum creatus fuit et illi erga eum invidia incitati fuerunt, idcirco Deus cum illis consultavit.… Etiamsi angeli non opem tulerint ei Deo in illius creatione … non omittit tamen Scriptura, quominus doceat morem hominum modumque humilitatis, ut nimirum is, qui major est, consultet et facultatem impetret a minore, quod si scripsisset Moses faciam hominem, non docuisset nos, quod Deus locutus sit cum domo judicii sui; sed cum seipso; responsionem vero Epicuraeis opponendam scripsit Moses in latere ejus, “et creavit,” inquiens, hominem; non vero scripsit; “et creaverunt.”

Ed. Breithaupt, i. pp. 15, 17.

26–30. Let us make, &c.] The creation of man, although taking place on the same day with that of the land animals, is a completely separate creative act. It constitutes the climax and the crown of Creation. It is, therefore, described with especial fulness and solemnity. There is no formula, “let there be man,” or “let the earth bring forth man,” as in the case of the previous creative acts. We observe, (1) firstly, that God prefaces the creation of man with a declaration concerning (a) the Divine purpose; (b) man’s future nature; (c) his sphere of authority and influence (Genesis 1:26); (2) secondly, that in a direct and special manner God creates man, in His own image, both male and female (Genesis 1:27); (3) thirdly, that He both blesses them, and intrusts them with duties and powers upon the earth (Genesis 1:28); (4) fourthly, that He makes provision for their food and sustenance (Genesis 1:29), as well as for that of the lower animals.

Verse 26. - The importance assigned in the Biblical record to the creation of man is indicated by the manner in which it is introduced. And God said, Let us make man. Having already explained the significance of the term Elohim, as suggesting the fullness of the Divine personality, and foreshadowing the doctrine of the Trinity (ver. 1), other interpretations, such as that God takes counsel with the angels (Philo, Aben Ezra, Delitzsch), or with the earth (Maimonides, M. Gerumlius), or with himself (Kalisch), must be set aside in favor of that which detects in the peculiar phraseology an allusion to a sublime concilium among the persons of the Godhead (Calvin, Macdonald, Murphy). The object which this concilium contemplated was the construction of a new creature to be named Adam; descriptive of either his color, from adam, to be red, (Josephus, Gesenius, Tuch, Hupfeld); or his appearance, from a root in Arabic which signifies "to shine," thus making Adam "the brilliant one;" or his compactness, both as an individual and as a race, from another Arabic root which means "to bring or hold together" (Meier, Furst); or his nature as God's image, from dam, likeness (Eichorn, Richers); or, and most probably, his origin, from adamah, the ground (Kimchi, Rosenmüller, Kalisch). In our image, after our likeness. The precise relationship in which the nature of the Adam about to be produced should stand to Elohim was to be that of a tselem (shadow - vid. Psalm 39:7; Greek, σκιά σκίασμα) and a damuth (likeness, from damah, to bring together, to compare - Isaiah 40:8). As nearly as possible the terms are synonymous. If any distinction does exist between them, perhaps tselem (image) denotes the shadow outline of a figure, and damuth (likeness) the correspondence or resemblance of that shadow to the figure. The early Fathers were of opinion that the words were expressive of separate ideas: image, of the body, which by reason of its beauty, intelligent aspect, and erect stature was an adumbration of God; likeness, of the soul, or the intellectual and moral nature. According to Augustine image had reference to the cognitio veritatis; likeness to amor virtutis. Irenaeus, Clement, and Origen saw in the first man nature as originally created, and in the second what that nature might become through personal ethical conflict, or through the influence of grace. Bellarmine thought "imaginem in natura, similitudinem in probitate et justitia sitam esse," and conceived that "Adamum peccando non imaginem Dei, sed similitudinero perdidisse." Havernick suggests that image is the concrete, and likeness the abstract designation of the idea. Modern expositors generally discover no distinction whatever between the words; in this respect following Luther, who renders an image that is like, and Calvin, who denies that any difference exists between the two. As to what in man constituted the imago Dei, the reformed theologians commonly held it to have consisted

(1) in the spirituality of his being, as an intelligent and free agent;

(2) in the moral integrity and holiness of his nature; and

(3) in his dominion over the creatures (cf. West. Conf., Genesis 4:2).

In this connection the profound thought of Maimonides, elaborated by Tayler Lewis (vial. Lunge, in loco), should not be overlooked, that tselem is the specific, as opposed to the architectural, form of a thing; that which inwardly makes a thing what it is, as opposed to that external configuration which it actually possesses. It corresponds to the rain, or kind, which determines species among animals. It is that which constitutes 'the genus homo. And let them have dominion. The relationship of man to the rest of creation is now defined to be one of rule and supremacy. The employment of the plural is the first indication that not simply an individual was about to be called into existence, but a race, comprising many individuals The range of man's authority is farther specified, and the sphere of his lordship traced by an enumeration in ascending order, from the lowest to the highest, of the subjects placed beneath his sway. His dominion should extend over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air (literally, the heavens), and over the cattle (the behemah), and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing (romeo) that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26The Sixth Day. - Sea and air are filled with living creatures; and the word of God now goes forth to the earth, to produce living beings after their kind. These are divided into three classes. בּהמה, cattle, from בהם, mutum, brutum esse, generally denotes the larger domesticated quadrupeds (e.g., Genesis 47:18; Exodus 13:12, etc.), but occasionally the larger land animals as a whole. רמשׂ (the creeping) embraces the smaller land animals, which move either without feet, or with feet that are scarcely perceptible, viz., reptiles, insects, and worms. In Genesis 1:25 they are distinguished from the race of water reptiles by the term האדמה ארץ חיתו (the old form of the construct state, for הארץ חיּת), the beast of the earth, i.e., the freely roving wild animals.

"After its kind:" this refers to all three classes of living creatures, each of which had its peculiar species; consequently in Genesis 1:25, where the word of God is fulfilled, it is repeated with every class. This act of creation, too, like all that precede it, is shown by the divine word "good" to be in accordance with the will of God. But the blessing pronounced is omitted, the author hastening to the account of the creation of man, in which the work of creation culminated. The creation of man does not take place through a word addressed by God to the earth, but as the result of the divine decree, "We will make man in Our image, after our likeness," which proclaims at the very outset the distinction and pre-eminence of man above all the other creatures of the earth. The plural "We" was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity: modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis; or as an address by God to Himself, the subject and object being identical; or as communicative, an address to the spirits or angels who stand around the Deity and constitute His council. The last is Philo's explanation: διαλέγεται ὁ τῶν ὁ͂λων πατὴρ ταῖς ἑαυτο͂υ δυνάεσιν (δυνάμεις equals angels). But although such passages as 1 Kings 22:19., Psalm 89:8, and Daniel 10, show that God, as King and Judge of the world, is surrounded by heavenly hosts, who stand around His throne and execute His commands, the last interpretation founders upon this rock: either it assumes without sufficient scriptural authority, and in fact in opposition to such distinct passages as Genesis 2:7, Genesis 2:22; Isaiah 40:13 seq., Genesis 44:24, that the spirits took part in the creation of man; or it reduces the plural to an empty phrase, inasmuch as God is made to summon the angels to cooperate in the creation of man, and then, instead of employing them, is represented as carrying out the work alone. Moreover, this view is irreconcilable with the words "in our image, after our likeness;" since man was created in the image of God alone (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 5:1), and not in the image of either the angels, or God and the angels. A likeness to the angels cannot be inferred from Hebrews 2:7, or from Luke 20:36. Just as little ground is there for regarding the plural here and in other passages (Genesis 3:22; Genesis 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; Isaiah 41:22) as reflective, an appeal to self; since the singular is employed in such cases as these, even where God Himself is preparing for any particular work (cf. Genesis 2:18; Psalm 12:5; Isaiah 33:10). No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis, - an interpretation which comprehends in its deepest and most intensive form (God speaking of Himself and with Himself in the plural number, not reverentiae causa, but with reference to the fullness of the divine powers and essences which He possesses) the truth that lies at the foundation of the trinitarian view, viz., that the potencies concentrated in the absolute Divine Being are something more than powers and attributes of God; that they are hypostases, which in the further course of the revelation of God in His kingdom appeared with more and more distinctness as persons of the Divine Being. On the words "in our image, after our likeness" modern commentators have correctly observed, that there is no foundation for the distinction drawn by the Greek, and after them by many of the Latin Fathers, between εἰκών (imago) and ὁμοίωσις (similitudo), the former of which they supposed to represent the physical aspect of the likeness to God, the latter the ethical; but that, on the contrary, the older Lutheran theologians were correct in stating that the two words are synonymous, and are merely combined to add intensity to the thought: "an image which is like Us" (Luther); since it is no more possible to discover a sharp or well-defined distinction in the ordinary use of the words between צלם and דּמוּת, than between בּ and כּ. צלם, from צל, lit., a shadow, hence sketch, outline, differs no more from דּמוּת, likeness, portrait, copy, than the German words Umriss or Abriss (outline or sketch) from Bild or Abbild (likeness, copy). בּ and כּ are also equally interchangeable, as we may see from a comparison of this verse with Genesis 5:1 and Genesis 5:3. (Compare also Leviticus 6:4 with Leviticus 27:12, and for the use of בּ to denote a norm, or sample, Exodus 25:40; Exodus 30:32, Exodus 30:37, etc.) There is more difficulty in deciding in what the likeness to God consisted. Certainly not in the bodily form, the upright position, or commanding aspect of the man, since God has no bodily form, and the man's body was formed from the dust of the ground; nor in the dominion of man over nature, for this is unquestionably ascribed to man simply as the consequence or effluence of his likeness to God. Man is the image of God by virtue of his spiritual nature. of the breath of God by which the being, formed from the dust of the earth, became a living soul.

(Note: "The breath of God became the soul of man; the soul of man therefore is nothing but the breath of God. The rest of the world exists through the word of God; man through His own peculiar breath. This breath is the seal and pledge of our relation to God, of our godlike dignity; whereas the breath breathed into the animals is nothing but the common breath, the life-wind of nature, which is moving everywhere, and only appears in the animal fixed and bound into a certain independence and individuality, so that the animal soul is nothing but a nature-soul individualized into certain, though still material spirituality." - Ziegler.)

The image of God consists, therefore, in the spiritual personality of man, though not merely in unity of self-consciousness and self-determination, or in the fact that man was created a consciously free Ego; for personality is merely the basis and form of the divine likeness, not its real essence. This consists rather in the fact, that the man endowed with free self-conscious personality possesses, in his spiritual as well as corporeal nature, a creaturely copy of the holiness and blessedness of the divine life. This concrete essence of the divine likeness was shattered by sin; and it is only through Christ, the brightness of the glory of God and the expression of His essence (Hebrews 1:3), that our nature is transformed into the image of God again (Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24).

"And they (אדם, a generic term for men) shall have dominion over the fish," etc. There is something striking in the introduction of the expression "and over all the earth," after the different races of animals have been mentioned, especially as the list of races appears to be proceeded with afterwards. If this appearance were actually the fact, it would be impossible to escape the conclusion that the text is faulty, and that חיּת has fallen out; so that the reading should be, "and over all the wild beasts of the earth," as the Syriac has it. But as the identity of "every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (הארץ) with "every thing that creepeth upon the ground" (האדמה) in Genesis 1:25 is not absolutely certain; on the contrary, the change in expression indicates a difference of meaning; and as the Masoretic text is supported by the oldest critical authorities (lxx, Sam., Onk.), the Syriac rendering must be dismissed as nothing more than a conjecture, and the Masoretic text be understood in the following manner. The author passes on from the cattle to the entire earth, and embraces all the animal creation in the expression, "every moving thing (כל־הרמשׂ) that moveth upon the earth," just as in Genesis 1:28, "every living thing הרמשׂת upon the earth." According to this, God determined to give to the man about to be created in His likeness the supremacy, not only over the animal world, but over the earth itself; and this agrees with the blessing in Genesis 1:28, where the newly created man is exhorted to replenish the earth and subdue it; whereas, according to the conjecture of the Syriac, the subjugation of the earth by man would be omitted from the divine decree. - Genesis 1:27. In the account of the accomplishment of the divine purpose the words swell into a jubilant song, so that we meet here for the first time with a parallelismus membrorum, the creation of man being celebrated in three parallel clauses. The distinction drawn between אתו (in the image of God created He him) and אתם (as man and woman created He them) must not be overlooked. The word אתם, which indicates that God created the man and woman as two human beings, completely overthrows the idea that man was at first androgynous (cf. Genesis 2:18.). By the blessing in Genesis 1:28, God not only confers upon man the power to multiply and fill the earth, as upon the beasts in Genesis 1:22, but also gives him dominion over the earth and every beast. In conclusion, the food of both man and beast is pointed out in Genesis 1:29, Genesis 1:30, exclusively from the vegetable kingdom. Man is to eat of "every seed-bearing herb on the face of all the earth, and every tree on which there are fruits containing seed," consequently of the productions of both field and tree, in other words, of corn and fruit; the animals are to eat of "every green herb," i.e., of vegetables or green plants, and grass.

From this it follows, that, according to the creative will of God, men were not to slaughter animals for food, nor were animals to prey upon one another; consequently, that the fact which now prevails universally in nature and the order of the world, the violent and often painful destruction of life, is not a primary law of nature, nor a divine institution founded in the creation itself, but entered the world along with death at the fall of man, and became a necessity of nature through the curse of sin. It was not till after the flood, that men received authority from God to employ the flesh of animals as well as the green herb as food (Genesis 9:3); and the fact that, according to the biblical view, no carnivorous animals existed at the first, may be inferred from the prophetic announcements in Isaiah 11:6-8; Isaiah 65:25, where the cessation of sin and the complete transformation of the world into the kingdom of God are described as being accompanied by the cessation of slaughter and the eating of flesh, even in the case of the animal kingdom. With this the legends of the heathen world respecting the golden age of the past, and its return at the end of time, also correspond (cf. Gesenius on Isaiah 11:6-8). It is true that objections have been raised by natural historians to this testimony of Scripture, but without scientific ground. For although at the present time man is fitted by his teeth and alimentary canal for the combination of vegetable and animal food; and although the law of mutual destruction so thoroughly pervades the whole animal kingdom, that not only is the life of one sustained by the death of another, but "as the graminivorous animals check the overgrowth of the vegetable kingdom, so the excessive increase of the former is restricted by the beasts of prey, and of these again by the destructive implements of man;" and although, again, not only beasts of prey, but evident symptoms of disease are met with among the fossil remains of the aboriginal animals: all these facts furnish no proof that the human and animal races were originally constituted for death and destruction, or that disease and slaughter are older than the fall. For, to reply to the last objection first, geology has offered no conclusive evidence of its doctrine, that the fossil remains of beasts of prey and bones with marks of disease belong to a pre-Adamite period, but has merely inferred it from the hypothesis already mentioned of successive periods of creation. Again, as even in the present order of nature the excessive increase of the vegetable kingdom is restrained, not merely by the graminivorous animals, but also by the death of the plants themselves through the exhaustion of their vital powers; so the wisdom of the Creator could easily have set bounds to the excessive increase of the animal world, without requiring the help of huntsmen and beasts of prey, since many animals even now lose their lives by natural means, without being slain by men or eaten by beasts of prey. The teaching of Scripture, that death entered the world through sin, merely proves that the human race was created for eternal life, but by no means necessitates the assumption that the animals were also created for endless existence. As the earth produced them at the creative word of God, the different individuals and generations would also have passed away and returned to the bosom of the earth, without violent destruction by the claws of animals or the hand of man, as soon as they had fulfilled the purpose of their existence. The decay of animals is a law of nature established in the creation itself, and not a consequence of sin, or an effect of the death brought into the world by the sin of man. At the same time, it was so far involved in the effects of the fall, that the natural decay of the different animals was changed into a painful death or violent end. Although in the animal kingdom, as it at present exists, many varieties are so organized that they live exclusively upon the flesh of other animals, which they kill and devour; this by no means necessitates the conclusion, that the carnivorous beasts of prey were created after the fall, or the assumption that they were originally intended to feed upon flesh, and organized accordingly. If, in consequence of the curse pronounced upon the earth after the sin of man, who was appointed head and lord of nature, the whole creation was subjected to vanity and the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:20.); this subjection might have been accompanied by a change in the organization of the animals, though natural science, which is based upon the observation and combination of things empirically discovered, could neither demonstrate the fact nor explain the process. And if natural science cannot boast that in any one of its many branches it has discovered all the phenomena connected with the animal and human organism of the existing world, how could it pretend to determine or limit the changes through which this organism may have passed in the course of thousands of years?

The creation of man and his installation as ruler on the earth brought the creation of all earthly beings to a close (Genesis 1:31). God saw His work, and behold it was all very good; i.e., everything perfect in its kind, so that every creature might reach the goal appointed by the Creator, and accomplish the purpose of its existence. By the application of the term "good" to everything that God made, and the repetition of the word with the emphasis "very" at the close of the whole creation, the existence of anything evil in the creation of God is absolutely denied, and the hypothesis entirely refuted, that the six days' work merely subdued and fettered an ungodly, evil principle, which had already forced its way into it. The sixth day, as being the last, is distinguished above all the rest by the article - השּׁשּׁי יום "a day, the sixth" (Gesenius, 111, 2a).

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