Genesis 1:24-31


Land animals created on the 6th day correlate with land appearing on the 3rd day.







The use of “us” is of interest.  Possible interpretations of the use of “us”:

1)     The creation account is a retelling of the mythological stories of the day and the editor just forgot to remove the “us” which had referred to the gods and demons of the pagan pantheon.

2)     God is speaking to the angels or the “sons of God.”

3)     God is speaking to a recent part of creation.  In this case to the ground.

4)     This is the plural of majesty which is also seen in the plural Hebrew word for God “Elohim” (the “-im” being plural).  This is similar to the Queen referring to herself as “we”.

5)     God is speaking to himself just like you might say to yourself, “Hmm. . . Let’s (which is “let us”) see. . . do I want to mow the yard or trim the bushes first?”

6)     There is an understanding here of a duality within the Godhead.  Not that there are two Gods but that there are two personalities or two levels of manifestation of the God. (This is seen in Proverbs 8, John 1, Hebrews 1, and other places.)

7)     God is speaking to the Spirit introduced in 1:2.

8)     The writer of Genesis understood the Christian doctrine of the trinity.


The trinity was something that existed and was active but not understood until “the time had fully come.” (Gal. 4:4)  The trinity was something revealed clearly by Jesus Christ and the apostles in the age of the church.  This verse is probably referring to the Old Testament understanding of the Father and the Son. (#6 above)


The Trinity

1)       The word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible but is a technical term used to identify a doctrine concerning the Godhead.

2)       There is not a particular verse that identifies the “trinity” but categorical study of the scriptures leads us to discover and establish this point of doctrine.

3)       God, or the Godhead, is one in character, attributes, and purpose.

a.       “The LORD (YHWH) our God (Elohim) is one  LORD (YHWH).” Deut. 6:4

b.       Or “The LORD (YHWH) our God (Elohim), the LORD (YHWH) is one (‘Ehad)” NIV Deut. 6:4.

                                                               i.      YHWH is the covenant name of God

                                                             ii.      Elohim is the plural form of God

                                                            iii.      ‘Ehad is the same word for “one” that is used in Gen. 2:24 concerning man and woman when it says “they will become one flesh.”

4)       The “oneness” refers to the Characteristics or Attributes of the Godhead:

a.       Sovereign

b.       Righteous

c.       Just

d.       Love

e.       Eternal

f.         Omniscient

g.       Omnipresent

h.       Omnipotent

i.         Immutable

j.         Truth

5)       There are three members of the Godhead are:

a.       Father

b.       Son

c.       Holy Spirit

6)       Each of the members of the trinity are coequal and coeternal.  Scriptural references can be found showing each of the characteristics or attributes to be possessed by each of the members of the trinity.

7)       Each member of the trinity has a role in the plan of the Godhead.  A general description is:

a.       The Father has the plan

b.       The Son executes the plan

                                                               i.      “I always do what pleases him” (John 8:29

                                                             ii.      “I have come to do your will” (Heb. 10:9

c.       The Spirit reveals or empowers the plan

8)       Each member of the Trinity performs in a different phase of the believer’s life:

a.       Phase One (salvation) – the Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:6-8)

b.       Phase Two (maturing in time) – the Spirit (John 16:13-14; 1 Cor. 2:10)

c.       Phase Three (eternity) – the Father (John 14:1,2)

9)       Nature’s Illustration of the Trinity:

a.       Matter – has three states: solid, liquid and gas.  Each is the same element just in a different form.

b.       Light – any color of light is formed from three primary colors.  The color white is itself the equal combination of red, green and blue light.  Three colors in one.

c.       Space – in our universe has three dimensions.  Any point in space must be defined using three dimensions.  Yet there is only one point being defined.

d.       Time – has three dimensions: past, present, future.  Yet history is a single continuum.

e.       The Atom -  which is the smallest and most basic unit of every element. Yet the atom has three facets: the positive proton, the negative electron, and the neutral neutron.

f.         Nature of Man – man is mind, body and spirit. Yet there is only one of each individual.

g.       Life on Earth – Life exists in the sea, in the air and on land.

10)   Classic Trinitarian verses:

a.       Matt. 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” said by the Son on the cross referring to the other two members of the Trinity.

b.       Isaiah 6:1-3, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD (YHWH) of hosts.” Referring to the three members.

c.       Matt. 28:19, “. . .baptizing them in the name (singular as in “the Lord is one” in character) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  There is one name but three members.

d.       Matt. 3:16, 17 at Jesus’ (the Son) baptism the Holy Spirit descended on him and the Father spoke.

e.       2 Samuel 23:2-3, “The Spirit of the LORD (YHWH) spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.  The God of Israel (Father) spoke, the Rock of Israel (Son) said to me. . .”

f.         Isaiah 48:16, “Now the Sovereign LORD (Father) has sent me (Son), with his Spirit.”

g.       Acts 2:33, “Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit.

h.       2 Corinthians 13:14, “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

i.         1 Corinthians 12:4-6, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.”

j.         1 Peter 1:2, “. . .foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, or obedience to Jesus Christ. . .”


Man is distinguished from the rest of creation by being linked directly to God his creator:


“in our image”-

1)       This may address the fact that in Egypt and Mesopotamia the king or high ranking official were called “the image of God” but the average laborer  was not.  Here in Genesis mankind itself is created in the image of God.

2)       The preposition “in” here is Hebrew “be”.  Some have translated this preposition as “Let us make man as/in the capacity of/to be our image.”

3)       The image of God refers to all of man – physical, spiritual, intellectual.



“in our likeness”-

1)       The use of “in our likeness” would remove the possible impression that man was exactly as God was.  This is saying man was made in God’s image but only in likeness.

2)       The preposition “in” here is Hebrew “ke” and is translated “in” or “as”. 


After describing man’s relationship to his creator the next part of the verse identifies man relationship to the rest of creation:


“let them rule”

1)       Heb. “rada” means to exercise dominion.

2)       This is used in this sense in the OT

a.       Master over a hired servant (Lev. 25:43, 46, 53)

b.       Administrator over his employees (1 Kg. 5:30; 9:23)

c.       A king over his subjects (1 Kings 5:4; Ps. 72:8; 110:2)

d.       A shepherd’s supervision of his flock (Ezekiel 34:4)

3) The use of “rada” in its perfect sense is not to be harsh.  Leviticus 25 says three times that a master is not to rule in harshness over a servant.  The king is to responsible to care for what he rules.



“So God created” is now a narriation by the author of the book.
This phase returns the “us” and “our” to the concept of the One God and not a divine counsel.

Man is unlike God in that man has male and female.

Man is unlike the animals in that he is not broken into species by saying “according tho their kinds” or “all kinds of.”


Sexuality is not an accident of nature

Sexuality is not only a biological phenomenon.

Sexuality is a gift and a position from God.

Both men and women are created in God’s image.



Two assignments are given:

1)     Procreation

a.      “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth.”

2)     Dominion

a.      “Subdue”

                                                              i.      This is the word “kabas” and includes more force than the previous word “rada” used in 1:26.

                                                            ii.      “Kabas” is used to refer to subjecting someone to slavery, to physical abuse, to assault, to treading under foot, to militarily subjecting the population of a city.  All these references refer to violence or a display of force. But, all these other uses are from the time after the fall of man.

b.      “Rule over” the animals


In mythology from Mesopotamia in Enuma elish the earth is crated form half of Tiamat’s corpse (the ancient beast).  Marduk had slain Tiamat.  All the gods who sided with Tiamat against Marduk were now reduced to maintaining the earth.  Because these conquered gods built Marduk a house, Marduk then created man from the blood of a fallen god to do the work for these subjugated gods.  This is clearly not the source of Gen. 1 account of the creation of man.



“Subdue” and “Rule over” does not include killing and eating the animals.