Us who?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by menageriekeeper, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    Gen 3:22 And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever -

    Are we ever told who God is referring to? (scripture please)

    IS there any other place where this language is used? (ie, with the suggestion that God is not alone)
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    I believe he is talking about all of us once we mature enough to know right and wrong. Metaphorically each of us, as infants and toddlers and a bit beyond, live in a Garden of Eden. Once we mature enough to know right from wrong and knowingly do wrong ... we are removed from our Garden and put into the world. I can remember when this happened to me.

    I know of no scripture that addresses Gen. 3:22 directly. Naturally it could be seen as addressing Adam and Eve. I believe this, but I believe, as I said above, it really is the story of all of us.
     
    #2 Crabtownboy, Dec 6, 2010
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  3. freeatlast

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    The answer is no there is no scripture explaining who is being refered to. I suggest that you look at the Hebrew because there could be some questions raised.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    My take on that is derived from the constant and peculiar use of the name of God in the OT. It is always used as plural intensive, but in a singular form in the original languages. In this case, אלהים 'elohiym is used as follows:

    (plural)
    a) rulers, judges
    b) divine ones
    c) angels
    d) gods

    2) (plural intensive - singular meaning)
    a) god, goddess
    b) godlike one
    c) works or special possessions of God
    d) the (true) God
    e) God

    The name of God is the only word treated this way in the OT, so this is not some common Hebrew grammar issue, but rather a special case (that the Jews do not understand well, interestingly) for the nature of God as later revealed in the NT as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    The "us" in this passage is most commonly held to be an inference to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Trinity by NT scholars.

    The words used for God in 3:22 are: יהוה YHWH, commonly pointed with vowels from "adonai" to spell in English, Jehovah, אלהים 'elohiym , esentially the same construct (apart from the addition of Jehovah) as Gen 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.'"
     
  5. Amy.G

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    I always believed it was the same "us" as this:

    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 creeps upon the earth.


    The "us" is the Trinity.
     
  6. freeatlast

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    Hello glfredrick. I would point out that I think the problem here may be in the English word "us" not in the plurality of God or even God trying to make that point about Himself. In other words is the "us", that I cannot find in the Hebrew really speaking of God? It is not in the Text as I can see. Why is it not speaking of Satan as the one who knows both good and evil. The rendering also says has become, as if to say that the one of us being spoken of also was one who learned of evil by their own deeds. Unlike saying that the one knows good and evil as One who knows because of omniscience (God).
    I think it is speaking of Satan not God IF the "us" is really suppose to be there. However I do not claim to understand Hebrew construction and I am open to anyone who does and can better explain.
     
    #6 freeatlast, Dec 6, 2010
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  7. webdog

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    MK, are you referring to the "us"...or who God is referring to in that passage (those who know good from evil)? From reading the OP I thought that you were asking who God was referring to, either Adam, Eve or mankind as a whole, but from reading the last few posts it seems like others thought you were talking about the Trinity. :confused:

    If my original perception is correct, I believe God is referring to mankind post fall. Only with a sin nature and the ability to sin can we even know what sin is.
     
  8. blackbird

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    I'm with Amy on this one

    Take a look also at the creation account of "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness; and let THEM . . . So God created man in HIS own image, in the image of God created He them . . . "--Genesis 1:26-27

    One must distinquish the same Hebrew word for US here is the same US used in the OP

    The US of the Trinity!!! God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit!!!!
     
  9. glfredrick

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    You cannot see it in the Hebrew because you are looking for the Hebrew to be constructed word-for-word in the grammar of the English. It isn't.

    What is difficult about "And then the Lord God said, "Let us..." Is that not plainly God speaking?

    Jesus, to the disciples on the Emmaus Road, explained "all things" about Himself from the OT Scriptures (no NT text was yet written). Included in those OT Scriptures would have been ample evidence for the fact that God was a triune God. This (and Gen 1:26) are but two of the references, types, or shadows of the more clear revelation of the Trinity that would yet come when the writing of the NT was complete. Jesus, in order to convince people that He was indeed God become man, had to demonstrate conclusively through the OT that He was indeed who He said He was, and He did to the point where His followers bowed down and called Him Lord and then went out and preached the gospel in His name.

    Perhaps the clearest OT picture of the Trinity is found in Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;

    Jesus claimed this passage for Himself when He read it at the synagogue at Nazareth. It was not received well by the people, who knew that He was claiming to be God.

    The force of a plural or singular is carried in Hebrew both by context and by suffixes on words. The reason that these passages are translated by EVERYONE with the word "us" is because the Hebrew construct dictates that use.

    Short of a semester or two of intensive Hebrew study, you would not be able to see this. I recommend higher education... :smilewinkgrin:
     
  10. freeatlast

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    I probably should not have made it sound like I do not understand the Hebrew at all. I do understand its construction to a point. I am simply not a scholar. I understand that the Hebrew does not construct itself in the order we speak. Also I understand the plural and singular construction of the wording. However where I lack is to be able to dogmatically state that the passage in question is relating to the identity or plurality of God like it is in Gen 1. The reason is I see the terms "has become" as not pointing back to God, but to another and that another, just an opinion, being Satan. I beleive the plurality in the structure of the text which would relate to using the word "us" is a recognition from God that His creation is part of Him or from Him and "we" or "us" is the way it is given. The "us" is everyone who has learned good and evil. At that time it was Satan and his host, Adam and Eve who had learned evil, but not God who knows only good, and never learned evil. It cannot be said of God that He has learned evil or has become to know evil which the passasge would suggest IF we hold that the passage is realting back to God instead of some part of His creation, and in this case Satan and his host. I also say that because the word know in the passage usually means to have a personal relationship with someone or something. God has no relationship with evil. Just my opinion, but I do agree that I could use more learning.
     
    #10 freeatlast, Dec 6, 2010
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  11. glfredrick

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    The quip about higher education stems back to the several other threads we have going about that topic. It was meant to be funny... :smilewinkgrin:

    I did a doctoral-level semester-long study of all the passages referring to spiritual warfare, demonic possession, Satan, et al, during my time at Seminary with Dr. Chuck Lawless. At the end of that study we decided that there was no point in the Scriptures when Satan or the demonic was ever the subject of a sentence in the text. Though mentioned often, it was always God as subject in the original languages, including the passage in question above.

    Are you trying to reconcile the fact that God knows both good and evil? Does He not know all things, yet is not evil in any sense at all, and is not evil simply the absence of God (in a manner of speaking)?
     
  12. freeatlast

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    I did not take the further education suggestion as a "quip." I have no problem with honest uplifting suggestions and this one is true regardless how you intended it so I take is as accurate and thank you for the reminder.
    However in regards to your question The word to "Know" in the English usually means to understand or have knowledge of. In the bible it is used more often then not as a word of personal intimacy and in that regard God does not know evil.
     
  13. menageriekeeper

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    Wow, lots of activity.

    Blackbird and Amy have the gist of my question. Let me requote the passage:

    Gen 3:22 And Jehovah God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever -

    Us is now bolded. But what I want to know is if the language is the same as the earlier language "let us make man in our image" or if this refers to God + other spritual beings (satan, angels etc).

    The discussion about the Hebrew has been helpful, but I'm not sure it relates exactly to what I want to know. GL, can you expand on this idea, it seems to hit close as well:

     
  14. freeatlast

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    menageriekeeper to answer your question the best that I can no it is not exactly the same. The difference lies with "in our image" and the phrase "one of us". The first phrase can only point back to God as that is who is doing the creating. The second phrase could point back to God, but leaves a problem with the idea that God knows evil like the man knows evil as there is nothing in the Hebrew to separate or set apart the kind of knowing. This leaves me to believe that the passage is speaking of someone else (Satan) who already knows evil in the same way that man came to know it and that is by experiencing sin.
     
  15. glfredrick

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    In the Hebrew (and Aramaic) "El" is the singular name for god (any god). "Im" is the plural suffix that is added to El, i.e., Elohim, literally -- "gods". But, in the Hebrew Scriptures, Elohim is treated as a singular and a singular verb is always used in the context of God. Grammatically, this is incorrect, as the verb should reflect the same suffix as the proper noun, but it does not, rather it reflects a "singular plural" -- perfect for describing a God who is One in three persons.

    When I suggested that the Hebrew people don't really have a grasp on this, that is because in their midrash (teachings) they offer "angels" as the reason for the "us" or other plurals in regards to God. They don't see a Trinity in the Christian sense, so they need to find some other means to explain the text. Others who say likewise are (mistakenly) taking their examples from the Hebrew scholars, thinking that they are the best experts in the field of Hebrew language, but in this case, Jewish theology has misinformed the Hebrew language scholars.
     
  16. HankD

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    And "Jehovah God" said...

    Here the Hebrew phrase is "YHWH ELOHIM".

    YHWH (tetragrammaton, the "name" of God) is a concatenation of the Hebrew letters of the functional past, present and future tense representation of the verb "to be".

    Functional because there is no past or present tense in Hebrew as we understand the function.

    With Hebrew verbs the perfect functions as past, Hebrew imperfect as future.

    To represent present tense in Hebrew the verbal noun forms must be used (infinitive, gerund, participles, etc) or determined from the context.

    e.g. David kills Goliath : The killing of Goliath by David.

    Thus "YHWH" functionally means the One who was, is and shall be or the ever existing one or the "eternal" one (since YHWH is singular).

    Therefore in Genesis 3:22 whoever the plural identities within the collective "Elohim" entity are, they are eternal and cannot be angels, etc... and are one in essence since YHWH is singular.

    Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD (YHWH - singular) our God (Elohim - plural) is one (echad) LORD (YHWH):​

    In the "shema" recited by modern Judaism the word "Adonai" is substituted for YHWH. Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad

    They (Elohim) appear to be three in number.

    Genesis 18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
    2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
    3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:​

    Genesis 18:22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.​

    Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD (YHWH) of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.​

    1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.​

    Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:​

    HankD​
     
  17. kyredneck

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    :) still smiling
     
  18. menageriekeeper

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    Thank You, Hank!
     
  19. HankD

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    Sure.

    Since you have a computer, you can find more in the Blue Bible on-line commentaries (for instance).

    In particular, the late Dr. J Vernon McGee audio commentaries on Genesis chapters 1 through 3.

    And many others.
    It helps when the author has knowledge of Hebrew.


    HankD
     
  20. menageriekeeper

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    I'm beginning to think it is time I had some training of my own in both Hebrew and Greek.
     

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