Question 13a – How Did God Create Man?
“Then 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 livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ – Gen 1:26 ESV
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: 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; and they also speak 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), Prov 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, אהיה, “I am that I am, Exod 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 ייי 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 Gen 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. [Gill]
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Gen 1:27 ESV
So God created man in his own image, Which consisted both in the form of his body, and the erect stature of it, different from all other creatures; in agreement with the idea of that body, prepared in covenant for the Son of God, and which it was therein agreed he should assume in the fulness of time; and in the immortality of his soul, and in his intellectual powers, and in that purity, holiness, and righteousness in which he was created; as well as in his dominion, power, and authority over the creatures, in which he was as God’s viceregent, and resembled him. The Jerusalem Targum is, the Word of the Lord created man in his likeness; even that Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God, and in time became incarnate, by whom all things were made, John 1:1.
in the image of God created he him; which is repeated for the certainty of it, and that it might be taken notice of, as showing man’s superior glory and dignity to the rest of the creatures, 1Cor 11:7.
male and female created he them; not that man was created an hermaphrodite, or with two bodies, back to back united together, and afterwards cleaved asunder, as the Jews fabulously say; but first God made man, or the male, out of the dust of the earth, and infused a rational soul into him; and then out of one of his ribs made a female, or woman, who was presented to him as his wife, that so their species might be propagated; and only one male and one female were created, to show that hereafter a man was to have at a time no more wives than one; see Mal 2:15 for all that is said in the following chapter, concerning the formation of man out of the dust of the earth, and the making of woman out of his rib, and presenting her to him, and his taking her to be his wife, were all done on this sixth day, and at this time. It is a tradition among the Heathens, that man was made last of all the creatures; so says Plato; and this notion the Chinese also have. The Jews give these reasons why man was made on the evening of the sabbath, to show that he did not assist in the work of creation; and that if he was elated in his mind, it might be told him that a fly was created before him, and that he might immediately enter on the command, i.e. of the sabbath. [Gill]
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'” – Gen 1:28 ESV
And God blessed them, The man and the woman he had made, with all the blessings of nature and Providence; with all the good things of life; with his presence, and with communion with himself in a natural way, through the creatures; and particularly with a power of procreating their species, as follows,
and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth: if this is not an express command, as the Jews understand it, for marriage and procreation of children, it seems to be more than a bare permission; at least it is a direction and an advice to what was proper and convenient for the increase of mankind, and for the filling of the earth with inhabitants, which was the end of its being made, Isa 45:18. This shows that marriage is an ordinance of God, instituted in paradise, and is honourable; and that procreation is a natural action, and might have been, and may be performed without sin,
and subdue it; the earth; not that it was in the hands of others, who had no right to it, and to be conquered and taken out of their hands; but is to be understood of their taking possession, and making use of it; of their tilling the land, and making it subservient to their use:
and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the face of the earth; which was giving them an universal and unlimited dominion over all the creatures; of which see an enumeration in Ps 8:6. [Gill]
Answer – God created man male and female, after His own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.
Photo Credit: Artyom Ka on Unsplash