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What is meant when God says 'Let us create man in our image

How is mankind made in the image of God?

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Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...

Using Strong’s Concordance and a Hebrew Lexicon:
Image - 06754 Mlu tselem - Meaning: image, likeness, resemblance. It is ranslated in the King James Version as - image 16 times, vain shew 1 time.

Likeness - 01823 twmd demuwth from 01819 (to be like, resemble)
Meaning: likeness, similitude. Translated in the King JamesVersion as - likeness 19 times, similitude 2 times, like 2 times, manner 1 time, fashion 1 time.

When Adam has a son it is recorded:

Genesis 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness <01823>, after his image <06754>; and called his name Seth:

We can readily understand what it means for a son to be in the image and likeness of his father.

In Samuel 6 we can understand what it means when the Philistines made images of their tumours (or haemorrhoids) and the mice that God had plagued them with.

1 Samuel 6:5 Wherefore ye shall make images <06754> of your emerods (tumours, haemorrhoids), and images <06754> of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.


1 Samuel 6:11 And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images <06754> of their emerods.

In 2 Chronicles 4 we can understand what it means when Solomon had the likeness (translated similitude) of oxen cast in bronze to support the molten sea.

2 Chronicles 4:3 And under it was the similitude <01823> of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.

In 2 Kings 16 we can understand what it means when Ahaz sent Urijah the likeness (translated fashion) of the altar.

2 Kings 16:10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion <01823> of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.

On the basis of how image and likeness are used in scripture it is reasonable to conclude that the physical appearance of man is that of God. The angels always appear as men. The angels are the vehicle through which God works. Laying aside the nonsense of the trinity, the conversation is clearly between God and his angels. We can compare this with what is recorded in Job where God speaks to his angels (Job 1:8). Further that which is done to Job is by the hand of the angel (Job 2:3-7). ‘Satan’ in Job is not the rebellious angel of Jewish and Christian mythology. He is an adversary (satan) to Job, not to God. He does exactly what God tells him to do (as do all the angels of God). All God’s dealings with men whether for good or evil are carried out through angels.

Where God is said to speak face to face with Moses (Exodus 33:11) it is clearly an angel.

Exodus 33:20...Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time...

The likeness also includes the moral aspect of man’s character which is not present in animals. It is because of this that man can understand the concept of sin and be held accountable.

The New Testament writers maintain that man is made in the image and similitude of God.

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God...

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

In Jesus Christ the emphasis is placed on the moral excellence of his character.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Those who would be sons of God are to strive to attain to the moral excellence.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

It may be that God can be any form that he chooses to be and from the form he has chosen both angels and men derive their appearance. This of course is speculation for we cannot know this side of the kingdom. The plain teaching of scripture is that man is made like God in his appearance and must strive to be like God in his moral character.

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless!
Glenn,
thisisyourbible.com

 
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