Commencing from my short stint (Fall of 1982 to Summer of 1983), in the Faculty of Divinity, at the University of Aberdeen, attaining greater clarity and experientially knowing Who, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is, has been the consuming focus of my life.
It is with this Jesus lens and focus that I have revisited the GOD - 'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים) and LORD GOD -Yahweh(יְהֹוָה)'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים) narratives of creation, humankind and Adam and Eve, in the first 3 Chapters of the Book of Genesis.
I begin by presenting my personal take regarding the word אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym(God) and יְהֹוָה – Yahweh(Lord), with hope, that all may be blessed.
It is written in Genesis 1:26-30: “26 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 air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 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 air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
In the quoted passage, the word translated “God” is the Hebrew word אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym, plural of אֱלוֹהַּ - 'elowahh, which is always translated as God or god (singular). In Genesis 1:1, the plural noun אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym is followed by a singular verb.
However, in Genesis 1:26, although God-'elohiym, (the plural noun) is followed by a singular verb ‘said’, the next word נַֽעֲשֶׂה – noshe “Let us make”, is in the plural form. Therefore in Genesis 1:26, there is the imputation that there is more than one Creator involved in creating Man.
This is also alluded to in the next verse of Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female (more than one) he created them.”
Humankind was created in the image of God(plural), 'elohiym - אֱלֹהִים.
Humankind or humanity, according to this verse comprised of both male and female, each a true, real and whole human being. Yet, the description, understanding and reality of humanity or humankind would be incomplete, if one is without the other. In the narrative, these two, in their distinctiveness as male and female, are not only respectively truly and properly human beings, but also are jointly one as humankind. As such they respectively and jointly determine and define what humankind truly is, as well as what and how God is to be perceived.
For, according to these verses, this is God’s ('elohiym) creative expression of the image and likeness of what and who God (אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym) is.
In these verses, there seem to be an allusion of relational Plurality and Oneness of Being in God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, that of Oneness in Plurality and Plurality in Oneness(hereinafter referred to as Oneplural and Pluralone).
In Mark 12:28, when a scribe asked Jesus; “Which commandment is the first of all?”, he replied “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The opening words of Jesus’ reply "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the LORD is one" (Hebrew:שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃) is commonly known as the Shema Yisrael proclamation of Deuteronomy 6:4.
To Israel, the Lord God is always one.
How then does one address this relational Plurality and Oneness in the Being of God, אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, in light of the proclamation of Deuteronomy 6:4 “the Lord יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH our God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, the LORD יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH is one.”
 Genesis 1
 Genesis 2:5
 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
 See Strong’s H430
 See Strong’s H433
 Genesis 1:26 Scripture4all Online Interlinear Old Testament Hebrew Text WLC_v (v1.1): Westminster Leningrad Codex with vowels
 from נַֽעֲשֶׂ – `asah See strong’s H6213
 With reference to Genesis 1:26, the footnote of the Tanach The Stone Edition has it that the Targum Yonasan paraphrases; “And God said to the ministering angels who hand been created on the second day of Creation of the world, ‘Let us make Man.’”
The footnote of Genesis 1:26 continues with, “When Moses wrote the Torah and came to this verse (let us make), which is in the plural and implies ז”ח that there is more than one Creator, he said: “Sovereign of the Universe! Why do You thus furnish a pretext for heretics to maintain that there is a plurality of divinities?” “Write!” God replied. “Whoever wishes to err will err… Instead, let them learn from their Creator Who created all, yet when He came to create Man He took counsel with the ministering angels” (Miderash)” Tanach The Stone Edition
See Strong’s H433 under item (B) of Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon [?]
and also Wikipedia on Royal-We “The royal we, or majestic plural (pluralis majestatis), is the use of a plural pronoun (or corresponding plural-inflected verb forms) to refer to a single person who is a monarch.”
My view is that there is no evidence from the Old Testament concerning this narrative that would support the above views.
 אָדַם ʼâdam – Strong’s H120 – humankind
 Genesis 1:26,27
 Mark 12:28 RSV
 Mark 12:29,30 RSV
 Tree of Life Version. TLV
 emphasis mine
There are two points that need to be noted here:
I offer the perspective that as the word-name ‘humanity’ identifies and encapsulates the plurality (male and female) of our humanness as one, the word-name ‘יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH’ identifies and encapsulates God’s plural divinity אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym as One.
The Shema Yisrael of Deuteronomy 6:4 may then be understood in this manner to grasp the revelation of Oneplural-Pluralone in and of Yahweh ʼĕlôhîym.
My take is that in the creation of humanity in the likeness and image of God, the distinctions of male and female within the oneness of humanity is the first revelatory germ of this mystery of Oneplural-Pluralone of who and what God is.
I appreciate how this plural expression of אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym God followed first by a singular verb and then a plural verb in Genesis 1:26 is unsettling for those who ascribe to monotheism.
As such, many have attempted explanations, with variations, to the plural verb “Let us make” in Genesis 1:26, as God speaking to the angels or God using it as pluralis majestatis.
Such sayings and interpretations would naturally arise from the pre-supposition that Ultimate Reality or GOD is essentially and inherently MONO - One Singularity, in essence, substance or being. This is to be expected as many of us usually think of ‘one’ as ‘only’ or ‘unique’.
However, Hebrew has a word יָחִיד-yachiyd to express ‘one’ as ‘only or unique’. We find this expressed in Genesis 22:2,12 and 16 in reference to Issac being the one and only (or unique) son of Abraham, from God.
It is pertinent to also note that in the Masoretic Text the Hebrew word for “one” in Genesis 2:24 is “אֶחָד- ʼechâd not יָחִיד-yachiyd.
The word אֶחָד- ʼechâd here denotes relational oneness, being joined together in one flesh. This Hebrew word is also used to described “the LORD יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH is one- אֶחָד- ʼechâd”, in Deuteronomy 6:4. Can we then impute that relational oneness can also be alluded in ʼĕlôhîym Yahweh being One?
A way into the understanding of the ‘fellowship of this mystery’ was revealed with the Word becoming flesh, in the fullness of time, none other than by Jesus himself.
For Jesus revealed a mode to understanding the plurality of God in אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, while maintaining that God is also One, in John 17:20-23.
“20 I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. 21 May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know you have sent me and have loved them as you have loved me.”
Here, Jesus prayed and affirmed the Oneplural-Pluralone within the context of relationships. He also gave us a key to relate, to grasp, within the relational paradigm, as to how God can be One and yet more than One in Being.
Having this key, we can now comprehend with a little more clarity Jesus’ earlier claim in John 10:30, that He and Father are One, as his affirmation of the Oneplural-Pluralone of the Being of God.
The first specific reference to Oneplural-Pluralone in Scripture is in Genesis 2:24 “they shall be one flesh”. The Septuagint records it as  as “δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν – literally (δύο) two (εἰς) into (μίαν)one, in relation to (σάρκα) flesh.
As we can see, this concept is not new. What is new and novel is that Jesus specifically and expressly applied it to God in John 17. Hence, Jesus’ affirmation of the Shema Yisrael of Deuteronomy 6:4 should be understood in this light and being a proclamation of YAHWEH ELOHIM’s Being as that of Oneplural-Pluralone.
Finally, the first mention of Ruach Elohim or Spirit of God was in Genesis 1:2. As Jesus stated and affirmed that God is Spirit, it follows that it would be also proper to say that Ruach Elohim or Spirit of God is also a distinct Being in Oneplural-Pluralone Yahweh-יְהֹוָה God-אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym.
As such, God as One is also revealed to be Triune – Father, Son and Spirit in ThreeOne Being.
Relationally, therefore, I can say that God is One. I can also say that God is more than One. As God is not only One but also more than One, I can properly also embrace God as Triune, as Jesus has revealed God to be.
For, it is only in the fullness of time that this mystery was revealed by Christ Jesus, that all may see: “what the fellowship of the mystery is, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who hath created all things by Jesus Christ, to the intent, that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose, which he wrought in Christ Jesus our Lord:
The relevant part of the above passage may be translated as “what the fellowship of the mystery is, which from eternity had been hid in God, …… According to the eternal purpose, which he brought forth in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
I note here, that from eternity, before creation, there is a fellowship of mystery hid in God. I believe that part of this mystery is that God is Triune or there can be no fellowship within the Being of God in eternity. As to other parts of the mystery concerning Jesus, I will attempt to address it in future posts.
The Oneplural-Pluralone mystery of Yahweh 'elohiym revealed to us, through Jesus, is that GOD is Triune.
As such, revisiting Genesis anew, through the lens provided by Jesus, I am now able to see, understand and integrate all creative acts of God אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym and Lord God (Yahweh 'elohiym) as the joint participatory acts of Father, Son and Spirit, even as Father initiates, Son mediates and Spirit generates all creative acts, in union and communion.
In so doing, I have been blessed.
Father, Son and Spirit bless you richly.
 Exodus 6:3 “God spoke to Moses, and said to him, “I am Yahweh. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Yahweh I was not known to them.” World English Bible
 According to Leviticus 24:16 read in context following 24:13,14, and 15 , יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH is the name that identifies, אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, the I AM WHO I AM or I WILL BE THAT I WILL BE , Hebrew: אֶֽהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶֽהְיֶה – aeie ashr aeie of Exodus 3:14.
 See footnote 8
 GEORGE A.F. KNIGHT Theology In Pictures The Handsel Press limited 1981 page 3 line 26 onwards.
 Genesis 22:12
 Plurality in Oneness and Oneness in Plurality
 John 17:20-23 Christian Standard Bible. CSB
 Highlighted in the preceding John 17:22-23 passage
See John 10:30 and John 17:22 read with John 1:1-4 and John 1:14. See strong’s G1520 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon b. “to be united most closely (in will, spirit), John 10:30; John 17:11, 21-23. Refer also to John 3:16 ‘monogenes- only begotten son’
 Genesis 2:24 KJV
 Septuagint OT and Wescott-Holt NT Online
 Greek accusative case – having the meaning of ‘in relation to’ Septuagint. See also Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:8
 Mark 12:29
 Genesis 1:2 Tree of Life Version. TLV
 “Now the earth was chaos and waste, darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim was hovering upon the surface of the water.” Genesis 1:2 Tree of Life Version. TLV
 John4:24 “Hashem is Ruach (Spirit) and it is necessary for the ones worshiping Him to worship in Ruach and Emes. Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
 how we relate to God and how God relates to us
 Greek τίς Strong’s G5101 meaning what or who
 I am positing that this refers to Triune plurality in oneness and oneness in plurality. See also Colossians 2:2,3
 See footnote31 above
 the word is αἰών-aiōn which literally also has the meaning ‘eternity’ as translated in Ephesians 3:11 as eternal αἰώνων purpose. See Strong’s G165
 Ephesians 3:9 GNV
 Christ the wisdom of God See 1 Corinthians 1:24 and Proverbs 8:22,23
 See footnote33 above
 Ephesians 3:10,11 Young’s Literal Translation See also Ephesians 1:4-12
 See Strong’s G4160 ποιέω poiéō- to perform, to do
 Colossians 2:9 “For in him all the fullness of the Deity dwells bodily” World English Bible WEB
Leave a Reply.