I've always wondered who "us" meant in Genesis 1:26, 3:22. First, I thought it may have meant talking to the Trinity, or to the angels. I digged in further. I'm curious what you think on these notes, and seeing if the author used what they thought in the time with mysticism and assimilated it to the real God, Yahweh, to teach theology.
Then God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.
a. “us” – ancient mysticism of the gods deciding the fate of man, but what’s different in the bible is God decides for himself.
b. New Jerome Commentary: The bible accepts a divine assembly (of gods deciding): “Let us make a human”. In ancient near Eastern literature, the gods decided the fate of humankind. The bible accepts the picture of the assembly, but Yahweh alone makes the decision. (Gen 11:3,7; Deut 32:8-9, 1 Kgs 22:19-22, Isa 6; 40:1-11; Job 1-2).
Then the Lord God said: “See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus eat of it and live forever.” 23 The LORD God therefore banished him from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken.
a. “Us” – Used again of an assembly, but God acts on his own.
When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden; and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.
b. A continuance of mysticism references.