The "us" of God and Jews


#1

:slight_smile: How did the Jews understand the Scripture in the Old testament when it says “Let us go down”? Any one know? :slight_smile:


#2

Hi catholicfellow!

I’ve heard 3 explanations.

First, there is the Majesticatus Pluralis (i.e. the “Royal We”).

Our Sages also teach that by saying “Let us…” God was speaking to/consulting the angelic host (see I Kings 22:20-23, Isaiah 6:8, note the use of “us”, Job 1:6-12). God certainly does not need the angels’ help or advice but He speaks to them out of courtesy and modesty. (Our Sages deduce from this that a great person should always act humbly and consult those lower than him/her.) One of our Sages says that God thus “consulted” the angels at this stage because they were jealous of man, that man and not they would be the pinnacle of creation.

Our Sages offer another explanation. They note that in 1:11, God said, “Let the earth put forth grass…” and in 1:24, He said “Let the earth bring forth the living creature…” Thus, in 1:26, our Sages suggest that God was speaking to the earth when He said, “Let us make man…” In effect, He said to the earth: Let us be partners in making man. I will provide the soul and you will provide the body. When the man dies, we will each reclaim our respective parts. (See Ecclesiastes 12:7, “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns unto God who gave it.”) (Note: Our Sages are offering homilies & parables here, the value of which is in the ideas that they teach.)

Howzat?

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#3

Sounds great. All those explanations could apply. What obviously is not implied is God talking to a plurality of persons within Himself for Genesis 1 :27

And God made man is his own image.


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