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What does this mean in the Old Testament: Genesis 3 Verse 22.

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.

How through the fall from the Garden does it say that they become one of us? What is meant by "us"?

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Hi and welcome to our community. I've put your question on hold for a few minutes as right now it does not meet this site's quality or scope guidelines. If you've got a few moments please edit your title to be more descriptive of the question, and perhaps give some kind of framework for how to interpret the passage you've noted (do you want the trinitarian view? the unitarian view? do you want the a specific denomination's perspective?). If you want a context nuetral academic interpretation of the verse that is off topic here, but is on topic at our sister site Biblical Hermeneutics –  wax eagle Dec 12 '13 at 13:28
Still too broad after DJ's edit. This needs to be asked from a specific perspective because there are many opinions on what this means. –  fredsbend Dec 12 '13 at 20:16
@fredsbend I think I'm going to disagree here and suggest that this is only too broad because we know what a can of worms this can be. Even as an intermediate level question this is still asking about one word so only a true expert would even know how to narrow it down. I propose at this point the onus should be on expert answerers to provide an overview answer of how this word issue fits into the tapestry. If anybody wants to take issue with my mod override here I'm happy to revert and take this to meta. How does that scan? –  Caleb Dec 13 '13 at 12:00
@Caleb I'm fine with it. We'll see what happens here on the question. –  fredsbend Dec 13 '13 at 17:32
Heh, noone even touched yet on the subject of ancient jews beliving in several gods (and references to council of gods, and commandments to not put other gods before YHWH, and several other interesting stuff...), can of worms indeed. –  speeder Dec 13 '13 at 19:58

2 Answers 2

Not only does God refer to Himself with the plural pronoun in Genesis 3, but He also does so in Genesis 1:

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. Genesis 1:26 ESV

The first two verses of Genesis 1 are instructive here:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 ESV

The Hebrew word that is translated "God" is actually a noun in plural form--Elohim. The Bible emphatically asserts that God is, in fact, one. There is one God and no other.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV

I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God... Isaiah 45:5 ESV

So, we have a plural form of a noun that refers to a single entity--that is, God Himself. Genesis 1 identifies God and the Spirit of God in the first couple verses. As God's revelation of Himself progresses, we learn more about His nature. In the Old Testament, we see in Daniel one like "a son of man" approaching the Ancient of Days, a rock cut out of the mountain but not with human hands, a fourth person in the fiery furnace and other such things.

The first chapter of John is perhaps one of the clearest expressions of this:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2 ESV

Genesis told us that God and the Spirit of God were in the beginning. John tells us the Jesus Himself--the Word made flesh (v. 14) was also in the beginning as was also God.

Thus, the doctrine of the Trinity is what explains this. God was referring to Himself. The Father, Son and Spirit were all active in creation.

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God is speaking about himself and his "master worker" Jesus. Proverbs 8:30 refers to Jesus as a "master worker" and Colossians 1:16 indicates that God used Jesus as a worker while creating all of creation (including man). This is in much the same way that an architect or engineer could be called the "creator" and his laborers could be called "master workers".

He also could have been speaking to the angels. We know they existed before man was created because Job 38:4, 7 shows that they shouted in applause when the earth was created.

Now remember that Genesis 3:22 doesn't say that the man has become one of us; it says has "become as one of us". This means that they made themselves like God.

Look at this explanation for more info: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2003766

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