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Created In His Image

Genesis 1:27 (ESV) … “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Human life was created in (lit., “as,” meaning “in essence as”) the image of God (v. 27). This image was imparted only to humans (2:7). “Image” (ṣelem) is used figuratively here, for God does not have a human form. Being in God’s image means that humans share, though imperfectly and finitely, in God’s nature, that is, in His communicable attributes (life, personality, truth, wisdom, love, holiness, justice), and so have the capacity for spiritual fellowship with Him.

God’s purpose in creating human life in His image was functional: man is to rule or have dominion (1:26, 28). God’s dominion was presented by a “representative.” (Egyptian kings later, in idolatry, did a similar kind of thing: they represented their rule or dominion by making representative statues of themselves.) However, because of sin all things are not under man’s dominion (Heb. 2:8). But Jesus Christ will establish dominion over all the earth (Heb. 2:5–8) at His second coming.

God pronounced His blessing on the male and the female: they were to be fruitful and increase in number. In Genesis, to be blessed was to be enriched and fertile. Such marvelous decrees of God would be significant for Israel, that was God’s representative on earth. She would enter the land of promise and would expect God’s continued blessing.[1]

[1] Ross, A. P. (1985). Genesis. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 29). Victor Books.


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