What is the meaning of God said: "Let us make man in our image . . .?
God said: "Let us make man in our image . . ." (Genesis 1:26) and "Come, let us go down, and there confound their language" (Genesis 11:7). To whom does the "us" refer?
Answer: Trinitarian Christians maintain that Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 11:7 are prooftexts of an alleged tri-unity god, but this claim is erroneous. The inference that "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26) refers to the plurality of God is refuted by the subsequent verse, which relates the creation of man to a singular God, "And God created man in His image" (Genesis 1:27). In this verse the Hebrew verb "created" appears in the singular form. If "let us make man" indicates a numerical plurality, it would be followed in the NEXT verse by, "And they created man in their image." Obviously, the plural form is used in the same way as in the divine appellation 'Elohim, to indicate the all-inclusiveness of God's attributes of authority and power, the plurality of majesty. It is customary for one in authority to speak of himself as if he were a plurality. Hence, Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give your counsel what we shall do" (2 Samuel 16:20). The context shows that he was seeking advice for himself' yet he refers to himself as "we" (see also Ezra 4:16-19).
There is another possible reason for the use of the plural on the part of God, and that is to manifest His humility. God addresses Himself to the angels and says to them, "Let us make man in our image." It is not that He invites their help, but as a matter of modesty and courtesy, God associates them with the creation of man. This teaches us that a great man should act humbly and consult with those lower than him. It is not unusual for God to refer to His heavenly court (angels) as "us," as we see in Isaiah 6:8, "And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'" Although God often acts without assistance, He makes His intentions known to His servants. Thus, we find "Shall I conceal from Abraham that which I am doing" (Genesis 18:17); "He made known His ways to Moses, His doings to the children of Israel" (Psalms 103:7); "For the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
A misconception similar to that concerning Genesis 1:27 is held by trinitarian Christians with reference to the verse, "Come, let us go down, and there confound their language" (Genesis 11:7). Here, too, the confounding of the language is related in verse 9 to God alone, ". . . because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth." In this verse the Hebrew verb "did" appears in the singular form. Also, the descent is credited in verse 5 to the Lord alone, "And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower." In this verse the Hebrew verb "came down" appears in the singular form. If a doctrine of plurality of persons is to be based on the grammatical form of words, the frequent interchanging of the singular and the plural should vitiate such an attempt as being without foundation or merit. We may safely conclude that the Bible refutes most emphatically every opinion, which deviates from the concept of an indivisible unity of God.
Chapter 45 of Isaiah, using the Tetragrammaton, unequivocally asserts that the Lord alone is the creator and ruler of all things in the universe. The six uses of 'Elohim in this chapter (verses 3, 5, 14, 15, 18, 21) show that the term 'Elohim is synonymous with the Tetragrammaton, and that both epithets refer to the absolute one-and-only God. The singularity of God, expressed in the first-person singular in verse 12, clearly shows who is meant by the phrase, "Let us create man in our image": "I, even I, have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded."
As for the Messiah, of him God says, "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David prince among them; I the Lord have spoken" (Ezekiel 34:23-24). The Lord alone will be worshipped as God, while the Messiah, as the servant of God, lives with the people. God and the Messiah are not and cannot be equals, for it is God alone who gives the Messiah power to rule in the capacity of His appointed servant.