God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness"
The outer material world is created and brought forth, the
receptacle is ready. The Earth, the material world, is not unseen anymore, it
is not shapeless, but it is still empty, for yet it does not have its material
worth, for it is morally insane, having no responsibility.
And so, in order to fill the emptiness, to give
the moral sense to the whole creature, call for the existence the beings, which
are able, like angels, for the joy of living, which delights God, the creative
Divine word is pronounced: "Let us make man." So that
the new creature could be truly kind, it should be similar to its Creator, and
therefore the Lord says: "Make in our image."
Here, in this most important moment of creation,
in the moment of calling to existence of the similar to God, giving the new
moral sense to the whole material world creature, we again see the holy seal of
Trinity upon the Biblical lines: "In our image," not
Mine, says the Lord.
Being Himself Trinity-Hypostatical, connected by
the perfect Divine love of the Three Persons into one Divine Creature, He makes
His creature, as once He had made angels, not in one person, but in two, so
that they would give start to the appearance of the multitude of persons, but
at the same time would be as one.
"So God created man in his own image, in
the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God
blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish
the earth, and subdue it."
In these verses of the 1st chapter of
the Bible, saying about the original creation of the man, is used the Hebrew
word "bara" — to create from nothing. Consequently,
paraphrasing, we can say about the first Biblical report of the man’s creation
this way: God, One in His Creature, but Trinity-like in Persons, made from
nothing in His image and after His likeness a human, the man and woman, two
persons of the same essence and gave them a blessing to multiply the number of
persons and subdue the seen world.
But in the Bible not once, but twice it is said
about the creation of the man: first in the 1st chapter, the second
time in the second, verse 7. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust
of the ground." Both the stories at the first glance are different: in
the first it is said that God "bara," i.e. created from
nothing the man in His image, after His likeness; in the second that He "assa,"
i.e. formed him from the dust of the ground, the same way as he formed all
animals, about which it is said "formed." (In Hebrew it is the
same verb "assa") "And out of the ground the LORD God
formed…every fowl of the air" (Gen. 2:19). And the same way, as about
the animals, in the 2d chapter of Genesis it is said about the man: "and
man became a living soul." Further on: in the first narration God
creates simultaneously the man and woman, two persons, and potentially the
multitude of persons, similarly to the multiple angelic council, in one
essence; in the second narration it is said only about the creation of the man,
Adam, and only in some time his wife, Eve, is formed (assa) out of his
This duality was used by the enemies of the
Christianity as a "proof" of unsoundness of the Bible and the
difference of the origin of the Biblical narrations. Meanwhile, if we remember
the truth about the man, as about the double-essential, united spiritual
creature, then the church understanding of the two narrations of the Bible
about the creation of the man would become evident for us, as the description
of different essences of human nature: spiritual and moral-physical.
St. Gregory of Nyssa in his work "About the
System of the Man," pointing at the duality of the creation-formation of
the man, says: "God created (i.e. "bara") the inner man
and formed (‘assa") the outer one, He formed the flesh, but created
That is why, on his bodily nature the man is the
part of the outer animalistic-materialistic world. All that we have in
ourselves, exists in the surrounding us world. We are more close to the animal
living world, to these, created by God living souls. Therefore a Christian can
absolutely calmly assume the observation that in his bodily nature the man and
a chimpanzee would be closet to one another, than a chimpanzee and a monkey. If
to talk about the bodily nature of the man, then we would not be embarrassed by
the possibility to put the man in the modern zoological classification in a
certain place in the order of primates, in the class of mammals.
But a Christian cannot suppose that only with this
is limited our place in the row of creations. No, in our spirit we are the
similar to God creatures, "a little lower than the angels" (Ps.
8:5-7 and Hebr. 2:7), and between us, on the one hand, and the rest of the
animal world, on the other, there is the deepest and impassible abyss:
fulfilling our resemblance to God, we, the same way as the Lord, Who knows His
creature, can perceive the terrestrial animals and the furthest worlds of the
universe, but nobody, but us, in the boundless material world can perceive
neither us, nor themselves, nor the outer, or inner world.
St. Anthony the Great says so about the
relationship of the human and animal worlds: "The man, concerning his
mind, gets in contact with the inexpressible Divine power, and concerning his
body has the relativity to the animals" (The Edifications, book 2, chap.
42). And more: ‘All that grows can be called living, for it is growing and
living, but it cannot be said that it has a soul. Plants have physical life,
but do not have souls. The man is called a spiritual, reasonable creature, for
he has the spirit (mind) and is able to acquire knowledge. The rest of the
animals have breathing and souls…There are four various types of living
creatures: some are immortal and have souls, such as angels; others have the
spirit, soul and life, such as people, still others have life and souls, as
animals; and the rest have only life, such as plants" (the same source,
The teacher of the Church of the 5th
century Nemesius of Emessa in his work "About the Nature of the Man"
writes: "In his body and the combination of elements the man is close to
lifeless creatures. In the same traits and the ability to grow and multiply, he
resembles plants. He has all this features in common with mute animals, and
besides, he is similar to them in his desire to move, in feelings and wishes.
And in his reasonable element he is connected with the bodiless spiritual
creatures — angels."
"And God said unto them, Be fruitful, and
multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the
fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that
moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb
bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the
which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Having inhabited the Earth, entered onto It the
one, who is the bearer of the moral value, the Divine-like spirit, God subdued
to him all the brought forth by Him matter, fulfilling and developing his
Divine similarity. The very Ruler of the Universe, the Lord, makes the man the
ruler of the material and animal world, and at the same time makes this
material and animal world, which do not have any value by themselves, the
participant of the similar to Divine, morally worth life; the lifeless world He
makes the spacious place for the man’s living, the world of plants — to provide
the man with food, the animal world — as the space where the man rules, as the
world, serving him, which he perceives, learns about, understands, gives names
to (Gen. 2:20).
"And it was so" (Gen. 1:30).
And there was no more shade of the evil,
everything was wise, all was perfected by the Good, according to the Divine
will, Divine plan.
The creation of the world was finished. Through
the human, similar to Divine spirit, the Lord bind with Him the whole created
by Him material and animal world, making it the participant of the similar to
Divine, light and joyful, right, reasonable and good life. "And God saw
every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening
and the morning were the sixth day." "And on the seventh day God
ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his
work which he had made" (Gen.2:1).
This seventh day, in which God "rested"
from His work, i.e in which the creative process of forming new creatures
ceased, is being continued till now and will continue till the end of ages.
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