Is Genesis 3:22 related to Genesis 1:26?

Genesis 3:22 (ESV) Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

Genesis 1:26 (ESV) 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.”

Recently, I have been reading Genesis and I'm trying to compare Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. I believe that Genesis 2 is a detailed part of Genesis 1 (especially of verse 27). However, when I went on reading chapter 3, I was marveled at the information given in verse 22. Does it show us that the image and likeness of God in man is contingent to pre-fall events? Is Genesis 3:22 even related to Genesis 1:26?

  • What exactly confused you? Genesis three comes after the creation.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 27, 2016 at 12:45
  • @Radz Matthew Brown The 2 scriptures are talking of different things, Gen 3 talks of Adam having learnt to 'perform' acts that are good and others that are evil, this denoted as 'knowing good and evil.' While Gen 1:26 is talking off creating man with the nature of Elohim, a powerful nature that subdued and ruled over other natures that were also powerful, until he lost it in sinning.
    – Witness
    Aug 28, 2016 at 14:03
  • I believe in the soul-building theocidy, this would demonstrate that paradise was always meant to be temporary and that, by finally recognizing good from evil (thus becoming more like YHVH Elohim), man was ready to leave paradise. Another interpretation is that paradise was always an illusion propped up by the lack of recognition of good & evil. My personal interpretation is that non-paradise is the illusion created by believing in good & evil: paradise is real, but we punish ourselves through sin by believing evil is possible in the first place, thus we prevent ourselves experiencing paradise Oct 26, 2019 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


Leon R. Kass describes the relationship in The Beginning of Wisdom, page 55. Having pointed out that most biblical scholars read Genesis 1:1-2:4a and 2:4b-3:24 as two separate and independent creation accounts, he says:

In the first story, man is made directly in the image of God (1:27); in the second he is made of earthly dust and divine breath (2:7) and only becomes god-like at the end – “now the man is become like one of us” (3:22) and only in transgression.

In both stories, man becomes god-like, but at different times and in different circumstances. Kass says, "In the first, man is to be the master of life on earth (1:28); in the second, he is to be the servant of the earth (2:5,15)."


I think it should be read as the unfolding of God's plan for creation, just as He prevents Adam and Eve from partaking of the Tree of Life even though the long-term intention is for people to live forever (post-resurrection). At the point of Genesis 1, He already knows that Genesis 3 is going to take place.

Genesis 1 could also be interpreted to mean in His image as in free to choose good or evil, so that Genesis 3 would then be like Him in a different way.

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