Recently I noticed that Genesis 2:18 in the LXX uses plural and not singular like TM. Where the TM says "I will make....", the LXX says "let us make..."

Can someone tell me what version are true and why? Does the oldest LXX (so, before Christ) have the plural or the singular? Does the Qumran have the singular or the plural? If the older LXX has the plural, why did later scribes chose to add plural? There was no trinitarian influence at all.


3 Answers 3


There are two fragments of Genesis 2:18 among the Dead Sea Scrolls according to this translation: 4Q2 Genesisb and 4Q8a Genesish2. Fortuitously, both scrolls contain "I will" from the sentence:

I will make him a helper comparable to him.

Since these scrolls predate Christianity, the scribes who copied them would not have been aware of trinitarian doctrine.

A survey of English translations shows only two use the plural for God:

So it would appear the source of the plural form of God in this verse is the Septuagint. Unfortunately, there are limited pre-Christian manuscripts of that translation. So there might not be enough evidence to know whether the plural is present in the original translation. It's possible the "let us" phrasing was introduced by Origen or Christian scribes motivated by trinitarian doctrine. Or it could be an attempt to reconcile this verse with a parallel in Genesis 1:26:

And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.—Genesis 1:26 DRA

And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself.—Genesis 2:18 DRA

On the whole, the evidence is strongly for "I will" in this case.


Since the question surrounds whether or not the advent of Jesus Christ is a condition of the plurality of the speaker in Gen 2:18, Jesus, when speaking after His resurrection to the two on the way to Emmaeus, made this enormously relevant statement in Luke 24:26:

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. (KJV)

Here, Jesus was not one bit hesitant about going all the way back to the very beginning--Genesis 1:1--to "expound" unto these two Jewish men "the things concerning himself--Christ--Christos--the ANNOINTED ONE. Christos cannot be taken as a plural. So clearly there is room for a singular connotation somewhere in that portion of scripture.
Therefore, I will use the KJV to attempt to answer this great question about ch. 2 v.18.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Going back to the beginning, "Elohiym" (plural) created. We do not know what was said during that creation. No record is given here about God saying anything while He was creating the “heaven and the earth”. The only thing we can know for certain was that the result of that plural God's creation consisted of a single body of waters confined within a single area of deep space, each having a face--paniym. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/A%20study%20on%20the%20dual%20form%20of%20mayim,%20water.-a0293949747

In verse two, Jesus told the two men about the "singular" personalized "facet"--face--paniym--of that plural God--the Spirit--the ruwach--which reveals a certain "LIVE MOVING SPIRITUAL NATURE" of God. In verse 3, FINALLY we learn about another very important aspect of Elohiym. HE SPEAKS. So we can be certain that Jesus told the two men about the facet--face--paniym--person of God which is "His WORD." In verse 4, Jesus, no doubt, also spoke to the two men about the plural Elohiym being a seeing God--and God SAW.

Genesis chapter one deals with the plural God repeatedly setting out certain project plans. Then, the Word of God--a certain facet--paniym--person of God is shown as carrying out those plural Elohiym's plans. Thirdly, the Seeing God--a certain facet--paniym--person of God inspects and approves those inspections. Moreover, the sovereign plural God "defined" when God called something by name, and "commanded" certain things as God's law. We see this happen over and over again throughout chapter one. These faces--paniym--of God are highlighted in each instance--each in that facet's own lane, yet together as one plural faceted God. Throughout scripture, God's various and voulmnous names always each seem to describe a single facet (face) of the one Lord God.

John 1 1-3 declares:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In chapter two, verses 2 and three, the plural Elohiym ended His work. Certainly, Jesus told the two men about the combined work and the combined rest of all of those facets of the One True God, combined.

Yet, as we know, Deuteronomy 6:4 insists:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

And the same Jesus who expounded unto the two men about the plurality of the LORD God certainly explained His UNITY with the ONE but many faceted LORD God who just happened to be SPEAKING in Gen. 2:18 as well as in in John 10:30:

I and my Father are one.

I believe that this instance in Gen. 2:18: is describing the LORD God in the singular sense (I will) of ONE who is the many faceted, but ONE LORD.


Hebrews 1 and other passages in the Bible make it clear that the Word (later known as Jesus, God’s Son) was involved in creation (v.2 “through whom he made the world”). The Orthodox Church considers the Septuagint to be more accurate even than the Hebrew text.

The oldest copy of the Septuagint is from the 4th century whereas the oldest Masoretic Hebrew text is dated in the 9th c. The earliest DSS fragment dated 30-68 A.D. so it could have been produced after Christ’s ministry. It uses “I will” in 2:18 but maintains the plural in 1:26. It is always difficult to determine what texts might have been changed and for what reasons, due to inexact textual criticism and paleography so it’s usually best not to speculate.

The Septuagint translation is therefore the most consistent with the parallel in Gen. 1:26. “Let us make man in our image.” In fact, to interpret, “I will make for him a suitable helper” as the Father operating unilaterally in creating woman, would seem to contradict Col.1 16.

16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

The apparent contradiction might be resolved by positing that the Father was stating his intention and then involved his Son in the creation process. Another solution is the one that the trinitarians use which is that God is referring to himself as the unity of the Godhead.

God is a very complex being, actually too complex for us to understand, so I think we should try to avoid being too dogmatic in our ontological descriptions. The best we can do is to try to reconcile all of scripture with our limited understanding.

The Septuagint likely provides the most accurate rendering for Gen. 2:18 since hermeneutically the closest context carries the most weight and on the whole it is an earlier document. Either way, the text of Gen. 2:18 alone should not have a major impact on theological arguments.

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