Genesis 3:21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

Is God telling Adam and Eve or other sons of God?

Is this verse a justification for trinity?

  • YLT has 'Lo, the man was as one of Us, as to the knowledge of good and evil;'. Young argues regarding the WAW conversive in his preface and translates here significantly. The man was as one of us. Now, he is not. Therefore he must be banished. But as to the speaker, if Young is correct, then the speaker is an eternal one who does not live by the knowledge of good and evil.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 16:24
  • 1
    Mimmennu (מִמֶּ֔נּוּ) does mean "of Us" in Ivri. - The plurality of "Us" could be valued at 2 or more. Why stop at 3? What in the Tanakh limits Elohim to only 3-functions? Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 16:57
  • @ctaylorgraphics The question is about further revelation, that is to say the further revelation conveyed in the Greek scriptures after the coming of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. It is not about the original content of the Tanakh.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 17:26
  • 1
    Plurality in Hebrew means 3?? - So the Plurality associated with "Children of Yisrael" (בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל ) in Genesis 50:25, means 3 not 12? Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 18:19
  • 1
    @TonyChan. Can you please elaborate your understanding of the word "us" in this verse and how it has led you to ask the question, "Is this verse a justification for the trinity" Is there a biblical definition for the "trinity"?
    – user35499
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 9:12

5 Answers 5


As a Trinitarian, I would never use this verse to demonstrate the plurality of the Godhead, although it does not exclude that. Note this passage in Job 38:4-7 -

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? ... On what were its foundations set, or who laid its cornerstone, while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

It is clear that when God was creating the world, He was not alone. Leaving aside who the "morning stars" and the "sons of God" were (some versions interpret this last phrase as "angels", but that is a moot point), the main point is, that God had a cheer squad happening. Therefore, it is possible that the "us" in Gen 3:22 is either:

  • angels or other such beings observing the scene in the garden
  • other members of the Godhead

My personal preference is the first option as it is more natural. However, other verses such as Gen 1:26 might imply more than one member of the Godhead acting in creation (and confirmed by John 1:1, Col 1:16, 17 etc), but that is another question. Further, when reading these texts, one must recall that Hebrew grammar has more than just singular and plural, it has singular, dual (two), and plural (three or more). Again, that is another discussion that is not entirely germane here.

  • 1
    a thoughtful and responsible answer +1
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 0:36
  • I like it that you being objective.
    – Kapandaria
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 10:03

To whom is the Lord God speaking in Genesis 3:22? The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.**

Angels already existed when the first humans were created and know good and evil, Job 38:7. The angels knew sin after seeing one of them, Satan, sinned. Satan was there at the garden and instigated Eve to sin. Does Satan know good and evil? Do the angels know good and evil? It seems obvious that God was talking to those that know good and evil.

Is this verse a justification for trinity?

There is nothing in this verse that says anything about a trinity.


Whom is the Lord God talking to in Genesis 3:22?

After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, God said to his associate in creative work : (John 1:1-3)“The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.

James Moffat New Testament (Online) John 1:1-3

1 THE Logos existed in the very beginning, the Logos was with God, the Logos was divine. 2 He was with God in the very beginning: 3 through him all existence came into being, no existence came into being apart from him.

God was apparently referring to himself and his only-begotten Son -Jesus. Some may say that God was referring to his faithful angels, but a similar expression at Genesis 1:26, God says: “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." (NASB) To whom God was addressing these words? The apostle Paul explains, referring to Jesus, he wrote:

Colossians 1:15-16 (NASB)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For [b]by Him, all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Obviously God was speaking to his only-begotten Son, Jesus the "master worker" (Prov. 8:30 NASB) who was at his sight during the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Proverbs 8:22-31 (NET)

The Lord created[a] me as the beginning[b] of his works,[c] before his deeds of long ago. 23 From eternity I have been fashioned,[d] from the beginning, from before the world existed.[e] 24 When there were no deep oceans[f] I was born,[g] when there were no springs overflowing[h] with water; 25 before the mountains were set in place— before the hills—I was born,[i] 26 before he made the earth and its fields,[j] or the top soil[k] of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he marked out the horizon[l] over the face of the deep, 28 when he established the clouds above, when he secured the fountains of the deep,[m] 29 when he gave the sea his decree[n] that the waters should not pass over his command,[o] when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was[p] beside him as a master craftsman,[q] and I was his delight[r] day by day, rejoicing before him at all times, 31 rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth,[s] and delighting[t] in its people.[u]

  • You seem to have confused the 'firstborn of all creation' with Genesis - they are totally unique and separate times, actions and persons. John 1 - the logos was in the beginning, Jesus wasn't. Jesus is the focus in Col as the firstborn 'from the dead' and the 'father' of the new age of spirit and life.
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 2:40
  • No, I am not confused. Addressing the congregation in Laodicea through an “angel, Jesus speaks authoritatively as “the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” (Rev.3:14 NASB) and similarly at Colossians 1:15 under inspiration, Paul wrote" He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." Also Proverbs 8:22 NASB. Logos the " Word" being with God cannot be "The" God but a divine being. Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 19:38
  • all good, it was this line I referred to, God was apparently referring to himself and his only-begotten Son -Jesus. Are you saying, Jesus 'was in the beginning'?
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 13, 2020 at 22:30
  • Yes, Jesus was in the beginning and it was with him that God was talking the "master craftsman." Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 7:55
  • Ok, I disagree as we are not told that - it is the logos that is in the beginning - becoming Jesus when made flesh 2000 yrs ago. Cheers
    – Steve
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 9:09

"Word" as command of God. Word was with God, meaning God was capable of word(wisdom). Word was God, meaning word is powerful.

At God's command there became flesh, therefore it was God's wisdom that took form and became Jesus.

Gen 3:22 referring to "us" is the word(wisdom) therefore it was the part of God. Before becoming Jesus(in flesh), it was the word that was with God in the beginning.

The master craftsman of the beginning was the "word" later becoming flesh(Jesus)

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    – agarza
    Commented Nov 10, 2022 at 1:58

Context is key

In Biblical cosmology day one has a beginning and ends with day two of creaction Gen1:1-5.

The heavenly hosts were not yet created before the universe came into being. The exact day of their creation is ambiguous

According to God’s account in Job

“when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” ‭‭Job‬ ‭38:7‬ ‭

The heavenly hosts were present from at least day 4 onwards as the stars were made on day four. There is no indication that anything other than God existed prior to creation. So even if they were created on day one, they did not take part in their own creation. The stars and the sons of a god were not active in the creation, they were merely rejoicing according to God in Job.

So why the plurality?

We have the Spirit ruach of God

“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭

We also have the et (alephtav) which is the direct object pointer to the second person of the trinity and anything related to Him such as lineage or covenants. This is evident throughout the whole OT but it’s a topic all into itself.

The NT writers say that He is the creator and they had to base this on Scripture. Because just like the Bereans the New Covenant has to be grounded in Scripture (OT)

What text in the OT says Jesus was the Creator? The et (alephtav) making reference to Gen1:1 and John1:1. John was drawing a big inference to Gen1:1. The passage in Proverbs 8 is not alluding to Jesus but to the personification of wisdom. Sure Jesus is wise but since He is the Creator the logical out-workings of the Proverbs 8 passage would follow that Jesus consulted wisdom during creation. And also, the Angel of the Lord, making reference to the visible God on earth and the invisible God that no one has seen except the Son.

“In the beginning, God et created the heavens and vav’et (the same et as the first) the earth.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:1‬

Compare the similarity in John and the lack of similarity to Proverbs 8

“In the beginning was the Word (the et is referred to as the word in Hebrew), and the Word was with God (as seen in Gen1:1), and the Word was God (as stated by statements like Gen 1:26). He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1:1-3‬ ‭

Therefore anytime God interacts with man physically it is Jesus preincarnated as the Angel of the Lord. Any time the Spirit of God is mentioned as acting on His own, this is a separate and distinct person. And any time God is mentioned but not seen, just heard it is most often the Father. John 1:18 John 6:46

In context therefore Jesus/The Angel of the Lord/The Word(et)/the Creator is speaking to the whole Godhead Father and Spirit and as they together are involved in the creation and all things created are made through Him and by him


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