So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them Genesis 1:27

It is tempting to match the ‘created…created…created’ of the nature of man with the ‘holy…holy…holy” of the nature of God (Isaiah 6:3) – and the very uniqueness and speciality of the latter suggests an equal significance in the former. Just as the Lord is the ‘super-superlatively’ holy One, so man is the super-superlative creature, the creature par-excellence, the one whose essential nature is unique creatureliness. Only by recognizing themselves as the unique Creature and by discovering how to live as such can human beings be true to themselves and enter upon a truly human life.

These observations about the uniqueness of man are reinforced by the fact that the verb ‘to create’ is, in the Old Testament, God’s exclusive verb.

J. Alec Motyer
Look to the Rock

Holiness is the only attribute of God that is thrice-stated (Holy, Holy, Holy is Yahweh of Hosts [Isaiah 6:3]), and theologically we draw away from this that he is set apart as the super-superlatively Holy One. Motyer looks at the above passage from the creation narrative of Genesis 1 and sees a parallel. That man is ‘created…created…created’ focuses attention on the special-ness of the creation of man.

There is a correlary of this in the narrative of Genesis 2:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

This ought to invoke an image of Yahweh digging up the dust in His own hands, shaping it into the man and blowing the breath of life into his nostrils, a picture of immediacy and intimacy, as opposed to the more mediate “Let there be.”

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