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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

It pleased the King Eternal nearly six thousand years ago to add a new habitable province to His dominion; not by an original creation of a globe, but by the re-constitution of one already existing as one of the solar planets.

He commanded His angels to go and execute the work according to the order detailed by Moses.

They hearkened unto the voice of His word; and in six days finished all they were commanded to do.

But without His power they could have effected nothing: therefore, in the history all things are referred to Him.

He willed; the Elohim executed by His Spirit.

All the lower animals are more or less observant; but the Serpent was the most so of all the Lord of the Elohim had made.

It noted the objects around it, and among these observed the "gods," or "Morning Stars and Sons of God," to whom it told Eve she should be like if she ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.

In the Hebrew the word rendered "gods" is Elohim, the same as occurs throughout the first chapter.

From what other source but the sight of its eyes, unless by divine inspiration, could the serpent have derived information about the "gods"?

It spoke of what it had seen and heard.

But the animals were still without a king; therefore, said the Chief of the Elohim, "Let us make man in our image".

There was none like the Elohim of all the creatures they had made; therefore, they determined to make an animal after their form.

They shaped him with head, limbs and body like their own; so that he stood before them the earthly image of the celestial Elohim.

As much their image as Seth was the image of his father, Adam.

We have not said that man's likeness to the Elohim consisted in his being "very good"; but that the Spirit of God formed him "very good" in the same sense that it formed all other animals so.

They were without character; so was he: his goodness was physical, not moral; that of the Elohim was both.

Yet, in a certain sense, man was formed in the likeness of the Elohim.

This likeness, we have already shown, but may repeat here, consisted in the man's ability to manifest mental phenomena like theirs; and in his susceptibility of an exaltation to their nature and rank, upon the same principles as they had attained thereto.

By this similitude he was distinguished from all the other animals they had formed.

He was constituted like to the Elohim, though of inferior nature.

He could manifest intellect and disposition even as they, and he could know evil as they had done.

Wilson observes that the phrase "‘Let us make man' is an expression of consultation, and marks a difference in man's creation from that of other creatures in point of importance".

To this I have no objection, and I believe that the "subtle serpent" overheard the consultation, and was, therefore, able to tell Eve that there was a particular in which she should be like the Elohim, ka-elohim, by eating the fruit, in which she could not resemble them unless she did eat -- viz., in "knowing good and evil".