'Us' in the Bible
Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.”
And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), knowing [how to distinguish between] good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take from the tree of life as well, and eat [its fruit], and live [in this fallen, sinful condition] forever”—
Cain talked with Abel his brother [about what God had said]. And when they were [alone, working] in the field, Cain attacked Abel his brother and killed him.
He named him Noah, saying, “This one shall bring us rest and comfort from our work and from the [dreadful] toil of our hands because of the ground which the Lord cursed.”
They said one to another, “Come, let us make bricks and fire them thoroughly [in a kiln, to harden and strengthen them].” So they used brick for stone [as building material], and they used tar (bitumen, asphalt) for mortar.
They said, “Come, let us build a city for ourselves, and a tower whose top will reach into the heavens, and let us make a [famous] name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered [into separate groups] and be dispersed over the surface of the entire earth [as the Lord instructed].”
Come, let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) go down and there confuse and mix up their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
and they called out to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them [intimately].”
for we are destroying this place, because the outcry [for judgment] against them has grown so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy and ruin it.”
The firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is aging, and there is not a man on earth [available] to be intimate with us in the customary way [so that we may have children].
Come, let us make our father drunk with wine, and we will lie with him so that we may preserve our family through our father.”
Then the next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay with my father last night; let us make him drunk with wine tonight also, and then you go in and lie with him, so that we may preserve our family through our father.”
Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I offended you that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me what ought not to be done [to anyone].”
And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What have you encountered or seen [in us or our customs], that you have done this [unjust] thing?”
“Listen to us, my lord; you are a prince of God [a mighty prince] among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our graves; none of us will refuse you his grave or hinder you from burying your dead [wife].”
and said, “Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
But Rebekah’s brother and mother said, “Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go.”
She said to the servant, “Who is that man there walking across the field to meet us?” And the servant said, “He is my master [Isaac].” So she took a veil and covered herself [as was customary].
Abimelech said, “What is this that you have done to us? One of the men [among our people] might easily have been intimate with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us [before God].”
Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from here, because you are far too powerful for us.”
He moved away from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over that one; so he named it Rehoboth (broad places), saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be prosperous in the land.”
They said, “We see clearly that the Lord has been with you; so we said, ‘There should now be an oath between us [with a curse for the one who breaks it], that is, between you and us, and let us make a covenant (binding agreement, solemn promise) with you,
that you will not harm us, just as we have not touched you and have done nothing but good to you and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed and favored of the Lord!’”
Rachel and Leah answered him, “Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?
Are we not counted by him as foreigners? For he sold us [to you in marriage], and has also entirely used up our purchase price.
Although you have searched through all my possessions, what have you found of your household goods? Put it here before my relatives and your relatives, so that they may decide [who has done right] between the two of us.
So come now, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between you and me.”
If you should mistreat (humiliate, oppress) my daughters, or if you should take other wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us [as a witness], see and remember, God is witness between you and me.”
The God of Abraham [your father] and the God of Nahor [my father], and the god [the image of worship] of their father [Terah, an idolater], judge between us.” But Jacob swore [only] by [the one true God] the Fear of his father Isaac.
Save me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children.
then you shall say, ‘They are your servant Jacob’s; they are a gift sent to my lord Esau. And he also is behind us.’”
and you shall say, ‘Look, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he said [to himself], “I will try to appease him with the gift that is going ahead of me. Then afterward I will see him; perhaps he will accept and forgive me.”
Then Esau said, “Let us get started on our journey and I will go in front of you [to lead the way].”
And [beyond that] intermarry with us; give your daughters to us [as wives] and take our daughters for yourselves.
In this way you shall live with us; the country will be open to you; live and do business in it and acquire property and possessions in it.”
They said to them, “We cannot do this thing and give our sister [in marriage] to one who is not circumcised, because that would be a disgrace to us.
then we will give our daughters to you [in marriage], and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live with you and become one people.
But if you do not listen to us and refuse to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter [Dinah] and go.”
“These men are peaceful and friendly with us; so let them live in the land and do business in it, for the land is large enough [for us and] for them; let us take their daughters for wives and let us give them our daughters [in marriage].
But only on this condition will the men consent to our request that they live among us and become one people: that every male among us become circumcised just as they are circumcised.
Will not their cattle and their possessions and all their animals be ours [if we do this]? Let us consent [to do as they ask], and they will live here with us.”
then let us get up and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.”
His brothers said to him, “Are you actually going to reign over us? Are you really going to rule and govern us as your subjects?” So they hated him even more for [telling them about] his dreams and for his [arrogant] words.
Then the man said, “[They were here, but] they have moved on from this place. I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits (cisterns, underground water storage); then we will say [to our father], ‘A wild animal killed and devoured him’; and we shall see what will become of his dreams!”
Now Reuben [the eldest] heard this and rescued him from their hands and said, “Let us not take his life.”
Come, let us [instead] sell him to these Ishmaelites [and Midianites] and not lay our hands on him, because he is our brother and our flesh.” So his brothers listened to him and agreed.
she called to the men of her household and said to them, “Look at this, your master has brought a Hebrew [into the household] to mock and insult us; he came to me to lie with me, and I screamed.
Then she told her husband the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you brought among us, came to me to mock and insult me;
We dreamed a dream on the same night, he and I; each of us dreamed according to [the significance of] the interpretation of his own dream.
Now there was with us [in the prison] a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted our dreams for us, to each man according to the significance of his own dream.
And just as he interpreted [the dreams] for us, so it happened; I was restored to my office [as chief cupbearer], and the baker was hanged.”
He said, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt; go down there and buy [some] grain for us, so that we may live and not die [of starvation].”
And they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty regarding our brother [Joseph], because we saw the distress and anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us [to let him go], yet we would not listen [to his cry]; so this distress and anguish has come on us.”
Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now the accounting for his blood is required [of us for we are guilty of his death].”
And he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned! Here it is in my sack!” And their hearts sank, and they were afraid and turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
“The man who is the lord of the land spoke harshly to us, and took us for spies of the land.
And the man, the lord of the country, said to us, ‘By this [test] I will know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers here with me and take grain for your starving households and go.
And it happened that when the families of Jacob’s sons had finished eating [all of] the grain which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.”
But Judah said to him, “The man [representing Pharaoh] solemnly and sternly warned us, saying, ‘You will not see my face [again] unless your brother is with you.’
If you will send our brother with us, we will go down [to Egypt] and buy you food.
But if you will not send him, we will not go down there; for the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
And they said, “The man asked us straightforward questions about ourselves and our relatives. He said, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ And we answered him accordingly. How could we possibly know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down [here to Egypt]’?”
The men were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and [expecting the worst] they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time [we came] that we are being brought in, so that he may find a reason to accuse us and assail us, and take us as slaves, and seize our donkeys.”
We have also brought down with us additional money to buy food; we do not know who put our money [back] in our sacks [last time].”
With whomever of your servants your master’s cup is found, let him die, and the rest of us will be my lord’s slaves.”
So Judah said, “What can we say to my lord? What can we reply? Or how can we clear ourselves, since God has exposed the sin and guilt of your servants? Behold, we are my lord’s slaves, the rest of us as well as he with whom the cup is found.”
Our father said, ‘Go back [to Egypt], and buy us a little food.’
But we said, ‘We cannot go down [to Egypt]. If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down [there]; for we [were sternly told that we] cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’
Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife [Rachel] bore me [only] two sons.
Now, therefore, when I come to your servant my father, and the young man is not with us, since his life is bound up in the young man’s life,
when he sees that the young man is not with us, he will die; and your servants will bring the gray hair of your servant our father down to Sheol in [great] sorrow.
you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth until now, both we and our fathers [before us],’ in order that you may live [separately and securely] in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is repulsive to the Egyptians.”
And Pharaoh said to his brothers [as Joseph expected], “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers [before us].”
And when the money was exhausted in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your very eyes? For our money is gone.”
Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed [to plant], that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”
And they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.”
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph carries a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him?”
He said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are too many and too mighty for us [they greatly outnumber us].
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, so that they will not multiply and in the event of war, join our enemies, and fight against us and escape from the land.”
But the man said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and said, “Certainly this incident is known.”
They said, “An Egyptian saved us from the shepherds. He even drew water [from the well] for us and watered the flock.”
The elders [of the tribes] will listen and pay attention to what you say; and you, with the elders of Israel, shall go to the king of Egypt and you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; so now, please, [we ask and plead with you,] let us go on a three days’ journey into the wilderness, so that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’
Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go on a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God, so that He does not discipline us with pestilence or with the sword.”
But the number of bricks which they were making before, you shall [still] require of them; you are not to reduce it in the least. For they are idle and lazy; that is why they cry, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And look, your servants are being beaten, but it is the fault of your own people.”
But Pharaoh said, “You are lazy, very lazy and idle! That is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’
And the foremen said to them, “May the Lord look upon you and judge you, because you have made us odious (something hated) in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and you have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
But Moses said, “It is not right [or even possible] to do that, for we will sacrifice to the Lord our God what is repulsive and unacceptable to the Egyptians [that is, animals that the Egyptians consider sacred]. If we sacrifice what is repulsive and unacceptable to the Egyptians, will they not riot and stone us?
We must go a three days’ journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He commands us.”
Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a trap to us? Let the men go, so that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?”
Moses said, “We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds [all of us and all that we have], for we must hold a feast to the Lord.”
Therefore, our livestock must also go with us; not one hoof shall be left behind, for we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God. Even we do not know with what we will serve the Lord until we arrive there.”
And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘With a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of bondage and slavery.
For it happened, when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, that the Lord struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animal. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord all the males, the first [to be born] of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’
So it shall serve as a sign and a reminder on your [left] hand (arm) and as frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong and powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”
When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this that we have done? We have let Israel go from serving us!”
Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What is this that you have done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?
Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians [as slaves] than to die in the wilderness.”
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