Astonishingly, there are certain anti-Trinitarian groups, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which readily admit that the reason why God refers to himself in the plural in the following texts,
“Then God said: ‘Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.’ And God went on to create the man in HIS image, in GOD’s image he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27 New World Translation (NWT https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/study-bible/books/)
“Jehovah God then said: ‘Here the man has become like one of US in knowing good and bad. Now in order that he may not put his hand out and take fruit also from the tree of life and eat and live forever,—‘” Genesis 3:22 NWT
“Then Jehovah went down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. Jehovah then said: ‘Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. Come! Let US go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.’ So Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city.” Genesis 11:5-8 NWT
“In the year that King Uz·ziʹah died, I saw Jehovah sitting on a lofty and elevated throne, and the skirts of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were standing above him; each had six wings. Each covered his face with two and covered his feet with two, and each of them would fly about with two. And one called to the other: ‘Holy, holy, holy is Jehovah of armies. The whole earth is filled with his glory.’ And the pivots of the thresholds quivered at the sound of the shouting, and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said: “Woe to me! I am as good as dead, For I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of armies himself!‘ At that, one of the seraphs flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth and said: ‘Look! This has touched your lips. Your guilt is removed, And your sin is atoned for.’ Then I heard the voice of Jehovah saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?’ And I said: ‘Here I am! Send me!’ And he replied, ‘Go, and say to this people: “You will hear again and again, But you will not understand; You will see again and again, But you will not get any knowledge.” Make the heart of this people unreceptive, Make their ears unresponsive, And paste their eyes together, So that they may not see with their eyes And hear with their ears, So that their heart may not understand And they may not turn back and be healed.’” Isaiah 6:1-10 NWT
Is because he was actually talking with/to his beloved and glorious Son!
- Who are meant by “us” in his words, “Who will go for us”? Why?
4 Jehovah links someone else up with him at the temple when he adds: “And who will go for us?” The pronoun “us” here includes the same ones as are meant when God spoke at creation and said: “Let us make man.” Also: “The man is become as one of us.” And at Babel: “Let us go down, and there confound their language.” (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:7) So by the plural pronoun “us” Jehovah was meaning, not himself and the seraphim at the temple, but himself and his only-begotten Son who became the man Christ Jesus and by whom He had created all things. Hence the glory which Isaiah saw at the temple represented primarily the glory of Jehovah and secondarily that of his Son. This glory the Son shows forth when Jehovah sends him as His “messenger of the covenant” to the temple for judgment work. As it is written: “The Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts. And he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:1, 3, AS) At his glorious coming to the temple in 1918 he took up the work of judging and cleansing his devoted remnant upon the earth, that these might go for him and for Jehovah with the “pure language”. (Commissioning of Witnesses in the Time of the End, “The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah’s Kingdom”—1951, p. 215 https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1951243; bold and underline emphasis ours)
- What question does Jehovah propound, and whom does he include when he says “us”?
13 Let us listen with Isaiah. “I began to hear the voice of Jehovah saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I proceeded to say: ‘Here I am! Send me.’”(Isaiah 6:8) The question propounded by Jehovah is clearly designed to elicit a response from Isaiah, as no other human prophet appears in the vision. It is unmistakably an invitation for Isaiah to be Jehovah’s messenger. But why does Jehovah ask, “Who will go for us?” By switching from the singular personal pronoun “I” to the plural pronoun “us,” Jehovah now includes at least one other person with himself. Who? Was this not his only-begotten Son, who later became the man Jesus Christ? Indeed, it was this same Son to whom God said, “Let us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26; Proverbs 8:30, 31) Yes, alongside Jehovah in the heavenly courts is his only-begotten Son.—John 1:14. (Isaiah’s Prophecy–Light for All Mankind 1, 8 Jehovah God is in His Temple, pp. 93-94 https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102000028; underline emphasis ours)
As “Wisdom” in his prehuman existence, Jesus goes on to say that he was “by his [God’s] side, a master craftsman.” (Proverbs 8:30, JB) In harmony with this role as master craftsman, Colossians 1:16 says of Jesus that “through him God created everything in heaven and on earth.”—Today’s English Version (TEV).
So it was by means of this master worker, his junior partner, as it were, that Almighty God created all other things. The Bible summarizes the matter this way: “For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things . . . and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things.” (Italics ours.)—1 Corinthians 8:6, RS, Catholic edition.
It no doubt was to this master craftsman that God said: “Let us make man in our image.” (Genesis 1:26) Some have claimed that the “us” and “our” in this expression indicate a Trinity. But if you were to say, ‘Let us make something for ourselves,’ no one would normally understand this to imply that several persons are combined as one inside of you. You simply mean that two or more individuals will work together on something. So, too, when God used “us” and “our,” he was simply addressing another individual, his first spirit creation, the master craftsman, the prehuman Jesus. (Should You Believe in the Trinity?, What Does the Bible Say About God and Jesus?, p. 15 https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101989304; bold and underline emphasis ours)
Jehovah’s first creation was his “only-begotten Son” (Joh 3:16), “the beginning of the creation by God.” (Re 3:14) This one, “the firstborn of all creation,” was used by Jehovah in creating all other things, those in the heavens and those upon the earth, “the things visible and the things invisible.” (Col 1:15-17) John’s inspired testimony concerning this Son, the Word, is that “all things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence,” and the apostle identifies the Word as Jesus Christ, who had become flesh. (Joh 1:1-4, 10, 14, 17) As wisdom personified, this One is represented as saying, “Jehovah himself produced me as the beginning of his way,” and he tells of his association with God the Creator as Jehovah’s “master worker.” (Pr 8:12, 22-31) In view of the close association of Jehovah and his only-begotten Son in creative activity and because that Son is “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15; 2Co 4:4), it was evidently to His only-begotten Son and master worker that Jehovah spoke in saying, “Let us make man in our image.”—Ge 1:26.
After creating his only-begotten Son, Jehovah used him in bringing the heavenly angels into existence. This preceded the founding of the earth, as Jehovah revealed when questioning Job and asking him: “Where did you happen to be when I founded the earth . . . when the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause?” (Job 38:4-7) It was after the creation of these heavenly spirit creatures that the material heavens and earth and all elements were made, or brought into existence. And, since Jehovah is the one primarily responsible for all this creative work, it is ascribed to him.—Ne 9:6; Ps 136:1, 5-9. (Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1, p. 527 https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001061#h=8; bold and underline emphasis ours)
If the estimates of modern-day scientists as to the age of the physical universe are anywhere near correct, Jesus’ existence as a spirit creature began thousands of millions of years prior to the creation of the first human. (Compare Mic 5:2.) This firstborn spirit Son was used by his Father in the creation of all other things. (Joh 1:3; Col 1:16, 17) This would include the millions of other spirit sons of Jehovah God’s heavenly family (Da 7:9, 10; Re 5:11), as well as the physical universe and the creatures originally produced within it. Logically, it was to this firstborn Son that Jehovah said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” (Ge 1:26) All these other created things were not only created “through him” but also “for him,” as God’s Firstborn and the “heir of all things.”—Col 1:16; Heb 1:2…
Doubtless on many occasions during his prehuman existence as the Word, Jesus acted as Jehovah’s Spokesman to persons on earth. While certain texts refer to Jehovah as though directly speaking to humans, other texts make clear that he did so through an angelic representative. (Compare Ex 3:2-4 with Acts 7:30, 35; also Ge 16:7-11, 13, 22:1, 11, 12, 15-18.) Reasonably, in the majority of such cases God spoke through the Word. He likely did so in Eden, for on two of the three occasions where mention is made of God’s speaking there, the record specifically shows someone with Him, undoubtedly his Son. (Ge 1:26-30; 2:16, 17; 3:8-19, 22) The angel who guided Israel through the wilderness and whose voice the Israelites were strictly to obey because “Jehovah’s name was within him,” may therefore have been God’s Son, the Word.- Ex 23:20-23; compare Jos 5:13-15. (Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 2, p. 57 https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200002451; bold and underline emphasis ours)
And here is what one prominent and leading Arian polemicist/apologist wrote in regards to Gen. 1:26:
“God was addressing the Word when He said: ‘Let Us make in Our image.’ (Genesis 1:1, 26)” (Greg Stafford, Jehovah’s Witnesses Defended: An Answer to Scholars and Critics [Huntington Beach, CA; Elihu Books 1998, first edition], p. 165 http://elihubooks.com/content/books_media.php)
It is rather unfortunate that these individuals and groups fail to realize how their admission that the use of plural pronouns in the aforementioned texts shows that God was speaking to his Son, the Lord Jesus, in his prehuman existence, refutes their belief that Christ is a creation of Jehovah. It is sad that they do not see (or do not want to see) that this actually proves that Jesus is an eternal Person of Jehovah, e.g. the Son who, in union with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is none other than Jehovah God Almighty that later became a flesh and blood human being.