Yes, a great Question, and interesting comments also. The answer, however, must come directly from the plain reading of the text. Your question hinges upon the strict meaning of the word "created" very appropriately used in chapter one, verse 27 as opposed to the words "made", "formed", and “established” that are each in their own right, very appropriately used or implied without contradiction throughout chapters one and two, but especially in chapter two.
Using the KJV, there are some very interesting declarations concerning the work of the plural all-encompassing sovereign God (Elohiym), beginning in chapter one, verse one, and right up through chapter two, verse three.
The Word of God
Other than the Day-One creation project, every other new project phase was clearly preempted by a clear declaration of intent by that sovereign SPEAKING God: verse 3:, “And God said, Let there be light ….”; verse 6: “And God said, Let there be a firmament ….”; verse 9: “And God said, Let the waters be gathered ….”; verse 11: ”And God said, Let the earth bring forth ….” ; verse 14 and 15: “And God said, Let there be lights … and Let them be for”; verse 20: “And God said, Let the waters ….”; verse 24, Let the earth bring forth ….”; and of course, verse 26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ….” NOTICE that each of these instances constituted promises made by the faithful God were concerning THINGS HOPED FOR, BUT NOT YET SEEN at the very time they were spoken. The “task” of fulfilling the promise came after the very declaration of promise, itself. Each one of those things had to eventually be made of something, made for a certain purpose, made to exist in a certain environment, and MADE VISIBLE.
Accordingly, line upon line, John wrote in John 1:1-3:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Notice that those promise-fulfilling tasks included only three specifically stated tasks of CREATING: verse 1: “the heaven and the earth”; verse 21: living moving creatures and winged fowl that the waters brought forth; and of course, verse 27 which is the verse in question: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
None of the three things that God “created” could have been visible to man’s sight. Here, we see that God created man in His own image. God was spirit—not visible to man’s sight. The WORD of God had promised to “make” a complete man, yet in chapter 1, He only shows that He created man. Chapter 1 shows that God created the spirit of man—in God’s image, after God’s likeness. The moving creatures that the waters brought forth were also conveniently described in chapter one as having been only “created” as having invisible life—not yet “made” and “formed” you would soon be able to see the body, but not the life of the body. Chapter one tells us that God created the life of the water creatures. Furthermore, on Day-One, “the heaven and the earth” was not visible. It consisted only of a single body of not yet gathered together “waters”.
Kee, Min Suc. 2012 A study on the dual form of mayim, water. The Free Library (July, 1), accessed November 17 2013 from
The visible seas and dry land did not appear until Day-Three. The term, “without form, and void” is the perfect scientific description of an invisible gaseous-like substance that cannot be seen. It has neither a definite shape, nor volume.
Notice how, in verse 1, the translators of the KJV REFUSED to use the term, “heavens--plural”, but rather opted for the singular term, “heaven” and that for good reasons. Verse 2 informs us as to exactly what the Day-One creation consisted of (the waters) having a single face filling an area of space (the deep) also having a single face. The word “waters” is translated from the Hebrew, mayim, which is a very special Hebrew “dual”, an inherent twosome of a primitive noun that is always used in a singular sense.
The Hebrew definite direct object flag:
The Biblical Hebrew particle ‘eth (or ‘et), has no direct translation to English, but its function was probably derived from the Hebrew ‘owth, which means a sign, mark, or token. ‘Eth, when placed before nouns in Biblical Hebrew, is used to flag or mark those nouns as being intended as definite direct objects of a certain verb. In Genesis 1:1 the Hebrew text shows that (‘eth) is placed before the noun shamayim (heavens) and ve’et, (or and ‘eth) is placed before the noun ‘erets (earth) to flag or mark shamayim and ‘erets as being ‘joint’ definite direct objects of the verb, bara (created). Those direct objects can be viewed in their joint definite context as that very one Creation which consisted of all the matter necessary to make and form all the hoped for finished masterpieces of Genesis 2:1, each of which will always be categorized in Scripture as being either heavenly or earthly—one of the two. That One Creation’s name—the heaven and the earth—provides the token identity of its twosome:(1) the heaven and (2) the earth, from which all of the Genesis 2:1 things—all the host of them—innumerably plural, were later made and formed—including the physical bodies of the fifth and sixth day creations of living fish, fowl, and man. See my paper at:
The generations of the heavens and the earth
Throughout chapter one and right on through verse 3 of chapter 2, we see only general statements as to what God “made”, but little description as to just HOW God made those things. For example, verse 27 tells only of “creating” man in God’s image and after His likeness, and not much about how the final product of man was actually eventually “made” and formed. But in chapter 2, verse 4, the WORD of God begins to MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBE all those innumerable "visible" things that were promised in chapter 1:
These are the generations of the heavens (innumerably plural) and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. (My note)
So since the entire creation began on Day-One as a single unique body of matter described by the dual phrase, “the heaven and the earth”, chapter two, beginning with verse 4, tells us about the generations of those innumerable bodies that were made and formed from that single invisible body of matter. Here we see the LORD God, as the WORD of God, “making” and “forming” all things seen from the initial waters that were actually created as being unseen. Rabbi Paul, who studied at the feet of Gamaliel, absolutely confirms this in Hebrews 11:1-3, and further confirms the former UNDERSTANDING of this concept all the way back to the elders of the Jewish people who completely UNDERSTOOD the meaning of the first book of Moses:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
In Genesis 2:4, Moses instructively reversed the phrase, “the heavens and the earth” when they were created, as told in chapter one, to “the earth and the heavens” in the day that the LORD made them—day-three for the earth, and day four for the plural heavens. So exacting are these descriptions in Genesis, no wonder the studious elders UNDERSTOOD.
Chapter one, verse 27 only describes the creation of man—the invisible spirit—in the image of God the Spirit, and in the likeness of the plural God. God has more than one operative capacity. Each of God’s operative capacities has a unique name describing it. The WORD of God is just one of many unique operative capacities of God. God created and named man as a single unit, like God, having more than one operative capacity—male and female. In Genesis 5:1-2 He called their name, “Adam”, not Adam and Eve:
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
Chapter two, verse 7, however, MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBES the “making” and “forming” of the visible flesh and blood body of Adam:
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 soul.
Then, The LORD God used that spirit, body and soul of Adam, being both male and female—not yet man and woman, to “make’ and “form” the help meet for him. He—no doubt—both physically and genetically made and formed Eve from the rib of Adam while assigning the female operative capacity to her and the male operative capacity to him. So it was Adam, not God, who named the woman proving that Adam was first formed, then Eve, as we see in 1 Timothy 2:15:
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
Therefore, the invisible gaseous waters were first divided into two bodies of invisible gaseous waters. Then, only one of those two bodies of waters was made into plural visible liquid seas and formed visible earth. staying with the matter of Gen. 1:27, man was first formed from the visible dust of the ground that had been formed from the invisible gaseous waters under the firmament. Then, after that, a companion for Adam was taken out of Adam and named (by Adam himself) “woman.”
I hope that this explains why chapter two was needed to help us to UNDERSTAND that all things seen were made of things not seen as per Hebrews 11:1-3. Chapter two MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBES how the LORD God made and formed the visible things of His creation of the invisible things He created, thus laying the foundation of faith for all who believe His WORD.