Does scripture teach in Gen. 1:26-28; that (a collective) man (H120, adam, i.e. mankind, the general word used for man, cp. Ex 4:11); was made after the image and likeness of God's heavenly congregation (its function, for ordered dominion); being ruled by the Highest Elohim (Ps. 89:5-7; 1 Kings 22:19-22; Ps. 82.1)?

The use of the definite article, "ha" Adam, "so God created "the" man in His own image"; is seemingly being used, by the author to distinguish between the creation of God's image (the Adam, singular meaning), and corporate mankind (adam, i.e., male and female). Who are identified as being created only in the likeness of elohim, and given a name (H8034, which word the translators excluded) male and female, see below, Gen.5.2)

Gen.1:26-27: "Elohim said let us (the Highest Elohim, addressing the divine council. Dan.4.17;1 Kings 22:20) make (or assign) man (i.e., mankind) in our image and likeness that they may rule..." (i.e. ordered hierarchy; for proper function against disorder, being typical of the heavenly family, Heb.8:5; Eph.3:15) that is under the wise order of the one Head (the Highest creator Elohim, i.e. The LORD God, Gen.3:22).

In which, the corporate mankind, like the elohim are given dominion over the different geographic locations (Dan.10:13, 20-21; Deut.32.8-9) with the Head (the Adam) reining from sacred space, as the image in sacrificial service ( the micro, i.e. Adam in Eden, with his faithful posterity, over the populations of the earth, teaching the ways of God, possibly horticulture, for life, and abundance (Gen.1:28-31;2:5,8,16); instead of hunting (Gen.10:8); where mankind was called to seek the Lord, and attend sacred space; in worship of God, in thanks giving during the appointed seasons (Gen.1:14;cp. Acts.17.26-27); the macrocosm finds fulfillment in the prophetic references below; where in the kingdom of God, Christ and His Church, will rein from the New Jerusalem; teaching the ways of the LORD to the nations, that are called to attend Jerusalem yearly during appointed seasons (Zech.8:20-23; 14:9,12-16; Isa.11.1-11; Ps.2 6-8; Rev. 2.26-28; 21:24-27).

Where “the” man was given the heirship (the first-born blessing) over the rest of mankind (possible inference to an existing corporate population when Adam was placed in the Garden see: Gen.2:11-15; Isa.14:4-8; cp. Ez.28:13). Being typical of Israel, and the Church (Ex.4:11; Heb.12:23); in corporate vocation, and allotment in God's Kingdom, as priest-king heirs over the rest of the nations (Isa.60:11-12; 61:6; Rev.1:6; 2:26-27).

To which, Christ Jesus, is the anti-type, the Son of Man (i.e. Son of Adam, Dan.7.13-14, cp. Lk.3.23,38); being the true heir of the inheritance that was allotted to "the" Adam (i.e. the image, Ps.8; 1Cor. 15: 24-28); who is the expressed image of God, the Son of God, the firstborn of all creation, who has been placed above all creation (Heb. 1:2-3; Col.1.15-18; Eph.1.20-21).

So, in v 27: "God created “the” man in His image (as the son of God, Lk.3:38); in the image God, He created him (the Adam); male and female He (God) created them ..."(implying a separate act of creation in corporal form, as God did with the rest of the created creatures, Gen. 1:23-25).

Gen. 5:2: This is the book of the genealogy of man (kind) in the day God created man (kind) in the likeness of Elohim, He made him (mankind), and called him a name (H8034) male, and female… this is looking back to Cains genealogy in chapter four (as 2:4 does to chapter 1); who lost the inheritance and is identified with the cooperate creation (man).

5:3 and lived Adam 130 years and he begat a son in his own likeness and image... Seth. Here Adam is used without the art. as well in 4:25-26; which are parenthetical; where "Adam" as just (man),is used by the author, to clearly identifying "the" Adam of previous chapters, being that he begat Seth. The lack of the art, is for the reader to trace the theme of inheritance, and God's image-heir; identifying the transfer of the inheritance of God (motif,cp. Gen.25.) unto Seth; and is the apparent reason, for the force of language Seth was in the "image" and "likeness" of His father (given the first born blessing cp. Mt.5.44-48); with further implication of this, when "men began to call on the name of the Lord"; weather this insertion be interpreted as the fufilling of the vocation of spreading of the word, or idolatry, both support the view given; of vocation, linked with inheritance, within the seed conflict motif (Gen.3.15).

Gen.9:6 use, of image and "the" adam, sets the laws of the land according to God's law as His imagers, who are to set forth the character of God as His heirs (cp. Mt.5:44-48).

So while "the" Adam is a part of mankind being in the likeness of elohim, seen in the shared dominion given to humanity over the animals (Ps.8); He exclusively held the title of image, with access and fellowship with God in sacred space (Gen.3.8), and given a vocation which involves king priest duties, seen in the grammatical links used for Adam in the garden, and the priest hood of the Levitical law ( see Adam as the First Priest in Eden as the Garden Temple1 G. K. Beale).

Also, looking at a New Testament reference concerning image, it says only the man is the image of God, leaving the woman out, this seems to go along with the above view of the creation account 1 Cor.11:7; is this what the text is teaching, it seems to fit, and be a clear teaching that has been overlooked?

  • "pantheon" is never mentioned in the Bible. I am not sure what you are asking. Mankind (both male and female) was made in the image of God.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 26 at 9:28
  • Touched it up for you hope it helps Commented Jan 26 at 11:11
  • Please change "counsel" (which means "advice") to "council", Commented Jan 26 at 13:39
  • 2
    You should remove non-Biblical concepts of a "divine council" - only God made man in His image, according to the Bible. Angels do not create, nor is there any "divine council" in Scripture. Commented Jan 26 at 18:10
  • 4
    Have you read what I wrote or looked at my references because no one said angels create. Also divine counsel is in the Bibles Ps 82 .1, Take a little more time to look, before jumping to conclusions . Also Dan 4.11 the decree of the watchers what's that? Commented Jan 26 at 19:38

4 Answers 4


Rabbinic Treatment
The Rabbis recognized the problem of a text which states, "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness..." The use of first person plural pronouns means Elohim is plural. The "work around" explanation invokes a "divine council" (by whatever term it is called) [emphasis added]:

The Gemara asks: Why do I need these instances of plural words? Why does the verse employ the plural at all when referring to God? The Gemara explains: This is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan, as Rabbi Yoḥanan says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not act unless He consults with the entourage of Above, i.e., the angels, as it is stated: “The matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones” (Daniel 4:14). 1

The Rabbis understood the plural as Elohim speaking or consulting with angels.

This claim, if true creates serious difficulties:

  • There is no mention of angels in Genesis 1 and 2.
  • The divine council is not found until much later (i.e. Daniel 4:14). This means the inital readers would be misled or at least unable to understand the passage until a thousand years after it was written.
  • If the Rabbis are correct that Elohim never acts without consulting others, then the others, like Elohim must be eternal, uncreated beings.

The last point proves the divine council explanation is impossible, and proves Elohim, as the dictionary states, is plural. Before the beings who would make up the divine council were created Elohim did not act without consulting the "others" whom are only Elohim: a clear picture of what can be called the Trinity.

Genesis 1 and Genesis 2
After announcing the plans to make man using first person plural pronouns three times, the next verse states what Elohim did:

So Elohim created [the] man, in his own image, image of Elohim he created him, male and female he created them.

The plural verb from verse 26, asa becomes the singular bara which is repeated three times. Since the divine council explanation for the first person plural pronouns is deficient and essentially proves Elohim should be understood as plural, what follows should be considered in that light. Elohim declares man is to be made in our image and after our likeness.

The making, asa, of man, not "the" man, in our image, begins by creating, bara, "the" man in his own image, in the image of Elohim he created him, male and female he created them. Genesis 2 details "the" man was created before the woman by being formed out of the dust.2 When the LORD God breathed into his nostrils, the man became a living being. The woman was made, bana from the man later.

The details in Genesis 2 follow the three part seqeunce of Genesis 1:27.

  1. "The" man was formed from the earth. (Let us make man/"the" man was created)
  2. The breath from the LORD God made him a living being (in our image/in the image of Elohim he created him).
  3. The woman was made (after our likeness/male and female he created them).

The use of the article in Genesis 1:27, "the" man means Adam was made before the woman. The plural image and likeness of Elohim is physically present in the creating of male and female. "The" man is tripartite: water, dust, spirit. "Man" is tripartite: male, spirit, female.

1. Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 38b, 16.
2. But a spring rose out of the earth, watering all the surface of the earth. (Genesis 2:6) Essentially, the man was made from the dust of the earth which was watered, that is, clay.

  • Good point i was coming to that conclusion as well, but need to think more on it Commented Jan 29 at 19:07
  • The only problem i see with your conclusion is the singular use of likeness, and not image; used for mankind (H120, without the art., in Gen. 5:3). So i guess my view is claiming a separate corporate creation, besides Adam, and eve. "male and female He created them" along with the other details i put forth, but maybe i am wrong I still have to think on it. Commented Jan 30 at 5:55
  • @ThatwemaybethepraiseofHisglory Your comment is about Genesis 5:3? "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth" Also H119 to H124 are all spelled אדם. They have different Strong's number because Strong numbered them according to the Masoretic text. The original Hebrew lacked the vowel markings. One reading אדם would either have to have had a particular verse passed on, or to decide from context which pronounciation was appropriate. Commented Jan 30 at 16:05
  • @ThatwemaybethepraiseofHisglory Genesis 5:1-2 speaks of creating אדם in the likeness of God. Male and female He created (bara) them. This follows what was said in Genesis 1:26 and left unsaid in Genesis 1:27. אדם is referring to both. This is affirmed by 5:2 where God calls their name אדם in the day they were created (bara). Genesis 5:3 speaks of procreation after the day of creation. When we read אדם had a son 130 years later, remember both male and female were the same age and had the same name and were involved in having a son. The lack of the article with אדם refers to both. Commented Jan 30 at 16:40
  • So you take the the the genealogy to be referring to what follows, then what is past? Because that phrase, clearly seems to be looking back to chapter 1. Cp. 2.4; but the subject we are talking about now, was a difficulty, so scholars force the meaning to be what follows. Commented Jan 31 at 1:32

The OP asks: "does scripture teach...?" Given the variety of doctrines that come from the scripture in question, the answer is in the eye of the beholder. There are at least four ways of interpreting the phrase "let us make man in our image" in Gen 1:26:

  • God was using the "royal we," not addressing anyone else.
  • God the Father spoke to the other persons that comprise the Trinity.
  • God spoke to the angels.
  • God spoke to the council of the elohim.

The OP asks particularly about the fourth of these choices. This is plausible if one holds to the idea that the beings later called "angels" were originally thought of as lesser gods. According to this hypothesis, the god El was the father of the gods, together with his consort Asherah. He was also the head of council of the gods. Kaspars Ozolins of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary writes:

A famous series of large tablets, called the “Baal cycle,” contains epic texts that depict a divine council of deities, headed by the chief god ’Ilu (a word that is related to the generic words for God in biblical Hebrew: ’Ēl and ’Ĕlōhîm). Featuring prominently in the epic is the deity Ba‘lu, parallel to the Hebrew word Ba‘al... In the epic, Ba‘lu engages in annual combat with Môtu, the god of death and drought... Although Ba‘lu is defeated and descends into the underworld, he is subsequently assisted by ‘Anatu and Šapšu...

Other deities could be named as part of the divine council of gods: ’Aṯiratu (related to Hebrew ’Ăšērâ, “Asherah”) was seen as the wife of ’Ilu and his consort. Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu was the craftsman of the council, who helped fashion a mace for Ba‘lu. Yammu (related to Hebrew yām, “sea”) was the god of the seas and another adversary of Ba‘lu.

As the OP mentions, several scriptures refer to the council of the "elohim" or "bene-elohim," variously translated. For purposes of this question, Psalm 82:1 is particularly relevant:

God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment. (RSV)

The psalmist goes on to describe the demotion of these "elohim" because of their corruption. Although interpretations vary, one that fits with the OP's question is the idea that this psalm represents the period in which the Israelite religion was shifting from henotheism (belief in many gods of which only one deity was worshiped) to monotheism (belief in the existence of only one God).

I will skip other questions raised by the OP's analysis. Grammatical issues in the Hebrew are beyond my expertise, and treating other issues will make the answer too long.

Conclusion. The scripture does not definitely teach that humanity was created in the image of [the council of] the gods, but that is one of several possible interpretations of the text of Gen. 1:26. However this does challenge a strictly monotheistic viewpoint.

  • I don't think I am saying adam.was created in the image of a counsel, but humanity, with Adam as head, being the image of God. If that adds clarity. Commented Jan 26 at 19:45
  • thanks... I'll change my answer accordingly. The basic answer does not change. Commented Jan 26 at 22:20
  • Can you give your argument for why textualy? Because what I layed out seems to be a more accurate understanding than tradition has held with the theological developments in understanding the role of the image, concerning vocation? Commented Jan 27 at 20:32
  • Because your conclusion rested on the variety of historical interpretation, in which you chose one of them. I am looking for more of a textual, expositional proof Commented Jan 27 at 20:42

Male Adam (but not female Eve!) was made in the image (visual appearance) of the Father YHWH El who is Himself of male gender and sits on the throne in the heavens among the Divine Council elohim angels, his not-begotten sons.

YHWH created the Divine Council and Adam through Jesus His only-begotten Son who is himself the head of that Divine Council. As YHWH said to the pre-incarnate Jesus, "Come, let us make Adam in our image." (Gen.1:26) And it was said in the genealogy, "Adam, the Son of Elohim." (Luk.3:38)

Father YHWH has a spirit body which is in appearance similar to the that of the human race, however YHWH has an immortal heavenly body, whereas humanity has mortal earthly bodies. He sits on a throne and has a face and limbs, nevertheless dwelling in approachable light as He is the Spirit from whom all spirits come, the "Father of heavenly lights" (Jas.1:17)

Jesus is the personal Son of Father YHWH and was created by the Father YHWH (Col.1:15) in His image, and therefore also in the likeness like Adam, YHWH be praised above all. However, Father YHWH made Adam through Jesus the Son, who was the master workman through whom all things come but not from whom come the things, which come from our Father YHWH the one true Eloah.

And all of the usual elohim (heavenly angels/sons of El) also share that visual likeness with YHWH and man, namely a body that is indistinguishable from man in appearance. This does not include the higher classes of angels, such as the Seraphim chimeras or the Ophanim wheels with eyes.

  • 1
    you bring out some interesting points, as far as appearance which i think isa big part of the subject, which needs integration in my understanding of the subject of image; I see the image as primarily referring to vocation and role; as God's proxy that He rules through " in order that they may have dominion..." Commented Jan 29 at 9:31
  • @ThatwemaybethepraiseofHisglory Certainly role as proxy, but it is more specifically the literal appearance being the stamp of symbol and dominion of being formed in God's very own image and likeness, visually.
    – Joshua B
    Commented Jan 29 at 9:53
  • What's your view of the diety of Christ, because in your explanation, I am curious? Commented Jan 29 at 12:13
  • Do you believe He is YHWH Commented Jan 29 at 12:15
  • @ThatwemaybethepraiseofHisglory I do not believe that Christ is YHWH God, but that he is the only-begotten Son of YHWH God. He is the one Lord and sole exalted intercessor between YHWH God and humanity. I believe that Christ is the sublime Light of the world and the express image and perfect imprint in nature of YHWH God his Father.
    – Joshua B
    Commented Jan 29 at 12:20

1 Corinthians 15:45

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:49

And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Hebrews 1:3

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Revelation 1:6

And hath made us Kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 5:10

And hast made us unto our God Kings and priests: an we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 21:5

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new.

Conclusion: It took Jesus' coming and dying as a man (Adam) to be the perfect sacrifice for the original sin committed in the Garden of Eden. When the gospel was preached to Gentiles and the whole world, the chosen status became irrelevant. There is neither Jew or Greek, male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

  • The church is chosen, once that company is completed, they will have an inheritance greater than the nations, for the kings of nationst bring their offerings to the new Jerusalem. So we can't just scramble all the different groups found in the bible, because of one verse, there is no differences in the church, but the church will be different then the nations. Commented Jan 31 at 5:08
  • @ThatwemaybethepraiseofHisglory Agreed. Did you you read the verses I posted in response to your question
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 31 at 5:19
  • Yes, I am trying to understand your point sorry, in how it fits Commented Jan 31 at 5:24
  • @ThatwemaybethepraiseofHisglory The verses quoted in revelation involving Christians serving as Kings and priest with Jesus should have answered your request for new testament documentation. What started in Genesis 1&2 is fulfilled through Jesus and those that become children of God. We can take one question at a time if you wish.
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 31 at 5:37
  • I am confused, I have no idea what we are talking about. Commented Jan 31 at 18:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.